Research into Formative Education

Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties

Program Description

The Provost’s Office and University Mission and Ministry welcome grant applications from faculty and administrators for research projects into Formative Education.  Strategic Direction II in Ever to Excel: Advancing Boston College’s Mission aims to “enhance the University’s commitment to formation among students, faculty, and staff to further Boston College’s mission and strengthen its institutional culture.”  The Jesuit educational tradition has emphasized formation for nearly 500 years, and formative education today is a central dimension of Boston College in and outside of the classroom.  What is needed now is focused research on formative practices and programs. The University will fund projects that research formative education at Boston College, that evaluate programs, and that bring together theory and practice.  While most successful proposals will focus on Boston College students, faculty and staff, research may also extend to focus on K-12 education, as well as assessment of University alumni in hopes of measuring impact that may not be evident until some years beyond graduation.

Funding ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per project will begin in Summer 2019.

While goals and outcomes of any given project will vary, each project should produce a scholarly contribution to the knowledge base of the field.  As the University continues conversations surrounding Formative Education, such studies, outcomes and potential recommendations will be particularly timely.  

Projects will be selected by the Provost and Vice President for University Mission and Ministry, and an advisory committee appointed by the Provost and the Vice President. Given Formative Education is a University-wide initiative, interdisciplinary research is strongly encouraged.

Application Submission Date

Deadline to apply – April 1, 2019.  Funds to be received on or before June 1, 2019.

Recipients will be notified no later than May 20, 2019.

Funding for this program must be initiated during the summer months, yet the project period may continue through the following academic year.  This program is designed to support research carried out directly by the faculty applicant.

Amount and Conditions of the Award

Each recipient will be awarded up to a total of $15,000, including one month’s summer salary.  Projects should be designed to start during the summer recess and to be completed by the end of the following academic year.  Specifically, funds must be expended no later than May 15, 2020.

These grants may be used for income; however, any amount that is used as income will be subject to taxation.

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Application Instructions

Faculty must FIRST submit an online application form.  

Proposals include:

  • Online Application Form

  • Two-page description of the project, highlighting its particular relevance to Formative Education

  • Budget: Summer salary is allowed for full-time faculty up to $10,000

Documentation Format:

Minimum 1-inch margins, Arial Font, 11 point or larger.  Proposals can be single or double spaced. A separate bibliography section can be used for references cited in the body of the proposal.

Additional Instructions

Subsequent to receiving funding, the recipient will be asked to submit brief progress and final reports using our online form.

Failure to provide updates precludes the researcher from further participation in this grant opportunity.  If a recipient receives any further funding or papers are published as a result of this grant, then this information should be shared with the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties via email to regarding “Formative Education Grant Update.”

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All full-time, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty are eligible for this grant – and participation is encouraged by all.  Rank is not a criterion during review of applications.

Faculty who have a balance in their start-up packages greater than $30,000 are excluded from applying.  

Application Review

The Provost and Vice President of Mission and Ministry, and an advisory committee appointed by the Provost and Vice President of Mission and Ministry, will conduct an evaluation of all the proposals received. Grant recipients will be announced no later than May 1, 2019. The awards will be based on the overall contribution to the field of Formative Education. Creativity and collaboration is encouraged. Interdisciplinary work is strongly encouraged.

At this time, feedback on applicants that are not funded will not be available.

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For any further questions, please email us: