2021 Funding Cycle

The Whiting School of Engineering is devoting the resources of the Kenan Fund to support the endeavors of teaching-track and tenure-track faculty seeking to pursue engineering education research.

To do this WSE will name one faculty member the William R. Kenan, Jr. Scholar/Teacher for a term of appointment of two years, from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2023. The designated faculty member will be provided with $20,000 to be spent over the term of appointment.

The application deadline has been extended to Monday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. ET.

Eligibility and Format of Application

Whiting School teaching-track and tenure-track faculty members are invited to submit a proposal describing their proposed project and its anticipated long-term benefits to undergraduate teaching quality and effectiveness.

The proposal should include the following submitted as a single PDF document:

  • A project proposal that describes the pedagogical research program you plan to develop that includes the following sections (limit 4 pages total)
    • title
    • abstract
    • project goals
    • project description
    • implementation plan (Note: this plan is expected to address project sustainability via external grant funding and research dissemination through conference proceedings and/or archival journals.)
    • a rough budget outline (limit half page)
  • A CV including your name, department, email address, phone number, biosketch, teaching contributions, education-related products (examples: curricula, websites, apps, student resources, workbooks, etc.). (no page limit)
  • A letter from your department head or chair committing departmental financial support and/or teaching relief should you be selected. (limit 1 page)

Allowed Expenditures and Required Reporting

No formal budget is required at the time of application. However, expenses must be tracked and be attributable to educational research activity. All departmentally committed funds must be expended before Kenan funds are utilized.

Expenses permitted include but are not limited to:

  • Faculty salaries and fringe benefits uncompensated by other sources,
  • Pay for students budgeted at the standard hourly rate used in the student’s home division and/or department,
  • Funding for equipment, software, supplies and/or services as required, and
  • Travel to conferences, workshops and other education-related events.

The following restrictions must be observed:

  • Graduate student compensation may not replace any graduate student aid or award, and
  • The funds may not support teaching by graduate students.

Faculty selected for this award will be required to report annually on the progress they have achieved toward their goals. Reports will be due on the last Friday in May in 2023 and 2024. Reports should include a summary of the expenditures of the Kenan funds. Reports not received on time may affect the eligibility of the individual or their department to receive future funding under this or other dean’s office administered programs. Funds that remain unexpended by the end of the period of appointment will revert to the fund.


Criteria for Project Selection

Proposals will be judged by a panel consisting of the WSE Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Director of the Center for Educational Resources, the WSE Assistant Dean for Learning Design and Innovation, and a WSE department head or chair representing a department from which there are no submissions. If all departments are represented in the application pool, the WSE Vice Dean for Graduate Education will instead serve on the panel. The following will be the criteria for the judging of proposals in order of priority:

  • Potential of the proposed activity to substantially enhance long-term student outcomes and/or the quality of students’ educational experience within the Whiting School of Engineering
  • Articulation of a clear and realizable educational research plan, and the potential of this research to have impact beyond the School
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching and educational endeavors by the applicant
  • Adequacy of support provided by the home department of the applicant


Support for Preparing Your Proposal

Applicants for this award are encouraged to contact the Center for Educational Resources (CER) directly at [email protected] for assistance in preparing an educational research proposal. The CER can assist with the following:

  • Identifying an educational research problem.
  • Writing a feasible research question.
  • Planning steps for conducting an educational research study.
  • Evaluating survey instruments.
  • Developing of questions for interviews and focus groups.
  • Identifying the analytic method corresponding to research design.
  • Determining domain-general and domain-specific outlets for publishing educational research.

Deadline, Proposal Submission, and Award Notification

The application deadline has been extended to Monday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. ET. Please send your application packet to Betty Zee.

Awardees will be notified by December 3, 2021.