Frequently Asked Questions

The information below can be found in materials from across our website, largely in the 2017-2018 Request for Proposals available on our Funding Opportunities Page at http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities, but has been compiled here for your convenience. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for on this page or in the RFP, please feel free to reach us with questions at info@bttop.org and we will reply as soon as possible.

Funding is currently available through the 2017-2018 RFP for Campus Dialogue Grants of up to $5,000 for single institutions or $15,000 for consortia. The deadline for proposals is December 9, 2016. For more information on Campus Dialogue Grants and to see the full 2017-2018 RFP with instructions for submitting a proposal, visit our Funding Opportunities Page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities

BTtoP asserts that the greater and inextricably intertwined purposes of higher education are: learning and discovery, civic engagement, well-being, and preparation for a meaningful life. For more information on how the greater purposes relate to Campus Dialogue Grants, please see the full RFP, which can be accessed through our funding opportunities page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities.

 

A recent op ed by BTtoP's director Don Harward, The Conversation All College Students Deserve to Have, may also be useful in understanding why BTtoP thinks attending to greater purposes is critical for institutions of higher education. Written  to be provocative in challenging the current narrative regarding higher education, and suggesting an alternate one, the piece is meant to be timely with the beginning of the new school year – addressing students, parents, teachers – all those who have an interest in affirming the greater purposes of college – for themselves as individuals and for society as a whole. Read the op ed here: http://www.aacu.org/leap/liberal-education-nation-blog/conversation-all-...

 

Our apologies that an earlier version of the RFP uploaded to our Funding Opportunities page contained an error in referencing "academic year 2017-2018."

That information has now been updated so that the RFP reflects the correct timeline for dialogues to occur in the CALENDAR year 2017-2018. Grant awards will be announced January 20, 2017. At least 5 dialogues are expected to take place during spring, summer, and fall of 2017, with completion of the project by January 31, 2018. Final budget reports will be due in March 2018.

Proposals for Campus Dialogue Grants are due by Friday, December 9, 2016. All proposals should be submitted electronically as Word or PDF attachments emailed to info@bttop.org, as well as sent as hard-copy by mail to Bringing Theory to Practice, 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. We prefer to have the hard coy version in-hand by 12/9 if possible, but postmarked by that date is acceptable if needed.

We offer some examples of potential campus dialogue discussion topics in detail beginning on page 5 of the 2017-2018 RFP, which can be accessed through our main Funding Opportunities page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities.

These examples are not meant to be prescriptive - we welcome and encourage your creative ideas in how holding dialogues among campus constituents can address a topic of importance unique to your campus culture. Ultimately our hope is that funding these dialogues allows for a change in the current narrative regarding colleges and universities to one that gets at what we call the "greater purposes" of higher education: learning and discovery, civic engagement, well-being, and preparation for a meaningful life.

A brief description of BTtoP's theory of change can be found on page 2 of the 2017-2018 RFP. The RFP can be accessed through the funding opportunities page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities. 

Institutions awarding baccalaureate degrees, community colleges and equivalent non-US institutions are all eligible. BTtoP's focus is on undergraduate institutions and populations.There is no limit on the number of proposals that can be submitted by one institution, and no individual position or category (faculty, staff, student, administrator) requirement to submit.

There are no formal limits to the number of proposals of any kind that can be submitted by an institution (concurrently or otherwise).

Proposals must be submitted by December 9, 2016. Proposals should be submitted electronically as Word or PDF attachments emailed to info@bttop.org, as well as in hard copy mailed to: Bringing Theory to Practice, 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. We prefer to have the hard copy in-hand by 12/9, but postmarked by that date is acceptable if necessary.

 

Awards will be announced via an email to the principal investigator by January 20, 2017. For more information on how to submit a proposal, see the full 2017-2018 RFP available from our funding opportunities page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities

Proposals should be approximately no longer than four pages - including the budget and logic model. However, if your proposal is slightly over this limit, or if the budget or logic model needs to be submitted as a supplement, that is fine as well. The four page limit serves to save our reviewers from having to read multiple lengthy proposals. While we also do ask that your proposal include certain pieces of information, which can be found on page 7 of the RFP (available from our Funding Opportunities page), overall we are much more interested in your creative ideas and the content of the proposals than the way they are formatted.

For the 2017-2018 RFP, BTtoP may consider Campus Dialogue Grant proposals up to $15,000 for applications involving at least three consortia institutions to offer inter-connected dialogues held over the course of the academic year.

BTtoP defines consortia as organized collections of institutions, rather than a single campus. Examples of consortia proposals include, but are not limited to: programs across a group of campuses working together on a common initiative; a group of separate campuses within one larger university system; and an organized consortia group of different colleges and universities based on geographial location. Awards will be made to only one of the consortial institutions as principal investigator (PI); it will be the PI’s responsibility to equitably distribute resources.

