Frequently Asked Questions: Research

Support for Grants

What's a grants facilitator?

Research Grants Facilitators work with FASS researchers to develop competitive research grant applications. In addition to keeping track of new developments and opportunities for funding, they guide researchers in selecting the best grant programs to apply for, read draft proposals and provide detailed feedback, and support all aspects of developing a strong application.

Research Grants Facilitators are available for consultation during workshops, in one-on-one meetings (by appointment or on a drop-in basis), on the phone, and via e-mail.

Who is my grants facilitator?

The Director, Research and Communications for FASS is Beverly Neufeld, Ph.D.
    Contact: Beverly Neufeld
    Phone: (778) 782-7146

The Associate Research Grants Facilitator for FASS is Anna Miegon, Ph.D.
    Contact: Anna Miegon
    Phone: (778) 782-9695

Research Grants Facilitators are available for consultation during workshops, in one-on-one meetings (by appointment or on a drop-in basis), on the phone, and via e-mail.

What is involved when I submit a draft for review to a grants facilitator?

We welcome draft proposals at any stage of development - feel free to contact us to submit a partial or complete draft for review.

Once we receive a draft, we inform the applicant as to when the review will be ready. To convey comments, suggestions and questions, we use track changes in Word (let us know if a Word document is not an option). When a review is ready, we e-mail it to the applicant or, in some cases, discuss it in a telephone conversation or meeting. In addition, we can provide confidential samples of successful applications upon request.

Feel free to contact your facilitators at any time with questions, comments and drafts.

Note: Given the number of FASS faculty members, concurrent deadlines, and a process of writing that often involves multiple drafts and numerous reviews, we recommend contacting us well in advance of deadlines. While planning your work on proposals, take into consideration that a minimum of two to three drafts (and sometimes additional iterations) are typically needed.

When should I contact ORS? When a grants facilitator?

Contact grants facilitators for assistance in developing competitive research grant applications, selecting the best grant programs to apply for, and building interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and inter-university research teams.

Contact the Office of Research Services (ORS) for assistance in obtaining and administering financial support for research; for example, with questions about application processes, eligibility and the SFU Signature Sheet.

Who signs my grants?

Research grant applications typically require a combination of applicant and institutional signatures, most often from: the applicant; their Department/Program Chair; the FASS Associate Dean, Research; and the SFU Office of Research Services (ORS).

SFU typically requires these same signatures on the SFU signature sheet but since granting agencies have specific requirements for different competitions, other signatures are at times required: consult ORS if you are uncertain about who should sign.

Finding a Grant

What grants am I eligible for?

SFU generally administers research grants and contracts only on behalf of faculty members. See ORS for details on eligibility, and consult SFU Policy R 10.01, External Research Grants and Contracts. Also contact the FASS Research Grants Facilitators for help with finding funding for your research.

Is there SFU funding for my research?

The SFU Office of Research Services maintains a list of SFU grants and includes eligibility information, deadlines, forms and instructions.

How do I find out about funding opportunities?

The Office of Research Services distributes details of research funding opportunities via e-mail lists which you may join. You should also consult the list of external granting agencies and searchable databases for more funding opportunities.

Applying for a Grant

When is the next deadline?

Typically, sooner than you think. Check on upcoming deadlines regularly.

What is an internal SFU deadline?

SFU internal deadlines are set by ORS and allow time for review and revision of grant applications before submission.
Meeting the internal deadline gives ORS staff time to check the application for compliance with the funding agency's requirements, for errors or omissions to be caught, and for applicants to correct them.  
There is no need to request an extension to the internal deadline since not meeting it will only result in your application not receiving a final review.
Information about SFU internal deadlines is listed on the ORS website; you may also join e-mail lists to receive information about new funding opportunities, including SFU internal deadlines.

How much overhead does SFU charge for research grants?

SFU does not charge researchers overhead on grants awarded by Canada’s National Granting Councils. Instead, SFU receives an annual grant from the Research Support Fund for indirect costs of research based on the average level of funding received over the previous three years from Canada’s National Granting Councils and Networks of Centres of Excellence.

For research funded by other sources, including research or contract agreements, SFU does seek to recover indirect costs; details are available from SFU’s Office of Research Services (ORS). Questions about indirect costs go to the Director of SFU’s Office of Research Services (ORS).

Will the grants facilitator write my grant application?

No. The Research Grants Facilitators will work with you to develop a competitive application, they will read your draft proposals and provide feedback to improve your applications, and support all aspects of developing a strong application.

How do I submit my grant application?

Major grant programs typically require e-submission. SSHRC Insight Grants, NSERC Discovery Grants, and CIHR Operating Grants are all submitted via the internet, for example. Consult individual program requirements, or the FASS Research Grants Facilitators or/and the SFU Office of Research Services (ORS) if you are uncertain about how to proceed.

Note that most research grant applications – including e-submissions – require applicant and institutional signatures (usually from: the applicant; their Department/Program Chair; the FASS Associate Dean, Research; and the SFU Office of Research Services (ORS).).

SFU typically requires these same signatures on the SFU signature sheet but since granting agencies have specific requirements for different competitions, other signatures are at times required: consult the FASS Research Grants Facilitators or/and ORS if you are uncertain about who should sign.

Money / Budgets

Does SFU charge researchers overhead?

SFU does not charge researchers overhead on grants awarded by Canada’s National Granting Councils. Instead, SFU receives an annual grant from the Research Support Fund for indirect costs of research based on the average level of funding received over the previous three years from Canada’s National Granting Councils and Networks of Centres of Excellence.

For research funded by other sources, including contracts, SFU does seek to recover overhead/indirect costs. Questions about indirect costs go to Director of SFU’s Office of Research Services (ORS).

See also Research Contracts and SFU’s Research Policy R10.01.

What percentage of grants goes to the PI?

100% of research grants awarded by Canada’s National Granting Councils goes to researchers. Research grants and contracts supported by other sources may be subject to recovery of indirect costs (overhead); see SFU’s ORS.

Can I "buy out" my teaching time using research grant funds?

Some funding agencies provide salary replacement funds to protect research time and "buy out" teaching responsibilities; according to SFU Policy the minimum cost of one regular course buy-out is 12% of annual salary, a faculty member normally may not buy out more than one course in any academic year, and buy-outs require the approval of the Department Chair and Faculty Dean.

What are SFU rates for hotels, food and other subsistence costs?

The SFU Travel Policy lists standard University rates for travel and subsistence costs, and for hotels, meals and other travel-related costs.

What's the SFU rate for RAs?

Amounts for student stipends are available from SFU’s Office of Research Services

Amount for student hourly wage rates are available on FASS Budget Notes

Who will help me with my budget?

The Research Grants Facilitators provide guidance and advice on completing budgets, and have sample budgets from a number of funding programs.

Should I apply for the maximum amount available?

The amount you request should be determined primarily by your research needs. Your Research Grants Facilitators can help you work out the optimal request based on research needs and the history of the granting agency.

Now that I have a research grant, how do I get my money?

When you receive a grant award letter you should scan and email it to ORS which will follow up with you to ensure that all necessary forms are complete (including, for example, research ethics approval) in order to set up a research account.
Once an account is set up, faculty typically work with their Department/Program Managers to access their research funds; financial administration/reporting on research funds from external sponsors is managed by Research Accounting.

SSHRC - NSERC - CIHR

SSHRC FAQ

NSERC FAQ

CIHR FAQ