Pedagogical Research Fund (PRF)

Updated: March 2024

Program Purpose:

The Pedagogical Research Fund (PRF) provides up to $10,000 to support inquiry and research into pedagogy, teaching, learning, and/or dissemination of research findings. Proposals are welcomed from a range of approaches, including discipline-based or interdisciplinary methods. Proposals that will result in a clear research outcome, such as an article or other form of research communication, will be given priority. This program does not fund research related to curriculum development as other funding sources for this area exist at the University ( In addition, the PRF is designed to improve the competitiveness of external grant applications submitted by full time UTM faculty members. Preference will be given to those proposals that demonstrate strong potential to generate future external support.

Eligibility Guidelines:

The opportunity is available to faculty members with a full-time continuing status appointment (tenure or teaching stream) at UTM. Funds must be administered through a UTM academic unit; in the case of applications involving collaborators, the lead applicant must be a UTM faculty member.

Proposals that are similar in nature cannot be submitted to both Research and Scholarly Activity Fund (RSAF) and Pedagogical Research Fund (PRF). The Office of the Vice-Principal, Research will notify PIs in cases where similar proposals are submitted to both funding streams.

Research Expenses:

Eligible expenses include the hiring of research and/or teaching assistants to support data collection, analysis, writing, and/or editing; purchasing software essential to the project but not otherwise available at U of T; stipends for community-based partners who play an integral role in research and/or writing; refreshment costs for focus groups; small gifts of appreciation for survey respondents, narrators or collaborators; research travel; publication fees; conference expenses, including travel. Other costs, such as computer hardware, will be considered.

Adjudication Process:

Applications to this funding opportunity will be adjudicated by an interdisciplinary group of University of Toronto faculty researchers with subject matter expertise. There will be at least one Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) specialist reviewing each application.  

To be successful, applicants must write their applications for non-specialist reviewers. Proposals written in a highly specialized or technical prose will receive a lower ranking.


Proposal Elements and Adjudication Criteria:

1.     Project Description and Leveragability (70%)

Describe your research project using non-specialist language, with a focus on five sections: a) the objectives of the research and their significance; b) the context for the research (with brief reference to literature review and theoretical approach); c) methodology; d) expected outcomes; and e) indicate how this funding will improve your future competitiveness to apply for external funding. Please include a timeline for research activities. This section of the application should be 3 pages, single spaced. You may add an additional, optional one page for references, bibliography, and/or works cited. Adjudication criteria: originality, significance, and expected contribution to knowledge relating to pedagogy; appropriateness of the literature review, theoretical approach, and methodology; potential for the research results to have influence and impact in pedagogical research and/or practice; quality and potential impact of expected outcomes.

2.   Budget (30%)

On a separate page (1 page maximum) include an itemized budget and justification. Explain how the requested funds will help you achieve the project objectives. In cases where your overall project budget exceeds the $10,000 maximum, explain where you will access these other funds. Be sure to provide specific figures for all costs, with reference to how you’ve calculated the expense. Standard Tri-Council expense eligibility requirements will apply. The UTM Research Council may recommend a lower amount of funding than requested. Adjudication criteria: appropriateness of the requested budget, justification of proposed costs.


The PRF Application:

A complete application must be submitted by the competition deadline as a single PDF document. All text must be in 12pt Times New Roman font. Margins must be set at a minimum of 3/4 inch (1.87cm). The PRF application package must include all the following materials in the order as listed below:

  • Cover Sheet (2 pages)
  • Funding Proposal (must include Project Description and Leveragability; 3-page maximum) (An optional References/Works Cited on an additional 1 page can be submitted)
  • Budget & Justification (1-page maximum)

Applications for the next competition are due by 11pm on Friday, December 15, 2023 (firm deadline). Please submit proposals in one SINGLE pdf file to by this date. 
File name should be: 2024_PRF_Your First Name_Your Last Name. Email subject should be: 2024_PRF_Your First Name_Your Last Name.

Competition Results:

Results will be emailed to applicants by the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR). Individual scores/rankings cannot be provided, but if reviewers provide comments in their adjudication documents, that feedback can be shared with applicants upon request.

Post-Award Details:

Successful research awards will be transferred to the UTM faculty member’s commitment fund centre (CFC) following the receipt of any necessary certifications (see below).

Certifications: University certifications for research using human subjects, animal subjects, or biohazards are required (as necessary) before funds can be transferred. Certifications need not be appended at the time of application; however, funding cannot be released until confirmation of the necessary certification is received by the OVPR.

Requirement: Upon acceptance of the award funds, successful applicants will be required to participate in at least one proposal review for subsequent OVPR-adjudicated funding competitions.

Final Report: Grant recipients must submit a 1-2 paragraph final report describing the impact of the award on the recipient's research program. This statement could also briefly describe what was accomplished with the funding and how the funds were expended and should be sent to the OVPR no later than one year following a successful application. Failure to submit a final report could result in funds being withheld in a subsequent grant competition for which you are applying.

Acknowledgment: The UTM affiliation of researchers and support from the OVPR should be acknowledged in any research outputs arising from this award.


If you have any questions about this funding program, please contact Rong Wu (

2024 Competition Recipients

Brett CarawayInstitute of Communication, Culture, Information and TechnologyUniversity Resource Implications of Anticipated Labor Market Disruptions Caused by AI 
Mairi CowanHistorical Studies and Institute for the Study of University PedagogyWhat Students Should Learn in a First-Year Course: Gathering Insights from Upper-Year Students 
Tyler Evans-TokarykInstitute for the Study of University PedagogyMeasuring Writing Transfer from First-year Communication Skills Courses: A Longitudinal Mixed-methods Research Project 
Teresa Lobalsamo;
Jeffrey Steele
Language StudiesInvestigating the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Acquisition of Second Language Reading & Writing
Praneeta Mudaliar Geography, Geomatics and EnvironmentManaging Natural Resources in the Context of Inequalities: a Classroom Game 
Amanda PaxtonInstitute for the Study of University PedagogyThe Affective Impact of Generative AI on First-Year Writing Instructors
Tingting Zhu; 
Yuhong He; 
Soo Min Toh
Geography, Geomatics and Environment, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences;
Geography, Geomatics and Environment;
Management & Rotman 
Developing Competencies towards Sustainability


2023 Competition Recipients

Mark Blaauw-HaraInstitute for the Study of University PedagogyTracing Transfer: An Exploration of Student Writing across University of Toronto Mississauga
Alicia HawkinsAnthropologyReimagining the Teaching of Indigenous Archaeological Pasts
Michael Liut
Bogdan Simion
Andrew Petersen
Mathematical and Computational Sciences"I Am Not Enough": Imposter Phenomenon Experiences of Computing Students
Vivienne LukAnthropologyB-O-N-D-I-N-G with Chemistry
Sarah SeeleyInstitute for the Study of University of PedagogyUndergraduate Science Writing: Investigating Faculty Expectations and Approaches
Lisa ZhangMathematical and Computational SciencesMisconceptions and Barriers to Success in Machine Learning