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SWAT Small Grants Program

Request for Proposals

Submission Deadline: July 1
Sponsored by The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT)

Project Purpose

The purpose of the SWAT Small Grants Program is to promote educational research and educational innovation in the UT Southwestern Medical Center educational community. SWAT is an organization of faculty from UT Southwestern's three-degree granting schools whose mission is to promote excellent education on our campus. The SWAT Small Grants Program will be administered by the SWAT Awards Committee, with representatives from all UT Southwestern schools. The SWAT Awards Committee will perform the peer review and selection of the Small Grants Program awardees.


This program will make small awards (up to $5,000 per project) to faculty members at UT Southwestern. UT Southwestern trainees are also eligible to apply for Educational Research Grants Funds, provided they do so in active collaboration with a UT Southwestern faculty member as a faculty sponsor.

Eligible applicants should submit projects that address the educational needs of trainees in UT Southwestern schools. Projects focusing on employee education, patient education, or community health education are not eligible. 

The SWAT Small Grants Program has two funding channels, each with their own goals and eligibility criteria:

Junior Faculty Development Fund (JFDF)

For the SWAT Junior Faculty Development Fund (JFDF), applicants must be UT Southwestern junior faculty members (e.g., Assistant Professor or below in faculty rank). The goal of the SWAT Junior Faculty Development Fund is to promote junior faculty growth and development by defraying costs to faculty for education-related activities. 

Eligible projects include, but are not necessarily limited to, educational program development costs for local programs, travel and registration support for educational meetings where the faculty member is presenting educational work, or purchase of materials involved in delivery of educational content. The JFDF is not intended to defray the costs of educational development from departmental or center budgets; the JFDF is intended to assist in developing, or learning about, new educational methods, technologies, or techniques for which no other funding sources are available. All awarded funds must be used within one-year from the date the funds become available. A one-year extension may be applied for if necessary and will require submission of a progress report and an updated budget. Funds not used within a maximum of two years from the date of receipt will be reclaimed by the Small Grants Committee.

SWAT Educational Grants Program (EGP)

For the SWAT Educational Grants Program (EGP), applicants may be UT Southwestern faculty of any rank, or UT Southwestern trainees with a UT Southwestern faculty sponsor.

Funding is available to support educational research costs other than faculty time. These costs may include materials, relevant travel, software, equipment, statistical assistance, all of which should be uniquely essential for the development of the research project. (For example, funding to purchase a computer for a project is not appropriate for the program. The computer is not uniquely essential to a particular educational project.) EGP funds may also be used to support matching funds to enable eligibility or competitiveness for external sources of educational research funding such as from charitable foundations supporting research in education. In those cases, the applicant should discuss the matching-fund parameters from the outside funding agency in making the proposal to the EGP. 

Finally, EGP funds may be combined with other grant funding sources to expand, continue, or refine a UT Southwestern educational grant project. In these cases, the proposal should explain the need for supplemental funds, the components of an existing project to which these funds are needed, and how the proposed components fit into the larger educational project or parent study. All awarded funds must be used within one-year from the date the funds become available. A one-year extension may be applied for if necessary and will require submission of a progress report and an updated budget. Funds not used within a maximum of two years from the date of receipt will be reclaimed by the Small Grants Committee.

Content for Proposals

Applicants are required to submit a written proposal and budget for a project that strives to improve education on the UT Southwestern setting by innovative approaches. These projects may involve, but are not limited to, curriculum development, instruction, evaluation methods, faculty development, or use of technology. Projects demonstrating a direct, measurable, positive impact on the outcomes of health education will be most competitive for the award.

Applications from faculty and trainees will be accepted from all UT Southwestern schools. Collaboration between or among groups or schools is strongly encouraged where possible. Multi-year projects should be identified in the initial proposal.

Individuals who received funding in the initial year of the program can reapply for a second year of funding, but this application requires submission of a progress report as well as a proposal for additional funding. SWAT cannot guarantee multiyear funding for any proposal, regardless of merit or progress in prior years.

