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Curriculum Transformation Institute & Seed Grants

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Do you have ideas or desires to improve the undergraduate curriculum and experiences of students with diverse prior experiences in your department or program? Are you looking for creative ways to make this happen, with collaboration and support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE), CTL, Deans, and departmental colleagues?

Call for Participation for Curriculum Transformation Projects

Seeds of change: the Curriculum Transformation Project

The Curriculum Transformation Project is a seed funding opportunity, currently spanning the three undergraduate schools, supported by VPUE and the Deans of the School Humanities and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Doerr School of Sustainability. Aligned with the Stanford Long Range Vision, Future of the Major, and IDEAL Education efforts, this opportunity enables instruction teams to work efficiently with education professionals to make substantive and sustainable improvements to existing or new curriculum. Projects focused on making introductory courses more equitable and accessible for all students are strongly welcomed. The ultimate goal of Curriculum Transformation Project is to:

help instruction teams meet their learning goals in an inclusive environment,

while equipping students with the necessary skills and resources to be successful.

How will projects be developed?

Teams consisting of faculty along with academic staff and others with instructional roles related to the project will submit a short request to participate—an idea, a team, and conferring with your dean’s office is all it takes.

Then, team members will be named Curriculum Transformation Fellows and will join the new Curriculum Transformation Institute (CTI) in Junea three-day structured program offered by CTL that will lower activation barriers to initiate practical projects and increase their chances of obtaining seed funding to do the work. The program will also connect departments and programs with curriculum transformation ideas for greater community and cohesion across the undergraduate experience.

CTI will provide teams with access to expertise in inclusive teaching, effective practices across disciplines, support for course and curriculum design, and resources for data and assessment. Project liaisons will link evidence-based practices with ideas provided by instruction teams to help teams develop quality Curriculum Transformation Project seed proposals to directly address curricular challenges. The schedule and benefits for participating in the CTI program can be found below.

Proposals developed during CTI will then be reviewed for funding, with decisions finalized by the end of June. It is expected that projects to develop and implement changes in curriculum and course approaches will be carried out in Academic Year 2023–24. For large and complex projects, some implementation may extend to a second year. Team members are expected to stay involved in guiding and leading the projects throughout this period, with additional staffing and resource needs supported by Curriculum Transformation funds.

“Every student who arrives at Stanford must be able to pursue the full extent of their intellectual curiosity. Their pursuit of their goals should be unencumbered by any lack of academic preparation, any financial constraints or any effects of systemic bias, and this must be the case for any area of study that a student chooses. All students should have access to the full range of transformative experiences at Stanford.”

Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Sarah Church, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

What types of projects will be funded?

Curriculum Transformation Projects should address challenges faced in the classroom and may involve one or more of the following:

  • Development of new courses that address core skills required for introductory curriculum and/or success within a major
  • Redesign of existing introductory curriculum to better align with student preparation and requirements for a range of majors
  • Application of pedagogical practices within existing courses, including use of structured learning activities, materials and assessments
  • Training of instruction team to enable a more unified delivery of the curriculum
  • Implementation of interventions that build academic resilience, scholarly identities, and academic well-being

Curriculum Transformation faculty and staff leads are available to discuss ideas in department and school meetings, and individually by request. In addition, a recording of the Zoom session and accompanying presentation slides (Google Drive) are available from an open information session on April 21, 2023.

What is the range of seed grant funding?

Seed grants for Curriculum Transformation Projects will provide funding to support personnel and course materials. Grants will range from $25,000 (small-scale, exploratory projects) to $250,000 (major curricular change projects) depending on the scope of the project. Stipends may be available to support the continued engagement of Curriculum Transformation Fellows in CTI and subsequent one-year or multi-year commitments to project implementation.

How can funding be used?

Seed grants funds may be used to support:

  • Hiring of individuals to develop, assess, and/or teach curriculum changes, including education specialists, course coordinators, and teaching assistants
  • Costs of materials, including books, digital resources, educational software, and so on
  • Training of instruction teams to learn and apply pedagogical techniques and inclusive teaching practices

What are the requirements for submitting an idea for a project and requesting to participate in CTI?

Requests to submit an idea for a Curriculum Transformation Project and participate in the Curriculum Transformation Institute should contain the following information:

  • An approximately 500 word statement summarizing the goals of the project, including the challenges being faced and proposed areas for improvement
  • A short description of the instruction team outlining their responsibilities and commitments to the project; teams should have a faculty lead and may also include academic staff-teaching or others who are actively involved in teaching and curriculum planning
  • A brief statement for how any instructional changes will be sustained
  • A letter of support from the department chair or program director expressing commitment to the short-term and long-term success of the project

How do I submit a request to participate?

Please use this application template to share responses to the questions above and then submit by email to along with the department/program letter of support.

Important dates

  • Call for participation open: April 3, 2023
  • Apply to participate in the Curriculum Transformation Institute by: May 22, 2023
  • Curriculum Transformation Institute: June 13–15, 2023
  • Submit full Curriculum Transformation Proposals for funding by: June 16, 2023 
    • NOTE: Most of the effort to develop full proposals will occur during the CTI.
  • Notification of awards: June 30, 2023 


If you have any questions, please reach out to project co-chairs, Mary Beth Mudgett at and  Cassandra Horii at, and to CTI Lead, Kritika Yegnashankaran

Curriculum Transformation Institute

Schedule for Curriculum Transformation Institute

The schedule for the intensive three-day workshop is:

  • Day 1 : Identifying course challenges, potential solutions and formulating goals
  • Day 2:  Determining what strategies and materials are required to support goals
  • Day 3:  Developing assessments and deliverables to measure project outcomes

Teams will meet from approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day for guided discussions and focused work on sections of the proposal, with the goal of generating a largely complete proposal by the end of the workshop. 

Benefits of participating in Curriculum Transformation Institute

By participating in CTI, you will:

  • Formulate data-driven and evidence-informed Curriculum Transformation Project goals for enhancing inclusion and equity for students within the learning environment
  • Explore research-based practices with a high likelihood of success for all students
  • Identify your high-impact curricular context for piloting changes
  • Choose 3–5 coordinated course and/or curricular strategies to implement for making progress towards project goals
  • Identify resources and materials that will need to be adapted or created to support implementation of chosen strategies (e.g., assignments, learning activities, teaching materials, assessments, criteria for evaluating student work)
  • Generate ideas for assessing progress towards project goals
  • Create Curriculum Transformation Proposal, including budget items to support the proposed work
  • Feel supported within a community of educators committed to leveling the learning landscape for all students

Examples of Curricular Challenges

While there may be specific issues within a discipline, common curricular challenges include:

  • Making all majors and minors accessible to Stanford undergraduates regardless of courses available in their high schools
  • Developing instructional materials to provide diagnostics, structured learning opportunities and/or assessments to support the needs of a range of student learners
  • Integrating peer-to-peer learning accounting for student differences in prior learning
  • Creating a supportive and encouraging community that fosters student belonging
  • Including positive role models in historically exclusive disciplines and curricula
  • Mining course evaluations, survey results and enrollment datasets to inform strategic curriculum changes based on data
  • Ensuring that assessments don’t recapitulate historical and current inequities in who performs well and succeeds
  • Disrupting power dynamics that privilege some ideas and points of view over others
  • Collaborating and coordinating with instruction teams across departments and schools to share information regarding course content, methods, teaching approaches and/or assessments
  • Developing mentorship and connections between students and instruction teams (i.e., faculty, lecturers, and teaching assistants) to help students see themselves as practitioners in the discipline