Office of Creative Inquiry / QEP

EDGE Curriculum Grant Program

Since 2015, the EDGE Creative Inquiry (CI) Course Grant Program has offered Faculty the opportunity to redesign undergraduate courses to include creative inquiry projects and assignments.  Starting fall 2021, the program has been expanded to include graduate classes as well.

In addition to single course grants, a new level of funding was introduced in the 2018-2019 academic year and continuing thereafter: department-level, multiple course grants of up to $15,000.  These grants are meant for faculty who would like to incorporate creative inquiry projects and assignments in multiple courses (up to three) in a departmental curriculum in order to deepen and broaden the creative inquiry skills of their students. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Grant Recipient Expectations

Grant recipients will agree to the following:

1.  Attend Camp QEP online prior to the fall semester for support in fully developing your course.

2.  Conduct the following activities for an annual report (due by December 31, 2024) to be sent to the Associate Director of Institutional Assessment, Research, and Effectiveness, Dr. Kevin Harris, for two consecutive offerings of the course, including the initial year of funding:

  • Describe assessment activities for measuring the Creative Inquiry SLOs

  • Score student performances on the assessment(s) administered in each grant course using a method of your choosing.  Please note that the EDGE rubric could be used for this purpose, but is no longer required.

  • Summarize the goals of the original proposal and progress made in reaching them

  • Explain course improvement efforts in response to the results

3.  Have students complete the EDGE survey during the last week of the semester.

4.  Meet with QEP Director at least once each semester for assessment purposes.

5.  All EDGE Grant award recipients are required to sustain the creative inquiry enrichment beyond the grant funding time frame.

6.  All courses/programs supported by a Curriculum Grant should include syllabus language reflecting the creative inquiry enriched nature of those courses. Sample syllabus language is provided for your convenience.

Note: Once a course has been supplemented with a CI grant and redesigned to include CI activities, it is expected that those activities will remain part of the course in semesters following the grant period. Your Chair must complete the QEP Curriculum Grant Support Form to agree to this requirement.


Proposal Deadline 

  • Friday, April 5, 2024 5:00 PM


Creative Inquiry Definition and Student Learning Outcomes

Definition: We define “creative inquiry” as follows:

The process of exploring issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence including combining or synthesizing existing ideas, products, or expertise in original ways to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.

Student Learning Outcomes

Creative inquiry learning activities can be incorporated into the curriculum through a series of specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). SLOs describe the expected gains in knowledge, skills, and attitudes that should result from participating in your course. The SLOs for EDGE are the following:

1.  Students will effectively use digital information search tools.
2.  Students will formulate a creative inquiry question or problem.
3.  Students will explore a creative inquiry question or problem.

3.1  Choose an appropriate discovery process to address the problem.
3.2  Collect information relevant to the problem.
3.3  Assess collected information in a discipline-appropriate manner.

4.  Students will create an original scholarly or creative project.

4.1  Applying critical thinking skills and/or
4.2  Applying creative thinking skills

5.  Students will communicate their findings/creations/art/inventions in a discipline-appropriate manner.

All EDGE courses must include SLO 1, and SLOs 3 through 5. It is up to the discretion of the instructor to include SLO 2. Rather than requiring students to formulate their own questions or problems, the instructor may provide the question or problem to be addressed.

These SLOs are intended to be inclusive to all departments and programs, but an alternative phrasing of any SLO that maintains the intent of that SLO is acceptable.

Your Application

Please collect all the required materials below. When you are ready to apply, fill out TTU QEP Curriculum Grant Proposal form and then submit each of the required materials listed by email to Soon thereafter, have your Department Chair complete the QEP Curriculum Grant Support Form. If any aspect of your proposal requires review for research compliance be sure to follow appropriate university policies. Please submit all materials in pdf format. Include your last name as the first part of any document name, e.g. "Last name....pdf."

Required Materials

1.  For a single course grant, include the current syllabus for the course. For a departmental-level, multiple course grant, please include the current syllabus for each course.

