All faculty members with tenured or tenure-track positions at Lakehead University are invited to submit applications to Lakehead University’s Fall internal 2023 Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) competition. The deadline for the internal competition will be October 31, 2023.
Please note that up to $176,000 (CFI portion only) from Lakehead's JELF allocation has been allocated to this competition to support a total investment of up to $440,000 in research infrastructure. Researchers are required to secure the required 20% matching funds in order to be eligible to apply.
Internal Review of Applications
In order to support research excellence and ensure fairness and transparency in the distribution of these funds, applications will be reviewed by an internal CFI JELF peer review committee which will rank the applications and then make recommendations to the Vice-President Research, and Innovation.
Eligibility and Application Process
The JELF "enables a select number of an institution’s excellent researchers to undertake leading-edge research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, aligned with their strategic priorities."
The candidate(s) listed in the proposal must be:
A recognized innovative leader or have demonstrated the potential for excellence in the proposed research field(s);
Engaged in or embarking upon research/ technology development that is original, internationally competitive and of high quality; and
A current faculty member with a full-time academic appointment or a candidate that the institution is in the process of recruiting to a full-time academic position in an area of strategic importance.
The JELF is intended to serve the infrastructure needs of individual faculty, or groups of up to three faculty members where there is a need to share infrastructure.
Preference to applicants will given in the following order:
Early Career Researchers (ECR) - (applicants who have obtained their first independent academic position within the last five years).
Applications for shared research infrastructure to be located in the Lakehead University Instrumentation Laboratory or LUCAS laboratory (a letter of support from the Laboratory Director must be included in the application).
All other tenured or tenure-track or tenured faculty members (candidates who have received funding in the past previously been supported through the JELF, Leaders Opportunities Fund, New Opportunities Fund or Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund are eligible for funding under the JELF; however a justification for the need for the infrastructure and complementarity of the value-added of a subsequent award is required).
Please note that applicants who have held a CFI JELF grant in the past three years are not eligible to apply. Application forms and guidelines are available by referring to the CFI's website.
Candidates must be recognized leaders in their field of research, or show promise of becoming research leaders. They must be engaged in, or embarking on, an innovative research program for which the infrastructure is essential and which will provide an enriched research training environment. CFI JELF applications must also fit with the research priorities outlined in Lakehead University's Research Plan.
In addition to meeting general CFI eligibility requirements, infrastructure items for JELF candidates must be essential for the research program of the candidate(s). If the requested items have been purchased or received, they must be obtained as an in-kind contribution no more than six months before the date of submission of the application.
Checklist for a Complete Application
Complete CFI JELF applications for the internal competition must be submitted to the Office of Research Services by the internal deadline and must consist of:
2. CFI Request for Quotations Form- plus one quote for each major equipment item.
3. CFI Internal Budget Worksheet and one quotation in CFI format for all equipment/renovation items.
4. Letter from the relevant dean confirming support for application and confirming space. Space must be confirmed by the internal application deadline.*
5. Projects requiring renovations** must include:
a cost estimate (from Physical Plant) prior to the internal application deadline.
Evidence of the required cash contributions to offset the 20% matching fund requirements.
6. Completed Internal Research Proposal Approval Form
7. Regarding re-submissions: Applicants who have been unsuccessful in previous internal or external competitions must provide a letter summarizing how the peer review committee’s feedback has been considered and incorporated into the new application.
8. If applicable: Applications for shared research infrastructure to be located in the Lakehead University Instrumentation Laboratory or LUCAS laboratory must include a letter of support from the Laboratory Director).
9. CFI JELF internal checklist.
*Note: If any CFI infrastructure is to be located outside of Lakehead University, please note that Lakehead must still ". . . exercise de facto control over the research infrastructure, including assuming responsibility for its access and for the associated scientific programming" (CFI Policy and Program Guide). In such cases, a letter of support from the organization that would be hosting the infrastructure must be attached to the internal CFI application.
The letter must specify:
- The organization's agreement to host the CFI-funded infrastructure (with Lakehead maintaining de facto control).
- Agreement to allow the Project Leader full access to the space and if there were renovations involved in making the space ready to house the equipment, the receiving organization is required to agree to the renovations to their space.
If the CFI funding is subsequently awarded, an inter-institutional agreement would need to be signed between Lakehead and the receiving organization outlining the above terms and conditions.
**Note: Please note that if renovations are not required as part of acquiring and installing the requested infrastructure, the applicant(s) must indicate in the CFI application why renovations are not required (including confirmation from Physical Plant).
CFI Funding Formula and Matching Funds
Please note that the CFI JELF program will contribute up to 40% towards infrastructure costs, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities' Ontario Research Fund will contribute 40% and the remaining 20% must be found from other sources by the researcher. Funds from CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, as well as Tri-Council programs (e.g. the Networks of Centres of Excellence and the Canada Research Chairs) are not considered to be acceptable funding partners. However, the CFI will allow the cost of eligible item(s) to be covered in part by the aforementioned funding sources, provided that this portion is not used to leverage CFI funds. Equipment discounts beyond the best educational price are eligible as in-kind contributions towards the 20% matching funds required.
CFI JELF applications must include confirmation of the required matching funds. If the matching funds are to be provided by the private sector or other external agency, a letter of support outlining their commitment must accompany the application. If the 20% matching fund is provided in the form of a "discount beyond best educational price" by a supplier, a copy of the quotation must be included showing:
- List Price
- Best Educational Price (if a company does not offer academic or educational discounts, this should be specified in the quote or CFI Request for Quotations Form)
- Discount Beyond Best Educational Price (the in-kind or CFI contribution)
- Net CFI Price
Researchers must use Lakehead University's CFI Request for Quotations Form to ensure quotations meet CFI eligibility requirements. A CFI Internal budget worksheet must be completed and submitted along with copies of the equipment quotations used to complete the CFI form. Note that only "discounts beyond best educational price" are eligible. Please note that project leaders should be aware that once the relevant taxes (3.41% HST) are applied to the total cost of the requested infrastructure in the application budget, the contribution by a vendor may actually work out to slightly less than the required 20%. Additional matching funds may be required to make up the resulting short-fall.
Researchers should note as well that a 10% cost increase has been added to the cash and in-kind formulas for each item in the CFI Internal Budget Worksheet. This is as a guard against inflation and exchange rate fluctuations.
If you have any doubts regarding the eligibility of your matching funds, please call Andrew Hacquoil in the Office of Research Services for advice.
Please note that LU start-up grants may be used towards the matching fund requirement whether it has been spent during the six months prior to the CFI JELF external deadline (February 15, 2024) or will be spent on the research infrastructure. Funds from start-up grants are to be shown as a cash contribution from the institution, not in-kind (as per CFI guidelines). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all in-kind contributions are eligible in accordance with CFI's guidelines.
Renovations to Space
Requests for renovations to new space (not currently allocated to the applicant) must be approved by the Lakehead University’s Space Committee prior to the internal deadline. Researchers should be aware that renovation costs can also include such expenses as changes to a space in order to accommodate a piece of equipment that has special power requirements, or environmental cooling (for example). If an application is to include renovations in the budget, researchers must contact Kevin Schlyter in Physical Plant far in advance of the October 31, 2023 internal deadline to arrange for a cost estimate. Applications that do not accurately reflect costs may be deemed ineligible for consideration. Additional information is available on-line at the Lakehead University Physical Plant website.
Should you have any questions regarding the CFI JELF program, please contact Andrew Hacquoil at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information regarding the CFI program can be obtained by referring to the following website: CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund.