Mini-grants were initiated by the Faculty Advisory Committee on Instructional Improvement Programs (CIIP) in recognition that even small sums of money could stimulate experimentation and improve curricula and pedagogy. The Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT) provides Mini-Grants to instructors who teach regular undergraduate courses, for the purpose of defraying the cost of certain course enhancements. These funds cannot be used to supplement standard departmental supplies and expense budgets. Faculty and TAs are encouraged to apply for anything that enhances or enriches university instruction. Mini-grants are available in amounts up to $600.00 for faculty, and up to $250.00 for teaching assistants, per academic year.  


Please indicate your intended use of Mini-Grant funds by carefully reading and completing a Mini-Grant application. Awarded grant funds will be transferred to your department for disbursement. Please submit your mini-grant request at least three weeks in advance of planned event.

Important Note

  • Applications must be received at least three weeks in advance of the proposed use of funding to accommodate the approval process.
  • We will not accept applications for reimbursement funding.
  • Retroactive requests will not be approved.

Guidelines for Mini-Grant Projects

Mini-grant projects typically fall into the categories described below. The categories are illustrative and not exhaustive; therefore, faculty and TAs need not limit themselves to these examples.

  • Distinguished guest speaker honoraria for experts visiting undergraduate classes.
  • Field trips conducted for class instruction at off-campus sites within California.
  • Instructional media, such as rental, purchase, duplication, or production of course-related materials.
  • Minor projects to supplement or innovate course curricula and activities.
  • Departmental TA training program grants to develop new TA training activities and programs, or to add components to those that already exist.

Some restrictions apply to the use of mini-grants. Please see the "Examples of Mini-Grant Uses" for more information. Certain types of projects cannot be funded. The following list describes ineligible requests:

  • Funds may not be used to supplement regular departmental expenses and budgets, thus any expenses intrinsic to the teaching of a course will be disallowed.
  • Classroom equipment, textbooks, and office supplies are not eligible.
  • Readers may not be hired for classroom instruction.
  • Graduate courses are not eligible according to system-wide policy.
  • Conference and travel expenses for faculty and guests will not be approved.
  • Two faculty members may not apply for the same project.

Mini-Grant Application Process

Professors, visiting professors, lecturers, administrators teaching courses, and teaching assistants are all eligible for mini-grants. Please be sure that all required information is provided. Include an exact budget for each request, without exceeding the maximum specified limits. Applications should be submitted well in advance of scheduled need for funds. Retroactive applications are not granted. All requests for the current quarter must be turned in a week before the quarter end date. The review process for mini-grant applications is usually completed within seven working days. Upon approval, allow another two weeks for the transfer of funds; certain media requests may take up to three weeks. Questions regarding applications may be answered by calling the mini-grant program office at 310-825-2790.