Find Funding Opportunities

John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF)

The John R Evans Leaders Fund provides funding for research infrastructure, enabling researchers to conduct leading-edge research. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provides the UofA with a specific JELF allocation. The CFI will support a maximum of 40% of the eligible costs of a JELF project. Applicants will also request matching funding through the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (EDT) Research Capacity Program – Small Equipment Grants Stream. More information about these programs is available in this presentation prepared by RSO.

  • 1. Submitting a JELF Proposal

    Researchers wishing to apply for the JELF should contact the RSO immediately in order to discuss appropriate timelines and deadlines for preparation of these applications. Please note that the internal deadline for submission of a complete first draft for review by the RSO is 45 days prior to the CFI deadline. See the internal timelines table for details.

    If a proposal is not received by the internal deadline of 45 days prior to the CFI submission deadline:

    - the institution will not support the submission for that competition

    - the project leader will be required to make a request to his/her faculty for approval to submit in a future competition

    Internal Timelines for CFI JELF Proposal Development Period




    Large Faculties Stream
    (ALES, FoMD, Sci, Eng)

    Twice per year
    (minimum 6 months prior to submission deadline)

    Associate/Vice Deans (Research) to keep RSO apprised of all proposals that are being considered for future competitions from their faculties. RSO must be advised at least 6 months in advance of the relevant submission deadline. This information will be tracked via shared Google Docs. 

    Associate/Vice Deans (Research) to provide project-specific written confirmation via email to RSO that the Faculty supports the project to allow RSO to begin consultations for proposal development. Information must include PI name, maximum CFI allocation, and space confirmation. 

    Combined Other Faculties Stream
    Emerging Priorities Stream

    Annual internal deadline: January 15th (with decisions by February 28th to
    move forward to proposal stage)

    Internal Letter of Intent to be submitted to RSO for review by Vice-President (Research). Associate/Vice Deans (Research) must be in support of the submissions. Submissions for the Combined Pot and the Emerging Priorities Pot will be considered separately. Projects will be selected on the basis of merit. More information on this process, including an application form, will be provided closer to the deadline.

    All Streams

    4 months prior to submission deadline

    RSO to initiate first meeting with Project Leader. First meeting to include representative from Facilities and Operations. Discussion will include information for Project Leader regarding CFI policy and procedures, proposed equipment needs, potential renovation requirements, and requirement for consultation with any other units on campus.

    All Streams

    45 days prior to submission deadline

    First complete draft of proposal to be entered in the CFI CAMS system for review by RSO – 45 days prior to submission deadline, no extension will be permitted.  

    JELF Intake

    February 15

    June 15

    October 15

    Deadline for 1st full application draft to RSO

    January 1

    May 1

    September 1

    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 Grants

    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

    For all JELF Application intakes, approved Project Leaders must ensure that at least 45 days prior to submission deadline Contracts Specialist is provided with a full first application draft consisting of: 

    - a complete first draft of their CFI-JELF application;

    - a completed budget spreadsheet, accompanied by all vendor quotes

    - a complete first draft of the Alberta Alignment module

    More information about how the budget should be developed is available here.

    Appropriate progress must also have been made on any renovation planning in order for the application to proceed. 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.

    All drafts of the proposal should be provided to RSO for review in Microsoft Word format.

    The complete JELF application will include:

    Plain Language Summary (max. 1500 characters);

    Project Summary (max. 2 pages)

    - Assessment Criteria (max. 17 pages)*

  • 3. Distribution of JELF Allocation

    The distribution of the JELF allocation for the 2017-2020 period will be as follows:


    Distribution of JELF 2017-2020
    Allocation by Faculty

    Large Faculties
     ALES  $594,077

    Large Faculties

    Medicine & Dentistry


    Large Faculties



    Large Faculties



    Combined Faculties

    Combined Other Faculties


    Emerging Priorities

    Emerging Priorities



    TOTAL Available Allocation


Internal Call for Requests to Apply - Combined Faculties Stream & Emerging Priorities Stream

In order to identify projects for submission to the CFI John R. Evans Leader Fund (JELF) program under the Combined Faculties Stream and the Emerging Priorities Stream, the Office of the Vice-President (Research) is inviting interested applicants to submit a Request to Apply (RTA) for internal review.

***NOTE submission deadline has been extended*** 

New Submission Deadline (to RSO) is January 15, 2018 (9 AM). 

How to Apply

Interested applicants will be required to complete the Internal Request to Apply (RTA) form.  Detailed instructions for this internal RTA process, as well as additional important documents to assist with the development of the RTA can be accessed here.  You must be logged in using your U of A CCID to access this link.

Submission must include:

  • Submission of final RTA form to RSO (responsibility of Lead PI)
  • Submission of email from Faculty to RSO to confirm support for all proposals, and to provide rank-ordered list with justification (responsibility of Faculty office)
    email to:; cc:

Researchers are to contact their Faculty office regarding internal review deadlines.

Who Can Apply? 

Combined Faculties Stream:  This stream is open to researchers from all faculties EXCEPT FoMD, Engineering, Science and ALES.  Combined Faculties RTAs will require justification from each Faculty involved that addresses how the project meets the strategic research goals of the Faculty and/or Department.
Emerging Priorities Stream: 
This stream is open to researchers from all Faculties for projects that for some reason fall outside of the purview of any single Faculty, and are in an area of broad importance to the Institution. Demonstration of tangible Faculty support for the project, such as commitment of a portion of the Faculty's JELF allocation or a cash commitment to support operations and maintenance of the requested infrastructure is strongly encouraged.  Cross-Faculty collaboration is not necessarily required for consideration under this stream, but may strengthen the request.
Emerging Priorities RTAs will require justification from each Faculty involved that addresses how the project meets the strategic research goals of the Faculty and/or Department, as well as why the project should be considered under the Emerging Priorities Stream rather than one of the Large Faculties allocations or the Combined Faculties Stream.  i.e. What is the broad impact that the project will have on the institution as a whole?

Projects selected to go forward through this Internal RTA competition should expect to submit an application to the CFI no earlier than the June 15, 2018 intake.