UN SDGs essential to 2022 Academic Innovation Fund grant applications

Image shows a lightbulb against a blackboard with chalk drawings of idea bubbles

It’s time once again for faculty to put on their innovative thinking caps and turn their creative teaching and learning ideas into Academic Innovation Fund proposals.

Lisa Philipps
Lisa Philipps

The Academic Innovation Fund, created in 2010, supports implementation of projects that advance York University’s institutional priorities outlined in the University Academic Plan, Strategic Mandate Agreement and the Institutional Integrated Resource Plan.

Provost Lisa Philipps encourages faculty and staff to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to see their innovative ideas come to life. “The AIF sends an important signal to faculty that at York we have an aspirational culture around teaching and we value the effort and creativity of our faculty in developing new, high-quality learning experiences for our students,” she told YFile earlier this year.

This year, all AIF applicants are encouraged to embed strategies that explicitly advance the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals within curriculum in keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability and as described in our UAP.

Will Gage
Will Gage

“The York University Academic Plan 2020-2025: Building a Better Future promises that the York community ‘will challenge ourselves as a University to deepen our collective contributions to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’ and the AIF is a perfect vehicle for turning that challenge into action,” said Will Gage, associate vice-president, teaching and learning.

There are three categories of funding available to AIF applicants: Category I funding supports larger-scale academic innovation projects; Category II funding supports course development projects, including perpetual course model initiatives; and Category III funding supports the scholarship of teaching and learning projects. In addition, applicants are encouraged to focus on the themes of:

  • eLearning within undergraduate or graduate degree programs using blended or fully online strategies (see eLearning Common Language document), and/or
  • experiential education (EE) 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
  • student success and retention strategies within the curriculum in undergraduate degree programs in all years of study, and/or
  • 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.

AIF proposals should be submitted to the Office of the Dean, where they will be reviewed, approved and ranked. Faculties are encouraged to set internal application deadlines that will enable the proposals to be provided to the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning by email at avptl@yorku.ca by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

The AIF Steering Committee, chaired by Gage, will review all proposals and provide recommendations to the Provost & Vice-President Academic for final approval.

“The AIF is invaluable in helping faculty members advance their priorities, putting a focus on technology-enhanced learning, and creating champions of teaching and learning among the faculty, who then serve as role models for their colleagues,” said Gage. “This coming year, as we factor in the SDGs, AIF projects will also be making a significant contribution to advancing the University’s commitment to sustainability.”

Visit the AIF website for additional information and application package.