Individual Innovative Teaching & Learning Awards

NOTE: The 2018 Individual Innovative Teaching & Learning Awards have been made. Check back for information on the next round of awards.

The 2018 awardees include:

  • Psychology – Katherine Kinzler, Associate Professor
    • Project: to reimagine a current class by using a research-based approach to understand and combat gendered participation in their class.
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology – Kelly Zamudio, Professor/Abby Drake, Senior Lecturer
    • Project: to create an online evolutionary biology course that utilizes active learning techniques.
  • Neurobiology & Behavior - Mark Sarvary, Senior Lecturer
    • Project: to develop a new learning space "bio-imagination makerspace" with the investigative biology teaching laboratories.
  • Classics – Courtney Roby, Associate Professor/Andrew Hicks, Associate Professor
    • Project: to create new tools to assist in making their team-taught course "The Art of Math" more active and engaging for their diverse group of students.
  • Communication – Andrea Won, Assistant Professor/Connie Yuan, Professor
    • Project: to use virtual reality to help teach students intercultural competence


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.

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:

  • 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 (a minimum of four per project cycle). 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.
  • Reimagine 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.


  • Pre-Application due by May 4, 2018
  • Consultation with Center Staff (May 15–June 30, 2018)
  • Submission of Final Application (by July 1, 2018)
  • Notification of Project Awards (by July 15, 2018)

Application Process

Step 1: Pre-Application

Submit the pre-application by May 4, 2018. You will be asked to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that includes 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 project will be assessed.
  • Signature of department chair(s) or college dean(s).

Step 2: Consultation with Center Staff (required)

To be completed May 15–June 30, 2018. After submitting the pre-application, faculty will be invited to attend a consultation to collaboratively think through their project ideas with Center staff. At the consultation, strategies for developing a budget will be discussed and a budget template will be provided.

Step 3: Final Application

The following items will be required for the final submission by July 1, 2018:

  • Budget and brief budget justification.
  • A list of team members and their role(s) in the project.
  • Goals of the project.
  • Impact on student learning and residential education at Cornell.


Questions about the application process should be addressed to