Strategic Opportunities Fund

 

OVERVIEW

Value

Varies depending on the request

Duration

Not to exceed 12 months

Application Deadlines

March 1 - EXTENDED TO MAY 24

Notice of decision

June

ORIS Contact

Penny Pickles (pickpj@uleth.ca)

 

Please note: ORIS is restructuring its internal grants.  The final intake for SOF requests will be May 24. 

The Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF) supports activities that develop, increase, or strengthen research excellence at the University of Lethbridge.  Due to a large number of applications and limited funds, the fund cannot support all requests. Awards are not automatic or guaranteed.

ELIGIBILITY

Full-time University of Lethbridge faculty are eligible to apply.  All members, as defined in the U of L Faculty Association Handbook , who have research duties as part of their appointment may be eligible. Instructors who have research duties as part of their appointment may be considered on a case by case basis.  Applicants may submit only one Strategic Opportunities Fund request per competition and are limited to 1 award per calendar year, excluding any requests for matching funds. 

Please note the following:  Departments and Centres and Institutes are limited to 1 award per year.  Requests must be submitted by the Department Chair or Centre/Institute director, respectively.

Normally, applicants cannot hold more than one award from internal funding sources such as CREDO, SSHRC Explore, Strategic Opportunities Fund, or ULRF at the same time.  Applicants are allowed to hold a University of Lethbridge Travel Fund award concurrently with internal research funding. In instances where the applicant holds internal funds, but is also requesting funds from the Strategic Opportunities Fund, the applicant must outline how the request differs from projects already funded from internal sources.

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

The Strategic Opportunities Fund is a flexible program designed to provide support for a wide range of activities, provided the activities align with the goals outlined in the Strategic Research Plan.  Requests for which other internal funds are available will not be considered. For example, requests for research support should be directed to the University of Lethbridge Research Fund. The exception to this are application enhancement requests where external reviews have recommended additional research to strengthen an application (reviews should be submitted with the application).

Requests should be considered one-time contributions and are non-renewable.

Activities eligible for funding under the Strategic Opportunities Fund are as follows, listed in order of priority:

Application Enhancement

Purpose

To support researchers that wish to improve and resubmit applications that were unsuccessful in a preceding external funding competition.

Special Considerations

  • Funding will not be provided for an expired internal award.
  • Funding cannot be used to seed projects or keep a researcher afloat while developing applications.
  • Unsuccessful applications whose primary purpose is to host outreach events are not eligible.
  • Letters of Intent will be considered on a case-by-case basis pending availability of funds.
  • Requests for funds to support research assistants, technicians etc. already employed by the PI will not be considered.

Eligible Expenses

All expenses must be essential for the activities being proposed and adhere to the “Use of Grant Funds” guidelines outlined by the Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR).

Ineligible Expenses

If you are seeking funds to support a research project, please submit an application to the CREDO fund, SSHRC Explore, or University of Lethbridge Research Fund.

Funds Available

Although no maximum size of grant is identified, applicants are advised to keep their budgets reasonable.

Award Conditions

  • Must submit a reapplication to the external agency within the next two grant competition years.
  • Must agree to work with a grant facilitator within the Office of Research and Innovation Services to develop a stronger application.
  • SOF funds are expected to be spent within 12 months. If more time is required, arrangements must be made at the time of award.

Application Requirements

  • SOF coversheet
  • A narrative detailing plans to address the reviewer feedback and strengthen the application
  • Complete unsuccessful external application
  • Feedback from the selection committee/panel

Partnership Development/Enhancement

Purpose

To foster or enhance collaborative research and creative partnerships. 

Special Considerations

  • Project teams should involve collaborators beyond academia.  Partners in all disciplines and sectors (the public, private, commercial, and not-for-profit) are eligible.
  • All applications must demonstrate potential to attract/increase external funding within 1-2 years.

Eligible Expenses

Grant funds can be used to support the costs of developing or enhancing a research partnership.  Eligible activities may include the following:

  • Activities that enable the team to work together to identify research questions, emerging issues and/or priorities that could form the basis of a grant application;
  • Initial planning and discussion of a research project among potential team members to assess the viability of the research project and partnership; or
  • Gatherings of researchers, partners and end users where the main objective is to facilitate collaboration among individuals/groups from a variety of backgrounds interested in applying to a funding opportunity.

Ineligible Expenses

  • If you are seeking funds to host a workshop, conference, symposia etc., please submit the request under the “Outreach and Knowledge Mobilization” stream. 
  • If you are seeking funds to offset the travel costs of attending a professional meeting or conference, please submit an application to the University of Lethbridge Travel Fund.

Funds Available

Although no maximum size of grant is identified, applicants are advised to keep their budgets reasonable.

Award Conditions

  • Must submit an application to an external funding agency within 1-2 years.
  • Must agree to work with a grant facilitator within the Office of Research and Innovation Services in the development of the application.
  • SOF funds are expected to be spent within 12 months. If more time is required, arrangements must be made at the time of award.

