The OFI Seed Fund supports ocean-related projects that offer high potential for innovation success but need small amounts of funding to help them to move forward — and grow.  

The OFI Seed Fund

The Seed Fund supports innovative projects that have the potential to advance research, commercial or social concepts relating to the ocean. For example: 

  • conducting preliminary ocean research or feasibility studies
  • testing new approaches or developing prototypes that advance marine science 
  • developing a new concept, idea, or opportunity in support of ocean sustainability 


Seed funding is open to faculty, staff, and students at Dalhousie University and/or Memorial University of Newfoundland who are conducting research related to OFI priorities. The fund cannot be used to supplement OFI's large research projects, currently under way.  

Selection criteria

  1. Excellence and creativity of the proposed research program
  2. Excellence of the proponent(s)
  3. Alignment with OFI's research priorities
  4. Potential for the project to lead to larger-scale research projects or commercial opportunities

Eligible expenses

Proposed budget expenses must align with the eligibility requirements outlined in the Canada First Research Excellence Fund Administration Guide

Funding amount & duration

  • Awards will range from $10,000 to $15,000 with particularly compelling ideas considered up to a maximum of $30,000.
  • Funds can be used for salaries of highly qualified personnel (but cannot be used for the salaries of the principal investigators), minor equipment, materials and supplies, travel and workshops.
  • Funding is intended for projects to be undertaken and completed within a 12-month time frame.
  • Within 60 days of the end of the approved award period, award recipients must provide to OFI a final report that describes what was accomplished, future plans, and a summary of expenses.

Application deadlines 

There are two calls for proposals during 2018; applications must be submitted by:

  1. March 30, 2018 [now closed]
  2. Sept. 28, 2018

Please note: Memorial University faculty, staff and students must follow the institute’s procedures for applying to this opportunity. Please consult with your unit’s Grants Facilitators for determining internal deadlines.

Decisions will be transmitted by April 30, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019. 

Application submission  

The following information must be compiled and sent to ofi@dal.ca as one document (PDF):

  • Applicant information (name, title, affiliation, address, phone, email)
  • Applicant Curriculum Vitae
  • Title and summary of proposed research (250 words)
  • Description of expected outcomes arising from the project, its significance, and how these outcomes will be achieved (500 words)
  • A brief description of the project’s aims, rationale and methodology (250 words)
  • A brief description of how the project supports (or is aligned with) OFI research priorities (250 words)  
  • Project start date and end date 
  • Names and contact information of team members: collaborators, partners, students  
  • A budget that itemizes general categories of expenses and a brief justification for these expenses 

Need more help?

For further information, contact Dr. Marlon Lewis, OFI Scientific Director or Dr. Paul Snelgrove, OFI Associate Scientific Director.