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How to Apply

Application Process:

Note: The due date for 2023-24 applications is April 28, 2023. View more details on the Call for Applications and use the Application Web Form to apply.

Eligibility: Any full-time or part-time instructor at the University of Houston-Downtown may apply. If you are interested in renewing funding for an active teaching circle, it is important that your application address the results of the previous year and outline new goals or a rationale for continued focus on previous goals. 

Application: (see below): Complete by recruiting a group of 3-5 colleagues and proposing the formation of a TC that fits within one of the topic groups described (topic groups change each year). A team lead should be designated.  Additional individuals can be added but it is recommended that teaching circles not get too large (less than 8-10).  Proposals should outline specific goals/tasks, deliverables, and a detailed budget, as outlined in the application form.

Budget: The application form includes a template budget that can and should be modified. The standard template includes a $500 stipend for five TC members plus fringe benefits (20% of stipend) plus $1,000 for TC related expenses. Applicants can modify this budget for their purposes while keeping the total amount less than or equal to $4,000. For example, you may want to have a 6 member team and include a stipend for the extra member by reducing the TC-related expenses category. Or, you might provide a larger stipend for members that carry a greater responsibility. 

Signatures: All applications must be accompanied by a signature page with the signatures of all TC members, and the signatures of the department chair and dean for the college in which the team lead resides.

Responsibilities of TC Members:

  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all TC meetings.
  • As part of the final report due June 30 each year, submit an individual deliverable such as a teaching activity description, peer observation approach, revised course syllabus, etc.
  • Submit a reflective analysis of the TC experience and respond to a CTLE survey.

Responsibilities of the TC:

  • Using the approaches and tools described in your TC proposal, evaluate the effectiveness of a given teaching and learning strategy related to the TC topic in terms of student outcomes (e.g. learning, engagement, academic performance, retention, etc.).
  • Attend and contribute to discussions during monthly gatherings of TC groups that are studying the same topic.
  • Submit a preliminary report on the group's results and findings by the given due date.
  • Share the group's work with a larger audience by giving a presentation (either on the UHD campus or at an external forum), by providing resource materials on the topic of the TC for the larger teaching community, by publishing findings, or by some other means to be agreed upon with the CTLE Director.
  • Submit a final report due June 30 each year.

Responsibilities of the CTLE:

  • Provide and host workshops and training related to the TC topic groups.
  • Provide resources and meeting space for TC activities.
  • Provide funding for requested TC-related training and materials, and continuing individual professional development.
  • List active circles on the CTLE website and highlight TC accomplishments.


Please direct all questions about teaching circles or the application process to the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence,