History of HILT Grants
The first phase (2011-2013) of the HILT Grants Program was designed to catalyze innovative activities and promote effective learning and teaching across the University. Forty-five projects were awarded for up to $50,000 to faculty, staff, and students at Harvard. Feedback from participants in the inaugural round demonstrated to HILT that, depending on the scope of outlined projects, the funding amount was either too small or too large to complete the necessary work.
In phase two (2014-2016), HILT bifurcated the Grants Program into semesterly Spark Grants, for awards of up to $15K designed to help “spark” promising teaching and learning projects from idea to reality and position innovations for future success, and Cultivation Grants of up to $200K, designed to extend promising educational innovations into new intellectual and institutional contexts, and to rigorously investigate the potential of their wide-scale adoption across the University.
In phase three (2017-present), based on further feedback from previous grant award recipients, HILT made the decision to offer Spark Grants to faculty, staff, and researchers only, on an annual basis. In the fall of 2018, the student-only offering, Pilot Funds, launched. These funds are offered in four rounds during the academic year and are designed to help students who have early-stage ideas for improving education broadly to gain traction on those ideas and lean an innovator’s mindset.
Between 2011 and 2019, HILT received 927 applications for funding with a 22% application success rate; to date, 203 projects have been funded.
|$5,642,400||AWARDED TO SCHOOLS to fund long-term initiatives, led by deans’ offices, with outcomes to be shared across the schools|
|$3,375,696||AWARDED TO INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS to spark promising teaching and learning projects from idea to reality|
|927||TOTAL APPLICATIONS to the HILT Grants Program|
|203||TOTAL PROJECTS awarded HILT funding|
|1,671||UNIQUE APPLICANTS applied to the HILT Grants program; applicant pool each round on average 75% new grant applicants and 50% new to the HILT network|
HILT also supports longer-term, school-based Decanal Priorities.
2018 HILT Grants Recipients:
Spark Grant Recipients (2018):
- Helping students and faculty to optimize preparation for the flipped classroom: using efficiency metrics
- The Video Essay as a Learning Tool in Field Based Courses and Design Courses
- Development of Student-run Podcasts as an Innovative Learning and Communication Tool
- Teaching Decision-Making through Experiential Learning and Personalized Practice Across Disciplines
- Whiteness: An Ethnographic Question
Targeted Support Grant Recipients (2018):
- Teachly: A research project
- Making “Inclass” into a campus-wide educational technology app store
- Hedera: A personalized vocabulary database and readability gauge
Browse past grants
We encourage you to search individual project descriptions by using the search tool and filters in the sidebar or browse all past grant awards.