Berkeley Collegium Grant Program

Narrowing the gap between teaching and research

The Berkeley Collegium invites proposals for new and existing faculty projects that further the goal of narrowing the gap between teaching and research at UC Berkeley. The grant program supports curricular and co-curricular projects that expand or offer new opportunities for undergraduate engagement in research and discovery. The grant program dovetails with broader campus efforts around Discovery by offering a laboratory to develop and test out activities, programs, and courses that provide undergraduates with discovery opportunities.

The Collegium grant application for this year has closed. The next call for proposals will be posted in January 2022, with an application deadline of March 2022 (exact date TBA). Award recipients will be notified by mid-May 2022.


All Berkeley faculty (Academic Senate members, adjunct faculty members, and lecturers) are invited to apply.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted via an online form by the posted deadline Applicants should review the application questions prior to submitting their application.

Scope of Funding

The Collegium aims to fund up to five projects of up to $15,000 each over a one- to two-year grant period depending on the nature of the project (more grants may be funded if budgets are under the $15,000 maximum). Strong budget justification is needed and the Collegium particularly welcomes proposals that leverage our funding to attract support from other sources as well.

For an existing project, grant funds should not be viewed as replacement funding, but rather should be targeted for expanding or improving (e.g. adding a new component to) the project. The focus is on undergraduates, but proposals may incorporate graduate and postdoctoral students if relevant.

Criteria for Selection

Proposals will be evaluated according to several criteria, including, but not limited to:

  • The proposal should articulate how the project bridges teaching and research at the undergraduate level

  • The proposal should create, improve, or expand undergraduate access to meaningful discovery/research activities

  • Projects high in feasibility, cost effectiveness, impact, scalability (i.e., capable of being scaled up to involve more students), and sustainability (i.e. capable of being continued past the funding period) will be evaluated more favorably

  • The proposal should articulate the key learning outcomes and impacts of the proposed project, as well as the process for assessing the degree to which these outcomes and impacts are met (impact can be defined in terms of number of students involved and/or in terms of depth of impact)

  • The proposal should consider challenges to future sustainability and/or scalability of the proposed project, and possible ways to overcome such challenges

  • Highly innovative and creative projects are encouraged

Types of Projects

Most of the previous grant recipients have proposed projects that have fallen into one of the five categories listed below; however, other kinds of projects are welcome and will be given full consideration:

  1. Adding a substantive research component to an existing undergraduate course

  2. Developing a new undergraduate course with a substantive research component

  3. Adding a new component to an existing undergraduate research program or opportunity

  4. Increasing the number (and/or sub-groups) of undergraduates who can participate in an existing undergraduate research program or opportunity

  5. Creating new infrastructure or a new program for undergraduate research opportunities

Specific examples include:

  • Undergraduate research mentoring program whereby advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdoc and/or alumni are paired with undergraduates who are interested in obtaining research experience

  • Undergraduate-led speaker series wherein undergraduates nominate, invite, and host speakers

  • Research conference to give undergraduates training and experience in the communication of research

  • Incorporation of a field study component into an existing or new course

  • Using one of the various collections available on campus (e.g., the Bancroft Library collections, Hearst Museum collections) as the foundation for a research-based course or co-curricular research opportunity

Collaboration with Data Science

Starting in 2020, the Division of Computing, Data Science and Society (CDSS) has funded Collegium grant applications that are a natural fit for their Data Science Modules program. Of particular interest are applications aimed at bringing data-centric discovery/research activities into the classroom. Projects are supported with a team of 3-5 undergraduates student workers who assist faculty in developing interactive computational curricular materials and with funding of up to $7,000. CDSS will recruit, train, and supervise the students in collaboration with the project lead. Current CDSS-Collegium projects are with Public Health on epidemiology trends from Google searches, Mechanical Engineering on a sensor network in Sather Tower, and Music on composition and Machine Learning.

Types of Expenses that can be Funded

The award funds may be used to:

  • Hire one or more GSRs (GSR benefits, including fee remission, when applicable, should be included in budgetary calculations) or undergraduate student workers

  • Fund the cost of workshops or conference-related registration and travel fees

  • Fund the cost of project-related supplies

  • Offer students small monetary incentives to encourage participation

  • Purchase instruments and equipment not available through campus-wide licenses that directly support the project

The funds cannot be used to:

  • Pay stipends to GSIs or pay salaries of career or casual staff members (non-student titles)

  • Purchase or update standard software or software packages already licensed by campus

  • Reimburse expenditures made prior to award conferral

Reporting Requirement

Funded applicants will be asked to submit a short progress report at the end of each year. These short reports should describe the current status of the project and what funds have been spent thus far and how. A final report will be due at the end of the grant period.

Finally, funded applicants may also be asked to present their projects to Collegium members and other interested parties (e.g., key administrative staff with an interest in undergraduate education) to share progress and outcomes/impacts of their projects. Presentations will typically happen during a showcase event at the end of the spring semester of either the first or second year of funding (depending on the status of the project).