Applying for funding: a two-step process  

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 determine 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.
Financial support to assist with application - OFI will provide up to C$10,000 for each consortium to use for planning workshops, with the amount awarded at the discretion of the scientific directorate, depending on the size and geographic reach of the consortium. 


OFI expects to fund two to five consortia from a total OFI envelope of approximately C$16 million, such that each research project should receive an average of approximately C$1 million per year for four years. 


OFI seeks collaborative proposals from consortia representing academic, government, business, Indigenous and international researchers, Indigenous leaders and coastal community members. To qualify, each project must be led by a principal investigator (PI) who is a faculty or staff member or adjunct member at Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, or the University of Prince Edward Island. This principal investigator would assume responsibility for distribution of finances in terms of deliverables and project reporting. OFI does not anticipate that research funds will flow outside the OFI lead partner universities. However, OFI welcomes involvement of national and international collaborators through funds that reside at Dalhousie University, Memorial University or the University of Prince Edward Island. 

How to apply: the Expression of Interest 

The EOI provides an opportunity to collaborate through a consortium of investigators on novel, overarching research concepts aligned with the requirements of the call. 

The EOI should be sent to ofi@dal.ca compiled as one document (PDF), on or before April 11, 2019:

a) A cover page with title, theme, principal investigator information (name, title, affiliation, address, phone, email); please include CV (maximum two pages) in the application appendix

b) A full list of all consortium participants and a brief description of their affiliation and their role in the proposed research project; please include their CVs (maximum two pages for each) in the application appendix. Indicate if the proposal includes an intent to partner with Indigenous groups.

c) In five pages or less (minimum 12-point font, two cm margins), outline research concepts fitting into one of the two research themes, or a combination of the two: 

  • An abstract (maximum 500 words) that clearly outlines the need the research will address, expected impacts and outputs 
  • Work package descriptions as a single paragraph each, with primary deliverables listed clearly as bullet points, and reference to the key elements included where appropriate, incorporating a summary of the methodology to be used and an explanation of how the work will apply the required elements and opportunities for special engagement 
  • A synthesis paragraph that indicates how the consortium will bring the elements together, including how partners will be involved 

d) A general budget (maximum one page):

  • brief justifications for each line item
  • how the consortium will leverage OFI funds with partner funds up to 1:1, with a target of 10% in total cash contributions from across all partners over the full timeline of the project
  • proposed budget expenses must align with the eligibility requirements outlined in the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) Administration Guide; equipment purchases over C$300,000 will require CFREF approval

e) A Gantt chart indicating timelines and key tasks for the proposed work (maximum one page) 

f) 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 your proposal includes activities to admit, engage, support and graduate a diverse body of researchers and students, with attention to enhancing access and success of historically under-represented groups.