Developing a Research Proposal

Developing a Research Proposal

Researchers are responsible for developing their proposals (applications) in accordance with U of A policy and following the sponsor's requirements. Recognizing the time and effort required to develop successful proposals, the senior administration of the University has implemented teams of experts to assist the research community in preparing their proposals. Researchers can access these services by working with the Campus Saint-Jean Research Office and the University of Alberta's Research Partner Network. These two teams provide personalized assistance to researchers and research teams to maximize their chances of securing funding by:

  • Strategizing and identifying potential funding opportunities.
  • Assisting in the writing of institutional sections of applications
  • Drafting letters of support when required by the funder.
  • Advising on required guidelines and instructions.
  • Reviewing applications for compliance with agency’s instructions, university policies, and eligibility criteria.
  • Advising on proposal budgeting.
  • Providing technical assistance for electronic forms.
  • Developing and delivering bootcamps/grant-crafting and writing retreats.

At the University of Alberta, we are committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research and innovation. By incorporating EDI principles, we harness a broader range of ideas, expertise, and perspectives, resulting in stronger outcomes that better reflect our diverse world. Research funding agencies are committed to supporting the creation of an equitable, diverse and inclusive research environment in Canada.

We encourage researchers interested in integrating EDI into their research proposals to consult these resources, as well as the information available on the University of Alberta's Research and Innovation website :

Several resources from the Tri-Councils are also available, such as:

The Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Data Management notes, "Data management planning is necessary at all stages of the research project lifecycle, from design and inception to completion." The University of Alberta provides researchers with the tools and support to manage and preserve their research data. A team is available to advise researchers on developing their data management plan and best practices for data management and storage. To learn more, please visit Research Data Management website.

The University of Alberta often releases funded proposals and resources to help researchers in developing their research programs. We encourage scholars to consult the Successful Grants Library when developing their projects.


Steps for Submitting a Research Proposal to a Sponsor

Generally, the steps for developing and submitting a research proposal (application) to a sponsor include:

  1. Confirming eligibility in accordance with both the U of A's UAPPOL Eligibility to Apply for and Hold Research Funding policy and the sponsor terms and conditions.

  2. Registering with the sponsor if applicable.
    Note: some sponsors have a mandatory registration process.

  3. Developing a proposal, including scope of work and budget of eligible expenditures, in accordance with U of A policies and the sponsor's guidelines.

  4. Logging in to the Researcher Home Page, completing a new proposal request and submitting for online approvals before the Research Administration Services' (RAS) usual 5 - 7 business day internal deadline. The application must also be approved by Faculté Saint-Jean, and this process requires additional 3 business days prior to the RAS deadline. All applications for research-related funding should be submitted to RASfor approval as per Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities

  5. RAS reviews the proposal, provides review comments to the applicant as needed and approves the proposal on behalf of the university once all the requirements have been met. For more information about review process and details, please go to this page.

  6. Once approved by RAS, the proposal is returned to the applicant for submission to the sponsor.

Exceptions: Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Canada Research Chairs (CRC)

The University is the formal applicant for certain institutional research funding programs, such as Canada Research Chairs (CRC), or the many competitions offered by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). For these applications, RAS works closely with researchers/proponents to develop the proposals, and RAS makes the actual submission on behalf of the university.

See our CFI and CRC pages regarding submission procedures and deadlines for these programs.


Submit a Request for Approval on the Researcher Homepage

The Research Office of Campus Saint-Jean developed this tutorial, which outlines all the steps to request an approval via Researcher Homepage:

If you are still experiencing difficulties with the submission process, please do not hesitate to contact us at