Identify Souces of Funding

The following mechanisms for identifying funding sources are suggested:

University of Toronto Research Services Office (RSO)

Research Funding information may be easily found through the RSO webpage Funding Sources. This webpage provides access to 2 databases and reports funding and other relevant news;

  • Research Alerts allows you to stay current with all research activities at the University of Toronto. You will receive emails about the latest funding opportunities and awards, partnership opportunities, commercialization activity, new technologies and startups, and much more. Sign up to receive customized notifications.
  • The Research Funding Opportunities database highlights major and minor funding sources with deadlines in the upcoming months.
  • A searchable database of funding sources is provided by Pivot, formerly known as Community of Science. Pivot includes funding sources for all research disciplines, not only health or life sciences; it provides international information as well as local funding sources.

Faculty of Medicine Research Office

In addition, the Faculty of Medicine Research Office provides information on opportunities not found elsewhere, via email and posted on the VDRI Webpage. These may have either a short turn-around time or are highly specialized for members of the Faculty of Medicine. This information is supplemental to the RSO Research Funding Opportunities database (described above). It provides information on research funding that may or may not yet be posted on the University's Research Funding Opprtunities database or the Pivot research funding database.

Information on current funding information under the heading of "What's New in Research Funding" will be posted for a maximum of 8 weeks. At the end of this period it will be removed irrespective of deadline. Users are advised to save any information that is of interest, particularly if the deadline is beyond the 6 week retention span.

In addition to "What's New," the Foundation and Agency Grants page provides an overview of new or unusual international funding opportunities with deadlines in the next 6 months.

The VDRI eMailing list will, after you register, allow you to receive updates of research funding information (plus other useful services). Click on "Join" at the bottom of the right hand frame and complete the on-line form.

Selecting the appropriate Federal Funding Agency

CIHR funds basic, applied, clinical or health research; health research includes health services, population health, determinants of health, health economics, environmental health, psychosocial and behavioural research, health policy, health promotion, and health ethics;

SSHRC funds psychology and educational psychology research, including experimental social psychology, interpersonal communication, social processes, social issues, personality, developmental psychology; computer and applied sciences, nursing (sociological, psychological or management) research; archaeology, arts, geography;

NSERC funds life sciences research including molecular and developmental genetics, cell biology, psychology (perception, cognition, learning, motivation; underlying neural mechanisms), evolution and ecology, plant biology, animal biology, and physiology; physical sciences, computational sciences, engineering.

(NSERC and SSHRC require research funding to be administered by the University.)

Questions to Consider

Does your research fit the mandate of the agency to which you are applying?

Who will review your application (peer review or lay audience)?

Have you shown that ...

  • It's a good idea? (the aims should be focused and clear; the scope of the proposed work should be achievable in the proposed time;)
  • It's good science? (it should proceed in a step-by-step, logically organized way; there should be enough detail to convince reviewers that the research will achieve valid results; there should be a critical assessment of the proposed work; identify possible problems and planned solutions; the precision and accuracy of the proposed methods must be defined clearly and accurately;)
  • It's a good application? (read and follow all instructions; the budget should be appropriate for achieving the goals of the research (JUSTIFY!); ethical consideration and any special requirements should be addressed; a clear message of confidence must be delivered to the reviewers.)

Consult your University Department Chair regarding requirements for an internal peer review. Experience has demonstrated that internally peer reviewed applications have a better chance of being funded.