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.

Innovation Grants have been awarded for 2021-22.  See below for a list of this year's winners.

2021-22  Innovation Grant Awardees Department/College Project Title
Chelsea Specht Professor School of Integrative Plant Science, CALS Teaching Active and Applied Critical Thinking in CALS Gateway Courses

Slava Paperno    Sr.Lecturer

Comparative Literature, CAS Real-life environments and asynchronous collaboration:  piloting new digital learning tools with Burmese WAL
Joshua Cerra Associate Professor Landscape Architecture, CALS Building with Birds: Deploying Field Technologies for Enhanced Avian Habitat Assessment and Design Innovation
Genevive Meredith Lecturer Master of Public Health, CVM Increasing Active Learning to Foreground Student Competence Development

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.

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 for instructors who would like to collaboratively think through their project ideas with Center staff. 

Step 3: Final Application

The following items will be required for the final submission:


Questions about the application process should be sent to