LEF – Frequently Asked Questions

LEF projects leverage existing evidence in the application of innovative teaching and assessment strategies, or other innovations to improve student academic success. While a measure of the impact of the project is important, the primary intention is not research. AVPA SoTL grant projects are inquiry-focused. Projects that are awarded the AVPA SoTL grant involve a scholarly examination of a meaningful question about student learning and associated activities. These projects gather and analyze evidence of factors that affect the teaching & learning experience.

  • Uses existing evidence
  • Demonstrates how
  • Application-focused
  • Contributes to student academic success
  • Generates new knowledge
  • Explains why
  • Inquiry-focused
  • Contributes to our understanding

As the purpose of the LEF is the application of innovative strategies in teaching and learning, the focus of the LEF 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.

The LEF award should not be used as a replacement for normal departmental financial support for a Graduate Student’s program. However, there may be specific activities (like running a focus group, conducting analyses, etc.) that are limited in cost, for which a Graduate Student may be hired to perform. The project should be clearly separate in scope from their dissertation research.

A Co-Investigator should make a significant intellectual contribution to the project. They would normally be co-authors on any publications or presentations. A Collaborator can be a person, a department, or a unit that has agreed to provide resources such as access to equipment, software, data, etc. that are needed to support the project.

Applications from those in temporary positions should include the department Chair / School Director as Co-Investigator or Collaborator to ensure continuity with account access and reporting.

A project can have any number of Co-Investigators. If the Application Form does not have sufficient space to list your Co-Investigators, please append a separate list. Remember to outline each Co-investigator’s significant intellectual contribution that they are making to the project.

The letters of support allow the evaluation committee to understand what is being contributed by the Collaborator, and make it transparent that the Collaborator has agreed to the proposed activities and contributions.

Yes, your Chair / Director / Dean should be aware of the project. Similarly, Co-Investigators should be aware of and in agreement with their stated roles, activities, and contributions. If you cannot acquire signatures on the application form, an email included with your application is accepted.

LEF projects will normally be completed over a 16-month period (May 2021 – August 2022).

If you are proposing a multi-year project, the project should have clear, discrete outcomes for the first year. The project will only be evaluated on the outcomes that will be achieved during the first year. Project renewal requests are considered, but there are no guarantees that a project will be funded for an additional year.

Quotes are not required for your budget prior to submission, but if you have already obtained quotes, they can be included as supplementary files.

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.

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 conflicts of interest that may be reasonably perceived.

No, any remaining unspent LEF funds must be returned at the completion of the project.

The Office of Teaching and Learning is happy to discuss any questions regarding the goals of the Learning Enhancement Fund as it relates to your proposal, or clarification of submission details, however we cannot review proposals prior to submission.

Please contact us at otl@uoguelph.ca.