John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The John R Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) provides research infrastructure funding, enabling researchers to conduct leading-edge research. UAlberta receives a specific JELF allocation by CFI and supports a maximum of 40% of a JELF project's eligible costs. Applicants request matching funding through the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Tourism (EDTT) Research Capacity Program - Small Equipment Grants Stream

Researchers interested in developing a JELF proposal: The Request to Apply (RTA) intake for February 2021 CFI JELF competition is now open

Use links below to access RTA form and other important information.

February 2021 JELF RTA form

RSO Guidelines for Completing a JELF RTA form

Analysis of Reviewer Comments for UAlberta JELF proposals

Research Services' tips for successful JELF proposal development

JELF Information Session presentation 

  • 1. Submitting a JELF Proposal

    *The Office of the Vice President (Research and Innovation) 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 and Innovation) over applications involving single-users or those with more limited potential for shared use.*

    Researchers who received institutional approval to move forward to full application development are required to attend a mandatory pre-submission Information Session to be held 5 to 6 months before formal submission to CFI. Note: the internal deadline for submission of a complete first draft for Research Services review is 45 days before the CFI deadline. See internal timeline table for details.

    If a proposal is not received 45 days before the CFI submission deadline:

    - The institution will not support the submission for that competition

    - The project leader will be required to request for approval to submit in a future competition.

    Internal timelines: CFI JELF proposal development period




    Internal Call (RTA) Release

    Minimum 7 months prior to CFI submission deadlines

    VP-Research to release an invitation for researchers who are interested in developing a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) proposal to submit a Request to Apply (RTA).

    RTA due to RSO

    Minimum 6 months prior to CFI submission deadline

    Deadline for completion of RTA. RSO will close access to forms at 9:00 AM and review process will begin.

    Faculty-Managed Streams : Completed RTA form for proposals under the Faculty-Managed Streams will be reviewed by the appropriate Faculty, and recommendations as to whether or not the project should go forward will be made by the Faculty.

    Centrally-Managed Streams: Completed RTA forms for proposals under the Other Faculties Stream will be reviewed by the VPR office. The information provided in the Faculty letter(s) of support will be considered, but the final decisions regarding allocation of the Strategic Priorities stream are made at the discretion of the Vice President (Research)

    Start Working with F&O


    5 - 6 months prior submission deadline

    Researchers to work with Facilities and Operations to coordinate site visits and begin discussions regarding space requirements and equipment data sheets that were provided in the RTA.

    First Full Draft due to RSO

    45 days prior to submission deadline

    First complete draft of proposal to be submitted to RSO for review. No extension will be permitted.

    Proposal Ready for Faculty Approval

    15 days prior to submission deadline

    Near final version of proposal to be entered in CAMS for review and approval of researcher's Chair and ADR. Only Chair/ADR suggested changes as well as minor modifications to proposal will be permitted.

    Submission to CFI

    4:00 PM on day of CFI Submission Deadline

    RSO electronically submits applications to CFI

    CFI Application Deadlines

    Fund Name CFI Deadline
    JELF - Unaffiliated February 15, June 15 and October 15 of every year
    JELF - Canada Research Chairs Twice a year
    JELF - NSERC, Industrial Research Chairs No deadline
    JELF - SSHRC, Insight Grant October 15
    JELF - SSHRC, Partnership Grants Letter of Intent: TBD
    Should a JELF-Unaffiliated deadline fall on a weekend,
    the deadline is pushed to the following Monday.
  • 2. Information for Applicants


    Renovations/lab space modification:
    If you have renovations or construction as part of your CFI proposal, please consult with your faculty or department as well as UAlberta's Facilities and Operations (F&O) as soon as possible. Alex Hatch is F&O's Project Admin Coordinator/CFI; she can be reached at 780-248-1008 or by e-mail ( and will be happy to assist you. A checklist that will help you determine if your project has potential equipment construction/renovation costs can be found here.

