JELF – Unaffiliated

Fund Summary

The Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) offers institutions the opportunity to acquire foundational infrastructure for their leading research faculty to undertake cutting-edge research. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, which reflects their strategic priorities.


Application Process

Details regarding the JELF application process can be found here.



JELF proposals are reviewed by a minimum of two experts and are tasked with providing written reviews to the CFI.

Should a proposal receive divergent reviews, have a proposed research plan that spans diverse disciplines, or be otherwise highly complex, in order to make its funding recommendations, the CFI may:

  • Request a teleconference with reviewers of the proposal;
  • Seek the input of an additional expert reviewer; and/or
  • Seek the input of the JELF Advisory Committee (JELF AC).

The JELF AC is composed of experts of international calibre with broad, multidisciplinary experience who are well versed in assessing proposals submitted to the CFI. The JELF AC meets via teleconference to discuss proposals in detail in order to reach consensus on scores and recommendations.

Proposals with a CFI request greater than $400,000 (to a maximum of $800,000) are reviewed by an expert panel comprised of at least three reviewers selected from the list of suggested reviewers and external reviewers. This panel will meet by teleconference to discuss the proposal in order to arrive at a consensus regarding the scores and funding recommendation. For complex cases the CFI can also request the JELF AC’s opinion on a proposal. The JELF AC makes the final funding recommendation.

In order to coordinate the review processes and avoid duplication of review efforts, the CFI will share review materials with provinces in accordance with agreements between the CFI and Provincial Funding Authorities, as permissible pursuant to the Privacy Act.


Decision Process

The CFI is committed to ensuring the timely review of JELF proposals. The review process takes approximately four months. Funding recommendations are presented to the CFI Board of Directors at the earliest possible decision point.

Shortly after the CFI Board has met, institutions are informed of decisions by email. The CFI informs institutions of any conditions associated with an award and provides the reviewers’ comments for all proposals.

It is the responsibility of recipient institutions to submit the necessary documents to the CFI in order to finalize awards and establish payment schedules.


Public Announcements

The CFI will make a national public announcement of the decisions made by the CFI Board of Directors within one month of the Board meeting, when possible. Institutions must not make these decisions public until the national announcement is made. The CFI also seeks additional opportunities to work with institutions on local or regional announcements following the national event. Successful proposals are listed on the CFI website.