ULRF SoTL Stream

University of Lethbridge Research Fund (ULRF)
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Stream






24 months from start of award

Application Deadline*

November 1, 2023, 4:00 p.m. MDT

Notice of Decision

February 2024

Start date

March 1, 2024

Teaching Centre Contact

Jill Payant (403-380-1856 or teachingcentre@uleth.ca)


* If a deadline falls on a weekend or a public holiday observed in Alberta, the deadline will be 4:00pm the MDT the next business day


The ULRF SoTL Stream is an internal source of funds directed toward the support of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and administered by the Teaching Centre. The objective of the ULRF SoTL Stream is to help researchers secure external funding, by providing seed money for new projects and to launch a program of research. The ULRF SoTL Stream is not intended to provide on-going support through repeated applications or to supplement an on-going program of research. 

There are three main objectives of SoTL:

  1. To improve student learning by finding better, more engaging ways to teach;
  2. To conduct scholarly examination of what takes place inside the classroom, asking questions and collecting evidence on the effectiveness of different methods of teaching; and
  3. To make the results of this analysis readily available to other scholars, inviting their comment and review, and contributing to knowledge on student learning.

This fund is focused specifically on teaching and learning at the post-secondary level at the University of Lethbridge.

The ULRF SoTL stream is open to all University of Lethbridge members, as defined in the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association Collective Agreement, including instructors and academic assistants who hold continuing appointments.

Applicants cannot apply to both the main ULRF and SoTL streams in the same competition year. Applicants may only be named on one ULRF SoTL application per competition. Applicants cannot hold more than one ULRF SoTL at a time. Applicants also cannot hold more than one award simultaneously from internal funding sources, such as the UL SSHRC Explore and Exchange, for the same project. Applicants are permitted, however, to hold a University of Lethbridge Travel Fund (ULTF) award concurrently with the ULRF SoTL.

  • August – September: Launch of current competition.
  • November 1th at 4:00pm: Application deadline.
  • November – December: Applications are reviewed by members of the Teaching Centre Advisory Council
  • January – February: Applications are ranked by the Teaching Centre Advisory Council and recommendations for funding are finalized. 
  • February: Notice of Decisions are distributed to applicants.
  • March 1: Start date of successful ULRF SoTL applications.

It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to adequately justify the expenditures included in the application. Funds can be requested in line with the following criteria:

  • A grant may be directed toward costs to hire research assistants (students at any level, Postdoctoral Fellows, Associates, etc.) in accordance with UofL policy;
  • A grant may be used to pay for travel directly related to research, including travel by research assistants in the performance of their assigned duties;
  • No more than 10% of the total project budget may be used for professional development activities;
  • No more than 10% of the total budget may be directed to dissemination of research results, including conference attendance. Use of ULRF SoTL awards for conference costs will be restricted to expenses that are not eligible under the University of Lethbridge Travel Fund (e.g. costs associated with publication or poster production for presentations);
  • Other items necessary for research may be considered for funding at the discretion of the Teaching Centre Advisory Council;
  • Normally, the purchase of journals, books, computers, software, and major equipment will not be considered; and
  • Research projects requesting retroactive funding prior to the application deadline or requesting funding for teaching development will not be considered.


How to Apply

Download Template and Ranking Form

Download Word Template  Download Ranking Form 

The template will provide you with all the details you will need to apply.

The ranking form will provide you a rubric, that will be used to review your application.


Submissions for the current competition are due by 4:00 p.m. on November 1, 2023. Late submissions will not be accepted and incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.

Complete applications require the following components:

NOTE: Do not complete the online form until your attachment is complete and ready to be uploaded, as you cannot save the online form for completion at a later date.

  • The upload of the following elements as a single attachment:
    • Abstract and Key Words (max 1 page);
    • Research Proposal (max 5 pages);
    • References (max 2 pages); 
    • CV (max 5 pages);
    • Budget with justification (max 2 pages); and
    • Reviewer information (optional) (max 1 page).
  • Research Assistants: Research assistant costs must include each employee’s title and type of work to be performed, the estimated number of hours/months to be worked, and the rate of pay per hour/month plus 12% benefits.
  • Contract Personnel: Costs associated with hiring external experts (i.e. designers, editors, technicians, etc.) are eligible, but must include cost breakdown such as hourly rate and anticipated scope of contract.
  • Materials and Supplies: Requests for materials and supplies must clearly indicate their purpose in the proposed activities.
  • Equipment:  A descriptive statement of each item of equipment must be included in the justification of the budget.  Applicants are reminded that all equipment purchased with research grants remains the property of the UofL in accordance with university policy. Applications for computer equipment will need to provide a particularly strong justification, establishing the specific need of the item for the proposed research.
  • Travel: Travel costs must include the purpose of the travel for each destination, mode of travel, cost of meals and lodging, and the number of days of the travel.
  • No more than 10% of the project budget may be used for professional development activities.
  • No more than 10% of the budget may be directed to dissemination of research results, including conference attendance.  Use of ULRF awards for conference costs will be restricted to expenses that are not eligible under the University of Lethbridge Travel Fund (e.g. costs associated with publication or poster production for presentations).
  1. Use of Funds: Expenditures may be made only for those cost elements identified in the application or as limited in the Request for New Fund Form. Special conditions may include human subject research or animal welfare approval, expenditure limitations, etc. Minor transfers of funds from one budget category to another are permitted. Expenditures included in the application budget may be eligible if incurred between the application deadline and the Notice of Decision of the ULRF SoTL Competition if prior approval is granted by the Teaching Centre. Major transfers or the use of funds for a previously unspecified expense or a new budget item requires approval by the Teaching Centre. 
  2. Term: The term of an award is twenty-four (24) months or less, in accordance with the applicant's request. Requests for extensions should be submitted to the Teaching Centre thirty (30) days prior to the end date.
  3. Reports: A final report on the work funded by the ULRF SoTL must be submitted within six months of the termination date. Subsequent applications can be considered only after receipt of satisfactory final reports and/or progress reports for previous or existing grants.
  4. Equipment & Library Acquisitions: Equipment or library materials acquired with grant funds remain as property of the UofL in accordance with university policy.
  5. Research Assistants: Research assistants employed with grant funds are not regular University employees and are not covered by the provisions of the collective agreement with support staff.

The following priorities apply to all applicants:

  • Proposals involving student participation are given priority. If student participation is not possible, it is strongly suggested that a brief justification be provided.
  • Grants are awarded on the basis of merit. The ULRF applications will be vetted by the Teaching Centre Advisory Council. Due to limits on funding availability, appeals will not be considered.


The ULRF awards will be allocated between Emerging and Established Scholars, according to tri-agency definitions. The number of each type of applicant to be funded will be considered annually based upon the number of applications, budget allocation to the competition, and the quality of submitted applications. 

Emerging Scholar: An emerging scholar is someone who has not yet had the opportunity to establish an extensive record of research achievement, but is in the process of building one. Applicants identifying themselves as an Emerging Scholar must demonstrate that they have not applied successfully as the Principal Investigator or Project Director for a research grant offered through Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 

In addition, Emerging Scholars must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Have completed their highest degree no more than six years before the competition deadline (the Committee will consider only the date of completion of the first doctorate).
  2. Have held a tenured or tenure-track university appointment for less than six years.
  3. Have held a university appointment, but never a tenure-track position (in the case of institutions that offer tenure-track positions).
  4. Have had their careers significantly interrupted or delayed for health or family reasons within the past six years.

Established scholar: Someone who has established—or who, since the completion of his or her highest degree, has had the opportunity to establish—a record of research achievement.

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Assessment of the Application (pass/fail): This is an overall rating for the proposal package.
  2. Quality and Originality of Proposal (40%) including the clarity of purpose/objectives; potential significance of proposed research; suitability of research methods/strategies; relationship/importance to research program; and suitability of proposed timetable.
  3. Research/Scholarly/Creative Achievements of Applicant (40%) including significance of previous work and level of research activity, taking into account the scholar's stage of career.
  4. Justification of Proposed Budget (20%).  It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to provide adequate information and justification for activities and expenditures included in the application package. 

Please refer to the ULRF SoTL Fund 2022-2023 scoring sheet for the criteria used to evaluate applications.

The applications will be funded based on the ranking and the budget allotment for that funding year. It is expected that the number of fundable applications will exceed the amount of available funds for each competition. 

For the attachment, use font size of 12 point, black type. Maximum of six lines per inch. No condensed/narrow fonts, type, or spacing. Insert a margin of 2 cm (3/4 inch) - minimum - around the page.

The application should be clear and concise and justify the use of all funding and provide all requested information.

  1. Abstract and Key Words (max 1 page):  Provide a succinct project description written so that a non-expert in the field of study can understand the proposed research, the scope and objectives of the project. Also outline the potential significance of the study to the University, discipline, researcher, students, and/or society at large. Key words: At the end of your Abstract, provide a list of up to 10 key words which describe your research project. These words can include: themes; areas of research or creative activity; objectives; methods/approaches; study populations/experimental systems; and outcomes, among others. The Key Words will assist the Multidisciplinary Review Committee in gauging their level of expertise in reviewing your proposal. 
  2. Research Proposal (max 5 pages): Organize the detailed narrative under the following headlines:
    • Background: Define the problem clearly and concisely, providing any background information essential to understanding the importance of the work. 
    • Theoretical Framework, Methodology and Proposed Outcomes: Outline the theoretical framework governing the work proposed, the methodologies to be undertaken and the proposed outcomes. For collaborative applications with multiple applicants, indicate the unique role that each applicant brings to ensuring the proposed outcomes. Describe how the anticipated outcomes will serve to contribute to each applicant’s program of research. Indicate if the proposed research falls in a new or existing research program.
    • Significance and Dissemination: Include statements of the potential significance, future use, relevance, or application of the results. Explain how the proposed project is situated within the PI’s larger research plan, including plans to continue the research with external funding. Explain how the results will be disseminated.
  3. References (max 2 pages): Include references, where appropriate, to similar or related work. Indicate if the field is largely untouched.
  4. Publications and Prior Research (max 5 pages): Provide an Academic CV (any format) including only recent (last six years) and/or relevant publications, and prior research activity. An applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered an Emerging Scholar if not obvious from the CV documents and provide justification. 
  5. Budget and Justification (max 2 pages): Applicants must provide a breakdown of the expenses equalling the total amount requested. Applicants must provide information on other sources of funding for the project if the proposed costs exceed the maximum provided by this fund. Provide a concise justification for each budget item under the headlines below, where applicable. 

Reviewer Information (optional) (max 1 page): If desired, applicants can include an additional page with the names of suggested (internal) reviewers, and any reviewers who should be excluded due to C


Submit Application

You only need to upload your completed word template document.​ Once you have completed the application form, you can upload the completed form using the button below.

Submit your completed application here