Scholarship in Teaching and Learning Program Guidelines

Program Description

The program is viewed as an investment in building scholarship in teaching and learning at VUSN, creating an avenue for those interested or new to pursuing scholarship in the area of teaching and learning, and a further pathway to educational research.

Program Aims

  • To develop VUSN faculty as expert nurse educators who lead the design and implementation of academic experiences that prepare graduates as excellent clinicians, scholars, and leaders in nursing.
  • To allow VUSN faculty an avenue to pursue scholarship in nursing education that benefits themselves professionally while furthering the mission of VUSN.
  • To develop scholarly teaching role models and leaders for other faculty and students at VUSN.
  • To develop faculty in areas of sustained pedagogical inquiry and scholarship that results in recognition of VUSN as a center of excellence in nursing education at national and international levels.
  • To conduct meaningful and effective scholarship in teaching and learning that enhances nursing education at VUSN and contributes to application of pedagogical evidence and transformation of nursing education.
  • To sustain the culture and community of teaching excellence and innovation at VUSN.

Overall Program Evaluation Criteria and Evaluation Process

The Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Program is consistent with VUSN aims to increase publications and presentations, as well as promote grant submissions specifically for educational research.

Program success may also be determined by report of faculty satisfaction with program and commitment to VUSN academic mission.

Evaluation of the process and program is the responsibility of the Director of Faculty Development and the Senior Associate Dean for Academics.

Program and Faculty Selection Criteria


The SoTL Program is open to any VUSN faculty member whose primary assignment is in classroom, clinical, simulation, or interprofessional educational endeavors, and who proposes a project contributing to scholarship in an area of educational inquiry.

Project/product examples may include development and evaluation of an educational intervention or tool, evaluation of existing teaching practices, comparison of educational models or practices, or incorporating a new framework for a teaching/learning strategy.

Selection Criteria

  • Applications are selected based on resource availability and identified strategic need.  
  • The appropriate Academic Director or Senior Associate Dean responsible for the faculty member(s) must approve the application with proposed project.
  • An individual may submit more than one application; however, unless there are unusual circumstances, only one project per individual will be eligible for selection.
  • Projects with more than one faculty member may be submitted for consideration
  • The Executive Deans will review all proposals for selection based on:
    • Fit with the VUSN academic mission
    • Clarity and feasibility of planned activities/project
    • Resource availability
    • Individual’s experience with teaching
    • Mentorship identification and availability
    • Ability/potential of the applicant to work with others
    • Potential for faculty’s sustained contributions and commitment to SoTL.

Application Process

After discussing the general idea with one’s Academic Director or Senior Associate Dean, the applicant should discuss potential project ideas with the Director of Faculty Development and Cynthia Brame (CFT, external mentor), for assistance in application development.

The application/project proposal should include:

  • Statement of issue, element of concern, or idea for innovation related to teaching and learning.
  • Statement of how the project can address the issue or advance excellence in teaching and learning in the course and at VUSN, as well as enhance the reputation of the organization.
  • Statement of individual goals for participation in the program
  • Description including a timetable of the planned activities and/or project.  The request may be for no more than two years.   The timetable must include deliverables, e.g. when a paper will be submitted, ongoing measurements for success, or dissemination plan should be provided.
  • Budget including salary and non-salary requests. The program recognizes that faculty investment time, project personnel (administrative assistants, statistician), equipment and other funds might be needed.  Applicants are encouraged to consider resource needs comprehensively when preparing the budget.
  • CV(s) of the faculty member(s)
  • Identification of and letters of support from potential mentors as well as key clinical personnel whose cooperation for a clinical project is essential 
  • References regarding ability to work with and develop others that may not be apparent in the cv(s).
  • Statement that the applicant agrees to the 12-month commitment to remain at VUSN post-completion.
  • Letter of support from the relevant VUSN Senior Associate Dean.

Applications are submitted through REDCap.

Interim and Final Project Reports

At the end of the first year of support, a progress report addressing the extent to which the aims stated in the application should be submitted to the Director of Faculty Development and Senior Associate Dean for Academics.  If publications have resulted, these should be attached.  Any special accomplishments or difficulties should be highlighted.  The Dean and Executive Deans will review the report and indicate approval/disapproval of continued support.

Upon completion of the period of support, a final report using the same format should be submitted. Faculty who have received support are eligible to apply for new or continuation projects.

If at any time the faculty member encounters difficulty in executing the plan, they should contact their Senior Associate Dean, Director of Faculty Development, and Cynthia Brame who will help by providing advice regarding how the problems might be addressed.  The faculty should also make use of the mentor(s) specified in the application. 

Failure to pursue the work outlined in the accepted work plan may result in withdrawal of support.  Execution of the plan will be included in annual evaluation considerations.

For further information, contact Betsy Kennedy.