Funding for SoTL Research
There are many options on how to identify and apply for funding to support your Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects. Finding the right option for you depends on your needs and your intentions for the grant. For example, you could apply for a large grant to cover all the various expenses associated with a project but you could also apply for several smaller grants, with each covering a particular portion or aspect of a project.
The key questions to consider when assessing whether to apply for a grant include:
- What kind of funding do you need to move your project forward? (funding for course release, research or data gathering/analysis, specialized equipment, technology (software/hardware), professional development, etc.)
- What is the purpose for the funding? (are you getting money, fellowship, salary, travel, etc.)
- Who are your colleagues working in a similar area that you can connect with at U of T or at another institution?
- What opportunities are available for collaboration? (pooling funding from across institutions can be effective)
- Who can you reach out to for support locally, institutionally and beyond? (leveraging local resources, such as, for instance, educational technology support, can alleviate costs of acquiring equipment, software/hardware, etc.).
Explore the list below for various small and large grants that you could leverage to support your SoTL project.
Department Level Grants
In some instances, accessing smaller grants that are department specific may meet your needs. Grants at this level may be small, but they can contribute to your SoTL work in many ways such as:
- covering the cost of a work-study student. The Department only needs to pay 30% of the hourly cost for the student and the university will cover the remaining 70%.
- covering the cost of software/hardware you need for your project or contributing to the cost of equipment, especially if other members of a Department could access these resources.
- contributing to professional development costs, such as professional development or specialized training, or travel money for a SoTL event (e.g., conference).
Division/Faculty Level Grants
Some divisions at the University of Toronto offer funding opportunities to assist you with a larger scale project such as a course redesign, the introduction of new technology into a course, and/or developing an online course. Consider connecting with colleagues in those divisions who are interested in the same research as this is a strategy that can promote the pooling of resources and create beneficial cross-disciplinary collaborations:
- Faculty of Arts & Science:
- Teaching Stream Pedagogical Grants (TSPG): Full-time continuing appointed faculty: this grant encourages innovation and leadership in teaching by individuals or collaborative teams of faculty
- Centre for Teaching and Learning, UTSC
- Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM
U of T Wide Grants
There are several institutional sources of funding to support faculty member’s teaching related projects:
- Learning and Education Advancement Fund (LEAF) Seed Grants and Impact Grants
- Instructional Technology Initiatives Fund (ITIF) Funding Stream or Staff Support Stream
- The International Student Experience Fund (ISEF)
- Teaching Fellows: Fellows are eligible for up to two course releases, 280 hours of graduate student Research Assistance as well as $5000 for professional development. The course release opportunity may be more beneficial for your SoTL project than monetary funding.
External Sources of Funding
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
- TransCanada Collaborative SoTL Inquiry Grant at Mount Royal University
- eCampus Ontario
- Higher Education Quality Control Council of Ontario
Did you know U of T has a grants database for faculty? Search using the keyword “teaching”: