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Unconventional Thinking in Teaching Grant Program

Awards to Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico Teachers
and Educational Personnel to Recognize Innovation in Education

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Funding Source:

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Marathon Oil

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Awards of up to $5,000 to Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico classroom teachers and educational professionals and personnel to recognize innovation in education. Funds may be used to purchase resources for the classroom or for professional development opportunities. Priority consideration is given to teachers in Marathon Oil’s operating areas.

Teachers are invited to apply or be nominated by members of their community to receive a grant to support the purchase of classroom resources, such as books, activity/lab materials, and technology, or personal professional development. 

The hope is that, through this program, teacher retention will be increased by demonstrating support for the people who are responsible for developing the next generation of leaders, or unconventional thinkers. Marathon Oil also hopes to encourage collaboration by asking the winning teachers to share their innovative ideas with all the teachers who apply. 

Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of “Unconventional Thinking”
  • Alignment with Marathon Oil’s Values to:
    • Collaborate
    • Take Ownership
    • Be Bold
    • Deliver Results
  • Commitment to ensuring inclusive and equitable education for all students

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 195494

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual grant awards will likely range between $2,500 and $5,000.

Term of Contract:

Funds must be used within nine months of the date of receipt.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible winners must be full-time teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel. The program is not limited to specific courses or grade levels.

If awarded a grant, the individual will be ineligible to apply again for three grant cycles. If an applicant is not selected, they can continue to apply each year.

Pre-Application Information:

2021 Timeline:

• April 7, 2021: Application opens.
• June 15, 2021: Application closes.
• September 1, 2021: Winners announced.

Letters of recommendation are not required, but letters from school or district leadership are strongly encouraged. If a recommendation is not provided, school or district leadership will be contacted for approval prior to any grant communication or award.

Grants will be made payable to the winner’s school or school district, but will be designated for use by the winner and must adhere to any applicable school or district budget guidelines.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For any questions about the program, please email

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Mexico;   North Dakota;   Oklahoma;   Texas

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