True springboards for pedagogical innovation, teaching practice support programmes do not hold answer to all the difficulties innovators encounter. This qualitative research explores the obstacles recounted by professors, recipients of an excellence in teaching award from a francophone institution that is strongly committed to research. Results highlight six obstacle types and one major deterrent to innovation. Impact of the institution is borne out and hinges on human and technical aspects. Regulated in this way, is pedagogical innovation not, to the detriment of change, voluntarily held in check by the risk its proponents run in terms of jeopardising their professorial career?