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Office of Faculty Excellence

High Impact Practice Grants

High Impact Practices (HIPs) are research-backed strategies for teaching and learning that lead to increased retention, completion, and better learning outcomes for students. HIPs provide intentional and integrative approaches for learning that encourage transference of skills and the creation of meaningful connections between experiences.  

We are looking for creative projects that engage students (undergraduate and graduate) beyond the classroom, increase their involvement with UNF, and enhance the Northeast Florida community. Projects may include, but are not limited to, first-year experiences, mentoring, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, service learning, community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects. Past projects awarded HIPs funding are described below. 

Special consideration will be given to projects that involve students from underrepresented groups, first-generation students, students with families, and students from low-income backgrounds. Projects may be curricular or co-curricular.


Additional Information for Spring 2024 Applications

Due to the transition to Workday that is occuring over the summer, HIPs proposals submitted for Spring 2024 awards will only be considered if all awarded funds can be spent by the deadlines posted in the Workday Osprey Rising year-end deadlines calendar. 

Spring 2024 HIPs applications will be accepted, reviewed, and awarded on a rolling basis through March 1st, 2024. All Award Notifications will be made by March 8th, 2024. 

It is important to note that any awarded funds will not roll over to the next budget year.  Awarded funds that are not spent by the deadlines posted in the calendar linked below will be forfeited by the faculty member. You will need to work with your department and/or college budget representatives to ensure that the timing of expenses adhere to the Workday Osprey Rising year-end deadlines.

Before applying for a Spring 2024 HIPs grant, please consider whether your proposed project would allow you to spend the funds before the fiscal year deadlines, as posted in the Workday project calendar. A project proposing the purchasing of equipment to be used in the implementation of a High Impact Practice with students, or a faculty stipend to spend time completing a major revision of a course to include High Impact Practices are examples of projects that could meet the deadlines. Faculty should work with their department and/or college budget representatives if purchases require prior approval and ensure that those purchases meet the May 3, 2024 deadline for requisitions getting submitted and received by Procurement Services by this date. As another example, a project proposing travel over the summer to explore a potential future Study Abroad location could be possible if all expenses and travel are completed and charged to the p-card by June 14, 2024, with all reports submitted and fully approved by all approvers in the Concur queue by June 21, 2024. A project proposing to pay students who are working on a High Impact Practice project through the summer term is an example of a project where it is unlikely the funds could be spent before the deadlines.

What makes HIPs successful?

Effective implementation is the key. When done properly, they include:

  • Considerable time and effort requirements for students
  • Facilitated learning outside of the classroom (real-world application and relevance is highlighted)
  • Meaningful interactions between faculty and students
  • Collaboration across disciplines and cultures 
  • Frequent and substantive feedback
  • Reflection and integrative learning opportunities


What else do I need to know?

HIPs are open to all faculty of any rank, including adjuncts (must be on contract during the semester of the grant). These grants may be awarded to an individual or a small team of faculty and are designed to fund new activities, major revisions to existing learning opportunities, and innovative projects that enhance students' learning experience at UNF.

For Spring 2024 applications, it is necessary that the timing of expenses adhere to the Workday Osprey Rising year-end deadlines. It is important to note that any awarded funds will not roll over to the next budget year.  Awarded funds that are not spent by the deadlines posted in the calendar linked below will be forfeited by the faculty member.

The grants will be awarded as E & G funds and applicants must familiarize themselves with expenditure guidelines listed on the Controller's website.  


How do I apply for a HIP grant?

Prior to the deadline, submit the following information to OFE via email using this application.

  • Description of project that includes:
    • Name of project, names, titles, departments, and contact information of faculty that will be involved
    • Project summary: Describe the project including how it increases retention, completion, engagement, and/or better student learning outcomes for students
    • How students will be involved (Include recruitment plan, number of students, and any strategies to involve students from underrepresented groups, first-generation students, students with families, and students from low-income backgrounds).
    • Timeline of activities (reference HIP Timeline; applications proposing travel to explore future Study Abroad opportunities should consult with the International Center)
    • Budget (Clearly indicate amount requested – up to $15,000): Provide an itemized budget of all items needed for the project, including the date at which the funds will be used (HIPs grant funds are classified as E&G and therefore subject to expenditure guidelines listed on the Controller's website). Faculty stipends are acceptable and encouraged for new and emerging initiatives. 
    • Grant Oversight: Who will be responsible for the project? Who will manage the budget?

