SEED Grants for innovation in teaching

SEED Grants provide 25 applicants with up to $5,000 each to support innovative or experimental approaches to learning and teaching.


The Schuler Educational Enhancement and Development (SEED) Fund for Innovation in Teaching aims to sow innovative teaching practices across the University and support academics with the resources they need to germinate and flourish. The short-term objective is to identify and cultivate small-scale teaching initiatives that might otherwise fail to take root. The longer-term aim is to propagate an institution-wide culture of educational innovation, experimentation and on-going professional development, thereby lifting the quality of teaching across the University and building stronger communities of practice amongst tertiary teachers.

Theme for 2019

The 2019 theme is a new canvas for teaching and learning. This is the last year that the contestable fund is available. Applications addressing this theme, will showcase creative approaches that use the Canvas platform and plugin applications for face to face teaching, blended learning or assessment design.

About Canvas

The University of Auckland was the first tertiary institution in Australasia to introduce the new generation learning management system (LMS), Canvas. Canvas offers opportunities for innovation in teaching, learning and assessment, accessibility, the use of learning analytics and blended learning design. A range of plugins and bespoke applications extend the affordances far beyond the capabilities of the LMS. Now that Canvas is firmly established, CLeaR seeks to connect with teaching staff who are beginning to exploit these opportunities, and share their experience with colleagues.


Each academic year from 2017 through 2019, up to 25 applicants will receive a SEED Grant of up to $5,000 designed to incentivise innovative teaching related to CLeaR’s annual theme. Funding allocations will be made by a panel appointed by the Director of CLeaR.

Eligibility and criteria

Applicants must be University of Auckland academic staff with teaching responsibilities. Professional staff and GTAs may partner with academic staff as co-applicants.

The project must be:

  • Manageable within a one year timeframe (November to November).
  • Forward-looking (funding is unlikely to be awarded for one-off interventions that cannot be replicated without further funding).
  • Relevant to CLeaR’s annual teaching and learning theme.

Successful applicants are required to:

  • Attend several cohort meetings during the grant period and participate in an online community of practice.*
  • Make themselves available for interviews, focus groups and other research and dissemination activities related to the project, both short-term and long-term.
  • Showcase their projects at CLeaR’s annual Teaching and Learning Symposium and provide brief written reports on their projects, which may be published on the CLeaR website and elsewhere to inform future innovation by others.

* 2019 applicants will be asked to attend meetings on the following dates:

  • Friday 26 October 2018, 2-4pm
  • Thursday 21 February 2019, 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 27 June 2019, 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 26 September 2019, 10am-12pm


The SEED Grants are used in any way that directly supports the applicants in undertaking their project: for example, teaching assistance, the creation of teaching resources, research assistance to support the scholarship of teaching and learning, focus groups, software development, media work (videos), teaching materials.

Funding is not provided to buy assets (furniture, IT equipment) or buy-out.

Applicants must ensure that, if the proposed project would require resources from or have an impact on other units within or beyond the University (eg Media Services, ITS, community groups), the relevant parties have been consulted before the application is submitted.

Because projects to be supported will be of a “seeding” nature, there should be no expectation of ongoing support beyond the term of the grant.

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Past projects