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SFU's Funding Opportunities Database is a curated system that provides up-to-date information on the most common grants, awards and prizes for which we offer support. This system is managed by Research Services and Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA) staff who—along with your local Faculty Research Facilitator—can provide advice and guidance on details.

The FundOps database provides details on granting programs of all sizes, scopes, and disciplines. The following larger, more complex granting programs are managed and supported by Institutional Strategic Awards (links will take you to the appropriate entry in the FundOps Database, where you can read about relevant internal timelines or requirements): 


  • SSHRC Partnership Grant 
    Partnership Grants (PG) provide support for new and existing formal partnerships to advance research, research training, and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities through mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership

  • New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Transformation Stream
    The Transformation stream is designed to support large-scale, Canadian-led interdisciplinary research projects that address a major challenge with the potential to realize real and lasting change (high-reward). The challenge may be fundamental, leading to a scientific breakthrough, or applied, with a social, economic, environmental or health impact. Projects are expected to be world-leading, drawing on global research expertise where relevant.

  • NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE)
    CREATE supports the training of teams of highly qualified students (mainly graduate) and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs. SFU provides limited support to research teams submitting proposals to this Limited Submission program.


There are many infrastructure funding opportunities (e.g., NSERC RTI) listed in the Funding Opportunities Database. Some larger-scale, strategic infrastructure funding programs (e.g., CFI programs) are administered and supported at the institutional level. The ISA office administers these programs for SFU and supports SFU researchers to develop competitive proposals in line with SFU’s strategic research priorities.


CFI Programs

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provides infrastructure funding to support individuals or larger labs. While they are awarded to the institution to manage, researchers are the primary drivers of the proposals and are the principal users of the equipment. CFI occasionally holds special competitions (e.g., BRIF). These will be listed and advertised through the Funding Opportunities Database. The following are the two main recurring programs supported by ISA:

  • John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) 
    Focused on the individual researcher, JELFs help institutions to recruit and retain outstanding research talent and acquire the tools that enable the innovative work of leading researchers. Allocations and the application process are managed at the Faculty level. Contact your local Facilitator for more information.
  • Innovation Fund (IF) 
    The CFI Innovation Fund supports transformative infrastructure projects that underpin cutting-edge, globally competitive research. 

Research Chairs

Canada Research Chairs

Since 2000, the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain diverse world-class researchers, to reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian postsecondary institutions. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences, improving our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthening international competitiveness, and training the next generation of highly skilled people.

CRC allocations are determined by the institution, and nominations are developed by Departments and Faculties. A complete administration guide to provide you with information about the CRC program at SFU is available at the CRC webpage.


Canada Excellence Research Chair Program

The Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program offers eligible Canadian, degree-granting institutions an opportunity to establish highly funded research chairs in the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CERC and CFREF programs. These opportunities are held every four years, the most recent of which was in 2022.
For information on SFU’s processes for the last call, please visit the 2022 CERC webpage.