What makes a competitive proposal?

Factors considered in judging JFDF proposals include:

  1. Overall merit
  2. Potential for wide applicability to UT Southwestern education programs
  3. Relevance to the growth of UT Southwestern junior faculty as educators.

Factors considered in judging EGP proposals include:

  1. Overall merit
  2. Evaluation of impact
  3. Potential for impact within and outside the UT Southwestern community
  4. Feasibility
  5. Originality or creativity
  6. Rigor of research design
  7. A plan for dissemination of findings
  8. Plans for applying the findings and future research

Structure of proposal:

All proposals must be submitted via email as a PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format).

The proposal must include the following:

Page 1: Title page including principal investigator (faculty member) and collaborators, UT Southwestern school and department, contact information for primary investigator/faculty member. Include the name and contact information of the faculty sponsor if the principal investigator is a trainee.

Page 2: Abstract of no more than 250 words

Page 3: Budget and budget justification

Pages 4-6: Body of the proposal should include:

  • Goals and objectives, including relationship to institution, school, or departmental goals and objectives
  • Statement of need/rationale for project
  • Project description
  • Evaluation of outcomes (for research grants)
  • Personnel involved, including primary contact
  • Timeline, tasks, and individuals responsible for tasks
  • Plans for practical application and dissemination, if relevant

[Pages 7-8: Progress report (for second year of funding)]

Attachments (not included in six-page limit) must include:

  • Brief (no more than one page) letter of support from Department Chair
  • Brief letter of support from course or program director relevant to the proposed project
  • Short biographical sketch of the principal investigator/faculty member, and major collaborators using NIH format
  • A one-page graphic (figure, table, illustration) may be included as an attachment

Submission Checklist

The project must show educational merit and relevance to the goals and mission of UT Southwestern, as well as to the department or school from which the proposal is submitted. Does your proposal?

  • Document the problem/need?
  • Provide a clear statement of the problem/need?
  • Briefly discuss the major literature related to this problem?
  • Clearly state objectives towards meeting the need?
  • Present appropriate design/plan of work to meet/fulfill objectives?
  • Provide a clear description of the benefit(s) of your activity?
  • Provide a feasible design/plan within the project period?
  • Use scientifically sound sources of data and methods of analysis?
  • Use appropriate personnel for the components of the project?
  • Address feasibility and project management?
  • Describe the potential to improve the teaching and learning environment at UT Southwestern?
  • Describe a process of dissemination of your project’s findings or products?
  • Describe the potential to apply project or findings to other educational settings and venues?
  • Provide an economical, well-justified budget?
  • (if research) Present a novel project that can be disseminated?

Award Notification

Applicants will be notified of their award status on June 14. For the purposes of the grant cycle, the date of starting a project is the date of the award notification. End-of year reports are due by June 30 the following year after the award.

Award Amounts

Proposals for funding may range up to $5,000, and funding will be awarded to the most competitive proposals as judged by the peer review process. Projects costing more than $5,000 will be considered for Educational Grant Fund (EGF) proposals that involve matching funds, although the EGF total amount cannot exceed $5,000. In these cases, the applicant should clearly state the need for the larger amount of matching funds. All decisions by the Awards Committee will be final.

Written Report and Presentation

All awardees will submit a brief, but formal written report (one to two pages) at the conclusion of their projects (by June 1 of the year following the award date) detailing project processes, outcomes, use of funding, potential for further funding, and dissemination possibilities or results. All awardees will be expected to present a poster of their project findings at an annual SWAT Symposium.

Proposal Deadline: July 1

Only applications submitted electronically will be accepted for consideration for the SWAT Small Grants Program. All application materials including letters of support must be submitted as a PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format). Submit the application packet electronically by May 1 to:

David J. Klocko, MPAS, PA-C
Chair, SWAT Awards Committee
Phone: 214-648–1701