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  1. Three Types of Submissions
  2. Internal Resources
  3. External Resources

Application and proposal requirements vary according to each sponsor’s requirements. Please review and follow all requirements to maximize your chance for success.

Types of proposal submissions

Full Proposal

A full proposal provides an in-depth description of proposed research, enabling the sponsor to assess the scientific merit and quality of the research. It includes the common components of a research proposal.

Letter of Intent 

Many sponsors prefer a a Letter of Intent (LOI) rather than a full grant proposal in the first stage of the application process. The LOI provides a brief summary of the project that allows the sponsor to quickly assess how well proposed research fits with their goals and objectives. If there is a good match, they will ask for a full proposal. Most sponsors will not accept full proposals from applicants who did not express intent by the LOI deadline. It is usually at the LOI stage when the Sponsor finalizes their review process based on applications or registrations received.


Letter of Support

A Letter of Support usually accompanies a full proposal for grant funds. It provides a compelling and persuasive reason why a sponsor should support a grant application or proposal. A letter of support, especially from high-level individuals or organizations, can make a grant proposal more competitive. If a grant application requires a Letter of Support from the Vice President, Research & International, please follow the process outlined on our Institutional Support page.


Internal resources

Researchers are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty members and staff early in the process to receive advice on preparing and submitting your research proposal. Research Services is always a good resource for all research related queries. Even if we do not know the answer, we will consult with our colleagues to help you find answers and solutions.

Institutional Strategic Awards
If the proposal involves large-scale, high risk, institutional level funding, infrastructure, networks or consortia (e.g., CFI, CRC, CFREF, NFRF-T, etc.), please contact Institutional Strategic Awards to see what kinds of supports may be available for you.

Technology Licensing Office
For grants that involve sharing of Intellectual Property (IP) with an industry partner (e.g., NSERC Engage, Engage Plus, I2I, and MSFHR I2C), please contact the TLO well in advance of your submission.

Research Grants Facilitators
Research Grants Facilitators have extensive knowledge concerning funding sources and successful grant writing skills. Grants facilitators assist SFU researchers in applying for research funding from all funding agencies.

Faculty Research Liaison Officers
Faculty Research Liaison Officers provide information on research grant and contract opportunities, advice on the development and writing of grant applications, facilitation of research collaboration, assistance in obtaining tools and equipment needed for research, advice on research policy to the Vice-President, Research, and advice and interpretation of research policies to faculty members.

Research Mentors
Senior SFU faculty members with strong records of successful application for grant funding from the Canadian granting councils and/or service on grant selection committees, are available to you for consultation and advice on the preparation of grant applications. Please inquire at your Department office or with your Faculty’s Research Facilitator/Officer about contacts for assistance.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Students seeking research funding should contact the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies ( Research Services does not administer student funding (e.g. bursaries, fellowships, scholarships, awards, etc.).


External resources

Tips for preparing grant applications

Social Sciences and Humanities




Natural Sciences and Engineering

Last updated: March 26, 2024