Pedagogical Research Fund (PRF)

Updated: February 2023

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. While applicants are welcome to tie their research to a specific class they plan to teach, they are not required to do so for this funding opportunity.


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 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:

The UTM Research Council—a multi-disciplinary group that includes one representative from each academic unit—is responsible for adjudicating the PRF applications. Each individual application will be reviewed and ranked by colleagues drawn from the membership of the UTM Research Council, which includes reviewers from each of UTM’s departments. There will be at least one SoTL specialist reviewing each application. To be successful, applicants must write their applications for non-specialist reviewers.


Proposal Elements and Adjudication Criteria:

1.     Project Description (70%)
Describe your research project using non-specialist language, with a focus on four 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; and d) expected outcomes. Please include a timeline for research activities. This section of the application should be 2 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 10K 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, using standard typeface and spacing. The PRF application package must include:

  • Cover Sheet (1 page)
  • Funding Proposal (must include Project Description; 2-page maximum; an optional References/Works Cited on an additional 1 page)
  • Budget & Justification (1-page maximum)

Applications for the next competition are due by 11pm on Monday, 13 February 2023 (firm deadline). Please submit proposals in one SINGLE pdf file to Rong Wu ( by this date. 
File name should be: 2023_PRF_Your First Name_Your Last Name. Email subject should be: 2023_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.


2023 Competition Recipients

Name Department Project
Mark Blaauw-Hara Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy Tracing Transfer: An Exploration of Student Writing across University of Toronto Mississauga
Alicia Hawkins Anthropology Reimagining 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 Luk Anthropology B-O-N-D-I-N-G with Chemistry
Sarah Seeley Institute for the Study of University of Pedagogy Undergraduate Science Writing: Investigating Faculty Expectations and Approaches
Lisa Zhang Mathematical and Computational Sciences Misconceptions and Barriers to Success in Machine Learning