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Centre for Teaching & Learning

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Centre for Teaching & Learning

Wickerson Foundation Fund

for Educational Leadership & Universal Design

The Wickerson Foundation Fund for Educational Leadership and Universal Design is an internal grant designed to support innovative projects that strengthen Trent University’s inclusive teaching and to support faculty professional development and pedagogical research. The aim of the Wickerson Foundation Fund is to remove barriers to learning, which can be visible and invisible, and to promote authentic inclusion for all students. Barriers to learning can include disability, socio-economic status, implicit bias, and stigma. To address these barriers, faculty are encouraged to consider the needs of all learners through course design, learning experiences, assessments, and the learning environment.

Proposals should address curriculum modification or enhancements and integrate the principles of universal design for learning (UDL). UDL is a framework that guides the design of courses and learning environments to support the largest number of learners. The three guiding principles are multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation of content, and multiple means of action and expression. Please see Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education for examples, particularly pages 11-16. All successful award recipients will receive ongoing course design and learning assessment design support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning.


How to Apply

In order to apply for a Wickerson Foundation Fund for Educational Leadership and Universal Design, candidates are asked to submit the following as Word or PDF files in a single email to teaching@trentu.ca by February 14, 2020:

  1. Project Proposal: This proposal should include a project title, a brief project outline (50 words maximum), a summary of the project goals (including the needs, gaps, and/or challenges being addressed in a specific course), a comprehensive project description (including an evidence-based approach to project design, methods, activities, and impact assessments), detailed timelines, and a proposed budget for the project over the course of 12 months. (4 Pages Maximum, Single Spaced)
  2. Teaching Philosophy Statement
  3. Curriculum Vitae 
  4. Letter of Support from Chair, Dean, or colleague

Funds Available

  • 2020-2021: Two awards of $4000 each.

Examples of Eligible Expenses

  • Part-time casual wages for teaching assistance in the classroom (individuals internal to the university; maximum rate of pay based on collective agreements; please include 4% vacation pay in budget calculations)
  • Honoraria (individuals external to the university)
  • Expenses related to equipment, resources, and supplies (such as technology applications or site licenses for open publishing)
  • Experiential opportunities for students that meet UDL principles
  • Professional development for faculty on UDL
  • Consultations with specialists in UDL
  • Honoraria for students to participate in focus groups related to UDL related curriculum modification or enhancements

Examples of Ineligible Expenses

  • Instructor personal use technology (laptops, tablets)
  • Marking support

Research Ethics

All projects that involve research on human subjects require approval from the Research Ethics Board (REB) before funding can be released. Ethics Approval application forms are available from the Office of Research; a copy of the notice of approval from the REB must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning gillianbalfour@trentu.ca.

Final Report

A final report must be submitted after the project is complete (no later than August 1 following the academic year of funding). The final report must include a financial statement and address the following questions: 

  • How did the UDL project impact teaching?
  • How did the UDL project impact students and student learning?
  • How could the outcomes of the project be incorporated into regular academic programming?
  • How could the outcomes of the innovation be shared with peers?

Criteria for Selection

  1. Proposal clearly considers the needs of all learners and strives to remove barriers to learning
  2. Clear articulation of the project goals, including the needs, gaps, and/or challenges being addressed
  3. Clear articulation of the methods of the project, including how it will implement specific curriculum modification or enhancements
  4. Evidence-based approach to project design, methods, activities, and impact assessments
  5. Project integrates principles of Universal Design for Learning: Multiple Means of Engagement, Multiple Means of Representation of Content, and Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  6. Specific, measurable, and realistic timelines given the scope of the project
  7. Budget outlines and justifies all projected expenses
  8. Teaching Philosophy Statement, CV, and Letter of Support consistently demonstrate experience in and commitment to exemplary teaching and learning

Selection Process

Applications are due by February 14, 2020. All candidates will be notified of the outcome by the end of March 2020. The selection committee consists of:

  • Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning (Chair)
  • One Former Wickerson Foundation Fund Recipient
  • Two Additional TUFA Members
  • CTL Senior eLearning Designer
  • Student Accessibility Services Accessibility Advisor
  • CTL Senior Educational Developer (Consultant; Non-Voting)
  • CTL Higher Education Teaching Recognition Coordinator (Secretary; Non-Voting)

Questions regarding the Wickerson Foundation Fund for Educational Leadership and Universal Design can be directed to teaching@trentu.ca.


Additional Resources

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education