Virtual and Augmented Reality Learning Grants

Important Information

  • All faculty and staff engaged in teaching and learning on the West Lafayette campus are eligible to apply.
  • Funding and duration: up to $50,000 for up to 15 months duration
  • Grant due date: April 7, 2023

As part of the Transformative Education 2.0 Purdue Move, and with generous financial support from the Lilly Endowment, the Office of the Provost invites applications for an Innovation Hub funding program Hub. The Innovation Hub is an engine and incubator for innovation in teaching and learning, supporting the Provost’s goal of making Purdue the most innovative residential learning program in the US among large research universities. The Innovation Hub focuses on two priorities: scalable innovations in teaching and learning, and transdisciplinary opportunities for students.

Program Description

Program priorities. This funding opportunity supports faculty and staff in developing and deploying virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools and pedagogies to enhance learning environments across the university. While VR/AR applications in teaching and learning have been predominately deployed in STEM disciplines, applications across the liberal arts, education, social and human science and humanities are burgeoning. Projects can approach teaching and learning practices from instructor, student, and/or staff perspectives. Proposals are invited in any area of teaching and learning, from any discipline, and from any relevant VR/AR angle, including:

  • Applying VR/AR technologies and tools to drive learning innovations at scale.
  • Exploring policies and practices related to the intersection of VR/AR learning environments and serving our diverse student population, particularly students with disabilities.
  • Designing innovative Virtual Lab experiences that enhance an existing course or laboratory experience with the goal of creating a blended learning environment or adapting a currently residential lab experience to an entirely virtual experience.
  • Developing a VR/AR immersive simulation within a course environment; simulations might consist of graphics superimposed on top of real-world environments that learners view through a headset or other hardware that places learners into a fully immersive experience.
  • Designing and implementing professional development and capacity-building opportunities for Purdue faculty and staff to deepen their knowledge of and ability to utilize VR/AR tools in support of clearly articulated learning and pedagogical frameworks.

Program parameters and expectations. This program is entirely about the practice of deploying VR/AR tools within a teaching and learning environment. As such, these are development grants, not research grants. This is not a research seed funding program, and applications for research funding will be returned without review. Project teams are expected to deploy one or more experiments in teaching and learning with actual students and/or faculty, and each project needs an appropriate plan to collect feedback from all stakeholders involved in the project, especially students. Innovation Hub leadership will connect proposers to relevant expertise needed to achieve their goals, for example: IT support, VR/AR expertise, assessment resources, and so forth as appropriate and required for the project. An Innovation Project charter with expanded detail is attached to this RFP. Please pay special attention to the section on eligible expenses; Innovation Hub grants may not be used to support post-docs or PhD students, except in exceptionally narrow circumstances. We urge proposers to discuss their ideas with Innovation Hub leadership by submitting a one-page summary to