Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

PTL Grants

As part of the University’s Institutional Priorities and Strategic Framework, McMaster launched its first Teaching and Learning Strategy: Partnered in Teaching and Learning in May 2021. The Office of the Provost, and the MacPherson Institute have partnered to establish two grants to support the McMaster community with opportunities to engage in the implementation of the strategy. The goals of these grants are to enable innovations in teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom and across disciplines and Faculties, elevate teaching as a professional discipline, and improve student experiences and outcomes.

Two grants will be available to support educators1 seeking to implement innovative and evidence-based initiatives and projects which align with one or more of the following impact areas within the Partnered in Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  1. Encouraging Partnered and Interdisciplinary Learning
  2. Supporting a Holistic and Personalized Student Experience
  3. Fostering Inclusive Excellence and Scholarly Teaching
  4. Developing Active and Flexible Learning Spaces

Seed grants of up to $4,000 will support the implementation of projects and initiatives that immediately and directly impact student learning experiences within an academic course or in the co-curricular spaces between their courses through innovation and development.

Garden grants of up to $25,000 will support larger-scale improvements to whole programs or the teaching cultures and strategic educational directions of departments, schools, or faculties. The funding may also help support partnerships between programs, departments, or faculties, and we particularly encourage interdisciplinary teams with to apply.

These new grants, which will be awarded annually, are designed to provide more resources and support for educators seeking to implement one or more of the teaching and learning priorities in their department, faculty, or staff unit.


1The term “educators” is intended to include, but is not limited to, community partners, faculty, graduate students, librarians, post-doctoral fellows, sessional instructors, staff, teaching assistants, and undergraduate students.

The Application Process

Applications are open until 11:59p.m. on 22 June! To be considered for these grants, lead applicants must submit a completed Microsoft Form (available here) with the following elements:

  • Lead applicant and co-applicant information
  • Project description (maximum 500 words for Seed grants; 750 words for Garden grants)
  • Statement of alignment with the PTL Strategy (maximum 500 words for Seed grants; 750 words for Garden grants)
  • Identification of research components requiring ethics approval
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Methods for assessing impact (maximum 500 words for Seed grants; 750 words for Garden grants)
  • Letter of support from department/faculty leadership as appropriate (only for Garden Grants, letter upload)

Between June 23 and July 30, a multidisciplinary selection committee will read and assess the applications. If you are interested in participating on the selection committee, please fill out this Microsoft Form.

Expandable List

  • Each project requires one Lead applicant, who should be an educator, but not a student, who is continuously employed for the duration of the grant, and who is able to oversee the grant funds.
  • Each project can have as many co-applicants as desired – interdisciplinary teams are particularly encouraged for the Root/Branch grants. All educators and students at McMaster are eligible to be co-applicants
  • No single project can secure funding through multiple PTL grants, or through both the PTL grants and the Paul R MacPherson Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship
  • Root/Branch grant applications require a plan for sustainability beyond the grant term approved by a Chair, Director, Dean or Associate Dean

An application consists of the completed Microsoft Form. The form will become available on 4 May, and it will ask for the following information:

  1. Are you applying for a Seed or Garden Grant? (selectbox)
  2. Please provide your full name, title, and affiliation to McMaster. (short answer)
  3. I confirm that, as lead applicant, I meet the eligibility criteria listed in the award guidelines. (selectbox)
  4. Please provide the full name, title, and faculty of each co-applicant on this project. (short answer)
  5. Please provide a short description of the project for which you wish to secure funding. (350 word long answer)
  6. Which of the four Impact Areas from the Partnered in Teaching and Learning Strategy does this project seek to implement? (selectbox)
  7. How does your project aim to implement the selected Impact Area(s)? (350-500 word long answer)
  8. Will this project have a research component requiring approval from either the McMaster Research Ethics Board or the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board? (yes/no/unsure)
  9. Please provide an estimated budget for your project. (short answer)
  10. What is the timeline for the project? (short answer)
  11. How will you assess the impact of the project, and whether or not the project goals have been achieved? (350-500 word long answer)
  12. Please provide a chart string for the research account where grant funds would be transferred. (short answer)
  13. (for Garden grants only): Please upload a letter of support from your department or faculty leadership, explaining how this project will support improved teaching and learning in the department/faculty or beyond, and how they will ensure the sustainability of the project beyond this year. (document upload)