Innovation Grant

The Council of Atlantic University Libraries / Conseil des bibliothèques universitaires de l’Atlantique (CAUL-CBUA) Innovation Grant is intended to support new or established librarians and staff working in a CAUL-CBUA member library, who are, or aspire to be, innovatively engaged in areas relevant to the goals and objectives of CAUL-CBUA and its member libraries.


The CAUL-CBUA Innovation Grant is intended to encourage innovation within our libraries and library system in the region.  Innovation, in its modern meaning, is a "new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method".  Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.  At its core, innovation is creating new value. Innovation applied to the library system could include innovative librarianship, thought leadership through innovation, or innovating the library system.

Grant Amount

One research grant of up to $1,000 may be awarded annually, when merited.

Grant Objectives

This grant is intended to help achieve the following objectives:

  • to encourage and support the innovative capacity of people and libraries in the region;
  • to create new value within existing and/or emerging systems through innovation;
  • the establishment of supportive programs and spaces for innovation to thrive amongst our staff and users;
  • to promote communication and thought leadership regarding innovations in libraries, library programs and library systems.

Eligibility Criteria

At least one of the applicants must be currently employed by a CAUL-CBUA member library and either be engaged in, or proposing, an innovation project.  Collaboration between CAUL-CBUA institutions is welcomed and encouraged, but it is not required.

All proposals must include a statement about how the innovation is hoped to benefit CAUL-CBUA or a CAUL-CBUA member library.

Submission of Proposals

Grant applicants should submit their proposal via e-mail by midnight on the last Friday in October, annually.  Confirmation of submission will be sent to the applicant.  Submissions by fax or post will not be accepted.

The proposal should be in the form of a dated letter addressed to the CAUL-CBUA Executive Director, which includes the names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of all of the applicants. The letter should include the following separate attachments:

  • A proposal.  The proposal should clearly outline the goals of the project and the innovation the project seeks to achieve.  The proposal must include the affiliations of the applicants (e.g. Department X at University Y).  Names and other identifying information should not appear anywhere on the proposal.

The proposal must include:

  • a reasonable description of the innovation project, identifying methodology and design or development process, and outcomes;
  • duration of the project, including a project timetable;
  • assessment of the potential utility of the innovation to CAUL-CBUA and/or the academic library community;
  • detailed assessment of costs and statement of other grants/awards received;
  • a letter of support from Director or University Librarian; and
  • a current Curriculum Vitae for each applicant.

Applicants are urged to seek review and advice from colleagues, directors, and/or friends before submitting proposals.  The Committee reserves the right to reject proposals that do not adhere to the specifications in this document.

CAUL-CBUA Innovation Grant Committee

Proposals will be adjudicated by the Innovation Grant Committee.  This Committee is composed of the CAUL-CBUA Past Chair, a CAUL-CBUA Member-at-Large, and a previous winner.  In the event there is no past winner available to serve, a second member-at-large will be appointed.  The CAUL-CBUA Executive Director will sit ex-officio.  The Past Chair will serve a two-year term and the member-at-large and past winner will serve one-year terms.  The Committee will be constituted annually at the Spring Board of Directors meeting.

The Committee meets by early November of each year to review any submissions received. If there are no suitable applications or candidates, the Committee reserves the right not to award the grant in any given year.

Selection Criteria

The Committee will assess all proposals using a single-blind approach.  This means that the CAUL-CBUA Executive Director will know the identities of individuals submitting proposals, but during the review process, the members of the Committee will not.  It will be the responsibility of the Executive Director to verify that the proposers meet the requirements outlined under “Eligibility Criteria” and have submitted the proper documentation specified under “Submission of Proposals”.

Identification of projects of regional interest, which can prove useful in developing partnerships between practitioners, educators and students, are also encouraged.

Proposals for funding are judged on:

  • Originality or importance of innovation or project;
  • Relevance of the innovation to the goals and objectives of the CAUL-CBUA libraries;
  • Appropriateness of the proposed method and development process;
  • Details of the planned oversight and management of the project;
  • Expected impact of the innovation;
  • Timeliness of the project (must be completed in less than two years); and,
  • Comprehensiveness of the application.

Conditions of the Grant

  • Project must commence in the year for which the grant is awarded;
  • The Announcement of the Award should be issued by the end of December of each year;
  • The CAUL-CBUA Executive Director ensures announcements of the award go to the various organizations for publication.  Announcements are placed on the CAUL-CBUA website, APLA electronic discussion list, and any network deemed appropriate;
  • Award dollars are given out in January of each year. Award cheques will be issued to the applicant’s institutional Grants Office unless otherwise indicated.  The Award money will be sent as one lump sum to a single CAUL-CBUA institution, so if multiple CAUL-CBUA institutions are represented in the application, the applicants will designate to which institution the money is to be sent. The CAUL-CBUA Executive Director will coordinate this process once the award has been announced;
  • A report will be filed with the CAUL-CBUA within two months of the completion of the project or two years after receiving the grant, whichever is the shorter time period;
  • The grant must be acknowledged in publications and presentations emanating from the research or development accomplished through the CAUL-CBUA Innovation Grant; and
  • Past award winners may be asked to sit on the committee to adjudicate future submissions.

Approved June 5, 2019

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