Tri-Agency Catalyst Grant


Value Up to $6,000
Duration Not to exceed 12 months
Application deadline

No deadline. Applications accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Notice of decision Within four weeks of the submission date

For CIHR applications: Keiko McFarland (

For NSERC applications: Esther Adewuyi Ekpe (

For SSHRC applications: Campbell Peat (

Application form Tri-Agency Catalyst Form
The purpose of this fund is 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.  

Applications may be submitted at anytime throughout the year. Eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis until the annual budget is depleted. Applicants may receive one Catalyst grant per project.

Budget for 2023-24

ORIS has allocated $90,000 in 2023-24 to support this program.

Award value

Grants may range from $500 to $6,000 depending on the project.  Given the limited budget, requests for a smaller amount are welcome (and preferred) so that we may support a greater number of projects.

Eligible Applicants

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 funding administered by ORIS for the same project, or who have not yet submitted a final report to ORIS for a completed Catalyst grant, are not eligible to apply. 

Eligible Tri-Agency Competitions

Applications submitted to the following Tri-Agency competitions within the past 24 months are eligible:

CIHR Project Grants
NSERC Discovery Grants

Insight Development Grants
Insight Grants
Partnership Development Grants
Partnership Grants

Types of Activities Supported

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 will only be considered if the applicant's ranking/application score increased. The applicant must provide a justification as to how the Catalyst Grant will address the concerns without overlapping previous ORIS financial support.  
How to apply
Interested applicants must submit a Tri-Agency Catalyst Grant application form to to be considered.
If you do not receive formal feedback from the agency: Instead of itemizing how you will address the reviewer's feedback, please discuss what activities you will be taking to strengthen the application.  The budget and budget justification should align with those activities.
Conditions of award

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.
  •  Applicants may hold only one award at a time.
Evaluation Process

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 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: 
ORIS Grant Facilitator Team
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Natural Science
Social Science
Fine Arts
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