LEAF Evaluation Criteria & Application Process

The following pages are designed to support you throughout the LEAF process:

  1. Eligibility and Funding Streams
  2. Evaluation Criteria and Application Processes (below)
  3. Teaching Grant Resources 
  4. Submit an Expression of Interest

LEAF Selection

The Learning and Education Advancement Fund (LEAF) Selection Committee is comprised of faculty who have significant experience in implementing and evaluating teaching and learning projects. The Selection Committee consists of tenure- and teaching-stream faculty members:

  • Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education (Committee Chair).
  • Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation.
  • Four Faculty representatives, two of which shall be members of the President’s Teaching Academy.

Evaluation Criteria

The LEAF Selection Committee evaluates Seed and Impact LEAF project proposals according to the following criteria.

Criteria for Seed and Impact Grants

LEAF supports projects that align with the priorities of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education:

Experiential Learning

Expand the availability of learning opportunities in authentic and relevant contexts. This can come in the form of work-integrated learning, community-engaged learning, research opportunities, placements, field courses, unique project-based learning, etc.

Curriculum Development

Support the development, renewal or redesign of a whole program, a collection of courses (e.g. all second-year courses) or the whole academic unit. Initiatives might involve investigating the development of specific student skills within a program (e.g., critical thinking or communication), incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing across the curriculum, or other cross-curricular ideas.

Digital Learning

Develop, expand and assess the increasing online and virtual experiences that have become an increasingly important component of the postsecondary environment. LEAF supports the development, funding and assessment of online learning in partnership with both institutional offices and divisions.

Academic Analytics or Technology

Support the design, implementation and/or assessment of technologically enhanced solutions that continue to build a robust and integrated data and technology ecosystem across the University.

The goal of the LEAF program is to provide students with greater exposure to high-impact teaching practices that accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Support and enhance the transfer of learning through active learning opportunities, both within and beyond traditional educational settings.
  • Provide students with a robust and clear understanding of their learning progress, particularly through the enhancement of assessment practices and transparency regarding learning outcomes.
  • Equip students with the skills necessary to become successful independent learners.
  • Support the University’s global mission to enhance the learning experience for all undergraduate students.
  • Encourage collaborations among instructors and staff across academic disciplines, units and divisions with the purpose of creating exceptional learning experiences for undergraduate students.
  • Support the creation or renewal of academic program curriculum.

The project’s connection to academic curriculum must further enhance student academic learning experiences and/or teaching capabilities at the University of Toronto.

The project must include a clear assessment and evaluation mechanism. The assessment methodology should demonstrate a well-defined relationship between project outcomes, activities and the selected assessment tools. The OVPIUE has created a resource to help support you in creating your LEAF assessment methodology.

The project’s idea or concept should be transferable and/or scalable to other units. The application should clearly and specifically articulate how the project has the potential to be used by other units and/or have wide application within a division.

The application clearly presents a budget that is appropriately aligned with the project and articulates a strong justification for each expense. Yearly expenses continue to build off existing and created resources.

Typically, projects funded through other institutional grants, such as Global Classrooms funding, will not be eligible for LEAF. Contact vp.iue@utoronto.ca if you have questions about your eligibility.

All applications will require a detailed budget with the following sections:

  1. A spreadsheet of expected expenses and funding sources (including in-kind sources).
  2. A budget justification for each item in the spreadsheet (250 words).
  3. A description of existing University resources leveraged in support of the project (100 words)

General Budget Guidelines

The OVPIUE has created Budget Guidelines to help support you in creating your LEAF budget, including recommendations for what can and cannot be funded through the LEAF program.

Budget Samples

We have included sample budgets to help applicants identify best practices for budget submission. These are real examples and, as such, are not perfect. Please use these as samples for developing ideas.

The project should have clear and specific potential for long-term sustainability beyond the LEAF funding period.

The project proposal should identify planned deliverables based on specific timelines and resources and the size of the grant (e.g., Seed vs. Impact).

Additional Criteria for Impact Grants

The project should involve more than one person, unit and / or bring together a broader cross-section of stakeholders.

The proposal should situate the project within the relevant literature and provide a clear conceptual framework based on and grounded through relevant literature. The project should map out future scholarly directions made available through LEAF.

Application Process

1. Confirm your eligibility for LEAF.Review the LEAF Eligibility Requirements.

Review the LEAF Evaluation Criteria for your project’s eligibility.
2. Complete a LEAF Expression of Interest (EoI).In the fall cycle, Seed and Impact grant EoIs are accepted on a rolling basis from June to September 7.

In the winter cycle, Seed grant EoIs are accepted from January to February 28.
3. Attend a consultation with the OVPIUE.Within two weeks of receiving an EoI, a member of the OVPIUE will invite the project lead(s) to attend a consultation to learn more about the project and discuss ways to help strengthen the project proposal.

Before advancing to the full application, project lead(s) need to contact their Dean’s Offices to establish eligibility and determine divisional processes.
4. Receive feedback on your EoI.Following the consultation, the OVPIUE will share the EoI and feedback gathered from the consultation with your applicable Dean’s Office. This is to ensure divisional awareness and support of potential projects. In addition, the Dean’s Office will be invited to share any pertinent feedback and resources.

The OVPIUE will then share all feedback with project lead(s). At this stage you will be informed if your project is eligible to proceed and you will be given a link to the full, online LEAF application.
5. Submit full application.With the online application, please note you will be unable to save your work on the application and then return to work on it at a later time. You might consider drafting the application in a word document. A draft template of the full application form is available for download at the bottom of this table; however, no hard-copy or email submissions will be accepted.

Within the submitted application, you will be required to upload 1) a letter of endorsement from a Dean or Dean’s designate, 2) a letter of endorsement from your academic program head / chair (in departmentalized faculties) and 3) a budget for your project, using the LEAF budget template.

In the fall cycle, Seed and Impact grant applications are due by November 7.

In the winter cycle, Seed grant applications are due by April 11.
6. Receive confirmation.After the Selection Committee evaluates all proposals, applicants will receive a letter with the results of their LEAF application. You may also be asked to meet with members of the OVPIUE to discuss the Committee’s feedback.

In the fall cycle, Seed and Impact grant applicants will receive their letter in January.

In the winter cycle, Seed grant applicants will receive their letter in May.
7. Receive funding.For projects that are approved, funding for year 1 will be disseminated in May, for both fall and winter cycles. If you are successful with your application and require funding early, please reach out to the OVPIUE to further discuss.

For more resources to support your LEAF application, visit Teaching Awards & Grants Resources.

LEAF Timeline


LEAF is sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education. For more details about LEAF, please contact vp.iue@utoronto.ca.