Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Fund

La Trobe University is committed to ensuring high quality learning experiences for our students and a culture that recognises and rewards great teaching. We value pedagogical practices that enhance the student learning experience. To support these evidence-based practices, La Trobe Learning and Teaching (LTLT) seeks applications for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Fund.

The SOTL Fund consists of a pool of funds supporting:

  • Category A: grants up to $100,000: Projects that will result in significant change across La Trobe and address one of more of the University's strategic targets in student retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes.
  • Category B: grants of up to $20,000: Proof of concept that could lead to a larger, more significant project; or a small project that will address one or more of the University's strategic targets in students retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes, within a School or College.
  • Professional development grants: Funding will only be allocated to teaching focussed staff for professional development opportunities. Applicants can apply for up to $3,000.

Guidelines and FAQs

If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact SOTL@latrobe.edu.au.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to all La Trobe staff - academic staff (including sessional), and professional staff from Colleges and Central Divisions (such as ICT and the Library).

The deadline for 2016 application close is Monday 3 October 2016.and no further extensions can be accommodated. The initial application is intended only to be brief and high level. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to expand on their application as part of the selection process.

What category of grants are available?

  • Category A grants - up to $100,000: Projects that will result in significant change across La Trobe and address one of more of the University's strategic targets in student retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes.
  • Category B grants - up to $20,000: Proof of concept that could lead to a larger, more significant project; or a small project that will address one or more of the University's strategic targets in students retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes, within a School or College.
  • Professional development grants: Funding will only be allocated to teaching focussed staff for professional development opportunities. Applicants can apply for up to $3,000 with funds expended within a calendar year.

The fund allows for, but does not require, matched funding from an applicant’s organisational unit. Colleges, schools or other divisions may choose to support a bid in this way but are not required to. Individual applicants may also match their request with funds from the own Outside Earnings accounts.

While a matched funding bid may be attractive to the selection panel, as this will help stretch the total pool further, having matched funds or not will not count against or disqualify any applicant for consideration.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding across all categories may be used to support:

  • Personnel (including time buyout and consultants)
  • Travel
  • Resources
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination

The funding application only requires a high level budget at the time of submitting applications. You may be asked to provide a breakdown of how the funds will be spent by the selection panel. Where international travel is included in the funding request, justification must be provided as to why this travel is essential to the project or development activity and what alternatives to this travel may exist.

Professional Development grants will need to be expended within a given year. There is an option to spend Category A and Category B grants over 2016, 2017 and 2018. Project leads need to specify in their application form when they anticipate spending funds in 2016, 2017 or 2018. Balances will not be carried over each year; only what you have budgeted for on the application form will be available to you

What is the selection criteria?

The proposed project grant application should clearly:

  • address the nominated category (e.g. Category A),
  • demonstrate how the project will address one or more of the teaching and learning priorities,
  • demonstrate the need for the project, including an educationally sound rationale, based on relevant literature, and the identification of clear outcomes,
  • articulate clear goals, is well planned and realistic in its timeline and has appropriate support to achieve its goals,
  • demonstrate how it will make a strategic contribution to La Trobe's teaching and learning environment including improving teaching quality, improved student learning outcomes, and graduate employability,
  • describe how the outcomes of the project will be of relevant to others within and/or across disciplines and the project has a clear dissemination strategy,
  • identify an evaluation strategy for evaluating the project outcomes,
  • identify how the budget aligns with the project's methodology and outcomes.

What are the Teaching and Learning Priorities I need to address in my application?

In support of La Trobe's Future Ready: Strategic Plan, grants must address one or more of the following priorities:

  1. Evaluation of blended and fully online learning design, teaching and learning.
  2. Pedagogical initatives relating to innovative uses of learning spaces such as those spaces in the Teaching and Learning Commons on the Melbourne campus, and in similar teaching and learning spaces on regional campuses.
  3. Use of technologies (including social media) to support formal and informal peer learning.
  4. Initiatives involving creative, trans-disciplinary, project-based and inquiry-based learning.
  5. Assessment to optimize learning.
  6. Learning analytics, including the use of data to provide feedback to students on their learning and/or to inform teaching and assessment design and practice.
  7. Student employability and transition to the workplace, including embedding employability initatives in the curriculum and developing virtual internship-like experiences.

Do I require matched funding from my organisational unit

The fund allows for, but does not require, matched funding from an applicant’s organisational unit. Colleges, schools or other divisions may choose to support a bid in this way but are not required to. Individual applicants may also match their request with funds from the own Outside Earnings accounts.

While a matched funding bid may be attractive to the selection panel, as this will help stretch the total pool further, having matched funds or not will not count against or disqualify any applicant for consideration.

What is a Reference Group and why do I need one?

Both the Category A and B grants will require identification of a reference group. This does not need to be finalised prior to submission of your application. Reference group members play an important advisory role in a project. It is expected that reference group members will liaise with the project team virtually through phone or web-based communications. For Category A grants, one reference group members should be external to La Trobe and have national/international standing in his/her area of expertise.

Can I apply for more than one grant?

Project Leads can apply for either Category A or Category B. However, there are no limits on being a member of project team for more than one category.

What is the application process?

  1. Download the application form for the category of grant you are applying for: [Category A and B]. [Professional Development]. These application forms have been designed to be entered electronically. A printed signature is not required. Your Head of School (or equivalent) will receive a copy of your application form at the end of the application process to confirm discussions have occurred.
  2. Complete your application form as per instructions included in each form.
  3. Submit and attach your application by clicking the button below.
  4. All applications will be shortlisted by a selection panel. You might be required to provide the panel with further information in the form of a short elevator pitch. You will be advised if this is the case.
  5. Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 31 October, with projects to commence shortly after.