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The Major Science Initiatives Fund provides support for the ongoing operating and maintenance needs of research facilities of national importance and ensures that they use appropriate management and governance policies and practices.

How to enter the internal competition

To enter the internal competition for this opportunity, submit this form by July 19, 2021, after which the internal competition will be closed. The Institutional Strategic Awards team will respond with next steps.

Submit Internal Expression of Interest form

Program Overview

This competition provides multi-year funding (2023-2029) toward the O&M needs of facilities. Eligible facilities demonstrate annual O&M costs >$1M, provide highly specialized capabilities that serve pan-Canadian needs as reflected in their governance and management structures, support leading-edge R&D and knowledge mobilization, and require resource commitments well beyond the capacity of any one institution. With the exception of the 7 facilities identified in Appendix 1 of the call, total CFI funding, including from the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF), must not exceed 40%.

Funding through this competition is intended to:

  • Enable pan-Canadian research communities to undertake world-class research and technology development that lead to social, health, economic or environmental benefits for Canadians
  • Enable facilities to operate at an optimal level to ensure the best use of their specialized equipment, services, resources, and technical and scientific personnel
  • Promote responsible stewardship through the adoption of best practices in governance and management.

Additional details about this program can be found on the Major Science Initiative Fund website.



Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions recognized as CFI-eligible can apply to this fund on behalf of a facility.  

A facility is eligible for funding through the 2023 competition if it:

  • Provides highly specialized equipment, services, resources, or scientific and technical personnel
  • Has a demonstrated demand from a research community for equipment, services, resources and scientific and technical personnel
  • Has as an established governance model appropriate to its size and complexity, with a clearly defined national mandate
  • Has a management structure and practices appropriate to its size and complexity
  • Has a publicly available user access policy through which any interested user can request access
  • Has demonstrated annual eligible operating and maintenance costs exceeding $1 million to support human and operational resources beyond what is typically available in Canadian research institutions
  • Is fully operational
  • Is owned by one or more CFI-eligible institutions.

Internal Selection Process and Development Support, EOI stage

Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA) is coordinating an internal Expression of Interest (iEOI) process:

  • Prospective applicants are required to submit an iEOI form to the ISA by Jul 19, 2021
  • iEOIs will be reviewed by SFU's CFI Lead (Charlene Allard) for eligibility, and eligible proposals will be submitted to the VPRI/AVPRI
  • The VPRI/AVPRI will determine which proposals to advance to CFI's Expression of Interest stage based on fit with CFI's assessment criteria (see below)
  • Selected applicant(s) will be notified of the VPRI/AVPRI decision by Jul 26, 2021
  • Selected applicants can submit draft EOIs to the ISA for optional internal critical review by Aug 3, 2021
  • Final CFI EOIs will be submitted to CFI by their deadline of Aug 10, 2021

Development Support and Timeline, NOI and proposal stage

Teams selected to advance to CFI NOI will work with the ISA, research grants facilitators, Facilities and Procurement at the NOI and full proposal stages (deadlines subject to change):

  • Applicants can submit draft NOIs to the ISA for optional critical review by Aug 31, 2021
  • Final CFI NOIs will be submitted to CFI by their deadline of Sep 20, 2021
  • Invitations to submit proposals announced by CFI Nov 4, 2021
  • First draft of proposal due to ISA for critical review by Dec 13, 2021
  • Revised draft proposal due to ISA for critical review by Jan 10, 2022
  • Proposals due to CFI by Feb 8, 2022
  • Funding announcements released by CFI June 22, 2022.

Application Process & Assessment Criteria

CFI uses a structured merit-review process whereby a 5-8 member Expert Committee will assess proposals and make recommendations to the Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee on the basis of six criteria:

  1. Scientific excellence
  2. International competitiveness
  3. Need for CFI funding
  4. Excellence in governance
  5. Excellence in management
  6. Operations and user access

Submission Requirements

Information required at each stage includes the following.

CFI EOI due by Aug 10, 2021:

  • Name of the facility 
  • Website address of the facility, if there is one 
  • Brief description of the facility (maximum 200 words) 
  • Annual operating budget of the facility (based on costs and eligible sources of funding) 
  • Your best estimate of the total amount you will request from the CFI for the period April 1, 2023 through to March 31, 2029. 

CFI NOI due by Sep 20, 2021:

  • Project information 
  • Management team 
  • Participating institutions 
  • Demonstration of eligibility and budget overview
  • Suggested reviewers. 
Last updated: May 21, 2024