Apply to the Teaching Scholars program

Program goals

  • Build faculty members' educational leadership capacities, especially those who do not hold formal leadership roles
  • Strengthen educational leadership capacities within and across faculties and create an interdisciplinary community of educational leaders
  • Implement strategic teaching and learning initiatives within and across disciplines
  • Create professional learning opportunities to engage and help other instructors strengthen their teaching and learning practice
  • Increase recognition of Teaching Scholars at local, national and international levels
  • Advance research, scholarly inquiry and knowledge related to teaching and learning

Teaching Scholars are eligible for up to $40,000 over four years.


The Teaching Scholars program is intended to support the development of educational leadership projects proposed by individuals who contribute to the learning experiences of University of Calgary students. Recognizing that everyone at the university makes these contributions, we invite applications that involve academic staff, academic librarians, archivists, curators, research assistants, teaching assistants, post-doctoral scholars, student service professionals and administrative staff. In addition, fundable projects may involve a range of context and activities, not just those that occur in the classroom.

However, there are specific guidelines about who can serve as Principal Grant Holder (PGH). See below for details.

Principal grant-holders (PGH) must be continuously employed by the University of Calgary for the duration of the proposed grant. Sessional instructors, graduate students, and others with appointments that don’t continuously span the full duration of the grant may be co-applicants but not PGHs. In addition, Research Services stipulates that only the following may serve as PGHs:

  • Academic Appointee - any employee of the University holding an academic appointment (Continuing, Limited Term, Contingent Term or Sessional) or a non-employee of the University holding a clinical or adjunct appointment
  • Manager, level M2 or above
  • For Qatar any employee is eligible, provided sponsor guidelines allow for this provision
  • Any individual may be the PGH on only one Teaching Scholars project at a time
  • A PGH on a Teaching Scholars project may participate as a collaborator on one or more concurrent Teaching and Learning Grants, but not as a PGH
  • An individual may receive Teaching Scholars funding only one time during their academic career

If a PGH terminates employment with the university, a new one may be proposed to the Teaching Scholars administration, or the grant may revert back to the fund.

While collaboration with colleagues from other institutions is valued, grant funds may only be used for expenses incurred by University of Calgary collaborators on a project.

Areas of focus

Accessibility, equity, inclusivity and diversity

Creating opportunities, increasing access and removing barriers for equity-deserving groups.

Experiential learning and undergraduate research

Developing and integrating new experiential and research opportunities across campus.

Indigenous Perspectives and Ways of Knowing

Learning on the land, engaging in the community, decolonizing teaching and learning and building parallel pathways.

Mental health and well-being

Supporting wellness and fostering resilience in our teaching and learning community.

Online and blended learning

Engaging technology to elevate teaching and learning, including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking

Fostering the development of new ideas and supporting the growth of entrepreneurs across campus.

Open educational resources

Creating and adapting content, tools and resources intended for sharing with others.


Development of future-focused innovation that is built to last.


Requirements for successfully funded Teaching Scholars are as follows:

Teaching and learning initiative

Complete their proposed teaching and learning initiative, including the implementation of professional learning opportunities related to their project to help other academic staff strengthen their teaching and learning practices.

Community of practice

Participation in an interdisciplinary community of practice from across the University of Calgary (hosted through the TI).

Progress report

Complete and disseminate a mid-term and final report outlining their progress and findings to their department, faculty and the TI. Portions of the mid-term and final reports will also be shared with the public to increase awareness about the impact of Scholars’ initiatives.

How to apply

The 2022 Teaching Scholars application process has been revised to make it easier to complete your application. The application form has been divided into sections with clear directions for expected content, and adjudication rubrics are provided for each section, along with an optional opportunity for internal peer review ahead of your submission. We understand these are challenging times for everyone, and we especially encourage applications in support of your creative approaches to the scholarship of teaching and learning in response to the global pandemic.

Complete application form

Review the rubric (listed below this section) and complete the application form linked here.

Download application form

Complete budget template

Be sure to review the budget guidelines within the template.

Download budget template

Collect nomination letter and complete signature form

Read more about nomination letter requirements below.

Download signature form

Submit your application

Upload the application, budget, nomination letter and signature form as 4 separate pdf documents. If you do not have an OJS account you will need to register for one.

Apply now

To view the application rubric, click here.

Nomination letter requirements

Your nomination letter must be signed by the Department Head(s) and Dean(s) and include the following:

  • Overview of applicant’s suitability for the program, including their educational leadership potential and ability to actively contribute to the enhancement of teaching and learning within the department, unit or faculty.
  • Overview of support for the proposed initiative, including how it will help meet the strategic priorities of the Faculty.
  • Overview of support for the applicant to complete the initiative and participate as a University of Calgary Teaching Scholar.
  • Support for in-kind contributions (funding, resources or assistance) to be provided by Faculty to support this initiative.
  • If funding will be used to support release time, this must include acknowledgement of how release funds will be used to support the applicant’s participation in the program.
  • Cross-institutional collaborations will require signatures from each Dean and Department Head.
Woman holding a pencil

Key application elements

Most Scholar projects will need ethics certification. In particular, applicants whose research plans involve studying students and/or students’ work are strongly encouraged to consult the TI’s Ethics in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Guide. Applicants are also advised to initiate the ethics certification process early (which involves creating an account with IRISS and completing the CORE tutorial, before an ethics application can be submitted). Projects that require ethics certification will not have funds released until the CFREB or CHREB has approved the project. From application to submission, this process can take 4 to 6 weeks or longer, so applicants are advised to initiate this process early on.

We invite applications on any issues relevant to teaching and learning, but we are especially interested in topics that are supported by an institutional strategy, plan, or framework. The University of Calgary has a variety of strategic initiatives, and the TI has several areas of focus. The areas of focus for this year are indicated on the Teaching Scholars webpage. We encourage potential applicants to read about the important campus initiatives below. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how their project aligns with elements of the relevant campus strategies. Some resources include:

The TI and the University of Calgary recognize that diversity benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We therefore require applicants to explain how they have considered principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in the design of their research and in the composition of their research teams. An excellent discussion of these principles in research can be found here. While this information was designed for applicants to federally funded Tri-Council programs, it applies equally to TI initiatives.

Including students as co-investigators in the scholarship of teaching and learning has been shown to have tremendous potential to increase the impact of our work. We strongly encourage applicants to consider how to engage students directly in the research process in order to bring their perspectives to bear on the work, and we ask applicants to explain their approach to student engagement in their application.

A key goal of the Teaching Scholars program is to support initiatives that will contribute to enhanced teaching and learning over the long term. Applicants will be asked to describe how the design of their project and their dissemination activities will allow the impact and outcomes of their project to be felt for learners beyond the funding period of the project.

Adjudication process

The TI uses a double-blind approach to adjudication. Scholar applications are evaluated by an Adjudication Committee which is comprised of:

Three faculty members

Appointed by the co-Chairs of the GFC’s Teaching and Learning Committee.

A student representative

Appointed by the co-Chairs of the GFC’s Teaching and Learning Committee.

A staff member

A staff member from the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

A neutral chair

An academic staff member who serves as the committee's neutral chair.

Successful applications may be partially funded or fully funded, depending on the Adjudication Committee's assessment of quality, the appropriateness of the budget items, and the amount of funds available.

Once all decisions are made, the TI Academic Lead for Teaching and Learning Research will prepare notification letters, which are then reviewed by the Vice Provost (Teaching and Learning).