Tri-Agency Catalyst Grant


Value Up to $10,000
Duration Not to exceed 12 months
Application deadline

May 1

September 1 (dependent upon the availability of funds) 

Notice of decision Within the month of application
Contact Penny Pickles (
Application form Tri-Agency Catalyst 

Tri-Agency Catalyst Grants support research activities designed to strengthen grant proposals that were unsuccessful in a previous competition at CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC (collectively known as the ‘Tri-Agency’).  The funds are intended to help researchers address reviewer comments in order to strengthen a resubmission in a subsequent round.  Due to a large number of applications and limited funds, the fund cannot support all requests. Awards are not automatic or guaranteed.


Applicants must be a continuing full-time faculty member at the University of Lethbridge, participated in the Office of Research and Innovation Services’ (ORIS) internal review process at the time of external application (e.g., internal review panels and/or review by an ORIS grant facilitator), and be named as the Principal Investigator on the application. 

Faculty members currently holding other internal research grants administered by ORIS, or who have not yet submitted a final report to ORIS for a completed internal grant, are not eligible to apply. Applicants are allowed to hold a University of Lethbridge Travel Fund award concurrently with other internal research funding.


Applications submitted to the following Tri-Agency competitions are eligible:

CIHR Project Grants
NSERC Discovery Grants

Insight Development Grants
Insight Grants
Partnership Development Grants
Partnership Grants


While the maximum level of support is $10,000, applicants are advised to keep their budgets reasonable. Awards are typically in the $5,000 to $8,000 range.  The number of awards will depend on the funding available and the amounts requested in successful applications.


The Tri-Agency Catalyst Grant is a flexible program designed to provide support for a wide range of activities.  Applicants must provide a plan to address the reviewer comments in order to improve the chances of securing funding from the same agency and/or competition during one of the next two competitions.

Expenditures must be directly related to the research and address reviewer feedback to strengthen a resubmission to a subsequent eligible CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC competition.

Please note the following:

  • Funding cannot be used to seed projects or keep a researcher afloat while developing applications.
  • Unsuccessful applications whose primary purpose is to host outreach activities are not eligible.
  • Requests to support research assistants, technicians, and other research staff already employed by the applicant will not be considered.
  • Requests should be considered one-time contributions and are non-renewable.
  • Requests for support for subsequent applications to the same competition for the same project must provide a justification as to how the Catalyst Grant will address the concerns without overlapping previous ORIS financial support.  


Interested applicants must submit a Tri-Agency Catalyst Grant application form.  Requests for funding must be submitted to the Office of Research and Innovation Services using by May 1 (or September 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 may hold only one award at a time.


Funding is provided on the following conditions:

  • The recipient must commit to re-applying to the CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC competition within two competition cycles.
  • The recipient must work with a grant facilitator within ORIS to develop a stronger application through structured internal peer review and grant editing review, where available.  For example, NSERC Discovery Grant applicants must participate in the internal peer review panels.  A failure to work with ORIS on the resubmission may make the recipient ineligible for future Tri-Agency Catalyst grants.
  • Grants term will be for 12 months 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.
  • Grant funds may be used only for the project and purposes described in the Catalyst Grant 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-Agency 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).
  • Equipment or library materials acquired with grant funds remain as property of the University of Lethbridge in accordance with university policy.
  • Personnel employed with grant funds are not regular University employees and are not covered by the provisions of the collective agreement with support staff.


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 applicant priority ranking and evaluation criteria:

Applicant Priority Ranking

  1. Early Career/Emerging researcher (as defined by the agency to which the application is submitted) with no previous Tri-Agency Catalyst grants.
  2. Early Career/Emerging or Established researcher whose application ranked as follows:


Project Grants

  • Received a score of 4.0 or higher and was discussed as part of the committee meeting receiving SO notes summarizing discussion. 


Discovery Grants

  • Early Career researchers: moderate or better rating in all categories
  • Established researchers: strong or better rating in at least two categories. 


Insight Development Grants
Insight Grants
Partnership Development Grants
Partnership Grants

  • Ranked in the 2nd or 3rd sextile


3. Early Career/Emerging or Established researcher that doesn’t fit into priority 1 or 2.

4. Early Career/Emerging or Established researcher applying for a second Tri-Agency Catalyst grant for a previously supported application, which was unsuccessful but improved in ranking.

Evaluation criteria

  • The degree to which this funding will enable the applicant to address the specific comments from the reviewers. 
  • The previous efforts of the applicant to utilize support provided by ORIS to strengthen submissions to a Tri-Agency competition.
  • Feasibility of the plan to address reviewer feedback.

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 Amount: 
Grant Location: 
Internal Deadline: 
Thursday, September 1, 2022
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Social Science
Fine Arts
Grant Eligibility: