Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF)
Quick Links to Important Resources for LOF Applications
LOF application guidelines from CFI (NEW February 25, 2013)
UofS Template Application for tips (these are tips for the former LOF application, but are still applicable for most of the new application)
CFI Working Committee to identify and contact a mentor
Budget worksheet for Financial Module
UofS Strategic Research Plan (summary, full) for Sustainability section
WIRF to obtain cost estimates from FMD for budget
RFBP Budget Pricing (word, pdf ) budget section
Institutional Programs Signature Page signed form required at Draft intake stage
CFI (www.innovation.ca/en ) to access your LOF application
Timelines (updated April 12, 2013)
How to submit your LOF (February 25, 2013)
UPDATE (February 27, 2013): CFI has modified the on-line LOF application, which is now available at (www.innovation.ca/en ). The CFI has provided a guidelines document for this new LOF application. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information or have any questions.
CFI Awards Administration
Timelines for Competitions
Application Development Presentation Schedule
Applying for Institutional Awards
Committees and Roles
Award Acceptance and Post-Award Procedures - includes Purchasing Information
The CFI has designed the Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) to help universities attract and retain the best researchers at a time of intense international competition by allowing the universities to:
- acquire infrastructure for their leading research faculty to undertake cutting-edge research
- create competitive packages of research support for infrastructure, direct research costs and operating funds.
In order to address the mandate of the LOF, and to stay competitive at the national level, all eligible faculty members at the UofS will have an opportunity to apply for the LOF competition.
The CFI has 3 deadlines for submitting LOF applications – 15 February, 15 June and 15 October. The CFI Advisory Committee will review and screen the applications. All faculty members with full-time academic appointments are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to new faculty members.
Attraction vs. Retention - In the LOF application, under the “Integration with the Strategic Research Plan”, CFI asks the university to identify “whether the infrastructure requested is intended for the attraction of a new researcher to the institution, or the retention of an existing faculty member. If the infrastructure is intended for attraction of a new researcher to the institution, please provide the date the position was taken up or is to be taken up, and indicate where the researcher was recruited from.”
CFI provides the following explanation:
Attraction – Within 24 months of the start of the candidate's full time academic appointment at the university
Retention – Existing faculty member at the university
The CFI Advisory Committee may recommend that some applications be submitted for a later competition. The committee will accept group LOF applications (maximum of 3 researchers). Each co-applicant must have a strong link to the research project, for example a critical need to use the proposed infrastructure. The CFI Working Committee will assist the researchers in developing their full proposals.
The UofS envelope has approximately $2 million in CFI funds per year for 40% of total eligible project costs. There are 3 LOF competitions per year. Therefore, the UofS anticipates submitting applications totaling about $660K CFI funds per competition.
The applicants are advised to request up to $60K in CFI funding ($150K project total or more) per application. The applicants may choose to submit a request over the target funding ($60K in CFI funds) if they can provide a strong justification according to the screening criteria (below).
Please note that the provincial funds, if available, can be used only to match the CFI contribution.
Faculty members applying within the first 24 months of their appointment at the UofS are expected to provide a plausible plan for raising the matching funds at the Letter of Notification stage. Other Faculty members should identify secured source(s) of matching funds at this stage. If the CFI application is successful, the agreements for the matching funds will have to be secured/finalized within 9 months of the award announcement. If the matching funds are not secured and award agreements not finalized within that time period, the UofS will not be able to accept the CFI award.
The CFI Advisory Committee will screen the proposals at the Draft Application stage according to the following criteria:
- New faculty members (in the first 24 months of their academic appointment) will receive priority to encourage recruitment
- The proposal demonstrates a significant alignment/fit with College and UofS Strategic Research Plans
- Researchers are asked to prepare the “Sustainability” section in the Project module in consultation with their Associate Dean Research.
- The proposed research exhibits innovation e.g. novel research, building capacity in an innovative area, etc.
- The status of the secured and expected matching funds is well established
The CFI Advisory Committee will also be responsible for approving projects where the amount requested from CFI exceeds $60K per application. The following factors will be considered:
- promising researcher with an innovative project
- valid requirement for more expensive infrastructure
- evidence of a strong link to the College and University Strategic Research Plan
- availability of the required matching funds
Awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) are granted to the university as an institution rather than to an individual Faculty member. Therefore, the Vice-President Research (VPR) is accountable for all aspects of the award. The CFI has detailed policy and program guidelines and reporting requirements related to the use and administration of the funds. To increase the success rate of CFI applications, the University of Saskatchewan has implemented an internal application development and review process at the pre-submission stage. The Institutional Programs Office coordinates the application process and oversees post-award administration of all CFI awards on behalf of the VPR.
The internal proposal development and review process starts approximately 6 to 8 months in advance of the competition deadline. Note: the IPO refers to the individual competitions by CFI's competition closing date.
- 2013 (updated April 12, 2013)
Monday August 27, 2012, 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
Monday December 3, 2012, 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
Friday April 12, 2013, 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
Next year's schedule of presentations will be available in June 2013.
Please email email@example.com to RSVP your attendance and to be notified of the location.
