Innovative Teaching & Learning Awards

The Center invites the Cornell teaching community to propose projects that explore new tools and emerging technologies, approaches, and teaching strategies to facilitate vibrant, challenging, and reflective learning experiences at Cornell.

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The CTI has funded a wide range of faculty projects through the Innovative Teaching & Learning Awards.
Explore the variety of projects from previous years: 2019-20 | 2018-19

Eligibility & Requirements

All faculty and full-time instructors who are actively teaching at Cornell (tenure-track, tenured, and non-tenure track) are invited to submit proposals. Project requirements include:

  • A letter of support from the department head (or unit) must accompany the proposal
  • The principal faculty member(s) will be expected to participate throughout the project, although development and teaching may also involve students, postdoctoral fellows, and others
  • The principal faculty member(s) will submit a report and/or participate in a Center event at the conclusion of the project that summarizes specific results on student learning and other findings, including results and/or project metrics

Funding & Support

Awards will range from $5,000-$20,000. Funding levels will vary depending on the project type and the resources required for implementation. A CTI Project Manager/Instructional Designer will be available to work with faculty members on their projects.

Project Objectives

Proposals will be selected based on the ability to meet one or more of the following:

  • develop innovative pedagogical strategies for the undergraduate learning environment that actively engage students and improve their success
  • explore novel ways of creatively/critically thinking about disciplines, examining diverse perspectives and processes from across disciplines, and integrating varying approaches to solving complex problems for Cornell undergraduates
  • re-imagine the undergraduate learning experience within a department, or improve teaching and learning at a university-wide level
  • employ inclusive learning practices
  • build upon research-based learning and teaching practices

These grants do not cover community engagement initiatives. For these initiatives, please refer to Engaged Cornell grants & awards.

Award Schedule

The Innovation Awards Call for Proposals will be delayed until late spring 2021. More information will be available soon.

Timeline Targets Date
Call for proposals released March 2, 2021
Deadline for pre-application (including LOI - see Application process below) April 5, 2021
Deadline for the full application (online) May 21, 2021
Award notifications by June 30, 2021
Funding available, and letter of acceptance drafted July 2021

Application Process

Step 1: Pre-Application

Interested faculty must submit a Pre-Application (click the link below to access it), which includes a Letter of Intent (LOI), to initiate the application process and to inform the development of a full proposal. Pre-applications will be reviewed based on the criteria in this rubric.

Complete the Pre-Application Form.

The Letter of Intent should include the following information:

  • Instructor(s) name, department(s), and college(s)

  • Course(s) in which the innovation will be implemented
  • Project title
  • An overview of the innovation project idea
  • A statement addressing the objective(s) associated with your project (see objectives above)
  • Learning outcomes you hope to achieve and description of how the project will be assessed
  • Signature of department chair(s) or college dean(s)

Step 2: Consultation with Center Staff 

Faculty will be invited to submit a full application.  To assist in this process, a series of online consultation sessions will be available during April and May for instructors who would like to collaboratively think through their project ideas with Center staff. 

Consultations are available Monday-Friday beginning, April 12 -  May 14 at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.  Use this link to join a drop-in session by Zoom


Step 3: Final Application

The following items will be required for the final submission:


Questions about the application process should be sent to