Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions about the Continuous Learning Advancement Fund (CLAF). Topics include eligibility, proposal development, available support and more. If you have questions not answered here, please email claf.admin@ubc.ca.

General:

Why did the Online Learning Advancement Fund (OLAF) evolve into the Continuous Learning Advancement Fund (CLAF)?

When OLAF was launched in 2019, the fund focused on 1) building expertise and resources for online learning as a key driver for online learning opportunities, and, 2) reaching new audiences of students and career and personal learners that may not have the opportunity to attend typical UBC degree programs.

The rapid transition to online teaching and learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped create a core capacity for online learning among UBC Faculties. With teaching and learning online having been widely achieved across the University, the fund has been refocused on the second goal OLAF was founded on: expanding UBC's capacity to deliver online and primarily online learning opportunities to new audiences, mainly those in BC.

What’s the difference between CLAF and TLEF?

While TLEF has a broad mandate, CLAF is more focused on supporting the development of non-credit programs for those who may not have had the opportunity to attend UBC degree programs, as well as for continuous learners who hold degrees and are looking for supplemental university education to help them reach their goals.

In addition, CLAF funding may be used to support professional and non-credit learning opportunities, which are typically not fundable under TLEF guidelines. UBC has committed to investing $600,000 over two fiscal years to support the 2022/23 Continuous Learning Advancement Fund.

Can I apply for funding from multiple sources (e.g. CLAF and TLEF, CLAF and OLAF)?

No, your project can only have one funding source (e.g. TLEF or CLAF).

My unit has an active OLAF project. Can we apply for CLAF for a different project this year?

Yes, but preference will be given to units/schools/departments/Faculties that did not receive funding previously.

I have an idea, but need time to flesh out the details. Should I apply this year or wait until next year?

Proposals that are more fully conceptualized and substantiated, with support from your unit/school/department and/or Faculty, will have a better chance of being funded. If you feel you need more time for industry and market consultation, and approval from your unit/school/department and/or Faculty, we suggest waiting until the next CLAF cycle.

Eligibility:

Who can submit a letter of intent (LOI)?

Primary applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty or lecturers with appointments beyond the end date of the project. However, co-applicants may include faculty in appointments without review, lecturers, students, staff and external partners.

What if I’m not tenured or a tenure-track faculty member?

Project teams must include at least one faculty member who is tenured or tenure-track, or holds a lecturer appointment. Please submit your proposal with this person listed as the primary applicant.

I have an idea but I don’t know if it is eligible or possible. Who can I ask?

You can email us at claf.admin@ubc.ca to ask questions and/or arrange for a consultation session.

What types of projects are eligible?

The proposed offering must be a new online educational opportunity for continuous education learners residing primarily from British Columbia who are seeking to change or advance their careers. Learning opportunities can include:

  • non-credit certificate of proficiency or micro-certificate*
  • non-credit certificate
  • non-credit course sequence or series
  • diploma
  • graduate certificate
  • post-baccalaureate certificate.

*Proposed in the draft Senate policy V129 on Non-credit credentials, pending full policy consultation and approval

Please refer to Principles, Scope and Criteria for more information.

Are cross-Faculty projects eligible to apply?

Yes, we encourage multi-Faculty projects, as long as the project has the written support of each Faculty’s senior leadership.

Can units/schools/departments/Faculties from UBCO apply?

No, the funding is awarded from the UBCV Office of the Provost.

LOI and Proposal Development:

What support is available for LOI development? Who provides the support?

The CLAF team, comprised of Extended Learning and Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology staff, are central resources for faculty and staff. Depending on the CLAF team’s capacity, we can assist you with preliminary market research, program concept development and early planning.

What support is available to proponents invited to develop full proposals?

Proponents who are successful in the letter of intent stage will receive support as they develop a full proposal, depending on team capacity. This support includes:

  • budget planning
  • curriculum consultation
  • evaluation consultation
  • market research/analysis
  • program architecture consultation
  • proposal review and feedback
  • value proposition development.
What support is provided to successful proposals? Is it free?

The CLAF team offers a broad range of expertise and services provided free-of charge to successful proposals, including:

  • budget planning
  • course design assistance
  • curriculum consultation
  • evaluation consultation
  • implementation support
  • learning tools consultation
  • market research and analysis, including assistance with student/stakeholder/employer surveys and consultations
  • media development
  • program architecture consultation, business planning and positioning
  • project management support.

Please note: These services are available only through the first offering of the program or course and include a post-program or course evaluation, and are subject to the CLAF's team capacity. After the first offering of the program or course, ongoing support can be provided for a fee.

How will CLAF LOIs and proposals be evaluated? Who assesses the proposals?

A: CLAF LOI’s and proposals will be reviewed by a CLAF Adjudication Committee. Please refer to Principles, Scope and Criteria for full details on the evaluation criteria.

When will you let the successful applicants know if their letter of intent is successful? When will funding be available?

See key dates for details.

Funding:

How can I use CLAF funding?

Funding must be used toward project development only, not delivery. For example, funding can be used towards subject matter expert content development, project coordinator, faculty content development support (e.g. hiring a graduate student), and honoraria for guest speaker content development (e.g. video or podcast interviews).

Funding may be also used for course release to support faculty involved in project development, if the unit/school/department/Faculty provides matching funds.

Generally, CLAF funding may not be used for the following (please note this list is not exhaustive)*:

  • Equipment purchases such as laptops
  • Catering
  • Marketing hard (non-staff) costs (e.g. promotional videos, agency fees, web development)
  • Room rentals.

*These restrictions may be waived for projects with unique needs. For additional information regarding eligible expenses, please contact claf.admin@ubc.ca.

What happens if we don’t use all of the money granted to our project within the planned timeframe?

Proponents are strongly encouraged to complete projects within the planned timeframe. In the event of unforeseen challenges, proponents may be given an extension to complete outstanding work by emailing an official request to claf.admin@ubc.ca, detailing clearly the reason with a proposed timeline. All unused funds will need to be returned when the project closes.