Research Grants - Seed Funding

The Research and Publications Committee of the Faculty of Arts and the Research Development Program (RDP) of the University of Ottawa offer financing to conduct research which lays the groundwork for a competitive grant application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

This Seed funding opportunity targets new researchers (professors who have been in an independent academic position for less than 5 years).  The maximum amount awarded by the Faculty of Arts and the Research Development Program will not exceed $10 000 each (for a potential total of $20 000). Researchers must first be successful at the Faculty level in order to be able to submit their application to the Research Development Program for matching funds.


Eligibility criteria:

  • For the Seed funding opportunity the applicant must:
    • Hold a full-time tenure or a tenure track position at the University of Ottawa;
    • Be a professor in his/her first 5 years as an independent researchers who does not, at the time of application, hold funds from external peer-reviewed sources and who has yet to obtain his/her first award from one of the three Canadian granting councils (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR);
    • Intend to submit a proposal to one of the Tricouncil agencies within the next 12 – 18 months;

Application requirements:

Each application must include:

  • RE form, duly completed and signed by the applicant and department Chair;
  • Summary of the proposed research (250 words)
  • Research description:
    • A. The Research Question and Context (750 words)
    • B. Methodology (750 words)
    • C. Student Training Plan (250 words)
    • D. Knowledge Mobilization Plan (250 words)
    • E. Plan to apply for external funding (250 words)
  • Works cited (1 page maximum)
  • Completed Budget form
  • Budget justification (one page maximum)
  • Bibliography of works cited (one page maximum)
  • Budget justification (one page maximum)
  • Up to date OCGS or UniWeb CV (last 8 years) 

Eligible Expenses

  • Research assistant salaries;
  • Fees for research participant recruitment;
  • Data acquisition;
  • Essential research equipment and supplies; and
  • Research-related travel for data collection.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Conference travel;
  • Publication fees;
  • Organization of workshops or conferences

Proposal Submission

Applications must be submitted by email in a single PDF document which includes all elements of the proposal in the order listed above. If the deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next working day. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Submit applications to:

Selection criteria

Grant applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of the presentation
    • Applications must be clear, concise, legible and complete
  • Scientific merit of the proposal, including, without limitation, such factors as:
    • Originality and innovation;
    • Clarity and scope of objectives;
    • Feasibility and adequacy of methodological approach; and
    • Importance of the expected outcome of the research.
  • Researcher profile including, without limitation, such factors as:
    • Quality and significance of past contributions and
    • Level of research activity relative to the stage of the applicant's career.
  • Contribution to the training of students
    • Applicants must clearly explain how the involvement of students in the project will contribute to the training of highly qualified personnel.
  • Need for funds, including, without limitation, such factors as:
    • Justification of the budget relative to the requirements of the proposed project; and
    • Need for Seed funding and justification of the request relative to other currently-held and/or available funding. Other currently-held funds must be clearly indicated in the applicant's C.V.
  • Plan to apply for external, peer-reviewed funding
    • It is important that the applicant demonstrate their plan for accessing peer-reviewed external funding within the next 12-18 months, given that a primary objective of this program is to increase the likelihood of competing successfully for such funding. The applicant should briefly demonstrate that he or she has identified potential external funding agencies (including Tri-council agencies, industry, foundations, government etc.), that he or she is cognizant of the evaluation criteria and guidelines of the said external funding agencies and that the proposed work will support and strengthen a future grant application.

The Faculty of Arts competition dates are: April 1, September 15, and December 1. 

For more information, contact Kelly-Anne Maddox.

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