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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship

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Application deadline: 19th September, 2011

Call for proposals

The Central European University ’s (CEU) Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Higher Education Support Program (HESP), is launching a call for applications for one-year research grant described below. All applications fitting the general requirements and eligibility criteria of this call are warmly welcome.


19th September, 2011


An electronic application through email to sotl@ceu.hu  is requested.


The program

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is a field of research into university teaching and its impact on student learning, undertaken by the academic practitioner and directly involving student perspectives. Curriculum Resource Center invites applications for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship program (SOTL Fellowship) from university teachers from the region, working in social sciences and humanities, to design and implement research projects concerned with any relevant aspect of their teaching, using their own courses and classrooms as units of inquiry. Although SOTL certainly leads to major changes in teaching practices, a SOTL project is not a platform for developing new methods of teaching and implementing them for the very first time. It is more appropriate for investigating already tried innovations and implemented changes in order to evaluate their impact on student learning. A SOTL program cannot be used for proposing new courses or for disciplinary research only vaguely related to teaching or for improving your teaching by getting to know some new methods. It is an opportunity for those lecturers who already have a particular interest around student learning to research what they are doing and how it is impacting their students. A SOTL inquiry is ideal for lecturers who have participated in other grants and training programs connected to their teaching and now wish to document, evaluate and share with the wider professional community aspects of their practice and its impact on student learning.

The fellowship is a small research grant and includes two writing residencies in Budapest over the grant year. The selected projects for CRC SOTL Fellowship Program receive financial and methodological support for the duration of one year (usually September to September). Fellows will be able to work from home institutions whilst teaching their courses and to receive ongoing support from each other, the CRC and an external advisor of the program. The financial aid includes a stipend for 10 months, book allowance and other methodological resources, two intensive one-week collaborative writing residencies at the CRC office in Budapest (in fall 2011 and 2012), and help with dissemination of final products (research papers produced in English). The writing residencies allow for a sustained peer support in writing and rewriting the research project designs and final papers. The dissemination venues for any produced papers are likely to include a working paper for the CRC online collection, a submission to a peer reviewed interdisciplinary scholarship of teaching and learning journal, or appropriate discipline-specific journals.


Application is restricted to resident university teachers of social sciences and humanities in Eastern- and South-Eastern Europe, the Former Soviet Union, Mongolia. Citizens of new EU member countries (including Bulgaria and Romania) are not eligible to apply for this program. The call is meant for individual research projects only. All teachers of social sciences and humanities may apply but CRC usually does not fund projects in applied fields such as English language teaching or business.

The nature of the fellowship is to support innovative and high quality university courses and academics who are excellent teachers with a critical perspective on teaching and learning in their fields and disciplines, and with a willingness to turn their attention to issues of student learning. Therefore a Ph.D. or its equivalent, three years of teaching experience and a full time university position is usually preferred, though advanced doctoral students with good research proposals and adequate experience may be considered. Documented exposure to CRC programs or other faculty development projects, and strong and documented interest in teaching and learning are an advantage. Advanced proficiency in English language and an ability to write in academic English is a vital pre-requisite for the purpose of successful writing and collaboration with colleagues in an international environment.

Fellowship structure

The grant consists of 10 months stipend and some additional resources. Two Writing Residencies in Budapest are planned to facilitate project design, proposal and paper writing and peer evaluation, at the beginning and end of the program. For most of the year the participants will teach and reside in their home institutions where they will implement their projects.

Research proposals and expected outcomes

A typical SOTL fellowship project application will include some research questions or at the very least, specific preliminary research interests relevant to the teaching and learning issues to be studied, preliminary selection of methods or sources of evidence of student learning to be considered, some initial identified literature that the project can build on. Evidence of student learning generated through coursework, and some consideration of additional evaluation and research tools usually serves as the starting points for a SOTL project. This research project will be developed further and implemented during one academic year, and will result in an academic research paper of publishable quality, written in English. It is expected that the participants will be able to present their work at their universities, in appropriate disciplinary networks, at academic conferences.

The projects can be based on research of one existing course developed and taught by the applicant, or a cross-analysis of several courses taught. Curriculum research or research into wider issues of university education, not related to the applicants own teaching are not a subject of this program. Areas for investigation include, but are not limited to:

  • any problem or issue of student learning observed and investigated further to generate knowledge on how students learn in specific higher education contexts
  • the connection between the course content and a specific method of teaching or assessment – with impact on students as the main point of the research
  • the impact on students of providing a link between teaching and research in research-based courses
  • the development of graduate level student skills (MA or doctoral level)
  • the level of achievement of a specific desirable learning outcome in a course or set of courses
  • the development of research, writing, or other appropriate generic or transferable skills at undergraduate level
  • the development of discipline-specific ways of thinking, being, or acting using a particular teaching and learning approach
  • the impact on student learning of using a specific methodological innovation or new teaching approach
  • the impact of a specific aspect of current university context on student learning as documented in the teacher’s own classroom
  • the relationship between specific course structures and student learning
  • the effectiveness of a specific methodology in terms of student learning
  • the development of interdisciplinary models of teaching and learning in social sciences and humanities investigated in a particular course or set of courses

Selection process

Research proposals and background documents will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of CRC SOTL team, and at least one external SOTL expert. Short-listed applicants might be asked to provide additional materials to their applications, and may also be telephone interviewed if it is deemed necessary to complete the application process.

Application procedure

All applicants need to:

  • Fill out a SOTL Fellowship application form in which you clearly summarize your research project and your background.
  • Enclose a detailed research proposal of up to five pages which identifies preliminary research questions and describes plans for research implementation, to be developed further during the fellowship.
  • Attach one signed reference letter from a senior academic administrator of the institution where the project is to be implemented.
  • Attach a curriculum vitae, which should include a list of academic qualifications, list of publications, conference papers and any relevant faculty development experience.

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