HIPs Timeline

Spring 2024 Application Important Dates 
Proposal Deadline accepted and reviewed through March 1, 2024
Notification of Award through March 8, 2024
Deadline to use funds

Requisitions submitted and received by Procurement Services no later than May 3, 2024; P-card purchases for travel-related expenses no later than June 14, 2024 and submitted with final approval in Concur by June 21, 2024

These are the absolute final dates - you are encouraged to complete purchases well before these final dates. 


It is important to note that any awarded funds will not roll over to the next budget year.  Awarded funds that are not spent by the deadlines posted in the calendar linked below will be forfeited by the faculty member. You will need to work with your department and/or college budget representatives to ensure that the timing of expenses adhere to the Workday Osprey Rising year-end deadlines.

Grant recipients will be required to submit a Final Report to update OFE on how funds were used and the ways students were supported. If a Final Report is not submitted, the recipient forfeits the right to apply for a future HIPs Grant. 

Awardees 2023

Marie Smith East headshot

Marie Smith-East | School of Nursing

HelpMindMeNow: A Community-Based Participatory Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support & referral tool for improving access to mental healthcare

During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals experiencing mental health issues and given concerns over receiving services in person, often turned to telemental health for assistance in finding mental health resources, group support, and providers. With the benefits of ease of use, schedule flexibility, increased adherence to care, ability to receive services across geographic areas (particularly for those seeking care in rural areas and/or specialized care such as women, children, elderly, LGBTQ+, minorities, and individuals with serious mental illness), the use of telehealth continues. However, individuals may struggle to find specific mental health services from reputable sources and if located, they may not be able to pay or find someone who takes their insurance. HelpMindMeNow™ is a proposed pilot community-based participatory web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application designed to utilize community members (individuals seeking care, agencies, and mental health clinicians) in the state of Florida, and University of North Florida graduate students studying mental health, in creating a web-based support and referral tool for improving access to telemental healthcare.

Amber Barnes headshot

Amber Barnes | Department of Public Health

Primed for Research: Fieldwork and Laboratory Training for Students

As our university continues to strive for research excellence, it is imperative that we find ways to engage students in this process. This grant will allow the Coastal One Health and Zoonoses (COHZ) lab in the Department of Public Health to build up the necessary laboratory materials to support several studies with regional, national, and international One Health partners. These multi-year projects will allow interdisciplinary students the chance to partake in fieldwork to collect samples and spatial data, conduct laboratory and statistical analysis for the presence of zoonotic pathogens and related risk factors, and prepare scientific works such as peer-reviewed journal articles and conference to disseminate relevant findings to larger human and veterinary public health audiences around the globe.

Rebecca W Burns headshot Megan Lynch headshot Wendy Baker headshot

Rebecca West Burns, Megan Lynch & Wendy Baker | College of Education and Human Services

Integrating Inquiry into Student Teaching Internship Experiences through a Collaborative Summer Inquiry Community

For teacher candidates in the College of Education and Human Services who are learning to teach, practitioner inquiry, as a high impact practice, provides a framework for teacher candidates to use now and in their future classrooms to be re-positioned as knowledge-generators, active participants in classroom research, and agents of change. Faculty and students in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum will form an inquiry community that will engage in a summer-long inquiry cycle into how inquiry can be systematically and developmentally appropriately integrated into student teaching and clinical field experiences.

Zhiping Yu headshot

Zhiping Yu | Department of Nutrition and Dietetics

Experience and the Impact of Tele-health Counseling Program on Dietetic Students

A tele-health nutrition counseling program has been providing nutrition interventions by supervised dietetic graduate students to uninsured low-income patients in Northeast Florida from 2019-2022. This project aims to assess the perspectives of dietetics students on the effectiveness of providing nutritional counseling via tele-health to patients and the impact of program on students themselves. In this project, past and current dietetic students who have participated the tele-health counseling program will be interviewed via Zoom on their experience and opinions regarding the program. The findings will help us advance the understanding the implication of tele-health in nutrition counseling and education of dietetic students.

