Information Literacy Grants

Originally started as the Joseph I. Moreland Fund for Information Literacy Programs in Fall 2015, the program has since expanded to include both undergraduate and graduate programs. The stipends are currently funded through the University Libraries Excellence Fund. 

The Information Literacy Program awards instructional development stipends to instructors who would like to design or revise a course or series of courses in order to incorporate assignments, readings, and library workshops focused on information literacy and research/library skills. The overall goal of the program is to foster collaboration between librarians and faculty to work towards the full integration of research education into all undergraduate majors and graduate degrees. Throughout the design and teaching, the instructor collaborates closely with a librarian/archivist to integrate library resources and services and information literacy concepts as appropriate.

  • Program Purpose

    The purpose of the Information Literacy stipends is to support course instructors and librarians in applying their disciplinary expertise to creating and reenergizing courses that foster critical engagement in research and information use. The courses should present students with opportunities to engage critically with sources in order to accomplish specific purposes within or beyond a given discipline. It is our assumption that proposed courses will not focus exclusively on information literacy, but rather will incorporate it into the examination of discipline-specific subject matter appropriate for the level of the course.

    The Association of College and Research Libraries broadly defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Although courses that have a strong writing component are well-suited to teaching the research process, information literacy can be appropriately taught through coursework in any discipline and at any level. University Libraries especially welcomes proposals from faculty who are interested in exploring new and critical pedagogies for teaching a range of literacies and research methods (data literacy, visual literacy, archival literacy, primary source literacy, media literacy, digital literacy, etc.) at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

  • Guidelines for Undergraduate Courses

    Applications for undergraduate courses should be focused on courses that teach discipline-specific research techniques or aspects of the research process beyond the foundational level. These grants are not appropriate for courses which introduce students to concepts of library research and information literacy. 

    Criteria for selection of undergraduate courses includes the depth of information literacy integration into the course, potential for partnership building/co-teaching, use of innovative pedagogy, and the feasibility of the curricular design. 

    Courses must be undergraduate courses within a major or minor, such as:

    • Introductory or large lecture courses required for majors
    • Undergraduate major courses that introduce research methods
    • Seminars and senior capstone courses where students conduct extensive research
    • Core courses where students need to learn disciplinary databases and tools
  • Guidelines for Graduate Courses

    While graduate students have often had more exposure to library research than undergraduates, many students are still unaware of the many tools and services that could be useful to them in their graduate studies. Recent research has indicated that graduate students could benefit from explicit instruction in such things as: utilizing advanced search techniques, conducting a literature review, understanding quantitative and qualitative research methods, and using specialized subject databases. Fostering a deeper engagement with library and information research skills can help graduate students at all levels, whether they are completing a research project or working on their dissertation.

    Criteria for selection of graduate courses includes the depth of information literacy integration into the course, potential for partnership building/co-teaching, use of innovative pedagogy, and the feasibility of the curricular design. Courses must be graduate-level courses at the master’s or doctoral level. Examples of courses which are particularly suited to the integration of information literacy, include:

    • Research methods courses
    • Seminar classes where students conduct extensive research or literature reviews
    • Core courses within a program where students need to learn disciplinary databases and tools
    • Courses which require the use of data sets for in-depth data analysis
    • Thesis/dissertation/capstone courses


    We strongly encourage applications for multiple courses within the same department so that faculty can build a sequenced information literacy program within a program/major. For applications with multiple courses, faculty need to include new content for each course while still aligning to common learning goals.

  • Course Design Requirements

    Each instructor who receives a grant in this program is expected to revise their course(s), in collaboration with their subject librarian, to include the following:

    • Innovative assignments where students are required to select, critically evaluate, and apply relevant library sources as evidence in their research.
    • Synchronous classroom time designated for research workshops by or in collaboration with a subject librarian or archivist. For online courses, the library instruction requirement may be met through the development of asynchronous learning opportunities.
    • An online research module or modules embedded into the course content (tutorial, online research guide, etc.)


    We strongly encourage applications for multiple courses within the same department so that faculty can build a sequenced information literacy program within a program/major. For applications with multiple courses, faculty need to include new content for each course while still aligning to common learning goals.

  • Stipend Structure (2021–2022)
    • $2,000 to a faculty member for a course (first time funding)
    • $1,000 to a faculty member for the revision of a course (applicant has previously received IL  funding)
    • Up to $3,000 for a group of faculty working on the same course (multiple sections; faculty will decide how to divide the funding)
    • Up to $5,000 for a department to revise a series of courses (at least three courses; faculty will decide how to divide the funding)
    • Extra $500 for faculty applying for large courses (more than 50 students), courses with multiple sections being taught by the same instructor, or for faculty applying the information literacy assignments to more than one course.
    • $500 will also be awarded to the collaborating subject librarian or archivist (Librarians may be part of multiple grant applications, but can only receive a single stipend amount.)


    Full-time faculty, instructors, and librarians are encouraged to apply. Adjunct faculty may also apply as long as they can show a history of teaching for a particular course/program.

    The stipend will be awarded during the quarter in which the class is being taught. An individual faculty member may not receive more than one information literacy grant per academic year. In order to reach as many disciplines as possible, we may need to limit the total number of grants given to a department or unit in an academic year.

    We will consider applications for multiple courses across departments provided that applicants can demonstrate the interconnectedness of their program curricula and learning outcomes.

  • Deadline, Submission Process and Application Form (2021–2022)

    The 2021–2022 application window has closed. Check back for 2022–2023 deadlines.

    Project proposals for Fall 2021 courses were due by August 2, 2021 and proposals for Winter, Spring, or Summer 2022 courses were due by October 8, 2021.

    A single application developed by the course instructor(s) and the librarian who intend to work together should be submitted via email to Carrie Forbes, Associate Dean, at Carrie.Forbes@du.edu. Applications must include a letter of support from a department chair or associate dean to be considered complete.

  • Information Literacy Resources for Applicants

    If you are considering applying for a Moreland Information Literacy Grant, take a look at the sources listed below which provide additional details on information literacy and course design.

    • ACRL Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education: The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was adopted by the ACRL in January 2016 as a new approach to teaching information literacy. Six frames are presented which describe threshold concepts that are key elements of information literacy.
    • ACRL Framework Sandbox: A site where librarians and faculty share assignments, activities, and other resources on the Framework.
    • Information Literacy in the Disciplines: This site contains links and citations to information literacy standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education.
    • Community of Online Research Assignments: An open access site for faculty and librarians to share and comment on research assignments and teaching resources for information literacy.
  • Other Information Literacy Grants

    Bogner Award Criteria & Submission Process

    Interested faculty teaching undergraduate courses may choose to work with their subject librarian and the Curator of Special Collections and Archives to create an assignment that also meets the criteria for the student-centered Robert Glen Bogner Award for Innovation in Archival Research.

    The donors for this award intend to encourage innovative student use of primary sources in undergraduate research in disciplines not traditionally associated with archives or special collections, such as (but not limited to): the sciences, engineering, business, law, etc. There are no limitations on format: papers, exhibits, and other means of conveying knowledge will be accepted.

    Student winner(s) will receive $2,000 in award money, to be granted to the project on the basis of intellectual contribution in presentation. The faculty member associated with the winning project will receive an award of $500.

    Nominations and questions should be directed to the Curator of Special Collections & Archives, Kate Crowe, at katherine.crowe@du.edu