Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) Strategic Fund Guidelines and Procedures


The Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) Strategic Fund is a Lakehead University internal fund, received on an annual basis from operating funds received from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s Research Overhead Infrastructure Envelope. The size of this fund is determined by a formula based on a three-year rolling average of total CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC grants received by all researchers.

There are three components for this internal fund: (1) Research Facilitation Fund; (2) Emergency Research Equipment Repair Fund; and (3) Lakehead University Research Bridge Fund.


The Office of the President informs the Office of the VPRI regarding the total funding available in the VPRI Strategic Fund for each fiscal year. Allocations are then made based on the merit and number of eligible applications received under the above four components.

Ineligible Requests

Ineligible requests for the VPRI Strategic Fund include conference travel, knowledge dissemination, and publication costs. Applications for these activities should be made to the Senate Research Committee.

Application Process

Requests for the VPRI Strategic Fund must be made through the Romeo Research Portal.

Approval Procedure

Decisions will be made by the VPRI based on availability of funding and merit of the proposal. The VPRI reserves the right to seek external input from experts in the field when evaluating applications for merit.

Completion of Award

Upon completion of the award, a final report must be submitted within one month of the completion of the project. This final report is accessible through the Romeo Research Portal under “Events”.


This fund will support the following three grants:

a) Sustainability Studies Research Grant

Pre-amble: A key message in the current academic/research plan is that the university must recognize the important role it plays in sustainability stewardship. A senior level Sustainability Advisory Committee has been established to oversee the development and implementation of an Action Plan for increasing our awareness and commitment to sustainability at the university. The STARS assessment for the University ( will provide a framework for developing the action plan. In order to assist this initiative, the Office of Vice-President, Research and Innovation is providing funding for a pilot program to increase research in Sustainability Studies. When applying for this grant, key things to consider are:

• The interdisciplinary approach to the research project;

• The relationship of the project to the broad themes of sustainability as represented by the STARS assessment; and

• Community involvement or the impact of the project on communities.

Purpose: To promote interdisciplinary research activity that leads to finding innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

Eligibility: Full-time faculty, Senate established Research Centres/Institutes and students (undergraduate and graduate) may apply. A student or team of students may apply, however there needs to be a full-time faculty member who agrees to supervise the project as the Principal Investigator. The grant will be awarded to the faculty member who will then oversee distribution of funds according to the submitted budget. Research Centre/Institute applications will require the signature of the Centre/Institute Director. This signature is to be on a separate page which is then uploaded as an attachment as part of the application. For graduate students, awards may be given as top-up funding for current graduate support. If the proposed project relates to sustainability initiatives on Lakehead University property in any manner, the Director of Physical Plant must provide a letter of support.

Funding level: Up to $5,000 for each application. A maximum of five (5) awards will be given in this competition. Funds must normally be spent within one year of award.

Projects Involving Campus Infrastructure or Physical Facilities Proposed projects that involve on campus infrastructure or physical facilities must have written approval from the Director of Physical Plant at the time of applying.

Deadline of application: Not currently available

b) Strategic Research Opportunity Grant

Purpose: To respond to unforeseen research opportunities that would have a major impact on Lakehead University’s research, that could not be supported by any of Lakehead’s existing internal funding mechanisms, and that will lead to major external research funding which requires a quick response time and decision-making process. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.

Eligibility: Open

Funding level: Open. Funds must normally be spent within one year of award.

Deadline of application: Anytime

c) University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Research Collaboration Grant

Purpose: To provide one-time seed funding for Lakehead faculty and students to collaborate on research projects of mutual interest with UMD faculty. The grant is designed to promote team building efforts between Lakehead University and UMD faculty and students. Approval of the grant is contingent upon UMD accepting the proposal from their faculty member and providing proof of matching grant.

Eligibility: Open Funding level: Maximum $3,000. Funds must normally be spent within one year of award.

Deadline of application: Anytime

Application requirement: In addition to the online application, the following attachment is required: detailed information about the UMD faculty member who will be engaged for the joint research project.


Purpose: To cope with unexpected emergency repairs for major equipment.

Eligibility: All equipment repairs will be considered, however, repair of multiple-user equipment and shared equipment, such as equipment housed within LUCAS laboratories will be given priority. Equipment used for teaching purposes will not be considered. Please note that the contribution of matching funds from other sources will be favourably considered. Funding level: Repair costs of less than $1,000 will not be considered.

Deadline of application: Anytime.


Purpose: To encourage and support those faculty members seeking to restart their research activities following a full-time administrative appointment or a lengthy absence due to personal (or immediate family) health issues.

Eligibility: The applicant must be a full-time tenured faculty member at Lakehead University who has been away from active research activities for a minimum of two years due to personal (or immediate family) health issues, or a minimum of three years due to a full-time administrative appointment (faculty dean or equivalent). The applicant must demonstrate that his/her research career has been significantly hindered or interrupted due to the circumstances outlined above. Eligible faculty members are allowed to receive this funding only once during their tenure at Lakehead University. Faculty members who have never maintained an independent academic research program or those who currently hold an external or internal research grant are not eligible for this funding.

Eligible Expenses: Graduate students/research assistants; consumables, equipment and supplies; development of manuscripts or books for publication; grant writing services for grant applications; skills upgrading; seminars/workshops/conferences; and networking/mentoring activities.

Funding level: Maximum of $10,000 over a two-year period ($5,000 per year).

Deadline of application: November 1.

Application requirement: In addition to the online application, the following attachment is required: an updated CV including an account and documentation of the research career interruption as defined in the previous “Eligibility” section.

Selection Criteria: Applications will be evaluated based on the submitted two-year research proposal and the applicant’s previous research record, including external funding, relevant scholarly productivity, and the written explanation of their research career interruption.

Reporting Requirements: At the close of funding in the first year, the Research Bridge Fund recipient will provide the VPRI with an interim report containing a detailed accounting of the use of the funds and information on the progress of his/her research project. Furthermore, at the conclusion of the two-year funding period the recipient must provide a final report which includes financial information on the use of funds and outcome achieved such as abstracts submitted, published articles, and research grants applied for and/or obtained.

Revised Oct 2019