Institutional Programs

Working directly with faculties and guided by the University of Calgary's Research Plan, the Institutional Programs team provides a framework for the identification, qualification, development, submission and award management for major institutionally prioritized programs.

The Institutional Programs portfolio consists of high risk, high reward, highly complex, and multi-partner programs, often with commercialization as a desired outcome. 

This team builds teams; teams of strategic professionals (including consulting, project management, intellectual property, legal, financial, industrial relations, government relations, philanthropic development, etc) to work with the lead faculty and scientist to develop funding strategies, business plans and superior Institutional Research Priority proposals.

The Institutional Programs team oversees agency programs including but not limited to:

  • Alberta Jobs, Economy and Innovation (JEI, formerly Economic Development, Trade and Tourism or EDTT)
  • Canada Excellence Research Chairs
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • Genome Canada
  • Western Economic Diversification
  • New Frontiers in Research Fund, and
  • other major tri-council grants (including NSERC CREATE, SSHRC Partnership Grants and Partnership Development Grants)


Contact the Institutional Programs Division team at

Alberta Jobs, Economy and Innovation (JEI)

The Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation manages a number of programs that provide various forms of research funding. The Ministry provides leadership and strategic investments in research and technology initiatives, referencing the Alberta Research and Innovation Framework (ARIF).

Matching funding for research equipment and infrastructure awarded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) can be applied for through the Research Capacity Program.

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

Networks of Centres of Excellence was established in 1989 as a new approach to research.This made-in-Canada model has been acknowledged around the world as a highly effective way to strengthen a country's research capacity, build partnerships, and translate discoveries and advances into economic prosperity and a better quality of life for all citizens. The NCE programs are narrowing the gap between research and commercialization and producing research that is applicable to Canadians.

Various NCEs provide funding opportunities that are available to Researchers at the University of Calgary.

Calls for proposal have been recently sent out by BioFuelNet, Canada Water Network, Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) and NeuroDevNet. Current research-driven NCEs.

AUTO21 offers four-six month internship programs for graduate and postdoctoral scholars.


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs. This program is designed to:

  • encourage collaborative and integrative approaches and address significant scientific challenges association with Canada’s research priorities; and
  • facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

Proposed training initiatives should be focused on providing a value-added experience to the university training environment to better prepare research trainees for their future careers in industry, government or academia. CREATE programs must include the acquisition and development of important professional skills that complement their qualifications and technical skills. 



Learn more about NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR)

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) is overseen by a tri-agency NCE Steering Committee and aims to create world-class centres to advance research and facilitate commercialization of technologies, products and services.

These centres operate in the priority areas of the Federal Science & Technology Strategy: health, information and communications technology, environment, and energy and natural resources.

The program funds the CECRs' operating and commercialization costs. Research and infrastructure costs must be covered by other federal programs, or through initiatives such as those run by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the granting agencies.

The first CECR competition in 2007 was worth $165 million.

Western Economic Diversification (WD)

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) administers programs that advance innovation, entrepreneurship and community economic development in the four western provinces. This includes initiatives that are delivered directly by WD, as well as the western component of a number of national agreements. To achieve this mandate, WD supports initiatives that contribute to three strategic outcomes.

  • A strengthened western Canadian innovation system (Innovation) and a competitive and expanded business sector in Western Canada (Business Development and Entrepreneurship);
  • Economically viable communities in Western Canada with a high quality of life (Community Economic Development); and
  • Policies and programs that support the economic development of Western Canada.

To achieve its strategic outcome in 2008-2009, WD will focus on activities that support the following priorities:

  • Increasing technology commercialization;
  • Enhancing trade and investment;
  • Improving business productivity and competitiveness;
  • Increasing rural diversification; and
  • Achieving management excellence.

Please note that WD does offer opportunities for research infrastructure funding in addition to opportunities for operational funding and support.

Genome Canada

Genome Canada is a not-for-profit organization that was mandated by the Government of Canada to develop and implement a national strategy for supporting large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects. Together with its six Genome Centres and other partners, Genome Canada invests in and manages large-scale research projects in key selected areas such as agriculture, environment, fisheries, forestry, health and new technology development.

They also support research projects aimed at studying and analyzing the ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social issues related to genomics research (GE3LS). In addition, six science & technology (S&T) platforms with cutting edge technical capabilities have been put in place across Canada to support the large-scale projects.

Projects and S&T platforms are selected based on their international competitiveness and scientific excellence in the framework of Canada's social and economic fabric. To date, Genome Canada has invested more than $840 million across Canada, which, when combined with funding from other partners, is expected to result in $1.6 billion in 131 innovative research projects and platforms.

Please note that Genome Canada does offer opportunities for research infrastructure funding in addition to opportunities for operational funding and support.

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

CFI support is intended to:

  • strengthen Canada's capacity for innovation
  • attract and retain highly skilled research personnel in Canada
  • stimulate the training of Highly Qualified Personnel through research
  • promote networking, collaboration, and multidisciplinarity among researchers, institutions, and sectors
  • ensure the optimal use of research infrastructure within and among Canadian institutions.

Applications are assessed using the following criteria:

  • Quality of research and need for infrastructure
  • Contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation
  • Potential benefits of the research to Canada

CFI offers several programs including: 

  • Innovation Fund
  • Infrastructure Operating Fund, and
  • John R. Evans Leaders Fund

CFI accepts applications to the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) program three times per year: February 15, June 15, and October 15.



Learn more about CFI Innovation Fund

SSHRC Partnership Grants

Partnership Grants provide support for new and existing formal partnerships (over a period of four to seven years) to advance research, research training and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities through mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership as well as through resources as evidenced by cash and/or in-kind contributions. At least one partner must be from an organization or institution other than the University of Calgary. This program provides funding up to $500,000 per year for a maximum total of up to $2.5 million over seven years. Additional cash and/or in-kind support from partners totaling a minimum of 35% over and above the budget request from SSHRC. 



Learn more about SSHRC Partnership Grants