PUNKTUM - Pedagogical development projects

Umeå University regularly announces funding for educational development at the undergraduate and advanced levels within the institution, known as Punktum grants. These funds are intended to stimulate innovative approaches and pedagogical advancements to enhance student learning. Eligible applicants for these grants are teachers employed at Umu.

The Punktum grants are awarded by the decision of the rector and are managed and distributed by the Centre for Educational Development (UPL). These funds are intended for development projects with the aim of promoting the long-term advancement of higher education pedagogy, learning strategies, learning environments, or other pedagogical elements at Umeå University. The funds are sourced from the university's allocation for undergraduate education, meaning that only projects focused on education at the undergraduate and advanced levels at Umeå University are eligible for project funding (not projects at the doctoral level or within commissioned education). Additionally, funds cannot be allocated to work considered as ongoing course or program development.

The application process

The application for Punktum grants undergoes a two-step process. In the first step, the applicant presents an initial project idea, which is evaluated by an assessment group. The applications deemed most promising are then invited to develop a complete application with the possibility of obtaining project funding.

The project ideas are assessed by the Punktum assessment group, comprised of distinguished or excellent teachers at Umeå University. If necessary, the assessment group may pose in-depth questions to the applicants.

It is crucial that the head of department/director is informed about the funding application. This should be confirmed through the signature of the project leader's head of department/director. Step 2 is not considered complete if signatures are missing.

Step 1 – Project Idea

In the first step, it involves presenting a project idea in the form of a brief abstract (500 words) and a short video recording. For the application step, there is an application template to follow, which becomes available on the Punktum site in Canvas when the current year's application opens, usually at the end of September. The application period typically lasts for about 2 months. At least one person associated with the project should be a distinguished or excellent teacher.

Notifications are provided in early December.

Step 2 - The Complete Application

The complete application should include:

  • A clear and concrete description of the background and purpose of the development project.
  • Measurable goals contributing to the achievement of the project's purpose.
  • Descriptions of the activities that will be undertaken to reach the project's goals.
  • Communication and dissemination of lessons learned from the development project.
  • Budget and timeline.

The application should also describe how the project is anchored in the institution's pedagogical development work and how the project's results can be transferred to other courses or programs. Furthermore, it should be indicated whether the project involves further development of previous projects and whether funds have been sought or already obtained for the same project from other sources.

The complete application is usually presented in mid-February, and notifications about which projects are awarded funding are provided in March.

The deadline for complete project applications is February 16, 2024.

In March 2024, notifications will be given regarding the projects that the rector decides to allocate funds to. The projects are expected to commence in August.

Supervisor's Approval

Punktum funding can only cover salaries for those involved in the projects, meaning that the head of department/director co-finances with overhead costs (see Conditions for Funding).

If the application involves development work within the framework of an entire educational program, it should also be signed by the chair of the program committee. If multiple departments/units or multiple programs are involved in the development work, all relevant heads of departments, directors, and program chairs should sign the application. The signing of the application signifies that those involved express their support for the project's implementation and thus their readiness for project staffing for the applicants.

Conditions for Funding

During the project period, participants' salary costs within the project are covered. Therefore, only salary costs can be included in the sought project budget. The department/unit co-finances the projects by covering overhead costs. Other expenses such as the purchase of books, technology, travel, and/or conference participation are not granted within the project grant.

After the project period ends, a final report including an evaluation of the project must be submitted to UPL. The final report will be published on Umeå University's website.

An internal invoice for half of the approved amount can be sent after the rector's decision on funding. The internal invoice for the other half can be sent after the project's completion, when the final report is submitted and approved. Granted funds can be used within 2 years after the rector's decision on allocation. In case of project delays, a request for an extension of the project duration should be submitted no later than three months before the project's end. Unused funds revert to UPL for a new call for proposals.

Punktum Canvas site

Templates for project application and project budget

Link to the Punktum site in Canvas.

Granted projects and final reports

Read about granted projects and access final reports from previous rounds.

Granted Projects

Final Reports


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