Shyam Paryani headshot

Shyam Paryani | Department of Health Administration

Personal Health Monitoring of Athletes

To analyze physical performance, physiological status and mental alertness, UNF athletes will be asked to wear a wearable activity monitor, the Fitbit5, during the day excluding when they are playing official games or training for the academic year. The goal of this study is to collect physiological data on a continuous basis and correlate it with sports team performance to further the use of this technology to assist in the return-to-play for UNF athletes. This study will also help determine whether continuous monitoring allows for decreased injury frequency and duration. We plan to study basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, track and field and volleyball athletes.

Scott Jones headshot

Scott Jones | Department of Biology

Field-based research experiences are a powerful teaching tool in Biology, imparting a lasting understanding of natural systems and skills that are highly sought after on the job market. However, field-based experiences are often offered to students on an individual basis in faculty labs or over the summer, limiting the number of students who can participate. This project leverages UNF’s unique location by offering a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in coastal ecosystem ecology. This field-based CURE will give students the opportunity to conduct authentic place-based research at UNF, enhancing their scientific understanding of ecosystems in northeast Florida, gaining skills in research communication and writing, and expanding their network by interacting with professionals from federal and state agencies.

Ramin Shabanpour headshot

Ramin Shabanpour | College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Integrating Community-based Service Learning and Civil Engineering Capstone Design to Enhance Infrastructure Resilience in Northeast Florida

This project aims to enhance the structure of the civil engineering capstone design by integrating community engagement, and more specifically, community-based service learning (CBSL), into the course curriculum. CBSL is a form of experiential education in which students engage in real-world projects that address local community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Such a program allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, thereby enhancing their learning outcomes and providing a valuable service to the community at the same time. Particular preference will be given to multidisciplinary projects that aim to enhance the resilience of community infrastructure against extreme weather events in Northeast Florida.

John Hatle headshot

John Hatle | Department of Biology

Research in Biology

Many excellent UNF Biology students do not get to participate in on-campus research (i.e., a science internship) due to limited financial means. This is inequitable for students, and it creates a barrier to training the best next generation of scientists. This project creates research opportunities for exceptional students who have not participated in research because of finances. Selected students will be paid to conduct research at UNF.

Mike Binder with group of research members

Mike Binder | Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Florida Survey Spring 2023

Our goal is to cultivate and facilitate interest in evidence-based practice, quantitative analysis, data science, political and public policy polling. Students from diverse backgrounds, including PORL student employees, directly participate in the data collection process, learn about social science and public opinion research methodologies, and have the opportunity to see the results of their efforts in local, state, and national news media publications. Students will collect survey data at the PORL facility with its 27-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. The project will include upwards of 300 students from a variety of classes across the university.

Sarah Young with instrument

Sarah Young | School of Music

Flute Choir Day

Flute Choir Day is a one-day festival hosted by the University of North Florida Flute Studio, with Ensemble 126, an award-winning professional flute ensemble. Our goal is to grow and engage the flute community not only within the university, but within the Jacksonville community, by inviting our studio alumni, professional flutists, as well as developing flutists and amateurs to participate. As the student ensemble receives feedback from professional ensemble members, the students will have a clearer understanding as to how they can improve in their own chamber music making, as well as how to teach their own future students in this capacity. They will also have the rare opportunity not only to perform for such a prestigious ensemble, but also hear them live at their own university as hosts. The day will consist of lectures, masterclasses, and performances from the Ensemble 126 that will directly engage and challenge our own students, and will include a world premiere from our UNF faculty composer Dr. Joshua Tomlinson.

kally malcom

Suzanne Ehrlich & Amanda Pascale | Department of Leadership, School Counseling, & Sport Management

Inclusive Design in STEM Online Courses to Improve Student Success

In our recent study at UNF examining inclusive design as a predictor of course pass, our research suggested that higher inclusive design scores were significantly correlated with higher pass rates in online courses. We found that for every one-point increase in inclusive design we could expect to see a .23 percent increase in course pass rate. In this project, we will deliver training aligned with the inclusive design work used in the study to promote inclusive design in STEM online courses. Faculty will benefit from a community of practice around strategies and implementation for increasing inclusiveness in their online courses.

