Application & Eligibility

The Learning Education Advancement Fund (LEAF) program operates through a two-step application process for all grants, both Impact and Seed Streams:

  1. Submission of an Expression of Interest, followed by a consultation with the members of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education;
  2. Submission of a full application package.

Eligibility

Proposals will be accepted from U of T faculty, staff and librarians with continuing appointments in the first-entry undergraduate divisions listed below.

  • Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
  • Faculty of Music
  • John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
  • University of Toronto Mississauga
  • University of Toronto Scarborough

Faculty, staff and librarians with continuing appointments in other divisions may partner on an application with a member with continuing status from an eligible division, so long as the primary beneficiary of the proposal are first-entry undergraduate students.

Impact Grant Application Process

Impact grants are designed to support large-scale projects with the potential to significantly enhance core elements of undergraduate education within or across academic programs and divisions at the University. The project must have a well-defined connection to the curriculum of an academic program. Impact grant projects range from projects designed to scale, sustain and institutionalize high-impact teaching and assessment innovations that have already experienced successful experimentation in their local contexts, to the development of new mechanisms and tools for proliferating innovative pedagogical practices. Impact grants range from $10,000 to $100,000 per year for up to 3 years.

Impact Grants are accepted once a year in the fall cycle. Here is a breakdown of the LEAF Impact application process:

  1. Review the following guidelines to ensure applicant eligibility and project alignment with the LEAF program’s goals, priorities and criteria:
    1. About LEAF and LEAF priorities
    2. Eligibility requirements on this page
    3. Adjudication and evaluation
  2. Interested applicants complete an Expression of Interest form. Expressions of Interest are accepted on a rolling basis from June to August 31, 2022.
  3. Shortly after the Expression of Interest has been completed and submitted, the OVPIUE will invite the PI(s) to attend a consultation.
    1. Before advancing to the full applicants, PI(s) need to contact their Dean’s Offices to establish eligibility and determine divisional processes.
  4. Following the consultation, the OVPIUE will share your Expression of Interest and feedback gathered from the consultation with your 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.
  5. The OVPIUE will then share the feedback with PI(s), and select applicants will be encouraged to submit their full LEAF proposal by November 8, 2022.
  6. Final applications require letters of endorsement from a Dean or Dean’s designate. In departmentalized faculties, letters are also required from the academic program head.

LEAF applicants will learn the results on their proposed projects in January 2023.

A draft template of the full Impact application form is available (PDF). After submitting a LEAF Expression of Interest and consulting with members of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, eligible applicants will be sent the link to the full e-application. The application process is conducted entirely online using a submission form shared with applicants after their consultation with the OVPIUE. No hard-copy or email submissions will be accepted:

All proposals 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 Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • It is recommended and encouraged that LEAF recipients use existing University of Toronto resources where appropriate such as hiring Work Study students, technical support services and professional services.
  • Identifying divisional in-kind support prior to LEAF submission will strengthen applications. 
  • LEAF funds may not be used for any of the following:
    • Pay faculty salaries.
    • Offset travel costs to conferences at which you are presenting your work.
    • Basic computer and related equipment expenses, nor will such items be considered as matching funds. However, specialized equipment that is specifically related to the project may be eligible, so long as a justification for inclusion is contained in the application.
    • Costs associated with project dissemination.
    • Costs connected to hosting special events or showcases.
  • The most valuable resources that LEAF can support is time. We encourage applicants to budget for time by including line items for items including: 
    • Project coordinator and/or project management costs. 
    • Research assistants, teaching assistants and Work Study students who can support projects.

Budget Samples

We have included a number of exemplar budgets to applicants identifying best practices for budget submission. We also want to flag that these are real examples and, as such, are not perfect. Please use these as a template for developing ideas.

Seed Grant Application Process

Seed grants are intended to encourage experimentation at the local level, either within a course or a set of courses, as a means of fostering small-scale innovations or pilots with the potential for future scalability. The project must have a well-defined connection to the curriculum of an academic program. Seed grant projects should hold significant promise for scalability within their home unit or transferability into other undergraduate learning contexts. Seed grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 per year for up to 3 years.

  1. Review the following guidelines to ensure applicant eligibility and project alignment with the LEAF program’s goals, priorities and criteria:
    1. About LEAF and LEAF priorities
    2. Eligibility requirements on this page
    3. Adjudication and evaluation
  2. Interested applicants complete an Expression of Interest form.
    1. Fall Cycle: Expressions of Interest accepted on a rolling basis from June to August 31, 2022
    2. Winter Cycle: Expressions of Interest accepted for LEAF submission from January to March 31, 2023.
  3. Shortly after the Expression of Interest has been completed and submitted, the OVPIUE will invite the PI(s) to attend a consultation.
    1. Before advancing to the full applicants, PI(s) need to contact their Dean’s Offices to establish eligibility and determine divisional processes.
  4. Following the consultation, the OVPIUE will share your Expression of Interest and feedback gathered from the consultation with your 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.
  5. The OVPIUE will then share the feedback with PI(s), and select applicants will be encouraged to submit their full LEAF proposal.
    1. Fall Cycle: Full applications due by November 8, 2022.
    2. Winter Cycle: Full applications due by April 11, 2023.
  6. Final applications require letters of endorsement from a Dean or Dean’s designate. In departmentalized faculties, letters are also required from the academic program head.

The results from the LEAF fall cycle will be shared in January 2023, and the winter cycle in May 2023.

A draft template of the full Seed Submission application form is available (PDF). After submitting a LEAF Expression of Interest and consulting with members of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, eligible applicants will be sent the link to the full e-application. The application process is conducted entirely online using a submission form shared with applicants after their consultation with the OVPIUE. No hard-copy or email submissions will be accepted:

All proposals 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 Guidelines

  • It is recommended and encouraged that LEAF recipients use existing University of Toronto resources where appropriate such as student participation, technical support services and professional services.
  • Identifying divisional in-kind support prior to LEAF submission will strengthen applications.
  • LEAF funds may not be used for any of the following:
    • Pay faculty salaries.
    • Offset travel costs to conferences at which you are presenting your work.
    • Basic computer and related equipment expenses, nor will such items be considered as matching funds. However, specialized equipment that is specifically related to the project may be eligible, so long as a justification for inclusion is contained in the application.
    • Costs associated with project dissemination.
    • Costs connected to hosting special events or showcases.
  • The most valuable resources that LEAF can support is time. We encourage applicants to budget for time by including line items for items including:
    • Project coordinator and/or project management costs.
    • Research assistants, teaching assistants and Work Study students who can support projects.

Budget Samples

We have included an exemplar budget to help applicants in identifying best practices for budget submission. We also want to flag that this is a real example and, as such, is not perfect. Please use this example as a template for developing ideas.