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Infrastructure Grants

JELF: John R. Evans Leaders Fund (unaffiliated)

About the JELF

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) is a critical strategic investment tool designed to help institutions attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers. The JELF enables a select number of an institution’s excellent researchers to undertake innovative research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or to become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development that are aligned with their strategic priorities.

Eligible Canadian universities receive an allocation of CFI funds commensurate with funding received from the three federal research funding agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) over the last three years.

The JELF allocation is for a three-year period. CFI provides the final approval for the use of funds, but UW chooses which projects are allowed to apply for CFI’s approval for use of JELF funds.

UW’s use of JELF fund

In 2023, in order to ensure fair review of applications, equitable dispersal of funds, and strategic investment aligned with institutional priorities, UW began to use its JELF allocation using these mechanisms:

Streamed call:

  • Frequency: annual
  • Focus: Streams are natural sciences and engineering (NSE), social sciences and humanities (SSH), health and interdisciplinary.
  • Total project cost maximum: $62 500 or $125 000 with the larger maximum is provided to a different stream each year.

Large call:

  • Frequency: once a JELF allocation (once in 3 years)
  • Focus: This call does not use a streamed approach. It is up to the discretion of the Associate Vice-President and Vice-President, Research and Innovation (AVP-RI and VP-RI), if this call has a special focus or eligibility requirements.
  • Total project cost maximum: variable by up to $175 000

Remainder call:

  • Frequency: last year of the JELF allocation (once in 3 years)
  • Focus: This call does not use a streamed approach. It is up to the discretion of the AVP-RI and VP-RI if this call has a special focus or eligibility requirements.
  • Total project cost maximum: based on whatever funds remain after all other calls have been adjudicated.

Guidelines for JELF Reviewers: Expressions of Interest

Guidelines for JELF Applicants: Expressions of Interest 

JELF (unaffiliated) Investments: 2006 to 2022

Total projects: 20 

By Faculty:

  • Arts: 25%
  • Science: 70%
  • Education: 5%

By Department:

  • Education: 5%
  • Chemistry: 5%
  • Criminal Justice: 5%
  • Women's and Gender Studies: 5%
  • History: 5%
  • Geography: 10%
  • Anthropology: 10%
  • Biology: 15%
  • Physics: 30%

These statistics only include unaffiliated JELF projects with confirmed CFI funding. They reflect the number of projects funded within that category, not the dollar amount associated with that project.

JELF: John R. Evans Leaders Fund (CRC-affiliated)

Researchers who are applying to be Canadian Research Chairs are eligible for JELF funding. Contact Dylan Jones for more information.

Innovation Fund (IF)

The Innovation Fund provides continued investments in infrastructure, across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied through to technology development. Projects funded through the Innovation Fund will help Canada remain at the forefront of exploration and knowledge generation while making meaningful contributions to generating social, health, environmental and economic benefits and addressing global challenges.

Innovation Fund competitions open at intervals of 24 to 30 months.

Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF)

Purpose of the IOF: helps cover a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of CFI-funded research infrastructure to ensure its optimal use.

Who gets the IOF? The IOF is provided to the institution, not individual researchers.

What are some eligible IOF costs?

  • full salary and benefits of technicians and professionals directly involved in the operating and maintenance of the CFI-funded infrastructure may be claimed if the infrastructure cannot be operated without such assistance
  • Training for the main operator(s) of the research infrastructure
  • Extended warranties and/or service contracts not included in the infrastructure award
  • Extensions to warranty coverage, service contracts and software licenses
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Replacement parts
  • Replacement of a CFI-funded infrastructure item needing repair, only if the replacement is more cost effective than the repair (the replacement item must have similar functionality)
  • Supplies and consumables needed to operate the research infrastructure
Indirect Costs of Research Fund (ICRF)

*Call is closed for 2023; will reopen in Fall 2024*

Who is eligible to apply in 2023 and what are the maximums that can be requested?

  • Researchers who have received contracts that contributed to the contract recoveries account since 2020 (through, for example, government contracts [non-Tri-Agency], contracts with non-profit organizations, contracts with private companies, etc.) can request funds following the eligible-use guidelines below, up to $10,000
  • Centres/Institutes that have received formal approval from Senate (including those grandfathered in prior to the formal policy/procedures) can request funds following the eligible-use guidelines below, up to $20,000

The annual funding options, including the maximum funds permitted to be requested each year, will be set based on the funds available in any given year. The amounts available cannot be combined; in other words, researchers can either apply for up to $20,000 or up to $10,000 depending on which stream they are eligible in but not to both streams. These applications will not be peer reviewed and will be evaluated by the VPRI and AVPRI in consultation with the Deans and VPA. This fund is provided through a portion of the funds gathered through contract recoveries for the indirect costs of research.

Eligible use of funds by Centres/Institutes/Researchers, for the indirect costs of research support:

  • upgrade, maintenance, and purchase of new research equipment and other devices
  • material and research supply costs
  • training of faculty and research personnel
  • implementing EDI objectives into a project's research practice (ex. hiring an ASL or multi-lingual interpreter for a research centre activity; renting/purchasing ramps to make an inaccessible venue/research space physically accessible)
  • establishing a core facility for research activities (centralized shared research resources that provide access to instruments, technologies, services, and in many cases expert consultation and training to researchers)
  • purchase or construction of a building
  • rental costs for space that is owned by the institution
  • rental costs for space or equipment for research/activities for a specific program of research
  • purchase of furniture for the offices of researchers, grant recipients and members of their research team
  • page charges for articles published, including costs associated with ensuring open access to the findings (e.g., costs of publishing in an open access journal or making a journal article open access)
  • purchase of animals for research purposes

Ineligible use:

  • direct research support (travel, hiring research assistants, compensation for research participation, etc.)
  • staff support for labs, offices, other facilities that can be funded through research grants for direct research costs
  • equipment and supplies directly related to research/activities for which grant funds were awarded;
  • equipment and supplies with benefits directly attributable a specific grant;
  • start-up grants or pilot studies;
  • hardware or software, including those applicable to research security, with benefits attributable to academic purposes
  • recruiting costs for faculty, including but not limited to advertising, airfare for candidates and relocation costs for new hires; and support for fellowships, scholarships and stipends;
  • course load reduction, release time allowances, research time stipends, salary research allowances and teaching releases; costs associated with collective agreements;
  • cost of alcoholic beverages.
  • costs for safe disposal of waste from research/activities for which funds have been awarded through a grant