OFI is seeking research proposals that will build understanding of the changing function of the North Atlantic Ocean and identify the impact these changes are having on Atlantic Canada's coastal communities.  

Launching the next phase of large research projects 

OFI was established in September 2016 thanks to an investment of $227 million from the Government of Canada and various private and public-sector organizations. A significant portion of this funding was used to support 16 Phase 1, large research projects that are expected to be complete by 2022.

Through a four-month consultation process with academics, industry, government and a variety of ocean experts, OFI sought input on its second phase of research, scheduled to begin in late 2019. 

The overarching goal of this next phase in OFI’s research is to build world-leading integrated and interdisciplinary understanding of the changing physical, biological and geochemical function of the North Atlantic Ocean and its Arctic gateways, identifying the impact these changes have on Atlantic Canada’s coastal communities.

Deadline to submit Expression of Interest was April 11, 2019; applications are now closed.    

Overview of Phase 2 Funding


Compared to Phase 1, OFI’s next phase will support fewer projects but will allow for more resources per project. In Phase 2, OFI expects to fund two to five large projects — consortia representing academic, government, business, Indigenous and international researchers, Indigenous leaders and coastal community members. 

OFI expects to fund consortia from a total envelope of about C$16 million, such that each research project should receive an average of approximately C$1 million per year for four years (all projects are expected to be completed in 2023). Please note: OFI expects successful applicants to leverage OFI's investment with partner funds up to 1:1, with a target of 10% cash contributions in combined total from all partners across the project.


To qualify, each consortia research project must be led by a principal investigator (PI) who is a faculty member at Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, or the University of Prince Edward Island. 

Research Themes 

There are two research themes:
The North Atlantic as a Climate Ocean and Coastal Communities and the Ocean 

To be successful, research submissions must reflect required elements and special engagement with Indigenous communities, international partners and industry. Learn more ...

Funding decisions 

Research proposals and funding decisions will be vetted through an external review process:

  • Step one: Expression of Interest (EOI). OFI’s International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) will assess the submitted EOIs and select a short list of prospective projects that will continue to the next stage in the review process.
  • Step two: Researchers selected through the EOI process will submit comprehensive proposals, which will be thoroughly vetted through an international peer review process established by the OFI Directorate, the ISAC and OFI’s Excellence, Impact and Engagement Committee.

Phase 2 Research Timeline

Issue call for Expression of Interest

February 11, 2019

Deadline to submit Expression of Interest

April 11, 2019

Expression of Interest, peer review / selection of short-listed projects

Anticipated by mid May 2019

Deadline to submit comprehensive research proposals

Anticipated by mid July 2019

Peer review

July / August 2019

Research proposals selected

Anticipated by September 2019

Research commences

Anticipated by November 2019

Research completed