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Funding Opportunities

This is a brief list of some of the funding opportunities that are available to faculty through internal and external sources. There are many more opportunities out there, this is just a starting place to help your research dreams come true! When thinking about applying for grants read the Tips and Guidelines for Writing Grant Applications to help you along the way.

Internal Funding Opportunities

Self-Funded Research Grant (in lieu of salary)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made provision for faculty to receive certain tax concessions in instances where they are using salary to cover the costs of their research. This means that part of your salary can be considered a research grant in lieu of salary. The purpose of this grant is to allow faculty to receive a portion of their salary tax free for research purposes. To apply, visit the Self-Funded Research Grant web page.

VIURAC Capacity Building Grant

The VIU Research Awards Committee (VIURAC) Capacity Building Grant (CBG) is provided as seed funding to support faculty in developing research grant applications, developing or strengthening their research programs, or in the dissemination of research results. Funding is provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the VIU Research Fund. This grant is now available to all faculty at VIU.To apply, visit the VIURAC Capacity Building Grant web page.

VIURAC Research Fund

The VIU Research Awards Committee (VIURAC) Research Fund (RF) is intended to encourage research and other forms of faculty scholarship based on the belief that faculty need to pursue various forms of scholarly and professional activity to remain effective educators and to provide useful learning opportunities for their students. It is recognized that working towards a healthy environment for scholarship at our institution will benefit students, faculty, and the community alike. The Research Fund is not intended to serve as a substitute for major grants from outside funding agencies.  Rather, it is expected that monies from the RF will “seed” projects and provide greater opportunities for faculty to be successful in future outside funding competitions. To apply, visit the VIURAC Research Fund web page.

VIUFA Research & Scholarly Activity Funding

The Research and Scholarly Activity Committee recognizes that scholarly activity is important to academic excellence and is an essential component of the faculty workload. The Committee has three categories of awards to support scholarly research: a) release sections – available to regular faculty (awarded in the Fall only); b) research funding of up to $1,000 available to regular and temporary faculty (awarded both Fall and Spring); and c) funding of up to $1,000 for conference attendance for temporary faculty (awarded both Fall and Spring). To apply, visit the VIUFA Research & Scholarly Activity Funding web page.

Travel & Conference Funding

Travel and conference funding is awarded by the Travel and Conference Proceedings Funding Committee to VIUFA or BCGEU members who wish to participate in training for a conference, or to those who are attending a conference. To apply, visit the Travel & Conference Funding web page.

VIUFA Professional & Scholarly Development Funding

VIUFA regular members are egligible to appy for professional and scholarly development funding as outlined in the VIUFA Collective Agreement, article 12.3.1 Professional Development. In order to maintain excellence of instruction and educational service at Vancouver Island University, it is recognized that there is a need for faculty to have the opportunity to participate in and pursue activities related to professional development. To apply, visit the VIUFA Professional & Scholarly Development Funding web page.

BCGEU Professional Development Funding

BCGEU employees are eligible to apply for a Professional Development Leave after 3 consecutive years of employment or attend an event as stated in the BCGEU Collective Agreement. To apply, visit the BCGEU Professional Development Funding web page.

VIUFA Professional Development Leave

It is recognized that many opportunities for professional development require a longer period of time than is available between the spring and fall instructional periods. In order to encourage faculty to take advantage of these opportunities, a program of assisted professional development leave of absence is available to regular VIUFA members. This program is administered by the VIUFA Leave Committee. To apply, visit the VIUFA Professional Development Leave web page.

Faculty and Staff Travel & Study Abroad Grant

The Faculty and Staff Travel and Study Abroad Grant program is designed to assist VIU faculty and staff to explore or develop international teaching and learning opportunities for the VIU community, particularly when the activity will directly benefit the VIU community. To apply, visit the Faculty and Staff Travel & Study Abroad Grant web page.

Internationalization Grants Program

The Internationalization Grants Program is designed to support faculty and instructors as they work towards VIU’s internationalization goals. The intent of the program is to foster incremental, innovative activities that weave internationalization into departments or areas where an international focus is not already present. To apply visit the Internationalization Grants Program web page.

Tri-Agency General Research Funds (GRF)

Under certain conditions, the Agencies (SSHRC and NSERC) will allow residual funds from completed projects to be retained by the institution. The Agencies expect that the institution will use these funds for the broad purpose of enhancing the quality of research in the natural sciences and engineering, or in the social sciences and humanities, as applicable. For details, visit the GRF webpage.


