Calling all innovators: Phase 4 of York University’s Academic Innovation Fund now open for submissions

Students gather around a computer

Do you have a great idea or concept for how to expand and advance York University’s priorities in eLearning, experiential education (EE), student success, internationalization or the scholarship of teaching and learning? Why not consider putting your ideas into action by developing a project submission for consideration as part of Phase Four of York University’s extraordinarily successful Academic Innovation Fund (AIF).

A total of $1.5 million will be available annually over each of the next three years for projects advancing York University’s priorities in eLearning, EE, student success, internationalization and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). A focus for the upcoming year is the embedding of strategies that explicitly advance the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals within curriculum in alignment with AIF priorities.

Will Gage
Will Gage

“I’m really excited for this year’s AIF call for applications. So many amazing and transformative academic innovations have evolved out of the AIF program over the years, including the award-winning C4 program,” says Will Gage, associate vice-president Teaching and Learning. “And in addition to inviting applications focused on technology-enhanced learning and EE, and other areas, I am excited to share a focus on emerging areas of curriculum design and delivery, the perpetual course model and the embedding of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in our programs.”

Details of the call for proposals can be found on the AIF website. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, by 4 p.m.

The 2021-22 call for proposals will prioritize the following areas:

  • embedding eLearning within undergraduate or graduate degree programs using blended or fully online strategies (see eLearning Common Language document), and/or
  • embedding experiential education within undergraduate or graduate degree programs through community focused and/or work focused EE strategies with a focus on virtual and remote EE approaches (see EE Common Language document), which might include or focus on entrepreneurialism in the curriculum, and/or
  • embedding student success and retention strategies within the curriculum in undergraduate degree programs in all years of study, and/or
  • embedding internationalization within undergraduate or graduate degree programs; internationalization of curriculum implies integrating an intercultural dimension into the learning and teaching process so that students can acquire an appreciation and understanding of international perspectives and competencies.

Some ways to achieve internationalization of the curriculum are:

  • by integrating intercultural or comparative focus with existing courses and/or degree programs;
  • designing summer abroad courses, programs, field schools and integrating international internships;
  • developing and implementing technological tools to support internationalization of the curriculum.

There are three categories of funding: Category I funding supports academic innovation projects; Category II funding supports course development projects; and Category III funding supports the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects.

All project submissions will be reviewed, approved and ranked by the Office of the Dean before being submitted to the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning. Faculties are encouraged to set their own application deadlines. The AIF Steering Committee, chaired by Gage, will review all proposals and provide recommendations to the Provost & Vice-President Academic, Lisa Philipps for final approval.

Details on Phase Four of the AIF along with submission development instructions and forms can be found on the AIF website.

More about the Academic Innovation Fund

The AIF was created in 2010 to encourage innovation in teaching, learning and the student experience. The purpose of the AIF is to support the implementation of projects to advance York University’s institutional priorities that are articulated in York University’s Academic Plan for 2020 to 2025, the Strategic Mandate Agreement and the Institutional Integrated Resource Plan. These priorities are eLearning, EE, student success and retention strategies within the curriculum, and internationalization. The AIF is intended to encourage innovation and change at York University by supporting new initiatives or those that extend current initiatives in a significant way.

The success of past AIF initiatives has allowed York University to build pan-institutional strategies and systems supporting the further growth and development of curricular innovation. Many students at York University are benefiting from these innovations. Information about past projects that received funding can be found on the AIF website.