MRU Institute for SoTL

Update – 2017 TransCanada Collaborative SoTL Inquiry Grants

Applications for the 2017 TransCanada Collaborative SoTL Inquiry Grants are due January 16, 2017. To apply, Principal Investigators must use the Office of Research Services web-based application through ROMEO (see ). The information required for the grant application is listed in the ROMEO system.

The Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at MRU is pleased to sponsor a call for applications for the 2017 TransCanada Collaborative SoTL Inquiry Grants. These grants are designated for collaborative teaching and learning inquiry projects which go beyond an inquiry about teaching and learning in a single class. Note that while the Nexen Scholars Program is designed to support scholars in developing a project, the TransCanada grants require a complete research proposal including literature review, research question, methodology, data collection, and dissemination plans. (If your proposed work does not align well with this structure, please include a clear statement of theory and methods that are aligned with the proposed project.)

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is inclusive and unified by its potential to have impact in the classroom and to deepen our understanding of student learning, but diverse in discipline, theory, methodology, and method. Eligible projects must propose systematic, evidence-based study of teaching and learning and meet principles of good practice in SoTL (Felten, 2013):

  • focused on student learning in higher education,
  • situated in the existing literature and grounded in a teaching-learning context,
  • methodologically sound,
  • conducted in partnership with students, and
  • appropriately public.

Collaborative SoTL projects are expected to be in the range of $5,000-$10,000 for a single year (bigger than what an internal research grant would reasonably support) and may be conducted over one or two years. Multi-year projects are subject to annual reporting and adequate progress in order to carry forward funds. For multi-institutional projects, a fulltime MRU faculty member must be the principal investigator on the project and paid research assistants must be MRU students (unless the project is co-funded). Note that support for smaller SoTL inquiry projects is available through the Internal Research Grant Fund.

For additional information please contact the Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning through Anne Johnston at These grants are funded in their entirety by the TransCanada Research Program for Learning Innovation and Collaborative Inquiry.

For more information on criteria and eligible expenses, please click Continue reading

Proposal Evaluation Criteria
Project proposals will be evaluated based on 3 main criteria: quality of the project; likelihood of impact beyond the research group; and expertise of the research group, as demonstrated by the submitted application and CVs.

Project Quality (60% of overall evaluation):

  • explicit focus on teaching and learning in post-secondary education,
  • clear goals and rationale supported by literature review,
  • quality and appropriateness of the methodology,
  • suitability of proposed strategies and timelines,
  • appropriateness and justification of proposed budget.

Likelihood of impact (30% of overall evaluation):

  • potential for impact on teaching and learning,
  • potential to contribute to existing literature,
  • training, mentoring, and dissemination opportunities provided to students,
  • dissemination plan, including venues for appropriate dissemination within and beyond Mount Royal.

Expertise (10% of overall evaluation):

  • quality and significance of previous and current scholarship activity within the research group, particularly related to teaching and learning,
  • suitability of the research team including evidence of methodological expertise and capability to undertake the project.

All proposals will be required to be rated “acceptable” by the Institute’s Scholarship Review Committee on each of the 3 main criteria, in order to be funded.

If more applications are received than can be fully accommodated, then applications may be ranked according to the weighting scheme above and/or partial funding may be awarded.

If you are uncertain whether or not your proposed project meets the criteria, please contact the Director to explore possibilities.

Funding and Eligible expenses
The maximum allowable budget for each grant depends on the size of the project (number of co-investigators, number of classes being investigated, number of years of study, etc.). Multi-year projects can be supported but in these cases, proposed budgets must be broken down by fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Multi-year projects include not only studies where data is collected over multiple years, but also studies where so much data is collected in one year that another year would be required to complete the data analysis and/or disseminate findings.

All proposed budgets must fall within the following constraints:

• research expenses to a maximum of $2,000 per section/course/context under investigation, per year o acceptable expenses for the conduct of the research (data collection and analysis) include undergraduate student research assistant compensation, transcription, photocopying, etc. as well as travel between institutions for multi-institutional collaborations o note that research expenses do NOT include the purchase or development of teaching resources or equipment e.g. classroom technology, which must be secured elsewhere

• dissemination expenses to a maximum of $2,000 per investigator, per year o collaborative dissemination plans which include undergraduate student RAs are strongly encouraged.

If applications exceed the budgeted amount for any given year or if the proposed budget is not adequately justified, partial funding may be awarded.

Note that while ethics clearance is not required before an application is approved, funds cannot be released until clearance has been given by the Mount Royal University Human Research Ethics Board. For multi-institutional studies, the PI is responsible to ensure that appropriate ethical clearance is also attained at all applicable institutions.


All successful grant applicants will be required to disseminate their findings at least once in an on-campus forum such as a departmental colloquium or an Institute-organized presentation. Also, successful applicants will be required to report to the Institute on their projects, in a format of their choosing (for example, a paper, presentation, or poster), and notify the Institute yearly of all dissemination activities. A final report will be required of all projects at the end of the proposed research timeline. A yearly report will be required every May 15 during the approved project time frame, with description of progress made in data collection, analysis, etc. and any changes to the proposed research or budget. Research budgets for multi-year projects will be transferred on a yearly basis (the academic fiscal year ends June 30) so a yearly report also serves as a funding request for the following year. Faculty will not be considered for subsequent research grants unless their reporting obligations with the Institute and the Office of Research Services are up to date.


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