Research Development Fund


The Senate Research Committee recommends financial support for proposals that will enhance research capacity, facilitate successful external grant applications, and increase the scholarly productivity of Lakehead University faculty members. Funding is given to tenured, tenure-track faculty members, and three-year Limited Term Appointments (LTAs) of Lakehead University (hereinafter referred to as "eligible applicants”). Funds are for the support of short-term research activities that fall within the funding mandates of the Tri-Councils (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). Funding for SSHRC Research Development Fund grants is provided through the SSHRC Explore program. Senate Research Committee funds should be regarded as seed funding. Limited funds are available; therefore, eligible applicants are expected to indicate a plan for expanding their short-term internally funded project into a longer-term project for which they would seek Tri-Council funding.

The Committee considers requests from eligible applicants on the basis of merit, need, and the availability of funds. All funds are awarded on a competitive basis, although support is preferentially awarded to new faculty and to those who currently hold, or are currently applying for, external funds. In those instances where all allocated funds for a given competition date are not used, the funds will be retained for the next internal competition. Please note that these internal funds are generated through the success of Lakehead University faculty in Tri-Council competitions; preference will be given to applicants who are committed to applying for Tri-Council funding.

Applicants should be aware that the Senate Research Committee operates under Senate approved guidelines. All funding for internal research competitions is limited and designated for specific uses. Due to the competitive nature of the internal competition for most funding opportunities, the Senate Research Committee does not provide applicants with feedback or justification for its decisions. All decisions are made internally through a peer review process and all decisions are final.

Applications are reviewed by members of the Senate Research Committee based upon recommendations of sub-committees (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). Members of the SRC peer review committees are drawn from multiple disciplines within each tri-council area (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). Therefore, applicants should take care to use plain language and make their project accessible to researchers outside their discipline who may not be familiar with their area of research or research methodologies. Applicants should also be aware that the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) place a very strong emphasis on ensuring high-quality training for students within their programs to ensure that trainees are able to make strong contributions in Canada and globally. Researchers who are not proposing to involve students in their RDF application are required to provide a rationale for not including a training component.

Eligibility Criteria
1. Grants are awarded to support the following eligible research initiatives:
(a) to support the research programs of new tenured and tenure-track faculty members (typically within three years of their initial appointment) and 3-year limited term appointment (LTAs).
(b) to support efforts by faculty members to gain or regain funding by a major funding agency;
(c) to support new initiatives by faculty members who are changing fundamentally their direction of research and are seeking appropriate external support; and
(d) to support new collaborative initiatives between faculty members who are also seeking appropriate external support.

Note: If the applicant does not have external funding and has not applied for it, they must explain why such funding cannot reasonably be expected for the proposed project.

2. Requests for funds must be made using the on-line Romeo Research Portal, where there is an application form which includes questions to guide your project proposal. To access Romeo, log into myInfo and select “Romeo Research Portal” under the web utilities icon.

Through the Romeo form, Researchers will be asked to submit:
o The funding CCV associated with whichever tri-council agency they will subsequently apply to. For more information on how to complete the CCV see:

Applicants can address any career interruptions or other factors that may have impacted their record of research achievement in the application on the Romeo Research Portal. Applicants can also elaborate on non-traditional academic
accomplishments in the application.

o A timeline of research activities showing how you (and your team, where applicable) will complete proposed project within one year
o A bibliography of sources cited in your literature review not to exceed one page (12 point Times New Roman, 1” margins)

If you have questions regarding the CCV or the application, please contact a Research Facilitator in the Office of Research Services at:
o (SSHRC/CIHR Facilitator)
o Facilitator)
o (Orillia Research Facilitator)

Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 20 of each year. Should this date fall over a weekend, applications will be due the following business day by 11:59 p.m. Late applications will not be accepted. Normally, applicants will be advised of the Committee’s decision within eight (8) weeks.

3. The maximum award for research initiatives will be $7,000.
4. An RDF grant will not normally be recommended for the same research project more than once. Exceptions include new faculty who require continued seed money to complete projects that will result in external funding. The following conditions for a second application are:
a. Applicant must be applying for external funding;
b. Applicant must submit a final report to the SRC through Romeo; and
c. Applicant must submit a rationale to justify why additional funding is required.

5. Preference will be given to those applicants who have not received a Research Development Fund grant in the previous two years.

Normally, the Senate Research Committee will only approve one research grant in the same fiscal year (May 1 to April 30).

6. Faculty submitting joint research proposals normally are not eligible to submit an individual research request within the same competition.

7. Following the first successful application for funds, subsequent applications must be submitted with evidence of external peer-reviewed scholarly activity conducted since the previous application. A final report outlining evidence of project deliverables and projected research outcomes must be submitted through the Romeo Research Portal within two months of completion. Researchers will be ineligible to submit future funding applications until the final report has been submitted.

8. In general, research grants are provided for the direct costs of the research. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to: research personnel, materials & supplies, equipment and research travel, excluding conference and dissertation related travel, (see ‘Budget Tab’ when completing the online application). Principle  Investigators’ expenditures related to conference travel, visiting scholars and publications are not eligible through this program. Please refer to the Senate Research Committee’s other funding programs.

9. Funds should normally be used within one year of the date of the award. Should funds remain after the first year, an automatic extension period of one additional year will be granted without the need to formally request an extension.
In extenuating circumstances, additional requests for an extension beyond the two years will be at the joint discretion of the Chair and the Vice- President, Research and Innovation. In addition, researchers can amend their RDF budget plan without seeking approval from the SRC, as long as expenditures are tri-agency eligible. Please note that three-year LTAs must use their funding during the tenure of their appointment.

10. Funds will not be released until all research ethics approvals (human participants, animals, biosafety, and environmental assessment) are in place. Ensure that your ethics application makes reference to the SRC RDF.

Applicants may request that a member of the Senate Research Committee not be involved in the review of their application due to a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest may be declared as part of the application in the Romeo Research Portal, and identified individuals will be removed from the review of the candidate’s application.

Revised October 5, 2021