An overview of the main research funding competitions, with useful links and some important information about deadlines.
External Funding: Main Funding Competitions
Below are the most logical places for a single researcher to start applying. This list is not complete.
- NSERC Discovery Grant (DG): for those in sciences and engineering
- SSHRC Insight Development Grant (IDG): ideal for early-career social scientists who have not received tri-agency funding before. Can have co-applicants, can have international co-applicants
- SSHRC Insight Grant (IG): for established social scientists. Can have co-applicants in Canada.
- CFI-JELF (Canadian Foundation for Innovation – John Evans Leadership Fund): for equipment and lab renovations.
For those who do highly multi-disciplinary work and whose work falls in-between the two agencies: please contact Pia Smets for other options and to determine the best fit.
Once you start building partnerships, the following competitions become relevant:
- NSERC Alliance: collaborations with organizations in the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors. They can be small or large, and a portion may be spent on social science
- Mitacs: helps pay graduate student or post-doc salaries and requires an internship with the partner (company or agency): Mitacs Accelerate is the most common. Also Mitacs Elevate, Mitacs Globalink and other programs.
- SSHRC partnership stream (PEG, PDG, PG): for social scientists: to collaborate with academic or non-academic partners, Connection grants for knowledge mobilization.
- New Frontiers in Research Fund NFRF: exploration stream: for multidisciplinary projects
We also mention these funds:
- CFI-JELF or Canadian Foundation for Innovation – John Evans Leadership Fund: mostly for new faculty within 2 years of arriving at UBC, to set up your new lab with equipment.
- NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI): to buy research equipment (any career stage)
- Genome BC opportunities: from pilot projects to user-driven projects (e.g. GAPP, GeneSolve). Applications to Genome Canada projects also go through GenomeBC.
Some funding opportunities are large and correspondingly competitive: Principal investigators (PIs) usually initiate these at later career stages, though applicants, co-applicants and collaborators can be at any career stage. Some of the more regular calls are:
- NSERC Create: innovative post-graduate training programs
- NFRF Transformation: very interdisciplinary research that crosses the boundaries of the tri- agencies
- SSHRC Partnership Grant (PG) for researchers largely in the social sciences and humanities The above list is not exhaustive. Each agency also runs ad-hoc competitions, which may only run once. The best way to remain informed of those is to read the monthly Research Digest.
UBC Internal Funding Opportunities
- Cluster grants GCRC: creation of networks of UBC researchers
- Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund: develop community-university relationships (as a prelude to research collaboration)
- Hampton Grant and Bridge Grant for social sciences
- Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) Catalyst Collaboration Fund and Scholars program
Faculty of Forestry Internal Funding
- Seed Grant: Provides funds for clusters of researchers (≥3) from the Faculty of Forestry to tackle large, applied multidisciplinary problems, to catalyze collaborations within the Faculty, and to lay the groundwork for larger projects. Funds may be used for workshops, scientific meetings or proof of concept (POC) projects. Terms of Reference, blank application form.
- Through the SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG grant), the Faculty of Forestry annually awards (internally) ~ one small (≤ $7K) Explore/Exchange grant, to develop, maintain, and/or enhance research in the Social Sciences. Terms of Reference.
- Open Access publishing support: when no other funds are available for Open Access fees, and publications have high potential impact. Terms of Reference.
Note that ORS has an internal deadline of at least two full working days in advance of the sponsor deadline and five working days prior to any major competition deadline. Major funding agency deadlines are February 1 (SSHRC IDG), October 1 (SSHRC IG) and November 1 (NSERC DG).
Please check the ORS Calendar of Funding Deadlines for specific dates and the ORS e-submission procedures for the specific grant application pages required.
Every application for funding requires that a signed Research Project Information Form (RPIF) be sent to ORS. Your RPIF needs to be accompanied by a proposal summary and a budget. Especially important are the ‘overhead’ costs, determined by the Indirect Costs policy. Send your RPIF (with summary and budget) first to your Departmental Administrator (Genny Go, Joanne Dean, Sylvia Ho), who will check the form and collect signatures. Please allow at least 48-hour turnaround time for signatures (Department Head and Associate Dean Research) on your RPIF. For any further questions regarding Indirect Costs, please consult your Associate Dean Research.