Develop + Submit a Proposal

Steps to develop and submit a grant application: Find funding opportunity; Develop and submit proposal; Finalize funding documentation; Activate project account; Manage funding; Project account close-out.

Researchers are responsible for developing their proposals (applications) in accordance with U of A policy and following the sponsor's requirements.

General Steps

Generally, the steps for developing and submitting a research proposal (application) to a sponsor include:

  1. Confirming eligibility in accordance with both the U of A's UAPPOL Eligibility to Apply for and Hold Research Funding policy and the sponsor terms and conditions.
  2. Registering with the sponsor if applicable.
    Note: some sponsors have a mandatory registration process.
  3. Developing a proposal, including scope of work and budget of eligible expenditures, in accordance with U of A policies and the sponsor's guidelines.
  4. Logging in to the Researcher Home Page, completing a new proposal request and submitting for online approvals before the Research Administration Services' (RAS) usual 5 - 7 business day internal deadline. Check with your department and faculty for their deadlines.
    All applications for research-related funding should be submitted to RAS for approval as per Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities Procedure.
  5. RAS reviews the proposal, provides review comments to the applicant as needed and approves the proposal on behalf of the university once all the requirements have been met. For more information about review process and details, please go to this page.
  6. Once approved by RAS, the proposal is returned to the applicant for submission to the sponsor.
Exceptions: Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Canada Research Chairs (CRC)

The University is the formal applicant for certain institutional research funding programs, such as Canada Research Chairs (CRC), or the many competitions offered by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). For these applications, RAS works closely with researchers/proponents to develop the proposals, and RAS makes the actual submission on behalf of the university.

See our CFI and CRC pages regarding submission procedures and deadlines for these programs.

Check Requirements

Proposal requirements vary according to each sponsor's guidelines, and those requirements must be carefully followed when preparing a proposal for research funding. In addition to the sponsor’s requirements, the university also has requirements that must be met prior to RAS approval. 

Our Research Partners are available to help you throughout the proposal development process.

Note: Paper copies of proposals are only accepted when the sponsor requires original signatures and you should contact your Research Partner for instructions.

Resources for Developing + Submitting a Grant Proposal

Research Partner Network

The Research Partner Network is a cohort of intellectually engaged colleagues dedicated to supporting researchers in the development of their research proposals. We are experienced researchers and grant application development experts who work with you, providing hands-on support and strategic guidance to help you develop the strongest possible submissions.

Toolkit for Grant Success

The "Toolkit for Grant Success" is a comprehensive suite of supports and resources to help you ensure that your application meets the latest in expectations from the Tri-Agencies, the New Frontiers Research Fund, other external sponsors, and the peer adjudicators who sit on their various competition committees.

The toolkit includes grants-oriented info sessions, boot camps, 'lemons-to-lemonade' retreats, drop-in online research discussions; competition-specific tip sheets, workshop learning materials, sponsor guidelines, and more. See below for a selection of these resources.

Check out our workshops and events

Please note: most of the learning materials and resources curated by the Research Partner Network are archived in the Toolkit for Grant Success in the Education Research Archive.

Other Grant Resources

Research Applicants' Supports

The VPRI portfolio's site is in transition (April 2023)

Across all campuses, faculty applying for research funding are offered pre-award supports by the Research Partner Network and programmatic supports from the several centres of expertise within the VPRI portfolio. Application submission and post-award supports are delivered by Research Administrative Services.

Webpages and sub-pages are being updated in Spring 2023. We apologize for any confusion during the transition and ask that you check back here, and on the Research Services website (Application development) regularly for updates.