Academic Affairs

Internal Education Foundation Guidelines: Grants to Faculty

The Internal Education Fund was established to promote educational innovation and to help enrich the College's educational programs. The specific objectives of the fund are to encourage faculty to engage in curricular revisions and reforms that are educationally innovative and that initially cannot be funded within the general College budget. To apply, please fill out this form.


  1. Proposals must be submitted on the application form provided for IEF grants, which is found on the Union website.
  2. The Internal Education Foundation is administered by the Research & Grants Committee of the Academic Affairs Council. Members are appointed by the Academic Affairs Council, or its designee, with each academic division being represented by one faculty member. Ex-officio and non-voting, the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs is also a member
    of the committee and will coordinate its activities.
  3. Proposals will be reviewed three times a year, once during each term, and should be submitted electronically by the end of the third week of the term.
  4. The maximum grant awarded per academic year under this program is $3,000. The first round of funding is in the fall term with the final round of funding in the spring term.
  5. Multiple IEF grants in a single year are allowed but the total awarded to a faculty member in a single year may not exceed $3,000.
  6. All proposals must describe, in some detail, the project and indicate in which ways it is educationally innovative to Union College and why it is not, nor can be, covered by an existing budget within the College, e.g., departmental budgets. Normally, but not necessarily, these proposals will deal with new courses and/or modifications to existing ones.
  7. “Teaching with Technology" IEF grants are designed to support the innovative use of existing and emerging technologies in the classroom. These grants aim to provide additional opportunities and support for faculty who are interested in exploring more effective, engaging, and innovative teaching strategies while strengthening instructional technology competencies. Typically, grants range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars but we encourage faculty with proposal ideas that may exceed that amount to have a discussion with the Dean of Academic Departments & Programs. Requests for all Teaching with Technology proposals, or any proposal requiring ITS support, computer software/hardware, or audio-visual equipment must be reviewed with a member of ITS staff, and be accompanied by a written statement by Director of Learning Design and Digital Innovation indicating feasibility of the proposal.
  8. A brief report describing the results of the project funded by the grant must be submitted to the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs by September of the fiscal year immediately following the award year. Such reports on the past use of IEF monies may be used by the Committee in its consideration of future IEF grant applications.
  9. Faculty need to use the approved funds on the project they specified within two academic years from the term they receive the funding (e.g. funding received in Fall 2023 needs to be used by Fall 2025). Any remaining funds or funds not used within this time period will go back to the dean's account. Faculty have the responsibility to inform the DADP office on any discrepancies on fund usage. Requests to repurpose funds for a different use will need to be approved by the DADP.

Funding Priorities

Proposals that indicate that outside agencies are (or will be) approached for support are preferred. The Committee realizes that many projects due to their small size, unusual nature or critical approach may have difficulty in obtaining outside funding. These projects should include a statement describing the general relevance and significance of the work. If your application is not funded in one round, you may reapply in the next. Grant applications, however, will not automatically be carried over into the next period. TO HELP ENSURE THAT A BROAD RANGE OF FACULTY HAVE ACCESS TO THESE FUNDS, FACULTY WHO HAVE RECEIVED FUNDING THREE OUT OF THE LAST FIVE YEARS WILL HAVE TO WAIT TILL THE FINAL FOUND OF FUNDING TO SUBMIT THEIR REQUESTS. Faculty who have received frequent but smaller requests should contact the DADP about flexibility with this guideline.

Equipment – Funded only if it is an integral part of the proposed project. All equipment purchased with IEF monies becomes the property of the College. Requests for computer hardware will be considered only if the purchase is clearly and critically related to the project.

IT Support and Computer Software – Funded if it is an integral part of the proposal. Any proposal that requests computer support (hardware or software) must be reviewed by the Director of Learning Design & Digital Innovation (LDDI) and a written statement containing recommendations must be included.

Audio Visual – Any proposal that calls for audio-visual equipment must be reviewed by the Director of Learning Design & Digital Innovation (LDDI) and a written statement containing her/his recommendations must be included.

Travel – IEF will fund travel if it is clearly necessary to carry out the project. All requests must be fully documented. It should be clear why travel is necessary rather than using the web, email, telephone or the USPS to communicate or gather information. It is expected that applicants will make every effort to obtain the least expensive airfares. Please refer to the updated Travel Policy for details.

Research Assistants – Research assistants are fundable but generally not for the purpose of typing or other secretarial tasks.

Release Time – IEF does not fund course release time for faculty.

Summer Salary – IEF does not fund summer salary for faculty.

Payment and Reimbursement Procedures

All grants awarded to faculty will be deposited into their personal Research and Travel Account. Please keep all receipts for expenditures. When using a Union College credit card to make purchases with your grant, please reconcile your charges through the Works program using your Research and Travel Account number.

If you do not have a Union College credit card, please contact the card program office,, to make arrangements to receive one. Credit cards are issued to all faculty members with a Research and Travel Account. The transactions are reconciled online and training is required to use the software. Administrative assistants also have cards and can make purchases on your behalf.

All faculty receiving funds need to create an expense folder on Works for each project and put all related expenses into the folder (name the folder "2023-24 IEF" and adjust the year accordingly). You only need to sign off on this folder when the project is completed. The IEF committee may not consider future funding requests if faculty do not comply with this requirement.

All reimbursements (items that were purchased in cash, mileage, etc.) should be requested electronically, through Works, and will be paid via your paycheck as a non-taxable item.

If you are a visiting professor, please contact the card program office to receive a temporary credit card for your grant purchases or have your administrative assistant make purchases for you.

Updated in July 2023 by Emily Tong