The Excellence Fund for Learning and Teaching Innovation
The College’s Strategy 2015-20 encourages Imperial to act courageously and innovatively when pursuing new opportunities.
The President, Professor Alice Gast, has dedicated one million pounds per year to reward excellence, while promoting courageous and innovative ideas in research and teaching.
Half of this has established the new Excellence Fund for Learning and Teaching Innovation which will be used to support educational initiatives that will challenge our students to fulfil their potential. Those receiving funds will help to form a community of excellent and innovative teachers who will play a key role in promoting good practice and helping the College to deliver a world-class educational experience for all of our students. This funding is designed to give our staff the time and space to be bold, to take risks, to investigate and to learn.
Call for proposals
This annual call for proposals is open to members of staff at all levels with a role in teaching or supporting learning at Imperial.
In this first year of the scheme, proposals are invited in one (or both) of the following areas, in the context of our undergraduate or postgraduate taught programme delivery:
- Innovation in the use of technology enhanced learning
- Innovation in teaching delivery with an emphasis on assessment and feedback
I am proud to be launching this exciting new intiative. These grants will help give our excellent teachers the time to try new things and to innovate learning and teaching at the College."
Professor Simone Buitendijk
Applications should be forward looking, demonstrating the ways in which the approach will deliver innovation and excellence and can be adopted across a range of disciplines.
Applicants are invited to write a short proposal that outlines the innovation in education, as well as a plan to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the developed innovation. Successful innovations will be considered for College-wide use.
Applications must be co-ordinated, shortlisted and submitted by Academic Departments. Proposals may involve staff from more than one Department. There is no restriction on the number of proposals that a Department can be involved in, but each Department may submit no more than one application. Support service departments are encouraged to contribute to applications, but the lead department must be an Academic Department.
In the first year of the scheme funding is available to support five grants, paying up to £50k. Funds can be used to support salary, consumables, professional services fees, travel and subsistence and equipment fees. Successful projects may apply for further funding at the next round.
Where funds are used for personal salary support, this scheme will not be responsible for continued support after the initial funding. In addition, any costs around the ending of employment that result (directly or indirectly) in consequence of the scheme's limited fixed funding will need to be borne by the employing department/division.
How to apply
Applications must be co-ordinated, shortlisted and submitted by Departments and supported by the relevant Head of Department. Each Department may submit no more than one application.
The application is made up of eight sections:
Section 1. Applicant details
Section 2. The intended use and impact of the funding, including plan for evaluation
Section 3. The importance of the work to the College, ie the ways in which it will contribute to delivering an excellent educational experience for our students
Section 4. The ways in which the work will engage students in design, implementation and evaluation
Section 5. An indication of applicability in other departments/faculties and an outline of the ways in which the learning, if successful, might be disseminated across College
Section 6. A brief outline of the input required from the Educational Development Unit
Section 7. Summary of past achievements in learning and teaching, including a demonstration of an ongoing commitment to developing professional practice in teaching within higher education
Section 8. Statement of support from the Head of Department
Applications should be submitted by the Head of Department or their delegate by Friday 9 December. Outcomes will be communicated to the applicants and their Head of Department before 31 March 2017.
Review and selection of applications
A review group chaired by the Vice-Provost (Education) with the Vice-Deans for Education, Director of Educational Development, student representatives and external representation will review the proposals. Applicants may be invited to attend an interview comprised of both internal and external panel members.
Proposals will be considered using the following criteria:
- The intended use and impact of the funding, including the plan for evaluation
- Future impact on learning and teaching across a broad range of disciplines
- The educational rationale and the contextual and theoretical underpinning of both the proposed innovation and the plans for subsequent evaluation of impact
- Impact on our students’ educational experience
- Depth of student engagement in design, implementation and evaluation
- The difference the funding will make, including clear justification of why this funding scheme is appropriate
- Achievements in learning and teaching of applicants, including the demonstration of an ongoing commitment to developing professional practice in teaching within higher education
Information on how to access funds will be provided to successful applicants with their award letter.
Funding will be available to start immediately, but no later than 1 August 2017.
Successful applicants will be required to report their progress to the Vice-Provost (Education).
Staff receiving grants will be expected to engage actively with a broad range of communication channels in order to share their findings.
They will be invited to join a College-wide community of excellent and innovative teachers, led by the Vice-Provost (Education), which will play a key role in working to enhance learning and teaching practice.