Federal Funding

Providing a wealth of opportunities

Research at Dalhousie is largely made possible thanks to national funding grants and contracts from the Government of Canada.

It is through the government's various agencies and programs that we get the majority of our funding for:

  • conducting investigator-led research
  • supporting our leaders in their research fields
  • attracting top talent to Dalhousie
  • addressing large-scale infrastructure needs

Examples of the most commonly accessed programs at Dalhousie include:


Canada's tri-agencies are the largest source of investigator-led research funding in the nation, and the majority of investigator-led research at Dalhousie is funded through them.

Year-round, there are are recurring funding opportunities for researchers in all fields, and funding from the tri-agencies influences long-term research priorities at Dal.

There  are many disciplines, especially health, where research can overlap the mandates of the three agencies. In these cases, it is very important for you to speak with both ORS staff and the funding agency to determine the best strategy.  

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency promotes and supports discovery research and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. The intended objectives of the research must be, primarily, to advance knowledge in one of the natural sciences or in engineering.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. The program of research must be primarily in the social sciences and humanities (i.e., aligned with the SSHRC-legislated mandate). The intended outcome of the research must primarily be to add to our understanding and knowledge of individuals, groups, and societies—what we think, how we live and how we interact with each other and the world around us.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. The intended outcomes of the research must, as stated in CIHR’s mandate:

  • primarily improve or have an impact on health and/or
  • produce more effective health services and products and/or
  • strengthen the Canadian health care system

Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide
This guide is very helpful in explaining faculty eligibility, eligible expenses and other administrative matters across the three agencies.

Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program recognizes researchers who are the top scholars in their fields across the country. Our Institutional Programs team provides researchers with resources and support when applying for CRCs.

Internal deadline CRC deadline
CRC decision
Late March Late April
Mid-September Mid-October April

Read about Dalhousie's CRC renewal process and Dalhousie's Guidelines on Allocations of CRCs.  

Read a summary of the university's research and innovation strategic direction [PDF 417 kB]. Learn more on the Dalhousie Research website

Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) helps to fund the infrastructure needs of researchers. Please note that a CFI application must be submitted on behalf of an institution.

John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund (formerly the Leaders Opportunity Fund) is used to help provide infrastructure for new faculty members at all levels of the professoriate in research areas identified in Dal’s Strategic Research Plan [PDF 397 kB].

Eligible institutions receive an allocation of JELF funding from CFI.  At Dalhousie the JELF allocation is managed at the Faculty level. Researchers interested in applying for a JELF should consult with their Dean’s Office.

Internal deadline CFI deadline CFI decision
Mid-May Mid-June October/November
Mid-September Mid-October February/March


Researchers requiring renovations to accommodate research infrastructure will require a binding quote from Facilities Management. The department administrator will be able to facilitate this request. A binding quote requires five to six months to prepare.

For more information on CFI initiatives, please contact the Institutional Programs team.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is committed to helping Atlantic Canada grow as a leader in research and innovation through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Business Development Program (BDP).

For more information on ACOA, please contact the Industry Programs team.

Genome Canada

Genome Canada works to bridge the gap between government, academia and industry in genomics-based public-private innovation. They release opportunities on an on-call basis through their east coast centre, Genome Atlantic.

For more information on Genome Canada, please contact the Institutional Programs team.


Interested in what current opportunities are available?

Visit our Latest News for Researchers section.


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