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Research Grants Facilitator

Dr. Theresa Kitos (Phone: 778-782-3132)

The Research Grants Facilitator works with Faculty of Science researchers to develop competitive research grants applications. The Facilitator monitors and evaluates new developments and opportunities for funding and provides professional guidance in the preparation of research grants applications. In addition, the Research Grants Facilitator assists in the development of interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and inter-university research teams, and matches funding opportunities with faculty members’ research interests.

Associate Dean, Research & Advancement

Dr. Peter Ruben (Phone: 778-782-9351)

The Associate Dean of Research and Advancement in the Faculty of Science oversees all research matters for the faculty’s eight departments including liaising with government, public and private research centers and funding bodies, and corporate and individual donors. The Associate Dean reviews all applications for grants and contracts and works closely with the Grants Facilitator and the Faculty of Science Advancement team.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Support for Grants

Who is my research grants facilitator and what does that person do?

Faculty of Science Research Grants Facilitator:
Dr. Theresa Kitos 
Phone: (778) 782-3132

The Faculty of Science (FacSci) Research Grants Facilitator works with FacSci researchers to develop competitive research grant applications. In addition to keeping track of new developments and opportunities for funding, the grants facilitator guides researchers in selecting the best grant programs to apply for, reads draft proposals and provides detailed feedback, and supports all aspects of developing a strong application.

The Research Grants Facilitator is 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.

Will the grants facilitator write my grant application?

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

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

Your grants facilitator welcomes draft proposals at any stage of development - feel free to contact the facilitator to submit a partial or complete draft for review.

Once a draft is received, the facilitator informs the applicant as to when the review will be ready. Comments, suggestions and questions are conveyed using track changes in Word (let the facilitator know if a Word document is not an option). When a review is ready, the facilitator e-mails it to the applicant or, in some cases, discusses it in a telephone conversation or meeting. In addition, the facilitator can provide confidential samples of successful applications upon request.

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

Note: Given the number of FacSci faculty members, concurrent deadlines, and a process of writing that often involves multiple drafts and numerous reviews, it is best to contact the facilitator 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 my grants facilitator?

Contact your grants facilitator 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.

Applying for a Grant

What is an internal 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 Canadian government's Research Support Fund to assist with costs associated with research. The support received is 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 seeks to recover indirect costs; details are available from SFU’s Office of Research Services (ORS). Questions about indirect costs are answered by Ellen Loosley (Director, ORS).

How do I submit my grant application?

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

Who signs my grants?

Research grant applications typically require a combination of applicant and institutional signatures, most often from: the applicant; their Department Chair; the FacSci Associate Dean, Research & Advancement; 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.

What paperwork does the Dean of Science office typically require for my SFU grant application signature sheet to be signed?

  • Completed grant application signature page, including signatures of applicant(s) and Departmental Chair
  • A draft of the full application 
  • Scan and email this paperwork to the Dean of Science office 1-2 days prior to the SFU internal deadline
  • When signed, the signature sheet and paperwork is emailed to ORS (applicant & Department cced)

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 Canadian government's Research Support Fund to assist with costs associated with research. The support received is 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 seeks to recover indirect costs; details are available from SFU’s Office of Research Services (ORS). Questions about indirect costs are answered by Ellen Loosley (Director, 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 pay rate for personnel such as graduate students?

See the FacSci Budget Guidelines page for a summary of this information.

Who will help me with my budget?

The Research Grants Facilitator provides guidance and advice on completing budgets, and has sample budgets from a number of funding programs.

How much funding should I request?

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

If I am awarded the 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, the relevant biosafety permit) in order to set up a research account.
Once an account is set up, faculty typically work with their Department Managers to access their research funds; financial administration/reporting on research funds from external sponsors is managed by Research Accounting.

NSERC / CIHR / SSHRC

NSERC FAQs

CIHR FAQs

SSHRC FAQs