The CFI Advisory Committee (PDF) is chaired by the Vice-President Research and consists of Deans and Associate Deans and representatives from University of Saskatchewan committees and the Canadian Light Source. The committee advises the Vice-President Research on the management and implementation of the CFI program at the U of S.
The CFI Working Committee (PDF) consists of senior Faculty members from each of the Colleges and the Canadian Light Source. The committee assists Project Leaders with the development of CFI applications and provides recommendations to the CFI Advisory Committee.
The CFI Admin Group consists of representatives from Facilities Management Division; Information and Technology Services; Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection; and Purchasing Services. The Admin Group is coordinated by the Institutional Programs Office (IPO). The IPO consists of the Assistant Director Institutional Programs, Institutional Programs Specialists, Financial Officers, and Financial Assistant who coordinate the application development process, assist with developing the Budget Module and navigating CFI and University policies and procedures. The Admin Group works with the IPO to provide pre- and post-award assistance with equipment purchases, space and renovation requirements, and University policies and procedures. The IPO also oversees post-award administration of the project. Admin Group/IPO Contacts List (PDF).
Quick Steps Summary (Printer friendly) (NEW Process February 25, 2013)
- Please refer to Timelines for deadlines.
- Contact your Associate Dean Research.
- Proposal Development Meeting.
- Begin working with your Mentor to develop your research proposal and infrastructure requirements.
- Project Budget - Cost estimates, confirmations of funding. WIRF, RFBP. See Guidelines for Budget Development.
- LOF $1-2M only (March 1, 2013): E-mail Sandra Stone (Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org) :
- Application title
- Short description of your project
- This information will be reviewed by the Institutional Programs Office and sent to the CFI.
- First Draft of Application for Internal (CFI Advisory Committee) Review.
- Complete application on-line: www.innovation.ca/en; click on CFI Online and On-line forms for researchers, register for a user name and password if you don't have one, complete the application form.
NOTE: a UofS Template Application is provided on the UofS LOF website (http://www.usask.ca/research/research_services/innovation/lof.php). The template provides specifics regarding completing the application at each stage. An Excel budget worksheet is available to assist with organizing your budget prior to entry in the CFI on-line form.
- A week before the Draft deadline: E-mail Julie Tsui (Julie.email@example.com ):
- budget worksheet
- Budgetary pricing estimates from the suppliers for all equipment items over $5000; any equipment items less than $5000 should be accompanied by a supplier e-mail, catalogue or website page to support pricing estimate.
- WIRF estimate from FMD (even if renovations are $0)
- Confirmations of matching funding (letters, emails etc from Department Heads, Deans etc.).
- signed Institutional Programs Signature Page
- Sustainability section document
- details about past CFI awards
- Revise the application on-line to address CFI Advisory Committee review comments and prepare a polished FULL application for the multi-disciplinary review.
- Inform your assigned Programs Specialist that your application is ready. DO NOT click 'yes' for complete at this stage. Electronically send:
- revised Sustainability section document
- any additional documents required by the CFI Advisory Committee
What happens next?
Please refer to the Timelines for a guideline on when to expect a funding decision from CFI and when purchasing for the project can begin.
All communications regarding the award status must remain confidential until CFI makes their first public announcement. The University of Saskatchewan Research Communications Office will coordinate all public research communication activities in consultation with the Project Leader.
The CFI Review process takes approximately 4 to 6 months. The Institutional Programs Office will notify each Project Leader as soon as the results of the application are received from CFI and will provide information on finalizing award agreements for matching funds and the CFI Award Acceptance Process. Please consult with the Institutional Programs Office before beginning any purchasing for the CFI project.
The Institutional Programs Office (IPO) will assist the Project Leader with any applications for matching funds and with finalization of the agreements/contracts for matching funds. After agreements for matching funds are finalized, the IPO will facilitate a CFI Project Post-Award Meeting between the Project Leaders and the CFI Admin Group to discuss procedures for CFI purchasing and renovations, project reporting requirements and any other concerns that may arise.When all agreements for matching funds are finalized, all relevant certificates for health and safety and ethics are filed, and project space is available, the IPO submits the Confirmation of Award and Itemized List and Summary of Secured Contributions form to CFI. After the Award Agreement documents are sent to CFI, purchasing for the project may begin in consultation with the IPO office. See CFI Post-Award Procedures for details.
CFI awards are institutional awards and therefore, the Vice-President Research holds all project funds. The Institutional Programs Office, on behalf of the Vice-President Research, will administer each award and assist the Project Leaders throughout the process.
CFI awards are executed differently from awards through other granting agencies, as follows:
- The Institutional Programs Office must authorize all expenditures for the award
- The Institutional Programs Office is responsible for:
- Coordinating all CFI and other funding reports. Each Project Leader will be asked to prepare status reports as needed
- Providing all financial statements to the funding partners
- Notifying each Project Leader prior to closing the project file
Strategic Plans and Initiatives including the Strategic Research Plan - U of S
LOF - CFI Website
CFI Policy and Program Guide - CFI Website (Section 5.3 Assessment Criteria; Section 5.4 Review Process; Section 5.4.2 LOF Review Process)
Information and Communications Technology Issues for CFI Projects
CFI Application Process - Budget Pricing Checklist
Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection
Work Control Centre - Facilities Management Division