Innovation Fund (IF)

The Innovation Fund (IF) provides investments in infrastructure, across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied through to technology development. Projects funded through the Innovation Fund will help Canada remain at the forefront of exploration and knowledge generation while making meaningful contributions to generating social, health, environmental, and economic benefits and addressing global challenges.

IF 2025 Intake

Reminder to all IF Applicants:

  • The CFI is expected to release a Call for Proposal for the 2025 IF competition in spring 2024. For further details, please visit the CFI website .
  • If you are interested in applying for the IF competition 2025, please reach out to your department Chair or ADR.

Please note: applicants must submit a Request to Apply (RTA) form to participate in the IF 2025 competition.

The RTA form for the 2025 Innovation Fund competition is permanently closed.

Please contact for inquiries related to your IF 2025 RTA submission.

Request to Apply submission form

CFI information sessions

The CFI is holding an information session for applicants on June 18, 2024 from 11-12 (MST).



  • April 18, 2024: CFI issues the draft call for proposals 
  • June 6, 2024: CFI issues call for proposals
  • October 2, 2024: Deadline to submit notices of intent
  • February 4, 2025: Deadline to submit proposals
  • March-June 2025: Review of applications by Expert Committees
  • September 2025: Review of applications by Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees
  • October 2025: Review of applications by Special Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees 
  • November 2025: Funding decision by CFI board of directors

U of A CFI Innovation Fund 2025 Timeline

CFI Call for proposals

CFI has released the call for proposals .

Information Sessions

Competition Budget

The University of Alberta envelope for the 2025 IF competition is $67,000,000.

More Information from the Previous Competition

Step I: Request to Apply

Potential IF 2025 applicants must first submit a Request to Apply (RTA) form, which is reviewed by their Faculty and then the Office of the VPRI. Based on the quality of the RTA, potential applicants are either approved or not approved to move forward with a full IF 2025 proposal. See below for details on the RTA process.

Request to Apply Procedure

RTA Intake

The RTA form for the IF 2025 CFI intake is now CLOSED. Please contact  for inquiries related to your IF 2025 RTA submission.


All potential IF 2025 applicants must submit an RTA. The online RTA form collects the following information:

  • Faculty letter of support
  • Project details
  • Lead Institution
  • Collaborating or Leading Institution details (for UoA lead or non-UoA led projects, respectively)
  • Research or technology development summary
  • Relation to and alignment with existing research and infrastructure
  • Budget and quotes
  • Budget justification
  • Personnel requirements
  • Information about:
    • The research space and technical requirements of the requested infrastructure.
    • Advanced research computing needs
    • Project data management needs
    • Animal use needs
    • Technology transfer needs
    • EHS needs

RTA applicants are encouraged to complete as much of the RTA form as possible and to ensure that the research project is innovative and feasible and that the infrastructure is well-justified.

The RTA will be reviewed for feasibility by VPRI, Faculties, RAS, UofA Facilities and Operations (F&O), EHS (Environment Health and Safety), RMS (Risk Management Services), CAR (Committee on Animal Resources), TTS (Technology Transfer Services), IST (Information Systems and Technology), Library (Data Management), SMS (Supply Management Services).

If approved, the applicant will be recommended to develop and submit a full IF 2025 proposal.

Review Process

RTAs will be reviewed by RAS, Central Academic Units, Faculties, Colleges and the Office of the VPRI. Based on the quality of the RTA, potential applicants are either approved or not approved to move forward with a full IF 2025 proposal.

Step II: Notice of Intent

Important Note: CFI will be releasing the 2025 Innovation Fund call for proposal in Spring 2024. This section will be updated once it has been released. The information below relates to the IF 2023 competition NOI.

A Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted to the CFI in order to be able to submit a full proposal.

Review Process

The CFI will use the NOI to: 

  • Identify what expertise is needed to assess each proposal
  • Recruit committee members
  • Ensure that the requested infrastructure is eligible. 

Notices of intent are not assessed as part of the merit review process. 

The NOI will be completed by the Project Leader in the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS)RAS will submit the NOI to the CFI.

The NOI contains six sections: 

  1. Project information: Captures basic information about the project such as the title, applicant institution and keywords. 
  2. Project summary: A brief summary (max. 1,500 characters, including spaces) of the project and research. Summaries will be posted on the CFI website so that potential collaborators can identify possibilities for collaboration or multi-institutional initiatives. 
  3. Team: List up to 10 team members, including the team leader. Up to two (2) team leaders can be selected. Team members’ CVs will be appended to the full application. The team can be comprised of researchers from different institutions, sectors, and countries.
  4. Project description: The project description (max. 4 pages) should reflect the full scope of the planned activities and includes:
    • High-level overview of the research or technology development program(s) that will be enabled by the infrastructure and the anticipated outcomes of these activities, including expected application(s).
    • Table of the requested infrastructure including a brief description and approximate cost of the major pieces.
    • Table of current and planned partners and other potential conflicts of interest. The table should include the name of the partner organization(s) and the name of individuals involved in the research.
  5. Collaborating institutions: Collaborating institutions must use CAMS to confirm participation in the project and to confirm their contribution, if any, from their institutional envelope.
  6. Suggested reviewers: List up to six (6) potential reviewers who are qualified to provide an informed and impartial review of the proposal. Project teams are encouraged to suggest reviewers who are at different stages of their career, with diverse backgrounds and from underrepresented groups (including those who may face systemic barriers).

Step III: Proposal Development

Important Note: This page will be updated when CFI releases the 2025 innovation call for proposals in spring of 2024. If you have applied to the IF 2025 CFI intake, a Contract Specialist from Research Administrative Services (RAS) will work with you throughout the proposal development process to ensure the CFI’s criteria are met.

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. 

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

Please note: This section will be updated when the CFI releases the 2025 call for proposals in spring of 2024. For reference, the information below pertains to the criteria for the 2023 competition.

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

The Project Module must include:

  • 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. RAS 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:
    • 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.)

2. Finance Module

The Finance Module must include:
  • Cost of individual items
  • Construction or renovation floor plans (if applicable)
  • Contributions from eligible partners
  • Infrastructure utilization
  • Overview of infrastructure project funding (generated automatically)

3. Suggested Reviewers Module

The Suggested Reviewers Module is 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.


For more information, please contact:

Ramses Ilarraza

Contract Specialist, Research Administrative Services

Amin Karim

Manager Institutional Program Team

Michael Walesiak

Director, Research Administration Services