Policy and program guide and supplemental information

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Our Policy and program guide (PPG) details the eligibility requirements and policies and procedures important for your institution to apply for funding and to manage its funded projects.

Illustration of a signpost and arrow pointing to the left which represents past guides

policy and program guide

Find the policies and procedures for your institution to apply for and manage awards.

Supplemental information

These resources accompany our Policy and program guide. They include eligibility dates, examples and other materials to assist your institution when applying to the CFI and for the management of CFI-funded projects.

Institutions are responsible for ensuring that cash and in-kind contributions from eligible partners have been made, as well as expenditures incurred, after the eligibility date set for each program. Expenditures are considered incurred when goods are received, services have been rendered or work has been performed.

Fund/initiative Decision date Eligibility date

John R. Evans Leaders Fund

Three times a year

Six months prior to application

2020 Innovation Fund November 2020 June 1, 2017

2017 Innovation Fund

June 2017

March 1, 2015

2015 Innovation Fund

March 2015

November 1, 2012

2017-2022 Major Science Initiatives Fund

September 2016

April 1, 2017

2014 Major Science Initiatives Fund (special competition)

November 2014

April 1, 2014

Major Science Initiatives Fund

March 2012

April 1, 2012

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative – challenge 1 – Competition 1

March 2016

April 1, 2015

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative – challenge 1 – Competition 2 March 2018 April 1, 2016

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative – challenge 2

June 2015

April 1, 2015

College-Industry Innovation Fund – streams 1 & 2

Stream 1: November (2015 to present)        
Stream 2: March (2014 to present)

12 months prior to application

College-Industry Innovation Fund – streams 1 & 2

March 2021

March 2013
November 2012
March 2012

May 15, 2019

April 1, 2011

Advancing Big Data Science in Genomics Research

March 2014

May 15, 2013

Digging into Data Challenge

November 2013

July 31, 2012

Automotive Partnership Canada Fund

2009 to 2014 (various dates)

Six months prior to application

2012 Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds

November 2012

April 1, 2011

2009 Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds

June 2009

January 1, 2007

2006 Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds

November 2006

January 1, 2004

2007 Research Hospital Fund – Large-Scale Institutional Endeavours

June 2008

February 19, 2003

2007 Research Hospital Fund – Clinical Research Initiatives

March 2008

February 19, 2003

2004 Research Hospital Fund

October 2004

January 1, 2002

2005 International Joint Venture Project

November 2006

March 1, 2007

International Joint Ventures Fund/International Access Fund

June 2002

July 3, 2001

The CFI recognizes eligible items involving in-kind contributions at fair market value. It is the responsibility of the institution to ensure that the fair market value reported to the CFI for such items is reasonable.  Read more about items involving in-kind contributions in the Policy and program guide (PDF) .

Fair market value assessment

Various methods and multiple sources of information can be considered to assist in establishing fair market value.  Included in this document are examples of methods that can be used to assess fair market value and circumstances where an appraisal may be required.

Fair market value assessment

Competitive bid process

This document includes important considerations for the competitive bid process for items involving in-kind contributions provided by suppliers. It also includes sample material for how to appropriately communicate with suppliers about the CFI and in-kind contributions, as well as examples of acceptable bid evaluations, including a fair market value assessment.

Competitive bid process

The Framework for the evaluation of cost allocation methods (PDF) outlines different approaches to assist institutions to determine an acceptable cost allocation method for CFI-funded construction or renovation that is part of a larger undertaking. Read more under “Eligible costs for infrastructure projects” and “Account administration” in the Policy and program guide (PDF).

An example of a detailed cost allocation method (PDF) was developed by Hanscomb Limited, a company skilled in quantity surveying and project management. Read more about cost allocation methods under “Account administration” in the Policy and program guide (PDF).

This simplified cost allocation method (PDF) is presented as an alternative. We allow an institution to use a simplified cost allocation method if the average cost of the CFI-funded space is representative of, or higher than, the average cost of the overall undertaking.

Other methods of cost allocation may also be acceptable. Institutions must use judgement in establishing the most appropriate cost allocation method for the project.

Read more under “Account administration” in the Policy and program guide (PDF).

This document provides descriptions and examples of reporting scenarios relating to acceptance of cash back and other benefits (including additional items) offered by a supplier.

Cash back - reporting scenarios and examples

Read more under “Account administration” in the Policy and program guide (PDF) .

Institutional eligibility requirements and list of eligible institutions

Only Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions recognized as eligible by the CFI — not individual researchers — may submit proposals to the CFI. Please consult our complete list of eligible institutions to see if your institution is already eligible.

We will not accept applications to any funding opportunity from an institution not formally declared eligible. To be recognized as eligible, your institution must provide information and submit a document that demonstrates that the eligibility conditions are satisfied. More detailed information on how to become a CFI-eligible institution can be found in section 3 (called “Eligible institutions”) of the Policy and program guide. Note that the complete eligibility process may take several months, especially when submissions from institutions are incomplete. CFI staff will proceed with the review of the application for eligibility once the information is complete.

If you have questions about the eligibility status of your institution or eligibility requirements and the process to be recognized as eligible, please contact CFI at Eligibility.Admissibilite [at] innovation.ca

Past policy and program guides

Archived policy and program guides remain online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes.

The resources below summarize the changes to the version of our Policy and program guide introduced in October 2019. These changes were made with the goal of assisting you in successfully managing your CFI-funded projects.

Overview of recent CFI changes