External Funding Opportunities

Please note that all applications/proposals/letters of intent for external grants and contracts must be approved by your Dean and the Associate Vice-President, Scholarship and Community Engagement using an Institutional Signature Sheet for Research Funding prior to their submission. This form can be found on the Research Forms & Templates web page and must accompany a copy of the application. Applicants are strongly advised to allow sufficient lead-time for review at each level.

Social Sciences and Humanities Funding Opportunities

Science and Technology Funding Opportunities

  • The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada NSERC is thefederal funding agency for making strategic investments in Canada's science and technology sectors. NSERC supports both basic university research through research grants and project research through partnerships between universities and industry, as well as the advanced training of highly qualified people in both areas. NSERC provides a list of all deadlines and notification dates, but please keep in mind that VIU requires all applications to be submitted to the RSAO at least one week prior to the agency deadline. Earlier internal deadlines may apply for certain competitions.
  • Selected NSERC Funding Opportunities:
    • The NSERC Discovery Grant program is the primary funding mechanism for discovery-based science and engineering research in Canada.  The Discovery Grant program is very competitive.  A mandatory Notification of Intent (NOI) is due annually August 1.
    • NSERC Discovery Development Grants are a new pilot program, up to $20,000 over 2 years, targeted to researchers at small institutions like VIU.  Development Grants are awarded to the top small institution researchers that were not funded for Discovery Grants.
    • NSERC Pacific Regional Office administers smaller grant programs including: Connect and Engage.
    • NSERC PromoScience Program supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their science teachers. Grants may be used to cover improvements to program content or delivery, as well as for new programs and activities. PromoScience applications are due annually on September 15.
  • Other Science Funding Opportunities:
    • Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk program provides funding for projects aimed at protecting species designated under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA) as well as a new Prevention Stream for projects aimed at protecting undesignated but vulnerable or at risk species.  A priority ecosystem under the Species at Risk stream is the Garry oak (Quercus garryana) ecosystem of southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and Fraser Valley of British Columbia, which is home to more than 20 species at risk nationally.
    • Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program funds for innovative projects in these areas: plant, animal and food science and technology; energy and waste management; new product development and commercialization; soil, water and air quality; and climate change adaptation.  
    • The Pacific Salmon Foundation supports salmon enhancement and watershed stewardship projects through its Community Salmon Program.
    • The Vancouver Foundation offers 3 levels of Field of Interest Environment Grants. The current priorities are freshwater and habitat protection and conservation. 
    • Western Economic Diversification Canada receives an annual allocation, approved by Parliament, for grants and contributions that support a wide range of programs responding to Western Canada's economic development needs and priorities.  The Western Diversification Program is the primary program through which post-secondary institutions and other not-for-profit organizations can apply for funding for major capital expenditures.  Priority is given to projects that can show industry support and contribute to job creation and skills development.
    • The National Geographic Society funds small seed projects in the following fields: anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, botany, geography, geology, oceanography, paleontology, and zoology through its Research and Exploration Grants.
    • The Canadian Wildlife Federation funds projects that protect endangered species through its  Endangered Species Fund.

Health Funding Opportunities

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research is Canada's premier health research funding agency, funding over 8,500 researchers in universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutes across Canada. CIHR provides funding opportunities for four themes of health research: Biomedical, Clinical, Health systems services, and social, cultural, environmental and population health.
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research strengthens the BC health research enterprise through innovative, integrated services and programs that create and maintain a vibrant health research environment, mobilize stakeholders to identify priorities and address health to build the capacity for excellent health research.
  • Canadian Nurses Foundation seeks to advance nursing knowledge and improve health care by providing research grants, awards, and scholarships to Canadian nurses and nursing students.
  • Island Health offers a variety of internal grants and VIU researchers are always eligible to be collaborative team members. In addition, the Collaborative Research Grant program funds research partnerships between Island Health employees and its academic partners to support research.

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Canada is building world-class research capacity by recruiting top-tier postdoctoral researchers at an internationally competitive level of funding and positioning them for success as the research leaders of tomorrow.

These prestigious two-year fellowships worth $70,000 per year, are open to both Canadian and international researchers who have recently completed a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree.

For more information on how to apply or requirements of VIU as a host institution see the Banting web site.


Updated: August 28, 2015