Awardees 2022

sheila goloborotko

Sheila Goloborotko | Department of Art and Design

Moving the Margins: Many Small Gestures

This funding will support the research, development, collaboration, and production of a responsive solo art exhibition titled Many Small Gestures for The Corner Gallery at the Jessie Ball DuPont Center. This solo exhibition is part of Moving the Margins, a residency program developed by curator Shawana Brooks that matches artists with nonprofits and grassroots organizations, current tenants of the Jessie Ball DuPont Center. Together, artist, students, and nonprofit organizations become a Cohort of Change-makers hosting community conversations to address intersectional themes and shared interests. Such conversations are the seeds of the creative process that materializes in artwork for an exhibition that transforms the vacant retail space at The Jessie, on the corner of Ocean and Adams Streets in Downtown, The Corner Gallery. Once installation is complete, students will serve as facilitators, walking the public through the installation during special events. This service and community-based learning experience will bring students a unique opportunity to engage with the diverse public presenting the work they were involved in creating.

will pewitt

Will Pewitt, M.F.A. | Department of English

The Shadow Company: Spotlighting Gender in Much Ado

Student will be convening a Writers Room to adapt one of Shakespeare’s most complex comedies, Much Ado About Nothing—a play thematized by stigmatic gendering and its dynamics with the problematic potency of class—in order to give students a space to not just deconstruct this inherited drama but to reconstruct it more inclusively. Through this grant, our cooperative student/faculty project will not only remunerate students for their creative work but will also fund collaboration with experts from the world-renowned Globe Theatre in London before the production can ultimately be toured to various local community partners. The first steps in this theatrical process are writerly choices regarding setting, pacing, and aesthetic revisioning that are all encompassed within script work—a task that, though vital, is often underappreciated since it is done off stage and behind the scenes. Yet by funding this crucial creative component, this company of young writers can be recognized for their work done in the “shadows”—a colloquial term in Shakespeare’s day for members of theatrical companies.

jelena brezjanovic

Jelena Brezjanović | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Immersive Classroom: Using Virtual Reality (VR) to Teach Diversity Appreciation

The continual human rights abuses faced by underrepresented and marginalized groups in the United States are an urgent indication that finding broader and more innovative ways to teach diversity appreciation is crucial to creating a more just society. As more disciplines make positive steps to expand their curriculum and incorporate diversity topics, barriers (e.g. student apprehension, lack of adequate resources, low department support; heightened tensions; lack of empathy, etc.) tend to dilute positive learning outcomes. This project will address the aforementioned barriers of teaching diversity in the classroom by developing a course that combines virtual reality (VR) technology and anthropological methods to create space, adequate resources and immersive experiences to help enhance student empathy and improve learning outcomes.

kally malcom

Kally Malcom, MFA | Department of Art, Art History, and Design

19th Century Photography Revisited: Wet Plate Collodion Workshop and Visiting Artist Lecture

In photography, wet plate collodion was one of the earliest processes used widely since its advent in 1851. Though firmly tethered to the 19th century, it remains a popular and relevant form of image-making in contemporary times. This grant will allow students and the community to attend a public lecture with visiting artist and wet plate collodion expert, Euphus Ruth. In addition, photography students will be a part of an intensive workshop where they will make images utilizing this process, which will then be exhibited in The Union Gallery on UNF’s campus.

james beasley

James P. Beasley, Ph.D. | Department of English

Writing as Social Action: The Lincolnville Green Book

The Writing as Social Action course has again partnered with the Lincolnville Museum to conduct research and create a “Green Book” project. This project takes as its object of study how writing technologies can be used to address injustices, collaborate with community groups, and advocate for social change. Throughout the segregated South, it was dangerous to be an African-American traveler. This was addressed by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual listing of lodging, diners, gas stations, and other businesses. The G​reen Book acted in similar ways as some social media platforms, collecting participation and then directing customers to locations of safety. Students will work with the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center and the St. Augustine Historical Society to create an updated St. Augustine “Green Book” utilizing curation technologies.

erin largo wight

Erin Largo-Wight | Department of Public Health

The Community Partner Project

The Community Partner Project is a community-based learning opportunity that is a structured assignment within a course. Students need opportunities to expand learning and put classroom concepts to practice in the real world. The general goal of the Community Partner Project is to strengthen students’ course learning outcomes through community involvement. Specifically, through the Community Partner Project, students will develop health communication skills, interact and network with public health professionals, and increase their knowledge of the breadth of public health in the local community, as well as support our local public health community and efforts.

