Do you have an ocean-related project that offers high potential to catalyze innovation success? 

Do you need a small amount of funding to help it move forward — and grow?    

Application Deadline: In support of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the deadline has been extended to October 1 at 12pm (Atlantic Time).

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

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, technicians, postdocs, or students at Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Prince Edward Island, and/or University of New Brunswick (*as of July 30, 2021) (Please note: students, postdocs, and technicians that are awarded funding must be supervised by a current faculty member who would be identified as the grant holder and assume responsibility for distribution of funds and terms of the deliverables.)  

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.
  • Funding is intended for projects to be undertaken and completed within a 12-month time frame.
  • Award recipients are expected to contribute to OFI reporting. Report requests are expected to occur at the end of the approved award period.
  • OFI requires Seed Fund recipients to showcase their work publicly through an event and/or media outreach. OFI will assist with this communication. 
  • Successful applicants may receive added experience learning about funding relationships with this round's sponsors.
  • OFI will actively support completed Seed Fund projects that have commercialization potential to advance commercialization plans through the next stages of the ocean ecosystem, such as Lab2Market Oceans, Ocean Startup Challenge, and CDL Oceans.     

Application submission  

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

*UNB and UPEI applicants also please use the above email addresses. 

  • Applicant information (name, title, affiliation, address, phone, email); students and postdocs 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.)
  • A brief description as to how the project would promote/foster equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • 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 catalyze a new initiative and grow in the future (250 words.)   
  • A brief description of how the project supports (or aligns with) OFI research priorities (250 words.) 
  • Work plan: Project start and end dates; 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 (please also send this as an excel spreadsheet in addition to the compiled PDF)

    OFI aims to foster a systemic, intentional, and holistic approach to diversity and inclusiveness to ensure welcoming, respectful, and inclusive communities and campuses. Please ensure proposals include activities to admit, engage, support, and graduate a diverse body of researchers and students, with attention to enhancing access and success of historically underrepresented groups.

    By applying for the Seed Fund, you agree that your proposed project will be reviewed by interested parties such as community organizations and industry for potential co-investment and collaboration who may co-fund projects in partnership with Mitacs.

    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. For co-funded projects, sponsor funds must additionally be administered in accordance with the sponsoring partner.

    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. Carl Peters, OFI Research Programs Manager,

    carl.peters@oceanfi.ca, 902-999-3165.