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. 

2019-2020 Innovation Awards:

Trevor Pinch, Mirianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri


Bending Instruments

Darlene Campbell,
Andrew St. James


Using 3D Animation Software to Teach Mastery of Anatomy and Physiology

David Deitcher, 
Bruce Johnson


No Pi in the Sky: Building a Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Kit to Image Neuronal Activity

Jennifer Birkeland


Projected Natures: Observing the Digital Relationships between Organisms

Michelle Smith,
Claire Meaders


Supporting Data-Driven Changes in Gateway STEM Courses through Faculty Learning Communities

Peter Hitchcock,
Mark Wysocki


Atmospheric Dynamics in Motion

Read about the 2018 Innovation projects here.

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-$25,000. Funding levels will vary depending on the project type and the resources required for implementation. Each project will be assigned a Center Project Manager/Instructional Designer.

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 2020.  More information will be available soon.

Timeline Targets

Call for proposals released


Deadline for pre-application (LOI)


Deadline for full application (online)


Award notifications


Funding available, and letter of acceptance drafted TBD

Application Process

Step 1: Pre-Application

Interested faculty must submit 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 three key areas that are identified in bold on this rubric, and selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

Letter of Intent to 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 invited to submit a full application will have an option to attend a walk-in consultation meeting to collaboratively think through their project ideas with CTI staff. The scheduled dates for consultation will be announced soon.


Step 3: Final Application

The following items will be required for the final submission:

We've created a help guide for the final application process.


Questions about the application process should be sent to