CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund (Unaffiliated) - Internal Deadline: November 8, 2021


We are pleased to announce Lakehead University’s internal call for Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) applications.  The deadline for the internal competition will be November 8, 2021.

 All tenured or tenure-track Lakehead University faculty members are eligible to submit applications to the internal CFI JELF competition.  Faculty members with limited term appointments are not eligible to apply unless they have a three-year LTA and have secured an externally peer reviewed tri-agency grant.  At least one application will potentially support an early career researcher who has been able to secure external research funding and has submitted a meritorious CFI JELF application.  Candidates who have previously been supported with the CFI JELF, Leaders Opportunities Fund, New Opportunities Fund or Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund are eligible for funding under the CFI JELF; however, a justification of the value-added of a subsequent award is required if a previous CFI grant was awarded less than 5 years prior to the internal competition deadline; this includes researchers who currently hold CFI grants that have not been finalized by the internal deadline.

Please note that we have allocated $350,000 (40% CFI JELF portion) to this competition to support a total investment in new research infrastructure of up to $875,000.  We anticipate that three successful applications will be supported for submission to the national CFI JELF competition. 

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 of research experts who have had experience securing infrastructure funding as well as serving as CFI reviewers.  The Committee will rank proposals in accordance with the following CFI JELF criteria and then make their recommendations to the Vice-President Research and Innovation for final approval.



The CFI JELF enables a select number of an institution’s excellent researchers to undertake innovative research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or to become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development that are aligned with their strategic priorities. Proposals are assessed based on the following criteria (please consult the CFI JELF Guide for a more detailed description of the criteria):

 • Research or technology development *

 • Researchers *

 • Infrastructure *

 • Sustainability

 • Benefits to Canadians.

Note * criteria that applies to CFI requests under $75,000 only.

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.

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.

Required Components for a Complete Internal Application

Application forms and guidelines are available by referring to the CFI's website.

Complete CFI JELF applications for the internal competition must be submitted to the Office of Research Services via email ( as one complete PDF file by the internal deadline and must consist of:

1.    CFI JELF Application Forms (CFI Award Management System)- Please use the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) – Unaffiliated version of the form (including the CFI CV).

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 of November 8, 2021.** 

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: If your application is a re-submission of a previously unsuccessful application, you are required to include a maximum of one page addressing how the comments of the CFI reviewers (internal or external) have been addressed in your new application.

8.  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:

  1. The organization's agreement to host the CFI-funded infrastructure (with Lakehead maintaining de facto control).
  2. 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.

***Note:  Please note that if renovations are not required as part of acquiring and installing the requested infrastructure, the applicant(s) must clearly indicate in the CFI application why renovations are not required.  It is the researcher’s responsibility to secure appropriate research space and matching funds for renovations for the infrastructure prior to applying internally.


CFI Funding Formula and Matching Funds

Please note that the CFI JELF program will contribute up to 40% towards infrastructure costs.

Researchers must secure the required 20% matching funds as cash or in-kind (equipment discounts beyond the best educational price) in order to be eligible to apply.  Matching funds have to be secured in writing as part of the internal application.  Successful applicants will also need to apply to the Ontario Research Fund Infrastructure Fund for the remaining 40% funding. 

Projects with external partners and equipment vendors are encouraged as long as the in-kind contribution meets CFI guidelines.  Equipment installations off-site are eligible as long as the partner institution is willing to sign an inter-institutional agreement that complies with CFI's requirements for the University to retain ownership, control and access to the equipment and facilities.

If the required 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:

  1. List Price
  2. Best Educational Price
  3. Discount Beyond Best Educational Price (the in-kind or CFI contribution)
  4. 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.

If you have any doubts regarding the eligibility of your matching funds, please contact Anne Klymenko or 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, 2022) or will be spent on 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.

Space and Renovation Requirements

Requests for new space (not currently allocated to the applicant) must be approved by the Lakehead University’s Space Committee prior to the internal deadline upon the recommendation of the Dean. Should renovations be required to the space, 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 November 8, 2021 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 Anne Klymenko at or Andrew Hacquoil at Additional information regarding the CFI program can be obtained by referring to the following website: CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund.