Innovation Fund


Watch this page and monitor CFI's website for information on the next call.


CFI has published the Guidelines for the Expert Committees that will evaluate how well a group of similar or related proposals meet the assessment criteria objectives.

Please review this document and make sure that your application addresses the aspects that the Expert Committee will use to rate the degree to which each proposal meets the assessment criteria.


CFI has published the list of the notices of intent received for the IF 2020 competition.

Please go to the CFI Innovation Fund page download (download link at the bottom of the page) and review the list of NOI's for any potential overlaps or potential synergies.


Please note that the F&O team has advised RSO that they will not have the ability to accommodate any major changes in equipment as of October 11, 2019, with the exception of researchers who have already provided the office with new equipment information and have meetings confirmed and scheduled by Friday, October 11, 2019, due to some required re-work. This is in order to enable the F&O team to produce the documentation and, where required, revised estimates ahead of the December 2nd internal deadline date.

*The Office of the Vice President (Research) strongly encourages the creation of shared research spaces, the use of communal equipment, and the adoption of core facilities whenever possible. All applications for funding of new research infrastructure should seek to establish shared research resources or to add new capabilities to existing core facilities. Such applications will be given a higher priority in adjudication decisions involving the Office of the Vice President (Research) over applications involving single-users or those with more limited potential for shared use.*



Links to Key Documents for Applicants


Information for Collaborating Institutions


2020 Innovation Fund Competition: UofA Internal Timelines

The CFI has released the Call for Proposals for the 2020 Innovation Fund competition. Please refer to the Call for Proposals for details on the requirements for both the Notice of Intent and the full Proposal.

The Gantt chart below outlines deadlines and activities for PIs, Department/Faculties and RSO/VPR office.

For a downloadable version of the Gantt chart and details click here.

Innovation Fund Timeline

Details of Key Activities:

PLEASE NOTE that documents submitted to RSO for all Internal Deadlines listed below must be complete and sufficiently developed so that they are ready for institutional review.

Externally-Led Projects

Mini Proposal submission
Internal deadline (DUE to RSO): July 29, 2019

Researchers interested in submitting a request to use a portion of the UofA's envelope for an externally-led project must complete the Mini Proposal form. The deadline for submission of these requests is JULY 29, 2019 so that there will be time to prepare the information for consideration at the Panel 2 meeting in September.

UofA-Led Projects

The internal deadline for submission of new UofA-led projects to be considered for submission in the 2020 Innovation Fund competition has passed. New UofA-led projects are not being considered. The CFI has indicated that there will be another Innovation Fund competition within 24-30 months. Please check back or contact RSO for additional information in Spring 2020.

Next Institutional Review (Panel 2) meeting: Sept 3, 2019

The next meeting of Panel 2 is scheduled for Sept 3, 2019. The purpose of this meeting will be to review and approve the final listing of projects, and the associated envelope allocations, to be submitted to the CFI.

For review at the Sept 3, 2019 meeting, Panel 2 members will be provided with a package for each project including:

  • Notice of Intent (NOI)
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification

Panel 2 is composed of the following members:

Voting Members
VP (Research)
AVP (Research)
Associate/Vice Deans (Research)

Non-voting Members
Facilities & Operations
Research Services Office
Information Services & Technology
Supply Management Services
Environment Health and Safety
Committee for Animal Research
TEC Edmonton

Notice of Intent

Please refer to the Call for Proposals for specific requirements for the NOI.

Internal deadline (DUE to RSO): Aug 12, 2019
CFI submission deadline: Sept 16, 2019


The NOI will be used as the project summary to be reviewed by Panel 2 in the Institutional Decision meeting in September.


Important notes about the NOI:

  • NOIs are not competitive, but they are absolutely required: a proposal cannot go forward if an NOI has not been submitted to the CFI
  • CFI uses the NOIs to coordinate the external review.
  • We can submit NOIs for up to 10% above our envelope.

