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Fund for Innovations in Teaching (FIT) Guidelines

To apply for FIT, please complete the application form. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis between May 1 and March 1, until the Funds for Innovation in Teaching have been depleted. Funds awarded to you must be spent by April 30 of the fiscal year.

The Faculty of Health’s Teaching and Learning Strategic Plan drives excellence in teaching (including but not limited to innovations in experiential education and eLearning) for the 21st century, and actively supports student learning and success.  In addition, the Faculty seeks to create an engaged network of community partners to ensure our quality programs offer students opportunities for community engagement through experiential education.

Objective

This seed funding aims to promote the Faculty of Health’s vision by supporting innovative teaching practices that include but are not limited to experiential education (EE) and eLearning. Specifically, the fund will support: research into innovative teaching practices; the implementation of innovative teaching practices, and the development/enhancement of existing teaching practices and novel forms of assessment. Applicants must clearly outline in the application how the funded activities will meet this objective.

Eligible Activities

Funds can be used to support activities listed below as they relate to the EE continuum, eLearning, and other innovative teaching practices.

Research: determine and/or address a teaching and learning challenge; evaluate the effectiveness of teaching practices

Evaluation: design and develop appropriate forms of evaluation of students’ learning

Development: develop and implement an innovative new format for an existing course, or a new course that would support course focused and/or community focused experiential education, and/or blended/online learning

Human Resources: in order to develop EE in your course or program you may want to hire a Work Study student or Research Assistant to conduct a needs assessment, environmental scan or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis

Professional Development: attend a teaching and learning conference, workshop, other training; present at a conference; publish findings in a journal or other publication

Materials/Equipment: purchase resources to facilitate EE or eLearning in current and future courses

Transportation: subsidize transportation, to related events or activities, for course directors and TAs who attend on behalf of a course director

Community Partnerships: provide monetary honoraria or incentives; host a recognition event. Note: If you are applying for a FIT to provide a symbolic honorarium for a guest speaker or community partner, you can request an appreciation gift, in the form of an e-gift card, through an expedited process. For request involving higher amounts of monetary honoraria for guest speakers and community partners, proceed with filling in the full FIT application.

Other aligned activities

This fund may not be used to fund:

  • A course-release for a course director
  • Activities already budgeted for through the Academic Innovations Fund (AIF), or the Academic Equipment fund
  • Parking costs for community partners visiting on campus. Note: You can request free parking passes for community partners visiting on campus to support experiential education activities through the Parking Pass Request Form

Eligible Applicants

Full-time and part-time faculty members, schools and/or departments are eligible to apply for funding. A project representative must be identified if an application is submitted on behalf of a program, department or school.

Recipient Responsibilities

  • Applicants must discuss the application and proposed activities with the Chair/Director prior to submission. For program based applications, the applicant must also submit a letter of support from the Chair/Director
  • Applicants must submit relevant ethics documents if the proposed project involves research into their teaching practices, or other activities that require research ethics approval
  • Demonstrate how the funds will be used to support proof of concept for the quality of programs and teaching and learning
  • Create and revise course design accordingly and ensure process is aligned with School/Department and Faculty Strategic Plans and deadlines around course design
  • Demonstrate initiative to share learning at peer and stakeholder events
  • Ensure that funded activities comply with hiring and expense policies and guidelines
  • Ensure that funds are spent by the end of the fiscal year (April 30)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Clearly outlines how the proposed activities improve the quality of teaching practice and/or student success (including but not limited to engagement, retention, and first year experience)
  • Clearly describes how the proposed activities align with and support the objectives of the Faculty of Health’s Strategic Plans
  • Describes how these activities will be sustained in future years without this funding
  • The adjudication process may include asking for feedback about your application from the chair/director of the corresponding school/department. Therefore, it is important to make sure they are aware of the proposed innovative activities and that the activities are aligned with the programs initiatives for enhancing the quality of teaching and learning

Timeline

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis between May 1 and March 1 (fiscal year), until the Funds for Innovation in Teaching have been depleted. Applicants are encouraged to apply before the deadline. You will receive a response within two weeks of submitting the application, depending on the complexity of the submission. Projects that meet the criteria will be awarded until the Fund for Innovations in Teaching is exhausted up to a maximum of $3,000/person or $15,000/program request. Awarded funds that are not used by April 30 of the fiscal year will be absorbed back into the fund.

Expense Guidelines

Application

Before applying for the fund, please make sure that you discuss your proposed activities and application with the chair/director of your school/department. To apply for the fund, you must complete and submit the online application form at the very latest by March 1. You will not be able to save the online form or return to it later, so you may wish to answer the questions on the Word document version of the application and paste them in the online form when you are ready to submit it.

If you encounter any difficulties with completing the online application form please email smurtha@yorku.ca.