Dean’s Undergraduate Teaching Initiative

The Faculty of Science is pleased to announce a one-time commitment of $500,000 from the Dean of Science to support teaching and learning initiatives that will help transform the undergraduate educational experience in Science at the University of Waterloo.

The focus of this initiative is to provide funding for the implementation of innovative and effective evidence-based teaching approaches within the Faculty of Science – with the goal of enhancing undergraduate learning in Science.

Priority will be given to projects that meet as many of these criteria as possible:

  • promote evidence-based teaching practices in science education (e.g., active learning)
  • demonstrate potential to have a sustained, transformative impact on student learning, skills and attitude and/or to positively impact a large number of students
  • are collaborative initiatives involving multiple courses, instructors or departments, and
  • appropriate academic support units (e.g., CTE, CEL, ITMS, Library, Writing & Communication Centre, Student Success Office). Collaborators should be consulted in proposal-writing phase.
  • have the potential to impact students from multiple disciplines within Science
  • have the potential to be adapted for other contexts (e.g. different class sizes or other instructors, courses, or disciplines)
  • increase cost effectiveness while adding value

How much funding is available?

The total funding available is $500,000. There is no hard maximum amount for individual projects. The number of projects that receive funding will depend on the nature and scope of proposals received. The expectation is that funding be utilized during the 2019 calendar year (either Winter, Spring or Fall semester).

Who may apply?

We invite all interested Science faculty and teaching staff to coordinate with the Teaching Fellow in their department or school to formulate proposals for this funding.

What are the required elements of this application?

Applicants should discuss their ideas for projects with their Teaching Fellow before developing their proposals. Collaborating academic support units should be consulted during the proposal-writing phase. Proposals for funding are limited to a maximum of four pages (excluding citations or appendixes) and should include/discuss:

  • Value to Student Learning & Expected Student Impact – With reference to evidence-based best practices. What are the immediate and projected long-term impacts?
  • Project Outcomes – What issue/concern is the proposed project addressing and how? What specific products, processes, mechanisms (deliverables) will the project produce?
  • Statement of Sustainability – How will the project be sustained beyond the current one-time funding?
  • Evaluation Plan – How will you assess the impact and foster continuous improvement?
  • Timeline – Provide a timeline for implementation and identify milestones.
  • Budget – Provide a budget of anticipated expenses by general category (i.e., salaries, equipment supplies, etc.)

What can the funds be used for?

Funds may be used for expenses related to the implementation of innovative and effective evidence-based teaching approaches. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, short-term salaries (such as a project coordinator - please refer to the university’s compensation rates and policies) or teaching relief (perhaps to accommodate development and implementation time for contributing faculty members). Equipment and supplies are also eligible if they are directly applicable to the project.

NOTE: With respect to sustainability, if monies are to be earmarked for salaries there should be no expectation of ongoing salaries or staffing positions beyond the funding of this initiative. Examples of ineligible expenses include guest speakers, conference fees, and travel costs.

When is the application due?

Ideas for projects should be discussed with your Teaching Fellow by May 31, 2018. Final proposals must be submitted by e-mail to Lisa Weber by 4:30 p.m. on August 31, 2018.

How will funding decisions be made?

Final applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of: Mary Power (Centre for Teaching Excellence), Jason Thompson (Centre for Teaching Excellence), Aldo Caputo (Centre for Extended Learning),  and at least two additional faculty/teaching staff (to be determined). The two additional reviewers will not be applicants for funding. Bob Lemieux (Dean of Science), in consultation with Chairs/Directors, will make the final funding decisions.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Initial project proposals and subsequent proposal development should proceed through consultation with your Teaching Fellow in order to optimize the distribution of the funds by coordinating and linking various proposals where feasible. Teaching Fellows will also be able to provide examples of innovative and evidence-based teaching practices. Contact your Teaching Fellow for more information.