Guidelines NAIT SoTL Grant Program
The purpose of the NAIT Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grants and Awards Program is to
support and encourage SoTL activities within the NAIT community.
The SoTL grant program allows eligible applicants to apply for a maximum of 50% of their annual
workload release time from teaching duties. In addition, the grant may include some material costs as
well as travel costs used to present the findings of the SoTL project at a conference or other scholarly
A SoTL Grant applicant must:
Be a NAIT employee with a permanent contract (no end date) AND
Not be on leave from the institute in the period of the proposed project AND
Have a minimum of two years’ experience working at an educational institution (either at NAIT
and/or at another educational institution)
To ensure sufficient time for your supervisor to find someone to backfill you during the time you are
released from other duties, you must apply by March 1 to receive release time in the next budget year.
If March 1 is a weekend day, the application deadline is the first business day after March 1. A budget
year at NAIT runs from July 1 to June 30; typically, SoTL projects start in September or January.
Applications submitted on March 1 will be reviewed by the first week of April. Letters to inform the
successful and unsuccessful applicants, as well as the supervisor(s) of the SoTL Grant winner(s), will be
sent out by the second week of April.
1 Guidelines NAIT SoTL Grant Program
WHAT QUALIFIES AS A SOTL PROJECT?
The SoTL Grant program awards time for SoTL Grant winners to conduct a SoTL project and provides
some funds for material costs and travel costs to present the findings at a conference or other scholarly
venue. Work that qualifies as a SoTL project:
Involves the study of a teaching and learning issue.
Informs teaching and/or decision making at NAIT.
Contributes to the world-wide body of knowledge on teaching and learning issues.
Examples of projects that qualify as SoTL Grant projects:
Studying the barriers faced by immigrant students in their participation in Canadian education.
Investigating the types of mistakes students typically make during shop or lab classes and what
the instructor can do to mitigate these.
Collecting information about students’ attitudes towards the use of technology in the
Exploring how numeracy issues in your class/program can best be assessed.
Developing and testing/evaluating new teaching methods—for instance, studying the effects of
students’ anonymous peer assessment on their ability to evaluate the quality of a text.
Evaluating the innovative delivery of new curriculum—for instance, studying the efficacy of a
Simulated Patients exercise to improve students’ ability to function well in an inter-professional
Evaluating the use of innovative educational technology in your own and/or another NAIT
An inventory of best practices across NAIT regarding a certain issue—for instance, collecting
information on best practices in teaching with cases—with the aim to improve teaching with
cases in one’s own classroom, program, and/or school.
Evaluating to what extent NAIT curriculum contains aspects of Education for Sustainability.
Studying the effects of current curriculum delivery methods may qualify. Such a study may have
an impact on future curriculum development.
WHAT DOES NOT QUALIFY AS A SOTL PROJECT?
The following activities generally do not qualify for a SoTL Grant as they are considered part of your
regular workload or have other funding sources:
Regular or major curriculum development projects generally do not qualify as they should be
supported by the school.
Research activities conducted with the aim to write a new textbook in your discipline is
generally not supported by a SoTL Grant.
2 Guidelines NAIT SoTL Grant Program
HOW TO APPLY?
The SoTL Grant application form is available on www.nait.ca/grant. The template includes instructions
as to what kind of information needs to be included in each section.
Applicants can use the application form as a template to describe the proposed project. Please
Send a digital copy of your completed application form to email@example.com
Send a copy signed by you and your supervisor to:
Department of Teaching and Academic Development
Both copies need to be received on or before the application deadline to be eligible for review by the
selection committee. NAIT employees can request an example of a successful SoTL Grant application by
sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants must have the support of their supervisor. (This is the person you report to. Instructors
typically report to the chair of their department.) Supervisors are requested to indicate their support by
signing the application form.
Anyone new to conducting a SoTL project might profit from the advice of someone with experience in
SoTL or other scholarly activities. In your template, you may indicate whom you have chosen to become
your advisor. Your advisor may indicate how he/she intends to support you in conducting the project.
If you feel you do not need an advisor, you may still profit from sharing some ideas with a colleague or
peer who may be able to provide a fresh perspective on your work. If you like, you can indicate in your
proposal who your critical friend is and how he/she intends to support you in conducting the project.
If you do not provide the name of an advisor or critical friend, you may still become the grant winner if
your proposal scores highest on the assessment criteria.
A group of NAIT employees may apply for the SoTL grant. The application must clearly outline what each
group member’s involvement will be and how much release time is requested per group member. The
maximum amount of release time requested should not exceed 50% of the annual workload of one
employee. For instance, two instructors may each apply for 25% release time from their annual
workload during which they will work together on the project. This amounts to a total application of
50% release time in a year.
3 Guidelines NAIT SoTL Grant Program
All completed submissions will be reviewed by a SoTL Grants Selection sub-committee according to the
SoTL Grant rubric. The decision will be forwarded to the Provost & Vice-President, Academic for
approval. Based on the available budget, one or more applications may be awarded funds.
SOTL GRANT SELECTION COMMITTEE
The SoTL Grant Selection Committee consists of five individuals, including:
The (co-)chair(s) of the SoTL Committee
The Director for Applied Research, novaNAIT
NAIT employees who have an affinity with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and/or are
experienced in SoTL, for whom membership is limited to a maximum of four years. The SoTL
Grant selection committee strives to have representation from each NAIT school.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SOTL GRANT WINNERS
SoTL Grant winners are expected to share the outcomes of their work and what they learned during the
project. The successful candidate will present the project during NAIT’s Teaching Success Symposium or
similar event and showcase the project on the SoTL website, and/or write an article for NASA’s Intercom
or NAITline, etc. If the winner’s paper is accepted for presentation at a conference, costs will be covered
by the SoTL Grant budget, provided the individual(s) included these costs in the proposal.
SoTL Grant winners must submit a progress report halfway through their project and a final accounting
and evaluation report. Templates for these reports will be provided. A report outlining the rationale,
methods, and findings resulting from the project is also due at the end of the grant period.
SoTL Grant applicants and winners are to respect the copyright of authors and scholars whose work they
refer to or use. For more information, please refer to Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/ . This website provides useful information about intellectual property and
answers questions most commonly asked by individuals. NAIT employees can find NAIT’s policy on
Intellectual Property at http://portal.nait.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_5358_0_0_18/IR 5
Policy Intellectual Property in Research.pdf
RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD
Research involving human subjects needs approval from NAIT’s Research Ethics Board (REB) before any
data can be collected. Although you do not have to seek approval from NAIT’s REB before applying for
the SoTL GRANT, you must incorporate time in your project plan to apply for REB approval. Consultants
from the Department of Teaching and Academic Development can help you seek Research Ethics
approval. Policies and application forms can be obtained from Dr. Randy Dreger, email@example.com.
4 Guidelines NAIT SoTL Grant Program