posted on Sept. 24: New learning innovation grants foster collaboration, self-directed learning


The Centre for Leadership in Learning (CLL) has announced to Faculty deans and department chairs the availability of $1,000,000 in new learning innovation grants.

Supported by the Imperial Oil Charitable Foundation, these grants are designed to allow academic departments to make changes in their undergraduate programs that are both substantial and consistent with the goals and directions outlined in McMaster's academic plan.

(See an earlier story, Imperial Oil partnership means new opportunities for undergraduate
, for information about the Imperial Oil Charitable Foundation gift to support these grants.)

The CLL will award three to four grants in each of the next four or five years. According to Dale Roy, CLL's executive director, “Each learning innovation grant will be for a period of three years and will support projects with a total budget of approximately $100,000. Successful
applications will show evidence of departmental and Faculty commitment to the project in the form of financial or in-kind support, typically for half of the project's total budget.”

In awarding the grants, priority will be given to applications that propose changes in how rather than what students learn. In addition, preference will be given to proposals that foster or enhance collaboration among students, that take a rigorous and scholarly approach to curriculum change and that will increase self-directed learning by students.

The CLL's academic director, Dick Day, was delighted at the announcement.

“It's nice to be able to encourage departments with more than words,” said Day. “Academic departments will finally have access to the kinds of resources they need to bring about significant change in their undergraduate programs.”

The deadline for submitting letters of intent to apply for this year's round of learning innovation grants is Oct. 15. More detailed information on the learning innovation grants, including instructions for applying, can be found on the CLL Web site at

Interested departments are also encouraged to call Roy at ext. 24540 at the CLL for guidance and assistance in the design of their projects and the preparation of grant applications.