Research Funding

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.

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:

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.

EDI in NSERC Grant Applications Presentation

View a presentation on addressing NSERC criteria for EDI in research grants.

Note, you must login with your faculty email account to view this presentation.

See the presentation here.

Mitacs Webinar

View a webinar about Mitacs funding and new changes to their programs.

Note, you must login with your faculty email account to view this video.

Recorded on February 13. 2024.

See the Mitacs Webinar here.

UBC Internal Funding Opportunities

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.