Academic Innovation Fund: Reminder to submit your ideas by Feb. 12

Students in a classroom

Have you been imagining a new way of teaching, or thought of an innovation that would enhance the classroom experience for York University students? If so, consider putting your ideas and imagination into action by developing a project submission for the second year of Phase II of York University’s highly successful Academic Innovation Fund (AIF).

The success of AIF initiatives funded thus far has allowed York to build pan‐University strategies and systems supporting the further growth and development of curricular innovation through various forms of eLearning, experiential education and the first-year experience. York students are currently benefiting from these innovations. Information about previous projects funded in AIF Phase One and the first year of Phase Two can be found on the AIF website.

Today marks the announcement of a new call for submissions from York University community members for projects that will build on the foundation laid by previous years of the AIF. The Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning, which oversees the AIF, is issuing a new call for submissions for projects that will expand and advance the AIF and University’s priorities in eLearning, experiential education (EE) and enhancing the first-year experience.

During the first year of Phase II, 19 large scale projects (known as Category I projects) received funding and 28 curricular innovation grants (known as Category II projects) were awarded to faculty.

This new call continues Phase II and will be followed by another call for submissions later this year (date to be determined) to provide funding to support other teaching and learning priorities that might be identified by the Enhancing Teaching and Learning Institutional Integrated Resource Plan (IIRP) working group.

Applications for AIF funding for the first cycle should be submitted electronically to the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning ( by 4pm on Friday, Feb. 12.

To learn more, download the AIF Phase Two Application Guidelines.

Category I

Category I projects focus on developing large scale, innovative projects and it supports initiatives of schools, departments and/or Faculties to strategically embed one or more of the three institutional priorities (eLearning, EE and first-year experience) in undergraduate or graduate programs.  Category II offers incentive grants to full-time and contract faculty members who wish to redevelop their courses using technology enhanced learning or selected EE strategies. (More information is available on the AIF website.)

Category I projects have a maximum grant allocation of $100,000 and applicants can apply for up to two years of funding, with applicants indicating their need for a second year of funding. Importance will be given to proposals that demonstrate that they are sustainable and scalable. High priority will be given to grant requests from schools, departments or Faculties that have documented EE, eLearning or first-year experience plans.

Download the AIF Category I Application Form and the AIF Category I Project Plan and Budget Guideline.

Category II

Category II projects will receive up to $10,000 in funding and is open to all full time and contract faculty.

Category II funding is allocated as curricular innovation grants that will be available to faculty members who submit proposals for redesigned courses using eLearning and/or EE strategies. Grants for eLearning will support course redesign incorporating blended learning, fully online learning or the flipped classroom. Grants for EE will support the embedding of three EE strategies – community service learning, community based research and placements. Category II course redesign funding is for one year only.

Download the AIF Category II Curricular Innovation Grant Application.

All project submissions will first be reviewed, approved and ranked by the Office of the Faculty Dean before being submitted to the Office of the Provost. The submissions will be vetted by the AIF Steering Committee, chaired by the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning. The AIF Steering Committee will review all proposals and recommendations before they are submitted to York University’s Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton for final approval.

More about the Academic Innovation Fund

Created in 2010 and implemented from 2011 to 2014, the fund encouraged and supported innovation in teaching, learning and the student experience through the provision of seed grants, which were made available to faculty, staff and students.

The projects funded addressed three institutional priorities that are articulated in the University Strategic Mandate Agreement and the University Academic Plan (2010-15): eLearning, EE and the first-year experience. The success of these projects provided pan-University strategies and systems that have supported further growth and innovation in curriculum.

To learn more, email, or visit the AIF website.