Step III: Proposal Development

The IF proposal should present clearly the project’s merits and excellence. Please provide enough information to enable reviewers to evaluate the proposal according to the assessment criteria and competition objectives. 

Details of the information that the proposal will contain can be found in the 2023 Innovation Fund Call for Proposals; please refer to this document while developing the proposal and budget. Your RSO Contracts Specialist will work with you throughout the proposal development process to ensure the CFI’s criteria are met.

Proposal review

An Expert Committee will review the proposal to assess its strengths and weaknesses in relation to the assessment criteria. Proposals that meet the competition’s threshold of excellence are then reviewed by a Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee (MAC). The MAC reviews groups of proposals of similar size and/or complexity and assesses them against the three competition objectives. The MAC is responsible for:

  • Identifying proposals with significant weaknesses in the “Team composition” criterion. These will be removed from the competition.
  • Identifying proposals that demonstrate the highest standard of excellence and best meet the three competition objectives relative to other competing requests.
  • Providing a funding recommendation and funding amount for each proposal for the next stage of review.

In the third and final stage of review, a Special Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee (S-MAC) reviews reports from the MAC meetings for the proposals recommended for funding. 

Completing the proposal

Like the NOI, the full proposal will be completed in the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) and submitted by RSO by the deadline.

Information on CAMS from the NOI submission, including Project information, Team, Collaborating Institutions, and Suggested Reviewers, will be populated automatically for the proposal.

Three CAMS modules will be completed for the proposal:

  1. Project module, including:
  • Plain language summary: A short summary in plain language of the proposed project.
  • Project summary: Up to 3-page general description of the research or technology development activities to be conducted and an overview of the requested infrastructure. The summary must address the extent to which the proposal meets the competition objectives. (Note: The Project Summary is the only section of the proposal that will be shared with the S-MAC to help with its deliberations.)
  • Team: Populated automatically from the NOI.
  • Other users: In addition to the team members and team leaders, up to 20 other users can be identified. RSO will ensure that the individuals listed have been informed and have agreed to participate in the proposal. 
  • Assessment criteria: A PDF upload that addresses the following criteria (please refer to the Call for Proposals for details):
    • Research or Technology Development
    • Team Expertise
    • Team Composition
    • Infrastructure
    • Sustainability
    • Benefits

The length of the assessment criteria, including tables and figures, will be determined by the total amount of funding requested from the CFI (page limits for proposals written in English):

  • ≤ $2 million: 25 pages (max.)
  • > $2 million and <$10 million: 30 pages (max.)
  • ≥ $10 million: 35 pages (max.)
  1. Finance module, including:
  • Cost of individual items
  • Construction or renovation floor plans (if applicable)
  • Contributions from eligible partners
  • Infrastructure utilization
  • Overview of infrastructure project funding (generated automatically)
  1. Suggested reviewers module: Populated automatically from the NOI

CAMS will append the CV of each team member to the proposal when it is submitted. Make sure all CVs are up to date before you submit your proposal.

The CFI submission deadline is June 15, 2022. RSO will submit the proposals in CAMS on the researcher’s behalf by this deadline. Decisions will be announced by the CFI in March 2023.