linda connelly

Linda K. Connelly | School of Nursing

Brooks Health Happy Hour

Falls in Brooks Rehab pose a significant problem for both the patient who falls and the health care system. In the rehab setting the goal is to restore function including ambulation. Patients with brain injury (stroke), spinal cord injury, and neurological disorders, so the patients when the patients are not being observed they attempt to walk and fall. On between their therapy sessions a staff member and the 2nd semester nursing students interact with these patients during Brooks Happy Hour and have decreased the fall rate. An education tool is being developed by myself, Brooks staff and the students on fall prevention and the Brooks Happy Hour Fall Prevention Program.

terri ellis

Terri N. Ellis | Department of Biology

Hands-on Student Training in Microbiology Research

Over the past 18 months, the pandemic forced most UNF Biology courses to develop remote lab exercises. While these exercises were developed with care and quality learning objectives, students from these remote labs are lacking in hands-on familiarity with basic molecular techniques and equipment that are necessary for jobs in these fields. One of the best ways for students to rapidly develop these hands-on skills is though participation in an authentic, immersive research project. This proposal aims to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on lab experience by joining my research lab. Priority will be given to those students without hands-on lab experience, allowing for direct training in these necessary tactile skills. . In the research lab environment students can rapidly master the hands-on skills fundamental to these investigations while also making connections between concepts across the biology curriculum. This experience will also broaden students understanding of the process of scientific research, improve their ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, and expose them to possible careers and employment opportunities.

Erin Bodnar

Erin Bodnar | School of Music

Banda Sinfonica de Arroyito: A Service-Learning and Community-Based Immersion Music Experience

Our project combines service-learning and community-based immersion with music education and music performance. Undergraduate students will travel to Arroyito, Argentina to teach and perform music within the community. Students will bring with us donations of instruments and other musical materials that are desperately needed by the Banda Sinfonica de Arroyito and give instruction on instruments and music, sharing our knowledge with the community musicians. Further, we will learn about traditional Argentinian music and dance as well popular music in Argentina today.

public health faculty

Katryne Lukens Bull, MPH, Ron Lukens Bull, Ph.D., Maria Schedin, MPH | Department of Public Health

Culture, Religion and Wellness in Bali, Indonesia

For this study abroad journey to Bali, Indonesia, students will enroll in two courses, one in public health and one in anthropology, and gain multi-disciplinary insights and skills to address “Big Questions” such as how to end health, economic, and social disparities. Student will examine relationships between national government/culture and local culture including the relationships between religious minorities and religious majorities. As both a way to reflect and to express their intellectual journey, students will document the entire travel experience through faculty guided social media posts.


Nuria Ibáñez Quintana, Ph.D | Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Spanish Spain Languages and Cultures in Contact Program

The Spanish Spain Languages and Cultures in Contact program offers students a language and culture immersion experience. The experience serves as a channel for reflection upon intercultural and multilingual communication. Students live with host families and take classes at the Universidad de Burgos. The program includes visits to Segovia, Granada, Toledo (the three multilingual and multicultural centers during the Middle Ages in Spain), Madrid, Bilbao and other historic sites in Burgos and in the Basque Country.

Katrina Hall

Katrina W. Hall, Ph.D, Tara Rowe, Ed.D., Adel ElSafty, Ph.D. | Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

UNF Engineers and Educators in Italy: Synergistic Learning and Inclusivity in a Global Community

Expanding on the “Whole Child” concept, this holistic study abroad spans 16 days in beautiful Italy, with visits to Rome, Assisi, Florence, the International Montessori Centre, and University of Perugia. With Corciano’s beautiful Villa Pieve Country House as homebase, activities include touring ancient sites, participating in historic restoration, exploring a medieval castle, leading a STEM Camp for children with autism, visiting schools and universities, and creating a digital guide to making university study abroad accessible to those are neurodivergent or have exceptionalities.

Lauri Wright

Lauri Wright, Ph.D., RDN, LD/N, FADA | Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

International Connections: Dietetic Interns Treating Malnutrition in Ghana

Malnutrition is a serious issue in children and hospitalized patients in Ghana. Identifying and treating malnutrition is one of the primary skills that dietetic interns must achieve competence to be successful in practice. Additionally, cultural competence healthcare providers improve health outcomes and quality of care. This project is a short-term cultural immersion to Accra, Ghana focused on improving dietetic interns’ cultural competence, nutrition skill and self-efficacy by working in hospitals and community to identify and treat malnutrition.