Budget Development


Internal deadlines

Budget/Budget Justification to RSO: Aug 12, 2019


Internal deadlines for budget changes:

ALL changes to project budgets after Sep 16, 2019 (NOI submission) are subject to institutional review and approval.
NO CHANGES to project budgets will be allowed after Dec 2, 2019 (FINAL draft).

CFI submission deadline:

NOI: Sept 16, 2019 (requires Total Project Cost and CFI ask only)
Proposal: Jan 20, 2020 (requires FULL budget)


There will be some opportunity to refine the budget after submission of the NOI to the CFI, however, changes to the budget of one project can affect the entire institutional envelope. Therefore, project teams should carefully consider their project requirements and aim to finalize their equipment lists and budgets as early as possible.
Leading up to the internal NOI submission deadline, project teams are to work with:
  • RSO to develop a solid budget and budget justification draft
    • RSO will assist with reviewing equipment quotations and matching requirements to ensure that estimates reflect realistic cost estimates as much as possible.
  • F&O to develop the construction and renovation estimate
    • The equipment list included in the budget is required to allow F&O to develop a reasonable cost estimate for any required construction or renovation

Proposal Development

Internal deadlines (DUE to RSO):

First COMPLETE* draft: Oct 1, 2019
Second COMPLETE draft: Nov 4, 2019
Third (FINAL) full draft: Dec 2, 2019

Multi-Institutional projects (UofA-led):

Complete draft ready for circulation to Collaborating Institutions: Nov 20, 2019

CFI submission deadline: Jan 20, 2020

*COMPLETE draft: text must be developed in response to all CFI proposal requirements such that there is sufficient detail included to allow for institutional review. Incomplete proposals may be removed from the competition at any stage.

During proposal development leading up to the Oct 1, 2019 deadline for submission of the first COMPLETE draft to the RSO, project teams should be working with their Departments, Faculties and Collaborators to develop the proposal. It is strongly recommended that Faculties coordinate an internal scientific review, either internal to each Faculty or in consultation with other Faculties.

Internal Deadlines

Internal deadlines

CFI 2020 Innovation Fund Timeline

Documents for Applicants

CFI Documents

2020 Innovation Fund page

2020 Innovation Fund Competition: UofA Internal Timelines

2020 Innovation Fund Information Session - Slides

2020 Innovation Fund: Call for Proposals

2017 Innovation Fund: Review Statistics - Strengths & Weaknesses

CFI Policy and Program Guide

CFI CARA June 2019 Presentation (EDI &Core Facilities)

Government of Alberta Documents

Government of Alberta Research Capacity Program

Government of Alberta Research and Innovation Framework (ARIF)

University of Alberta Documents

April 19, 2018 - Institutional planning for the next large CFI infrastructure

University of Alberta Strategic Research Plan for CFI, CRC & CERC Projects

University of Alberta Comprehensive Institutional Plan

For the Public Good, the University of Alberta's new institutional Strategic Plan

Information for Collaborating Institutions

As a collaborating institution, there are specific deadlines that we would like you to be aware of:

Aug 12, 2019: NOI draft, Budget and Budget Justification due to RSO

  • If construction/renovation will be required for your Institution as part of the project, please submit your estimated costs in time to incorporate into the budget draft by Aug 12.
  • We will share the NOI draft and budget with you once we receive it for your review and comment (Aug 12). Please advise if you would be able to provide comments by Aug 28 so that we will have sufficient time to bring up any of your concerns about the proposal to the institutional review panel (meeting on Sept 3).

Oct 1, 2019: First complete application draft due to RSO

  • Project teams to develop the technical/scientific portions of the proposal in conjunction with their Faculties, Departments, Collaborating PIs and peers.

Nov 20, 2019: Expected date for a complete draft of the proposal ready for circulation to the Collaborating Institution RSOs

Throughout the process, we have been very clear with our researchers that they need to be working with their collaborating PIs at other institutions throughout the proposal development process, and reminding them that their collaborators should be connecting with their respective RSO offices for information about deadlines and review that you may have.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

Kara Allanach, Manager - Institutional Projects
Ph: 780-492-8936