    Advanced Research Computing:
    If your project involves advanced research computing needs or requests advanced research computing infrastructure, please coordinate with UAlberta Information Services and Technology (IST). Contact Scott Delinger, Director of Research Computing, at 780-707-7335 or by e-mail ( for more information.

    More information about Compute Canada is available here.

    Research Data Management:

    UofA Libraries provides support to researchers needing tools for management, transfer, and archiving of research data as well as access to existing research databases. Please contact James Doiron, Research Data Management Services Coordinator, at 780-492-2531 or by e-mail ( for more information.

    JELF proposals

    JELF proposal consists of three separate modules. Further information for applicants about how to register for access to the CFI Award Management System (CAMS) and complete these modules on CAMS can be found in this presentation.

    1. Project module: Information about the proposed project and how it meets the criteria of the funding program. It consists of the following sections:

    - Project information: Contains basic information about the project such as the title, applicant institution and keywords that is generated automatically once the appropriate fields are populated in the CFI Award Management System (CAMS) and a Plain Language Summary (max. 1500 characters) that provides a short summary in plain language of what is being researched, how it is being done and why it is important.

    - Researchers: Up to three candidates (applicants) may be listed on the proposal when there is a demonstrated need to share infrastructure. When more than one candidate is listed, the CFI requires that the justification for the need for the infrastructure be articulated for each candidate. The curricula vitae of the candidate(s) will be appended to the proposal through CAMS.

    - Assessment criteria: This document fully describes how the proposal meets the assessment criteria for this program.

    The number of criteria to address and the page limits for this PDF document depend on the amount requested from the CFI in the proposal.

    Universities can submit proposals requesting up to $800,000 from the CFI, with a maximum total eligible cost of $2 million. The CFI will allow the submission of proposals requesting less than or equal to $75,000 from the CFI from the social sciences, humanities and arts, and those universities that have access to the Small Institution Fund.

    Total CFI request ($) Assessment criteria to address Maximum number of pages
    ≤ $75,000 Research, researchers, infrastructure 10

    >$75,000 to $800,000



    - Research or technology development . A description of the proposed research/ technology development, its innovative aspect(s), timeliness and fit within the institutional priority.

    - Researchers . A description of the applicant(s) expertise and ability to lead the project and the collaborators' and partners' contributions essential to the success of the proposed activities.

    - Infrastructure . A description of why each item requested is necessary and appropriate to conduct the proposed research plan. Explain why existing infrastructure within the institution and the region cannot be used to conduct the proposed activities.

    - Institutional commitment and sustainability . Present a management plan that addresses the optimal use (e.g. user access and level of use), and the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the infrastructure. Provide detailed information on O&M costs and revenue sources, including institutional commitment.

    - Benefits to Canadians . How the research project will lead (or has the potential to lead) to tangible benefits for society, health, economy and/or environment. A description of how the requested infrastructure will attract and enhance the training of HQP.

    RSO has developed a  template document to help you draft and develop the assessment criteria section in the manner CFI requests. The use of this tool is not mandatory, but it is highly suggested as it contains many useful tips and suggestions that will help applicants to write a successful CFI JELF proposal.

    - Financial resources for operation and maintenance. This page of the project module - explained in detail in institutional commitment and sustainability - captures the annual costs and sources of committed support to ensure the effective operation and maintenance of the infrastructure for the first five years of its useful life.

    - Past CFI investments. This section of the project module is to be completed by the institution for statistical purposes only and is not part of the review process.

    2. Finance module: This module contains information pertaining to the budgetary details of the proposal, and consists of the following sections:

    - Cost of individual items: list containing the cost of individual budget items.

    - Construction or renovation plans: renovation floor plans (if applicable, provided as a separate attachment that should not exceed 20 MB).

    - Contributions from eligible partners. This section lists all secured and expected contributions to the project from eligible partners (Provincial Government, institutions, trust funds, foundations and in-kind contributions from vendors.

    - Infrastructure utilization table. This section presents the use of the requested infrastructure for CFI eligible and non-CFI-eligible purposes and any applicable prorating of costs.

    - Overview of infrastructure project funding (generated automatically).