2.   For each course, include a one page narrative statement that explains why this course has good potential to be a CI-enriched course. Narrative statements must be single spaced, with a font size no smaller than 11-point; minimum 1-inch margins; tables and figure legends can be in 10-point font size. Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  1. Creative Inquiry Learning Activities:  Describe how you will implement creative inquiry into each course to promote each targeted student learning outcome. SLO 1 can be addressed using Tech's digital information literature tutorial.  Unless this is a new course, indicate how these activities differ from those in past course offerings, and why you chose to make these changes. Make sure to express the degree that the creative inquiry learning activities are student-centered.  
  2. Feasibility: The degree that: a) the budget is appropriate for the activities and grant timeline, b) the timeline is appropriate for the intended goals, c) the enhancements are sustainable, and d) the department and, if appropriate, the college is committed to the project.
  3. Intensity and Impact: The weight that you are placing on creative inquiry in each course and the scope of impact  (i.e., how many students are impacted).

3.  For a single course grant, a one page timeline  for development, teaching, and evaluation of the course. For a departmental-level, multiple course grant, please include a one page timeline for each course.

4.  For each course, include a one page budget and budget justification.  Other than the Faculty Stipend budget item, clearly note how each budgeted item is linked to 1) a proposed assignment or project and, 2) to one or more student learning outcomes.  Please break your budget down into the categories shown below.

Note: for a departmental-level, multiple course grant, items are often shared across courses, so modify the table as needed.  


Summer  2024

Fall 2024

Spring 2025

Faculty Stipend (see Budget Considerations below) $ $ $
Graduate Student Stipends (Paid by hour) $ $ $
Undergraduate Pay $ $ $
Materials (please supply list) $ $ $
Other (please supply list) $ $ $


Funding Levels

Single course grants: the total funding limit, not including faculty stipends, is $5000.

  • For faculty who wish to develop or revise a single course to develop the creative inquiry skills of their students by including creative inquiry projects or assignments.

Departmental-level, multiple-course grants: the total funding limit, not including faculty stipends, is $10,000 for two courses, and $15,000 for three courses.

  • For faculty who wish to build connections between courses to ensure students engage in creative inquiry learning activities throughout their program experience, by incorporating creative inquiry projects or assignments within multiple courses throughout a program.
Budget Considerations

All faculty who are PIs or co-PIs on approved projects will receive $2,000 for their first approved project. Faculty who are PIs or co-PIs on approved projects other than their first will receive stipends of $1,000.

  • Budget should align with curricular initiatives and should coincide with project and assignment implementation proposed in the application.
  • Proposals primarily seeking to add assessment methods and tools to courses without revising existing teaching strategies and learning experiences will not be funded.
  • Funding for fall classes must be used prior to the last day of the fall semester.  Funding for spring classes must be used prior to the last day of the spring semester.  Funds cannot be “carried over” into the following semester unless approved by the QEP Director.  Any funds not used are returned to the QEP budget.
  • Faculty stipends will be released in two installments: one-half after requirements of the first year of the grant have been met, including the submission of the annual report to the Office of University Assessment (see item 2 under Grant Recipient Expectations above), and one-half after attendance at Camp QEP.
  • Significant changes to any budget must be approved by the QEP Director.
  • The budget justification must indicate whether each budget item is a one-time expense to be used to design or pilot new elements of the curriculum or if it is a recurring expense.
  • Each recurring expense needs to include a plan for how the expense will be funded after the grant cycle ends.
  • Tennessee Tech’s QEP will not reimburse students for items purchased directly.
  • Pursuant to TBR Policy 4-02-10-00 and Guideline B-120, the University maintains an electronic Procurement Manual, which sets forth any procedures of the University which are in addition to and necessary to comply with TBR Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.  The TBR Policies and Guidelines pursuant to Purchasing and Contracting shall govern the University's purchasing practices.  These practices must be adhered to when spending all QEP grant funds, including EDGE Curriculum Grant funds.
Allowable Expenses
  • Wages for graduate or undergraduate student assistants to assist in the design, teaching or assessment of undergraduate creative inquiry enhanced courses.
  • Grant-specific materials and supplies, equipment, etc. to support creative inquiry enhanced courses.
  • Marketing materials for your program, if appropriate.
  • Faculty stipends for curricular design/redesign.
  • Support for piloting experiential learning and field trips, with a plan for sustaining the activity after the pilot period.
Non-Allowable Expenses:
  • Faculty travel to present the results of their EDGE-related scholarly work at professional disciplinary conferences. Faculty are instead encouraged to apply for an EDGE Faculty Development Grant.
  • Expendable course materials without a sustainable plan for department support after grant.
  • Student travel to present the results of their scholarly work. Students are instead encouraged to apply for funding through the URECA! Grant Travel Fund.
  • Food and drink.
  • Student textbooks.

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