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External Funding

Below is a listing of the major federal and provincial sources of research funding. Visit Current Opportunities for current funding opportunities and deadlines or Finding Funding for searchable databases.

Federal funding

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

CFI is an independent corporation established by the Government of Canada. It strives to build our nation’s capacity to undertake world-class research and technology development of benefit to Canadians. CFI funding programs support the purchase of research infrastructure, including state-of-the-art equipment, buildings, laboratories and databases required to conduct research.

Canada Research Chairs (CRC)

The CRC program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top five countries for research and development. It is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities achieve research excellence in a wide variety of fields. Chairholders advance the frontiers of knowledge in their fields, not only through their own work, but also by teaching and supervising students and coordinating the work of other researchers.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

CIHR supports the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)  

NSERC is the national instrument for making strategic investments in Canada’s capability in science and technology. NSERC supports university research through research grants and project research through partnerships of universities with industry, and the advanced training of highly qualified personnel in both areas.

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

NCE provides opportunities for Canadian researchers and students to conduct academic research, commercialize products and ideas, and develop significant Canadian business advantages. By funding research partnerships between academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, NCE programs turn Canadian research and entrepreneurial talent into economic and social benefits for all Canadians.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

SSHRC promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities. SSHRC-funded research fuels innovative thinking about real-life issues. Examples include economics, business and communication studies, education, ethics, and law, as well as immigration, globalization, language, human rights, politics, literature, addiction, pop culture, sexuality, religion, Aboriginal rights and women’s studies.

Health Canada

Health Canada, a department of the federal government, helps Canadians maintain and improve their health. The department supports research and fosters partnerships with researchers in Canada and around the world.

Collaboration between federal research funding organizations

This page on the Government of Canada’s Science.gc.ca site describes cooperation between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to promote Industry Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy.

Provincial funding

Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI)

MEDI was created to focus on the Ontario government’s commitment to innovation as the driver of growth across all sectors of the economy. MEDI programs fund leading-edge research, provide matching funding for federally funded research infrastructure awards, celebrate Ontario’s top researchers and innovators, and support early career researchers.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)

OCE facilitates knowledge transfer, stimulates industrial R&D through collaborative projects, and supports the commercialization of research activities. OCE’s programs are designed to build relationships between academia and industry, stimulate knowledge transfer, and provide students with the opportunity to move their skills to market.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs spends over $60 million annually on research and innovation. It supports such research in fields including food safety and quality, environmental protection, bioproducts and renewable fuels.

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