York’s Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) returns with another call for innovative and transformative ideas

image shows a class in the Curtis Lecture hall
Hundreds of students sit in a lecture hall and listen to an instructor at the podium

It’s back!

York University’s highly successful Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) returns for another great year with a new call for submissions for projects that advance innovation in teaching, learning and the student experience.

“Since the launch of the AIF in 2010, I have had the privilege of participating in this initiative as a project lead, as a reviewer, and as an observer of many innovative and transformative ideas that benefit our students. I look forward to seeing the new proposals that are developed in response to this year’s AIF call,” said Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, interim associate vice-president, teaching and learning.

The 2020-21 official call for proposals is now available. This new phase of AIF is seeking inspiring ideas for embedding technology-enhanced learning (otherwise known as eLearning) and experiential education into the curriculum. It is also looking for innovative strategies and projects that foster student success, retention and internationalization.

The call for proposals prioritizes the following areas:

  • embedding eLearning into undergraduate or graduate degree programs using blended or fully online strategies;
  • embedding experiential education in undergraduate or graduate degree programs through community focused and/or work focused experiential education strategies that could include a focus on entrepreneurialism in the curriculum;
  • embedding student success and retention strategies within the curriculum in undergraduate degree programs;
  • embedding internationalization within undergraduate or graduate degree programs. (Internationalization of curriculum implies integrating an intercultural dimension into learning and teaching so that students can acquire an appreciation and understanding of international perspectives and competencies.

There are two broad categories for proposals: The AIF Category I focuses on pan-University projects that support academic innovation. AIF Category II supports course development projects. A total of $1.5 million in funding will be available annually over each of the next two years (i.e. 2020-21 and 2021-22).

AIF Category I project proposals may request one or two years of funding support. Approval in principle will be given for Year Two funding requests and final approval will be based on the degree to which the project has met its agreed deliverables for Year One.

AIF Category II funding will provide individual grants to full-time and contract faculty members seeking to redevelop their courses using eLearning, selected experiential education strategies and/or international perspectives/opportunities. (All new course proposals must have received appropriate governance approval or approval in principle prior to submission.)

Individual applicants are required to submit their proposals to the Office of the Dean to be reviewed, approved and ranked. The Office of the Dean will then submit full package to the Office of AVP Teaching and Learning. Each Faculty may have its own internal deadline. Faculty members should consult the Office of the Dean for internal submission deadlines.

Ranked application packages from the Office of the Dean are to be submitted electronically to Office of the AVP Teaching and Learning (avptl@yorku.ca ) by 4 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020.   

More about York University’s Academic Innovation Fund (AIF)

AIF was created in 2010 to encourage innovation in teaching, learning and the student experience. The fund supports implementation of projects that advance York University’s institutional priorities that are laid out in the University Academic Plan, its Strategic Mandate Agreement with the provincial government, and the Institutional Integrated Resource Plan. AIF encourages innovation and change at York University by supporting new initiatives or those that extend current initiatives in significant new ways. From 2011 to 2019 more than $12 million in financial support was awarded to 205 unique projects, each of which has advanced innovation in teaching and learning, the student experience and internationalization.

To learn more about the fund and to watch a collection of videos highlighting successes from previously funded projects, visit the AIF website at http://aifprojects.yorku.ca/.

Project proposal documents, forms and criteria are also now available online at http://aifprojects.yorku.ca/.