A "PI" is the grant Principal Investigator. This person is most responsible for and involved in your proposed project and will be the main person with whom BTtoP communicates. Proposals should include the PI’s name, job title, and contact information. Please note that notes of award will be sent to the individual listed as the PI.

BTtoP does not encourage or expect supporting or supplemental documents. However, formal expressions of support, such as a letter from senior leadership (presidents, provosts, or deans), do indicate sustainability and the institution’s judgment of importance of the work. Such a document may be submitted along with your proposal should you deem it to be essential. A supporting document does not count toward the overall proposal page limit.Logic models and budgets can also be submitted as supplements if they are too large to fit within the 4 page guideline.

There are no formatting requirements for your proposal, such as font size, spacing, type, or margins. We do ask that proposals be kept to an approximate 4 page limit (not including supplemental materials) simply so that our reviewers do not have to read multiple lengthy proposals.

 

While we also do ask that your proposal include certain pieces of information, which can be found on page 7 of the RFP (available from our Funding Opportunities page), overall we are much more interested in your creative ideas and the content of the proposals than the way they are formatted.

Awards for the 2017-2018 RFP will be announced by January 20, 2017.

Yes. We have background materials available as well as a recording of an informational webinar on our funding opportunities page: http://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities. Reading these materials is not required - they are simply meant to be resources for potential grantees if they are interested. 

Your budget narrative should be unique to your own proposal, and particular line items are not required or expected. Examples of types of budgetary items seen in previously awarded grants include (but are not limited to): space rental, travel costs, marketing and communications, consultation fees, food/refreshments, materials/supplies, books, certificates of participation, AV needs, and honoraria.

 

Appropriate budget items include both direct and indirect costs - we just ask that indirect costs be identified and estimated as closely as possible. There is no percentage requirement for direct or indirect costs.

 

If including honoraria for the facilitator or others involved, please note that it should not exceed $1,000 each from the budgeted grant funds. Matching funds can be used if needed to make up for any overages of honoraria, but our hope is that the funds can be dispersed beyond just compensation.

BTtoP requires full, 1:1 institutional matching of funds for Campus Dialogue Grants. Matching funds must be composed of at least 50% cash; the rest may be in-kind. Essentially, the total amount requested in your proposal (up to $5,000 for a single institution) should be matched by your institution. So, if you request $5,000, your proposal should document the ways in which your institution will match that dollar amount, through cash contributions or through in-kind contributions. This helps indicate to us that your institution supports your proposal. 

In-kind matching is composed of non-cash contributions of time, equipment, space, and other items committed to the goals of the project. In-kind matching may involve the use of items already owned by the applicant or the use of items or personnel donated by a third party (e.g. volunteer labor). The match amount should be documented and verifiable from an applicant’s records.

Cash is an expense that will be directly incurred by the proposed initiative. For example, a salaried faculty member spending a portion of his/her time, for which s/he is paid, on a project is considered cash. (If the faculty member is not paid for their time, rather they are donating their time, this is considered in-kind.) Equipment purchased specifically for an initiative may be included in the cash match, whereas equipment already owned may not. Cash need not be from an external source.

For their formal grant reporting requirement, awarded Campus Dialogue grantees will be invited and expected to participate as authors on a campus dialogue grant WordPress site: https://bttopcampusdialoguegrants.wordpress.com/.

 

Through the WordPress forum, BTtoP hopes to encourage a transparent and collaborative community of practice, as well as to foster relationships among our grantees. The site will be the medium through principal investigators (PI’s) will be required to author at least three brief but formal post updates throughout their grant period, responding to prompted questions that will provoke qualitative reflection as well as quantitative data. While PI’s will only be able to edit their own posts, all of the posts will be viewable to all of the PI’s—and the greater BTtoP community. The WordPress link will be posted on BTtoP’s main website.

 

In addition to the required report posts, BTtoP welcomes the open sharing of ideas between grant PI’s. Our hope is that as opposed to a typical standard grant reporting form, the WordPress site will offer a more conversational and progressive medium where a variety of formats of resources (e.g. videos, links, images, text) can be openly and accessibly shared among PIs and with the BTtoP community, for the benefit of all involved. 

 

BTtoP will also request a final formal budget report sent separately, due by March 9, 2018. Budgetary and financial information will not be made public or posted on the WordPress site.

Unfortunately, due to limited staff resources, BTtoP can not offer recommendations by request regarding potential or declined proposals. In special cases, in its letter of response to a proposal, BTtoP may choose to provide recommendations regarding a proposal that has merit and is compatible with BTtoP's mission but is not yet fundable. Those seeking to understand the interests of BTtoP and our pattern of funding are encouraged to review the Awarded Grants section of our website.

Please see our glossary for definitions of these terms. You may also find the content from our publications on these topics useful (Well-Being and Higher Education, the Civic Series, and Transforming Undergraduate Education), all available for purchase from our Publications page: http://www.bttop.org/resources/publications

No. Membership in any organization is not required of applicants.