LEF - Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund
Since 2006, the Learning Enhancement Fund (LEF) has provided funding to support and enrich the learning experience of our undergraduate students.
The goal of the LEF is to develop teaching and learning initiatives that are effective, efficient, scalable, and sustainable.
Proposals will be accepted from current University of Guelph faculty, librarians, and staff (including Guelph-Humber and Ridgetown).
The Learning Enhancement Fund awards successful projects up to a maximum of $50,000.
Proposals must be submitted electronically using the forms provided (below) to email@example.com. The application deadline is 5:00pm March 3rd, 2023.
The LEF competition considers proposals designed to support student academic success through projects that enhance student engagement, improve access and inclusion, and innovate the curriculum. We encourage evidence-based projects that:
- Enhance learning through technology
- Improve accessibility
- Decolonize and Indigenize curricula
- Incorporate practices to strengthen student mental health and well-being
- Integrate experiential learning
- Improve equity, diversity, and inclusivity in teaching
- Innovate curricula
- Improve engagement in remote teaching and learning
Collaborative proposals across departments and colleges are favourably considered and encouraged.
Proposals should include consideration of the following factors:
- A description of how the project aligns with the University of Guelph’s Strategic Framework and Teaching and Learning Plan.
- Inclusion of clear project outcomes and indications of how these will be assessed, and how project success will be ascertained.
- A description of the overall impact, including potential for increasing the scope.
- A rationale that is clearly grounded in evidence.
All applications are peer-reviewed by a committee facilitated through the Associate Vice-President (Academic), that is comprised of:
- The Associate Vice-President (Academic) or designate (Chair),
- A representative from the Office of Teaching and Learning,
- A faculty member from each College,
- The Central Student Association (CSA) Academic Commissioner (or designate).
Project Duration: LEF projects will normally be completed over a 16-month period (May 2023 – August 2024). Multi-year projects will only be assessed on the outcomes that will be achieved during the first 16 months. There are no guarantees that a project will be funded for an additional year.
Acceptable Expenses: Acceptable expenses include items such as personnel costs for a work-study student, undergraduate and graduate research assistants (URAs, GRAs) or technical assistance; purchases of software or other technology; consultation with specialists in The Office of Teaching and Learning or OpenED; production of print materials, etc.
The LEF should not be used as a replacement for or to offset salaries for staff engaging in activities that normally fall within the purview of their job description, or for stipends for graduate students or post-doctoral scholars. It is expected that these positions are fully funded by the home department / school. However, there may be specific activities (running a focus group, providing analytic support, etc.) that are limited in cost, that a graduate student may be hired to perform. LEF projects should be clearly separate in scope from dissertation or post-doctoral research.
The LEF is not intended to be used for construction projects. Purchases of physical infrastructure are evaluated carefully on a case-by-case basis. The purchase should clearly fit the pedagogy of the project and discipline. Previous successful projects that included this type of item also demonstrated the potential for significant and sustainable impact beyond the parameters of the project.
Travel / Conferences: As the purpose of the LEF is the application of innovative strategies in teaching and learning, the focus should be on the University of Guelph context. Travel and conference costs should be no more than 20% of the total budget, to a maximum of $1,000.00
Conflicts of Interest: Applicants should clearly indicate any conflicts of interest associated with the contracting or hiring of people or businesses identified in the application, or any other potential perceptions of conflict of interest that may be reasonably foreseen.
Reporting: The Principal Investigator is responsible for providing a status update (August 2024), a final report, maintaining an accurate record of disbursements, and complying with any audit requests from the University. Significant deviations from the funded, approved project goals or budget items must be discussed and approved by the Chair of the LEF committee.
Unspent Funds: Any remaining unspent LEF funds must be returned at the completion of the project.
Applicants will be notified of a decision in late April 2023.
Successful applicants commit to providing the following during and after the project timeframe:
- April 2023: upon notification of a successful application: An abstract of no more than 100 words for inclusion in announcements / marketing purposes.
- August 1st, 2024: A project status update describing progress towards projects goals, expenditures to date, and any requests for a project extension.
- A final report outlining how the project outcomes were achieved and the budget was spent (a template will be emailed).
- A presentation at the annual Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference.
- Attendance at the awards reception at the annual Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference.
In addition, we encourage all LEF applicants to complete the Principles of Belonging module from the Diversity and Human Rights office.
Examples of previously funded projects can be viewed here