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Applying for Funding

Steps for submitting a research funding application

Flow chart describing the steps for submitting a research funding application. Each step is explained in detail below
  • STEP 1: Identify a funding opportunity
    • Funding e-bulletin
    • Meet with a grants officer/partnerships officer
    • Attend a workshop/information session
  • STEP 2: Notify the Office of Research Services (ORS) of your interest in applying for an opportunity.

    We send relevant funding opportunities by email to faculty members with information on types, amounts and durations of funding, eligibility requirements, deadlines, etc.

    Notify ORS as early as possible if you intend to apply for funding to learn more about internal deadlines and relevant policies and guidelines and/or request practical support such as reviewing and editing drafts and liaising with funding agencies and internal departments. 

    Note: All university grant applications require the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International’s signature. You must submit a full copy of your final grant application on or before the internal ORS deadline to ensure sufficient time for review and sign-off.
  • STEP 3: Write proposal including draft budget.

    Contact your Grants Officer if you need help getting started or refer to our Grant Writing Tips Document

  • STEP 4: Contact ORS with questions and/or to request full review of your proposal.

    We recommend including a draft budget along with your financial justification to ensure the resolution of budgetary issues occurs early in the application process. 

    Note: Where overhead (indirect) costs are permitted by the sponsoring agency, applicants are expected to incorporate them into their budgets. 

    Utilizing an external consultant.
    Some funding applications benefit from review by a senior academic with intimate knowledge of a specific funding program. We can connect you to an experienced external consultant and we also encourage you to solicit colleagues to act as peer reviewers as you refine your grant proposal.

    Honorarium program: For some programs, ORS will provide honorarium support ($150) to solicit an external peer review.

    Service levels
    To have an in-depth review of your application done, please submit your application six weeks before the competition deadline. Your application will be reviewed for completeness two weeks prior to the competition deadline and any changes required to meet the application requirements will be highlighted.

    An administrative review is required for all grant applications therefore application packages must be submitted to ORS three working days prior to the competition deadline.
  • STEP 5: Incorporate recommendations into proposal

    All feedback is intended to strengthen your application and some requested changes will be mandatory, based on the guidelines and policies provided by the university or sponsor agency.

  • STEP 6: Complete the Research Grant/Contract Authorization (RGA) form

    You must submit the RGA form to ORS when applying to any research funding opportunity, including all research-related grants, awards and contracts. The form ensures the respective Dean is aware of the proposal and acknowledges the resources or special requirements needed to successfully conduct the research and requires the following signatures:

    1. The principal investigator at the university.
    2. Your Dean. 
    3. Co-applicant and their Dean, if the co-applicant is from another Faculty. 
    Since institutional signatures on grant applications must be provided by the Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International, or a designate authorized to sign all applications for research funding on behalf of the university, once ORS does a final review of the application/contract, we will secure appropriate signatures.
  • STEP 7: Submit application and RGA form prior to deadline

    The final step in the funding application process is the submission of the RGA form and your entire application package to us on or before the internal deadline.

    Note: A copy of all grant applications and an RGA form must be submitted to ORS regardless of whether the researcher is a primary/principal investigator or a co-applicant. 

    The original signature of the applicant (and co-applicants as required) must be included on the hard copy of the application, if applicable. We keep a copy of your application on file and, using the RGA form, enter the application into our research funding database. If a hard copy is required, we will courier a copy to the sponsoring agency on behalf of the applicant by the deadline date and time.

Submission timelines: external research grant applications

The chart below provides the submission timelines for grants and programs offered via the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Submission deadlines and ORS services
Six weeks prior to competition deadline Comprehensive review―submit a draft of your application for in-depth review and feedback by us or a consultant, if available. The draft should include the research proposal and budget.
Ten working days prior to competition deadline Administrative review―submit the entire application for a review. We will provide brief comments on the completeness of the application and highlight any necessary changes to meet agency application requirements.
Mandatory submission deadline
Three working days prior to competition deadline

Compliance review―at this stage, we will only identify necessary components that are absent from the application. No comments will be provided on the quality or content of the application.

Required components:

  1. Submit a copy of the entire application package for final compliance review and institutional signatures/approvals.
  2. For electronic submissions, including for Tri-Agency programs, the complete application must be uploaded and submitted to ORS through the agency’s online system three working days prior to the competition deadline.
  3. Include an RGA form bearing the Dean’s signature.