Skip to main content

Center for Research Quality

Center for Research Quality: Faculty:
Riedel Research Grant

Dr. Eric S. Riedel Research Grant for the Advancement of the Walden Learning Model

Walden University was a groundbreaking, distance education institution, before distance education was a recognized scholarly field. Over the years, Walden has educated thousands of individuals, who share the institution's distinct mission of facilitating positive social change though education. To achieve its academic goals, the University developed some unique pedagogy and andragogy to complement and enhance the more traditional teaching approaches; however, it is imperative that we continue to explore research and evidence-based learning frameworks that can be leveraged to improve how we deliver learning experiences to our students.  

Dr. Eric Riedel worked at Walden University from 2005-2019, serving for the last eight years as Chief Academic Officer and Provost. During this time, Dr. Riedel worked with faculty and staff across the university to advance the Walden learning model with improvements to learning outcomes assessment, academic support, classroom innovations, accreditation, academic policy, governance, and faculty development. He believed Walden’s fundamental contribution to higher education was the unique student learning experience fostered by faculty and staff and encouraged its continued development and broader dissemination. 

Program Goals

The Dr. Eric S. Riedel Research Grant for the Advancement of the Walden Learning Model supports forward-looking research on learning experience designs (modalities) and best practices that explore andrological approaches to learning in the context of Walden’s commitment to distance education for career professionals using their knowledge for the public good.  

The goal of this request for proposals (RFP) is to further the Walden Learning Model as described in its university documents and demonstrated in daily practice by faculty and staff. Funded proposals will support research on new knowledge and approaches to teaching and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Examples of potential research topics include: 

  • Teaching practices and strategies to increase success of a diverse student population. 

  • Teaching practices and strategies to foster constructive dialogue and feedback. 

  • Student motivation and learning outcomes achieved using varying methods of student engagement and assessment. 

  • Student learning outcomes achieved in varying learning models, such as mastery learning and capacity-building learning. 

  • Value of asynchronous and synchronous learning. 

  • Teaching practices and strategies to support the integration of new tools for students and faculty. 

  • How learners master competencies and build life-long capabilities.

Program Timeline

  • Deadline to submit Intent to Apply Using Walden Data: August 31, 2021
  • Final date for first-time requests for feedback on research proposals:  September 11, 2021
  • Grant application deadline: September 13, 2021
  • Grant recipients announced:  November 1, 2021
  • Grant period of performance ends:  December 31, 2022

Grant Parameters & Applicant Eligibility 

  • Researchers in all academic disciplines, not just education, are encouraged to apply. 
  • Proposed research that examines new knowledge and approaches to teaching and learning used in settings/environments external to Walden (within the US or internationally) is welcome. 
  • Proposed research that considers teaching and learning with all types of student learners (meeting students where they are at) or with historically underserved populations is encouraged.    
  • Since the goal of this grant program is to further the Walden learning model, it is expected that proposed research could focus on Walden students, faculty, classroom environments, program curricula, and assessment outcomes. Applicants proposing research that involves collecting data from the Walden community or the request of existing classroom or operational data from Walden must submit the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data form (discussed below) by 31 August 2020.   
  • Faculty (core and contributing), staff, and administrators, employed by Walden for a minimum of 6 months, are eligible to apply.   

Grant Amount and Duration

Although a funding ceiling is provided below, researchers are encouraged to request only the amount of funds needed to conduct their proposed research activities, rather than the maximum amount available.  

  • $12,000 funding ceiling for research proposals authored by a single investigator.   

  • $25,000 funding ceiling for collaborative research proposals in which two or more Walden faculty members are co-principle investigators.  

Note: Students may be included in the research team, but the team must be led by faculty or staff members.   

The grant will cover:  

  • Research on undergraduate or graduate level teaching and learning in online classroom environments.   

  • Cost associated with primary data collection (qualitative or quantitative) as well as meta-analyses resulting in theoretical papers.  

  • Release time/compensation for conducting the proposed research.  

  • Hiring graduate students to work as research assistants on the proposed research.  

The grant will not cover:  

  • Technology costs or investments.  

  • Doctoral capstone mentoring or field experience  

  • Costs associated with dissemination (conference fees, conference travel, publication fees, etc.)  

This RFP is for one-time, short-term research proposals. If awarded, research must be completed within the grant period of performance – 1 November 2020 through 31 December 2021.  

