CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund

What is the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund?

The CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) is a federally-run program providing funding for research equipment and infrastructure that supports innovative research. The projects are intended for single investigators or small groups of not more than three co-principal investigators. Every 3 years the FoMD is provided with an allocation of funds from the central UA pot. The FoMD 2020-2023 allocation is approximately $4M.

How much funding can be requested?

CFI JELF funds smaller-scale projects costing less than $2M (total project cost). Note that the CFI will support a maximum of 40% of eligible costs of a JELF project with the remaining funding typically provided by Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation (40%, awarded via competitive application) and the project team (20%, vendor in-kind or eligible matching funds). For FoMD applicants project requests are typically $400K (total project cost). Due to application pressures for the current allocation, larger requests must have sufficient justification.

When are the competitions held?

CFI has three annual deadlines for submission (February 15, June 15 and October 15). Applications for provincial match funding are submitted each October. The FoMD Office of Research runs an annual competition beginning in the fall of each year for submission to the June 15 deadline.

Important Links:
CFI Policy and Program Guide (2019)
Research Services Office CFI JELF Website


2021/22 Competition

Fall 2021 Call For Applications

If you have any questions about the CFI JELF program and our internal adjudication process, please contact Mark Taylor (, (780) 492-9720.

This year, an information webinar for FoMD applicants was held on Thursday, September 23, 12-1 p.m. The application process was presented followed by a Q&A session. View the webinar slides here. If you would like to view the recording, contact Colleen Sunderland.

2021-2022 Timeline and Important Deadlines:

  • September 20: Launch of internal FoMD competition
  • September 23, 12-1 p.m.: FoMD Information Webinar for Applicants (View the slides)
  • October 1 at 4 p.m.: Registration deadline
  • October 6: Confirmation of eligibility
  • October 28 at 4 p.m.: Application deadline
  • November 24 (approximate): 
    • Faculty stream: FoMD to notify applicants of internal competition results. Applications must be submitted for final RSO approval but do not compete further.
    • Strategic Priority stream: FoMD to notify applicants of internal competition results. Applications must be submitted to RSO to enter centrally-managed competition.
  • January 4: RSO Submission (Faculty stream) and Competition (Strategic Priority stream)
  • Mid-January: RSO Strategic Priority decisions finalized and communicated
  • Late January (Dates TBD): Mandatory JELF information session held by RSO
  • April 1: Submission of draft application to FoMD
  • May 2: UA RSO deadline (final draft application)
  • June 15: CFI deadline (final application)

Facility Requirements and Core Facilities:

For information on facility requirements for equipment (e.g. renovations, specifications, space, etc.), please contact Brian Reuter (

If your proposal includes equipment for potential placement in core facilities, please contact Wendy Magee (