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05 Apr

SPPG Launches New Teaching Innovation Fund

April 5, 2018 | By |

The Fund will support a Teaching Innovation Award and Teaching Innovation Grants. Nominations for the Teaching Award are due April 20.

A new Teaching Innovation Fund has been established to demonstrate the School’s commitment to teaching excellence, acknowledge and support pedagogical innovation, and encourage instructors to experiment with new teaching formats, methods, and approaches.

The Fund will support two related initiatives:

1. Teaching Innovation Award

The Teaching Innovation Award, valued at $500, is intended to celebrate and recognize an outstanding faculty member (or team) teaching in the MPP program whose novel or creative teaching strategies demonstrably enhance student learning. These may include, but are not limited to, innovative:

    • assignments and assessment tools
    • uses of instructional technology
    • techniques to stimulate student participation and discussion
    • approaches to building an inclusive learning environment


The award is open to all SPPG faculty and instructors, whether full- or part-time (including term-limited and sessional appointments), who taught at least one course in the MPP or undergraduate program during the 2017-18 academic year. Instructors may be nominated as a team if the relevant course/section was co-taught or co-developed by more than one instructor.

Nomination Process

Any current faculty member or student may submit a nomination (self-nominations are welcome). Nominations consist of a letter (max. 500 words) that:

    • Identifies the nominated faculty member and relevant course(s)
    • Describes the nature and demonstrated impact of the nominee’s teaching innovation
    • Illustrates the potential for similar methods to be adopted, or adapted, in other courses and educational programming

Nominations are due Friday, April 20th, 2018, and should be submitted by email to Professor Gabriel Eidelman ( Submissions may include relevant supporting materials (e.g., assignment descriptions, links to online resource, sample documents, etc.).

Selection Process

The prize will be awarded by a three-person selection committee, comprised of (1) Professor Eidelman, Associate Director for Teaching Innovation, (2) Diane Horton, Acting Director of the university’s Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, and (3) a representative from the SPPG Student Association, according to the following selection criteria:

    • Originality and/or creativity of instructional approach
    • Demonstrated impact on student learning
    • Potential applications in other elements of the MPP or undergraduate program

The award winner(s) will be announced in late spring, and will be asked to present their innovations at a future meeting of the faculty Teaching Forum.

2. Teaching Innovation Grants 

The Teaching Innovation Grant program offers SPPG faculty a financial incentive to adopt alternative instructional approaches and course formats. Individual grants provide up to $1,000 to cover expenses incurred by faculty who wish to try new teaching methods (e.g., web-enhanced teaching tools), offer students unique learning experiences (e.g., field trips), or participate in relevant faculty development opportunities (e.g., teaching conferences and training workshops) to acquire new pedagogical skills.


Any SPPG instructor scheduled to teach in 2018-19, in either the MPP or undergraduate program, is invited to apply.

Application Process

Applications should include a brief description of how funds will be used, including a budget overview and outline of expected benefits to students (max. 2 pages).

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis by the Director in consultation with the Associate Director for Teaching Innovation. Please submit application materials by email to Professor Eidelman (