Association for Biology Laboratory Education

Roberta Williams Laboratory Teaching Initiative Grant

The ABLE Grants-in-Aid Committee awards funding for development of investigative laboratory activities. The purpose of this grant is to encourage, support, and acknowledge developments in biology laboratory teaching at the university and college level. The maximum award per grant is $5000, and the number of grants awarded annually is based on the availability of funding and the quality of applications received.

This grant is intended to develop lab teaching material to benefit the home institution as well as the ABLE membership. Examples of activities that are “fundable” include, but are not limited to: designing new labs, improving existing labs, developing pedagogical techniques for teaching in a laboratory setting, or developing multi-media tools. Highest priority is given to proposals that are innovative, are adaptable to being taught at other institutions, contain activities that are inquiry based, provide real world research experiences, and/or allow students to contribute to scientific knowledge. This grant is not for supporting normal laboratory activities of an instructor, such as revising a lab manual, reviewing literature, or repairing equipment, or for one-time-only activities such as guest speakers or multi-media rentals. Projects must be original work. If the proposal adapts existing material, clearly cite the source and describe how your project differs.

Applicants need not be current ABLE members.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be affiliated with a 2- or 4-year post-secondary institution as faculty, staff, or graduate student;
  • Be currently teaching (including demonstrating labs) an undergraduate-level life science course; or, if on sabbatical, able to lab-test the proposed study within the given timeframe;
  • Be able to attend an ABLE conference within the next two years to present the project as an ABLE Major workshop; and
  • Agree to submit a summary of the project with preliminary progress report (after approximately one year) for posting on the ABLE website.

Deadlines and Details

Applicants are to complete and submit the Laboratory Teaching Initiative Grants submission form below, plus ALL other required documents (details listed below) for their proposal to be considered for funding. Proposals are to be submitted no later than April 30 at 11:59 pm. These proposals should be composed with minimum 10-point font, 1-inch margins, and with Arial or Times New Roman font. They must include:

  • A 200-word summary
  • A detailed outline of the proposed project including:
    • Topic
    • Purpose
    • Description
    • Example of student work assessment criteria
    • An explanation of how the project will be sustained after the termination of ABLE funding
    • An explanation of how the proposal clearly reflects current safety standards and animal use protocols
  • A budget with justification. Be explicit about what aspects of the lab will be developed and tested with the funds. Budget items can include equipment and supplies necessary to complete the project. Items that are needed to implement the lab with multi-sections or multi-semesters of students are not funded; neither are standard laboratory equipment and supplies, student field trip transportation, salaries, or indirect costs.
    The combined length of the outline and the budget should not exceed 5 pages.
  • Your current CV
  • A letter of support from your department chair

Recipients will be selected and notified by July 1. A list of past winners is available here.

Contact Information


Proposal Information

  • Please upload ONE file containing the following:
    1. -A detailed outline of the proposed project
    2. -A budget with justification
    3. -Your current CV
    4. -A letter of support from your department chair