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Do you have an ocean-related project that offers high potential for innovation success? Do you need a small amount of funding to help it move forward — and grow?  

Application Procedure

OFI's Seed Fund supports innovative projects that have the potential to advance research, commercial or social concepts relating to the ocean. To qualify, applicants must be current faculty, staff and students at Dalhousie University and/or Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Please note: due to university regulations, successful applications submitted by students must be supervised by a current faculty member who would be identified as the grant holder and assume responsibility for distribution of finances and terms of the deliverables.) 

Selection criteria

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

The fund cannot be used to supplement OFI's large research projects, currently under way.  

Funding amount & duration

  • Awards will typically range from $10,000 to $15,000 with particularly compelling ideas considered up to a maximum of $30,000.
  • Funds will be paid in two installments with 75% made available when the award is issued and the remaining 25% paid when the project is complete and a final report has been submitted to OFI. 
  • 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.
  • OFI requires Seed Fund recipients to showcase their work publicly through an event, poster session or media outreach. OFI will assist with this communications. 

Application deadlines 

  • April 1, 2019
  • OFI may consider conducting a second Seed Fund call that would close on September 30, 2019; however that call is dependent on the number of successful applicants who are awarded funding related to the April 1, deadline.  
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.

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); students must also provide contact information for a current faculty member who would act as the project supervisor and grant-holder
  • Applicant Curriculum Vitae (please limit to two pages)
  • 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)
  • Clearly state how this project acts as a seed for future projects; how the proposed project could potentially expand and grow in the future (250 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; identify key milestones  
  • Names and contact information of team members: collaborators, partners, students
  • Indicate the role of co-investigators (who, their background and their role in the project)  
  • A budget that itemizes general categories of expenses and a brief justification for these expenses 

Eligible expenses

Funds must be administered in accordance with Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) guidelines and principles, and are to be used only for eligible expenditure as outlined in the Use of CFREF Funds, CFREF Administration Guide. Specifically, as per those guidelines, awarded funds must not be used to pay an awardee researcher’s salary or other remuneration.

OFI does not accept responsibility or obligation for funds expended in excess of the amount provided through the Seed Fund, or for funds expended before or after the term of the Seed Fund. 

Need more help?

For further information, contact Dr. Paul Snelgrove, OFI Associate Scientific Director or Dr. Anya Waite, OFI Scientific Director.