If awarded, for grant funds to be disbursed to the recipient, proof of compliance with Walden University regulations regarding the use of Walden data for research (Institutional Approval from the OIRA) and the protection of human subjects in research (IRB approval) and approval is required.

The number of grants awarded in each program cycle will be determined by the quality and size of the applicant pool as well as the availability of program funds.   

Grant Selection Criteria

The overall merit of the proposed research will be considered and evaluated by Walden’s Dean of Research, working with a review committee chaired by the Director of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. 

The final selection will be based upon the following criteria:  

  • Intrinsic pedagogical and technical merit.  

  • The project is grounded in current scholarship related to excellence in teaching and learning, especially in distance education.  

  • The likelihood that the results will improve the educational processes in the university.  

  • The possibility of dissemination of the results in other venues outside of Walden (academic publications and presentations).  

  • Potential for the award to provide a basis for further research.  

  • Feasibility that the proposed work would be completed during the award period.  

Grant Application Process

Since the goal of this grant program is to further the Walden learning model, it is expected that proposed research could focus on Walden students, faculty, classroom environments, program curricula, and assessment outcomes.  To ensure that Walden data proposed for collection and/or existing data requested for use in response to this RFP are accessible and/or available, the Principle Investigator (PI) must submit the online form linked below indicating his/her intent to apply for the Riedel Research Grant using Walden data.  The online form gives the PI the opportunity to provide a concise summary of the proposed research methodology in addition to identifying the specific Walden data to be collected and/or requested for analysis in the proposed study.  This information will be reviewed by the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs in conjunction with university leaders to ensure that the proposed data collection is attainable and/or the requested existing data can be provided. By confirming the accessibility/availability of Walden data, the PI gains an assurance that their proposed research is both viable and in alignment with the Riedel research grant program goals, which increases the chances that the research proposal will be funded. 


Decision Matrix 
Intent to Apply Using Walden Data

  • If the proposed research involves Walden data (to be collected and/or existing data requested), use the link below to complete and submit the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data online form.
  • If the proposed research does not involve any Walden data, skip this step and move directly to the section below about the Grant Proposal.

Intent to Apply Using Walden Data 

The link below will take you to the online Intent to Apply Using Walden Data form. The online form will allow you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation. 

If the proposed research involves more than one PI, please designate one co-PI (not a research assistant) to be the Point of Contact (POC) for all correspondence related to the submission of the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data form.  


Intent to Apply Using Walden Data


Instructions about how to complete the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data are provided in the form itself; however, to make the process smoother, following is a list of information you should have on hand before you begin:  

  1. Name of PI/Point of Contact  

*If there is more than one PI, please designate one individual to be the Point of Contact (POC). 

  1. POC college/school affiliation at Walden 

  1. POC contact information (address, email, and phone number) 

  1. Title of proposed research project 

  1. A description of the proposed research, which includes the following: 

    • Description of the purpose of the research; indicating the goals and objectives  
    • Research hypothesis or research questions 
    • Concise description of the proposed research methodology 
    • Description of the target population and the plans for analysis. 
  2. A description the specific Walden data to be used in the proposed research. 

  • If you plan to collect data from the Walden community explain from whom and where the data will be collected (students, faculty, alumni, classroom environments), how the data will be collected (survey, interview, observation, etc), and the timing of data collection activities. 

  • If you plan to request existing data (classroom and operational data) from Walden explain what the data is, why it is needed, and include key variables.  

Upon submission the POC will receive a message confirming receipt of the form and can expect a response from the ORSP as the outcome of the review within 5 days of submission. 


Grant Proposal 

The link below will take you to the online application to submit your grant proposal. The online application will allow you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation. 


Apply for the Riedel Research Grant


Instructions about how to complete the online grant application are provided in the form itself; however, to make the process smoother, following are elements of the proposal you should develop prior to starting the online application:  

  • C.V. for the PI and all Co-PIs  

  • Research Abstract  

  • Research Description  

  • Research Timeline 

  • Research Budget  

  • Research Budget Justification  

  • Plans for Disseminating Research Findings  

  • Human Subjects Review Documentation  

More Information

While links to the following documents are embedded within the Riedel application, the stand-alone documents are provided below for your reference.   


Application Templates

Social Media Icons

Connect with the Center for Research Quality! Twitter YouTube