Request for Proposals 

Payden Teaching Excellence Grants are designed to recognize and support teaching excellence within the College of Media, Communication and Information.  Funded by the Payden Endowment, which was established by CU Boulder Journalism alumnus William Payden to recognize the talents and contributions of teachers, these funds will be used to support requests that further faculty teaching development within CMCI and that encourage collaborative and innovative teaching.  Special consideration will be given to proposals that focus on interdisciplinary teaching/learning or that address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching/learning.

Grant proposals may request funds to support faculty in launching interdisciplinary courses, developing new courses or significantly re-designing courses to support new pedagogy or enhanced student engagement, as well as to purchase resources such as software, equipment or faculty training that assists faculty as they pursue new approaches to teaching (see below for one training opportunity).  Funds may be requested to support faculty course-release during fall or spring or as summer development salary. Refer to application materials for typically funds available for summer support and appropriate for requested course release.

Additionally, for summer 2023,  faculty may request to be part of a summer cohort of faculty completing the first module of the ACUE Teaching Certification program called Creating a Supportive and Effective Learning Environment. (Also, review the FAQs.) The ACUE program takes place online (largely asynchronously with one synchronous orientation session required).  Completion of the module involves 12-18 hours of work. CMCI faculty taking part in this program will also be asked to participate in two Zoom meetings with our CMCI cohort during the summer to discuss the learning that is happening and build awareness of teaching and learning across CMCI disciplines. Work on this module will begin June 3, and completion of the module takes 6 to 8 weeks.  Faculty accepted to participate in this cohort will receive $1200 for their summer work (and cost of course registration paid).

Faculty interested in applying for Payden Teaching Excellence funds should use the Payden Teaching Excellence Grant Proposal template to apply for an award. The proposal must include information about the nature and scope of the project, anticipated impact of the proposed teaching initiative, how the request furthers faculty members’ ability to achieve teaching excellence, and timeline and budget for completing the project.  Please review the application (link below) for information about typical funding levels for course-release or summer salary.

Tenured, tenure-track and rostered full-time teaching faculty members are eligible to apply. If the proposed project impacts course assignment, request funds for course release, or involves new course development, a statement of support from department chair for each faculty member involved should be included. Please refer to the proposal template for limits on summer development salary requests.  Faculty should typically submit only one Payden grant application per year, although faculty involved in collaborative proposals may submit more than one.  Although faculty may apply for awards in consecutive years, preference will be given to faculty who did not receive an award in the prior year.  Faculty applying to be part of the ACUE Teaching Certification program should indicate this on their application.

Review Process 

Proposals must be submitted by March 13, 2023, to the CMCI Dean’s Office ( and indicate Payden Grant Application in the Subject Line. Applicants must use the Payden Grant Application template.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Payden Teaching Excellence Awards Committee, and award decisions will be made in consultation with the Dean.  Awards will be announced by the end of March 2023. 

Funds Available

Approximately $35,000 is available for awards this year; funds awarded must be used by the end of the spring 2024 semester.  Awards of up to $10,000 may be provided for a single teaching grant, although the intent is to support a number of smaller proposals with a limited number of larger awards.

  • Brian Keegan and Abram Handler, INFO
    Proposal to redesign the required two-course sequence for Information Science majors: INFO 3401 Information Exploration and INFO 3402 Information Exposition
  • Trina Arnett, APRD
    Proposal to redesign APRD-3002 Communications Platforms
  • Hunter Vaughan, MDST
    Proposal to develop a course titled Digital Citizenship Amidst a Global Pandemic: Screen Practice and Social Justice Before, During, and Beyond COVID-19
  • Phaedra Pezzullo, COMM
    Proposal to design Environmental Justice course

  • Jared Browsh 
    Proposal to develop a series of intensive workshops concentrating on how to cover public institutions
  • Jed Brubaker 
    Proposal to redesign INFO 1111: Understanding the World Through Data
  • Samira Rajabi 
    Proposal to develop the new interdisciplinary Media Studies course, Digital Mediation and Trauma
  • Jamie Skerski 
    Proposal to overhaul COMM 3340: Communication, Culture and Sport
  • Liz Skewes and Jeff Motter 
    Proposal to develop a new, interdisciplinary class, Campaign Strategy and the Media
  • Jason Zietz 
    Proposal to redesign INFO 1201: Computational Reasoning I

  • Angie Chuang and Christine Larson
    Grant to support innovation in JRNL 2000, building a strong foundation for writing and reporting skills
  • Pat Ferrucci
    Grant to support the development of CMCI 2001, Introduction to Sports Media Practices, and to create a framework for implementation of a practicum course for non-CMCI students in the Sports Media Minor
  • Jolene Fisher and Toby Hopp 
    Grant to support the development of a digital storytelling course for public relations students
  • Kendra Gale
    Grant to support work with first-year students around the development of e-portfolios and meta-cognitive strategy learning