    3. Suggested reviewers module: Recommendation of at least six suggested reviewers for the proposal.

    First draft submission for Research Services review

    For all JELF Application intakes, approved project leaders must ensure that at least 45 days before submission deadline, your contract specialist is provided with a full first application draft consisting of:

    - CFI-JELF proposal complete first draft.

    - Completed budget spreadsheet, accompanied by all vendor quotes. Information on how to develop your budget, prepare the spreadsheet as well as information regarding quotes format is available here.

    - Complete first draft of the Alberta Alignment module.

    - Appropriate progress must also have been made on any renovation planning. Consultations from other University of Alberta units may be necessary to discuss construction/renovation, requests for high-performance computing infrastructure and digital data management planning.

    Research Servcies and the project leader will develop the proposal as a collaborative Google Doc. Applicants should review the following as they prepare their application:

    CFI documents

    - CFI Policy and Program Guide

    - CFI John R Evans Leaders Fund Guidelines

    Government of Alberta documents

    - Research Capacity Program Guidelines

    - Alberta Alignment Module Template

    - Alberta Research and Innovation Framework (ARIF)

    Internal UAlberta documents

    - 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 institutional Strategic Plan

  • 3. Distribution of JELF Allocation

    The distribution of the JELF allocation for the 2020-2023 period will be as follows:

    Distribution of JELF 2020-2023
    Allocation Amounts
    Faculty-Managed Streams ALES $947,846
    ENG $3,089,899
    FoMD $4,020,122
    SCI $2,585,769
    Centrally-Managed Streams Other Faculties $1,903,075
    Strategic Priorities $1,878,289
    TOTAL Available Allocation $14,425,000

JELF Internal Request to Apply (RTA) Intake Timelines*

For the 2020-2023 JELF allocation period, all researchers who are interested in developing a JELF proposal are required to complete a standardized RTA form.

Please select the desired CFI intake date to access the corresponding RTA form.

CFI Intake
(Please click the highlighted date to access the RTA.)
Internal call (RTA) released
RTA due to RSO
Start working with F&O
1st Full Draft due to RSO
Proposal ready for Faculty review and approval
Submission to CFI

Feb 2020



Aug 15, 2019

Jan 6, 2020

Feb 3, 2020

Feb 17, 2020

June 2020

Sept 30, 2019

Jan 6, 2020

Jan 13, 2020

May 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

June 15, 2020

Oct 2020

Feb 3, 2020

April 1, 2020

April 15, 2020

Sept 1, 2020

Oct 1, 2020

Oct 15, 2020

Feb 2021

June 1, 2020

Aug 4, 2020

Aug 17, 2020

Jan 4, 2021

Feb 1, 2021

Feb 15, 2021

June 2021

Oct 1, 2020

Jan 4, 2021

Jan 13, 2021

May 3, 2021

June 1, 2021

June 15, 2021

Oct 2021

Feb 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

Sept 1, 2021

Oct 4, 2021

Oct 15, 2021

Feb 2022

June 1, 2021

Aug 3, 2021

Aug 16, 2021

Jan 4, 2022

Feb 1, 2022

Feb 15, 2022

June 2022

Oct 4, 2021

Jan 4, 2022

Jan 17, 2022

May 2, 2022

June 1, 2022

June 15, 2022

Oct 2022

Feb 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

April 14, 2022

Sept 1, 2022

Oct 3, 2022

Oct 17, 2022

Feb 2023

June 1, 2022

Aug 2, 2022

Aug 15, 2022

Jan 3, 2023

Feb 1, 2023

Feb 15, 2023

June 2023

Sept 30, 2022

Jan 3, 2023

Jan 16, 2023

May 1, 2023

June 1, 2023

June 15, 2023

Oct 2023

Feb 1, 2023

April 3, 2023

April 14, 2023

Sept 1, 2023

Oct 2, 2023

Oct 16, 2023

* Dates are approximate and for your planning purposes only and will be adjusted once the internal submission call is released.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, it will be extended to the following business day.