Econferencing Grant

The Kule Institute for Advanced Study, the Arts Resource Centre, the Energy Systems signature area, and the AI4Society signature area are partnering to support three e-conferencing grants with a value of up to $6,000. 

The grants are envisioned to support of a half-day e-conference for scholars in the social sciences, humanities, arts, artificial intelligence, and energy research. E-conferencing promotes a reduced carbon footprint, while still promoting the exchange of ideas, increasing visibility of research, encouraging collaboration, and delivering scholarly results. With the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, e-conferences are the de-facto preferred option for scholarly meetings.

Three grants will be offered to UAlberta faculty, who want to organize and host an e-conference in their research arera.

  • One grant will be awarded to projects led by researchers in the social sciences, humanities and arts. 
  • One grant will be awarded in the area of energy that is open to researchers across the university. This grant is sponsored by the Energy Systems signature area.
  • One grant will be awarded in the area of Artificial Intelligence that is open to researchers across the university. This grant is sponsored by the AI4Society signature area.

The grant funds can be used to support:

  • Set up of a simple conference (WordPress) web site that users can fill with content and maintain.
  • Set up of a registration system, if needed.
  • Set up of a local room for local participants and recording of the local participants.
  • Support for remote participants.
  • Streaming and recording of the entire conference including local and remote participants.
  • Simple editing of the resulting conference so that the video can be archived and added to the web site.

Application deadline: February 15, 2021

Guidelines and Criteria

These grants provide support for innovation through e-conferencing. We will select the successful grant or grants based on the following criteria:

  • Is the proposal led by researchers at the U of Alberta in the social sciences, humanities, or arts? Alternatively, is it an energy related or AI related proposal, in which case the researchers can be from across the university? Is the team appropriate for the project? 
  • Is the topic appropriate research in the social sciences, humanities, arts or energy research? If applying as an energy or AI proposal please indicate so in your application.
  • Is the design of the conference (participants, length, activities) appropriate to e-conferencing and within budget. Is the scope reasonable, given the grant? Can this be done with the resources available?
  • What research would this seed? Why is this important?
  • Are the rights to the conference materials clear?


Proposals should include:

  • Title of project. Indication of whether this is:
    • Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts proposal
    • Energy proposal
    • AI proposal
  • Short description that can be made public. (150-200 words)
  • Name and departmental affiliation of the Principal Investigator.
  • Names and affiliations of team members. Teams that include community researchers or researchers at other universities are welcome.
  • Design of the event including activities and timeline. (1-2 pages)
  • Budget for the event.

Participants should meet with ARC staff to make sure that the design of the conference is manageable and within budget given staff resources (ARC contact information can be found at 

To help with your e-conference planning, you can also check out the Econferencing section of the KIAS website for guides developed in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the Arts Resource Center

Special Note: The Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive research community and recognizes that achieving a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environment is essential to creating the excellent, innovative, and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges.

Below are links to resources at the University of Alberta and Universities Canada that can assist you in incorporating EDI practices into planning your research proposals. 

How to apply

Applications are due February 15, 2021. We expect to communicate results by the end of February.

Proposals can be submitted via email to (PDF format preferred). Please note that the grant is to offset the technology costs associated with organizing an e-conference and the funds will be paid to ARC directly, not to the researcher.  The RSO 'Proposal Request' form is not required.

For more information, please contact

Kule Research Experimentation Grant: Ongoing

Kule Dialogue Grants: Ongoing

Kule Research Team Grants: Ongoing

Frequently Asked Questions

Successful Grants Library

Research Funding Map for the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Fine Arts

View this document for other funding opportunities in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts!