2019-20 Call for Proposals: Aspire Learning and Teaching Fund


The Provost of The University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, in collaboration with the Deans’ Council, invites proposals to the 2019-20 Aspire Learning & Teaching (ALT) Fund. Proposal templates and access to the online application system are available at http://altfund.ok.ubc.ca/. A maximum of $50,000 is available per project; projects may be up to three years in length.

The ALT Fund supports curriculum change, innovative teaching practices and learning environment enhancement aligned with Transformative Learning as envisioned in Aspire/UBC’s new Strategic Plan. The fund enables faculty members to make strategic changes within existing, or implement new, undergraduate and graduate academic programs that are more flexible, interdisciplinary, experiential and/or collaborative and to innovate their practice by introducing new teaching methods and technologies. The main goal of the ALT Fund is to transform student learning at UBC Okanagan.

A range of projects will be considered, from innovations at the course level that address a critical program need through to targeted support for development of new flexible learning programs and/or interdisciplinary degree pathways. We are seeking to identify and fund projects that are strategic, innovative and feasible.

Priority Focus Areas, 2019-20

We particularly welcome proposals in one or more of the following Priority Focus Areas:

  • Enhance experiential learning opportunities.
  • Increase flexibility by developing or redesigning a strategic course or full program for distributed delivery across multiple sites (e.g., bridge UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver). Course-based examples may include distributed flipped classrooms, reduced classroom time or fully online courses.
  • Facilitate curriculum redesign to enhance learner-centred practice and identification of program-level learning outcomes.
  • Create mechanisms for students to develop, enhance and document their knowledge, skills and competencies in the context of their academic program.
  • Utilize flexible learning techniques to modularize existing programs and/or to create new program structures (e.g., new minors).
  • Develop and/or adapt open educational resources (e.g., interactive media, videos, open textbooks and associated assessment resources).

Application Process

The ALT Fund is managed by Associate Provost, Enrolment and Academic Programs on behalf of the Provost. As outlined below, the application process has two stages:

  • Stage 1, Letter of Intent
    • A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted online by 3:00 PM, June 4, 2018.
    • The Deans’ Council reviews the LOIs and recommends those that will proceed to the full proposal stage.
  • Stage 2, Full Proposal
    • Full proposals must be submitted online by 3:00 PM, October 15, 2018.
    • An adjudication committee reviews the proposals and make recommendations to the Provost or designate. The Deans’ Council may be consulted during the final review process.

Late applications will not be accepted in either stage.



  • The Lead Applicant must be a full time, continuing faculty member (including Librarians) of The University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus.
  • At the Letter of Intent stage, the Lead Applicant must indicate that the Department/Unit Head/Director of all project applicants have been consulted, are aware of potential resource commitments and have agreed in principle to support the project. If the Lead or a project team member is a Librarian, this includes agreement from the Associate Chief Librarian.
  • The full proposal must be supported by the Deans and Department/Unit Heads of all project applicants and/or as applicable, the Chief Librarian and Associate Chief Librarian.
  • Projects for which the primary purpose is program evaluation are ineligible.
  • Projects for which the primary purpose is research are ineligible.
  • Teaching and learning materials created through the ALT Fund must be made available for re-use within UBC. Awardees will be encouraged to license any learning materials developed under an appropriate Creative Commons License and to share the materials more widely through UBC’s digital sharing channels (e.g., UBC Wiki, cIRCle, UBC’s YouTube Channel).


  • The project represents a strategic innovation at the academic program level in alignment with Transformative Learning as envisioned in Aspire/UBC’s new Strategic Plan. Preference will be given to projects that are consistent with the ALT Fund Priority Focus Areas.
  • The project uses new, novel or significantly improved educational strategies, pedagogical approaches, techniques or tools that show strong potential to produce a demonstrable gain in student outcomes and/or the student experience at the level of the academic program.
  • The proposal clearly articulates how the project results in sustainable benefits to a significant number of students.
  • The proposal provides a clear rationale, methodology, objectives and work plan.
  • The project is feasible; the objectives are achievable within the proposed timeline and budget.
  • The project uses outcomes-based criteria to determine success; the criteria and the methods by which data are to be collected are clearly outlined in the proposal’s evaluation plan.
  • The proposal clearly identifies how the project will contribute to innovation in learning and teaching more broadly at UBC Okanagan.
  • The proposed budget is appropriate, with a clear justification of associated costs. The project has additional sources of funding or resources.

Budget Considerations and Reporting

  • The ALT Fund may not be used for conference registrations, conference travel or other types of dissemination costs, though these types of costs may be allocated as in-kind contributions.
  • Any funds requested for teaching buyouts must be matched by the Faculty or Department. The ALT Fund will only fund 50% of one teaching buyout for each year of the project. Letters of support for teaching buyouts should stipulate who is being approved for a buyout, when it will take place and that workloads have been adjusted accordingly.
  • Equipment and infrastructure costs are not eligible for funding, though they may be allocated as in-kind contributions.
  • Funds cannot be used to purchase external consulting or other types of services where the expertise is available within UBC at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner.
  • The applicant(s) should consult with any and all central service or operational units that are expected to contribute to the project.
  • At the Letter of Intent Stage, any significant infrastructure investments and/or service commitments should be identified in the “Anticipated Resources Requirements” section of the LOI.
  • At the Full Proposal Stage, a letter of resource commitment/support for significant infrastructure investments and/or service commitments must be submitted with the proposal. Letters may be in the form of an e-mail to the Lead Applicant from the appropriate authority within the relevant organization that is making the commitment.
  • An annual report, including a summary for public dissemination, is required of all multi-year projects.
  • A final report, including a comprehensive summary for public dissemination, is required of all projects.
  • Unspent funds revert to the Provost Office at the end of the funding period.


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