Application Requirements

  • SOF coversheet
  • A narrative discussing (1) the partnership and the anticipated contribution of each member to the project, (2) details on the targeted funding opportunity and the deadline for applying, (3) an activity plan with a timetable, (4) details on how the funds will be used to achieve the expected outcomes.

Matching Funds

Purpose

To provide institutional support for proposals that require matching funds or other contributions to the total project cost. 

Special Considerations

  • Applications must be led by U of L researchers.  If the project lead is not at the U of L, requests will be considered only if the application guidelines have a required or expected institutional matching component from all collaborators.
  • The sponsor must require matching funds as a condition of funding.
  • Matching funds will not be provided for an internal award.
  • If you are preparing an application that requires matching funds, the request should be considered in the early stages of proposal preparation to ensure there is sufficient time to consider the request.

Eligible Expenses

All expenses must be essential for the activities being proposed and adhere to the “Use of Grant Funds” guidelines outlined by the Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR).

Ineligible Expenses

 

Funds Available

Although no maximum size of grant is identified, applicants are advised to keep their budgets reasonable.

Award Conditions

SOF funds are expected to be spent within 12 months. If more time is required, arrangements must be made at the time of award.

Application Requirements

  • SOF coversheet
  • Application details, namely (1) is it led by a U of L researcher? (2) does it include other U of L researchers?
  • Details on the funding program, namely (1) are matching funds required? and if so, (2) what is the required level of matching funds?
  • Details on additional funding secured for the project.

Dissemination Grant (Postdoctoral Fellows)

Purpose

To assist postdoctoral fellows engage in activities that promote their research and enhance the profile of the University of Lethbridge

Special Considerations

The applicant must be a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Lethbridge. The research work that is being presented, published or otherwise disseminated should be work that has been conducted during the applicant's postdoctural tenure at the University of Lethbridge. 

Eligible Expenses

Expenses related to disseminating research work via publication or travel to support presentations at learned societies, professional associations or similar groups.   

Ineligible Expenses

If you are in doubt as to the eligibility of your request, please contact us prior to submitting your application.

Funds Available

Up to $1,000

Award Conditions

If requesting funds to travel to a conference,

  • The applicant must provide confirmation of acceptance for the presentation or poster. If this information isn't available at time of application, proceed with the application and note that awards will be made conditional on confirmation of acceptance. 
  • Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days after the conference date.

Application Requirements

  • SOF coversheet
  • An abstract of the research to be presented, published, or promoted.
  • If requesting funds to support publication, (1) confirmation from the publisher that the work was accepted for publication and (2) documentation confirming the cost for which funding support is sought (e.g., page indexing, publication subvention)

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants must complete the Strategic Opportunities Fund application form (link to form is available at the bottom of the page).  Requests for funding must be submitted to the Office of Research and Innovation Services using oris@uleth.ca by March 1, June 1, September 1 or December 1 to be considered. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next working day.  Late or incomplete forms will not be considered. Funding will not be provided retroactively.

Applicants may submit only one application per competition and receive one award per calendar year.

CONDITIONS OF AWARD

  • Term. Grants term will be for one year from the date the award is approved. Any funds remaining at the end of the term of the grant will be returned to the source. Extensions will not be granted.
  • Use of Funds. Grant funds may be used only for the project and purposes described in the application, subject to any special conditions such as human subject research or animal welfare approval. Funds will be managed in accordance with the standard terms/conditions for Tri-Council funding. Minor transfer of funds from one budget category within the grant fund to another may be permitted. Major transfers (greater than 10% of the total grant award) or the use of funds for a previously unspecified expenditure requires prior approval by the Office of Vice-President (Research).
  • Reports[PP3] . A final report on the activity funded by the Strategic Research Fund must be submitted within six months of the termination date. Subsequent applications will be considered only after receipt of a final report for previous or existing grants.
  • Equipment and Library Acquisitions. Equipment or library materials acquired with grant funds remain as property of the University of Lethbridge in accordance with university policy.
  • Personnel. Personnel employed with grant funds are not regular University employees and are not covered by the provisions of the collective agreement with support staff.

EVALUATION PROCESS AND CRITERIA

The adjudication committee is the Vice-President (Research) and Associate Vice-President (Research) with input from staff in the Office of Research and Innovation Services.  

The adjudication committee will review all requests and may decide to provide full, partial or no funding based on considerations to the following questions:

  • Are there other sources of funding available to support the request?
  • Has the applicant secured other sources of funding or attempted to secure additional funds?
  • What are the potential benefits to the advancement of the U of L's Strategic Research Plan?
  • Has the applicant received funding from the Strategic Research Fund previously?
  • What is the overall merit of the request?

Final funding decisions rest with the Vice-President (Research).  Due to limits on funding availability, appeals will not be considered.

Agency Name: 
University of Lethbridge
Contact Name: 
Penny Pickles
Grant Location: 
Internal
Internal Deadline: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Grant Type: 
Research
Grant Area: 
Other
Grant Eligibility: 
Faculty