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Leaders Opportunity Fund
The Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) is designed to help universities attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers at a time of intense international competition. To this end, the LOF offers universities the opportunity to:
- Acquire infrastructure for their leading research faculty to undertake cutting-edge research;
- Create competitive packages of research support in the form of infrastructure and a portion of the operating and maintenance costs from the CFI, coupled with direct research costs from partner organizations.
The LOF is an allocation-based fund whereby the CFI predetermines the maximum amount of funding available for each eligible university. Universities with a minimum annual average of $300,000 in sponsored research income (excluding CFI awards) as reported by the Canadian Association of University Business Offices (CAUBO), are eligible to receive a LOF allocation. Institutions averaging more than $300,000 but receiving less than 0.2 percent of the total sponsored research income as reported by CAUBO are eligible for the Small Institution Fund. These allocations are subject to periodical review as new funds are made available to the CFI.
Eligible institutions may put forward an infrastructure proposal for either a current faculty member with a full-time academic appointment or a candidate the university is in the process of recruiting to a full-time academic position. Universities are expected to submit LOF proposals to attract or retain faculty in the priority areas identified in their strategic research plan. Research hospitals and research institutes may only apply through the eligible university to which they are affiliated.
The LOF is intended to serve the infrastructure needs of individual faculty, or small groups of up to three faculty members when there is a demonstrated need to share infrastructure. The LOF is not intended to serve the infrastructure needs of larger groups, centres, departments or institutions. The sharing of equipment is encouraged to the extent that the candidate maintains priority access.
Candidates must be recognized leaders in their field of research or show promise of becoming research leaders. They must be engaged in, or embarking on, an innovative research program for which the infrastructure is essential and which will provide an enriched research training environment.
Candidates who have previously been supported by the CFI are eligible for additional funding. However, they must justify the value added of another award.
Support for operation and maintenance of the infrastructure
In addition to the infrastructure requested in the LOF proposal, the CFI will contribute to the operation and maintenance costs of projects funded under the LOF through its Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF). Universities will receive IOF at a rate of 30 percent of the finalized CFI contribution to LOF projects. For further information on the IOF, see section 2.3 of the CFI Policy and Program Guide.
List of Current LOF Funds
Leaders Opportunity Fund – Unaffiliated
The Leaders Opportunity Fund – Unaffiliated allows universities to provide individuals or small groups of researchers (up to three) with research infrastructure necessary to conduct their research program.
Leaders Opportunity Fund – Partnerships
The LOF – partnership is a joint process that has been developed with CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC, among others, to offer universities and their researchers the opportunity to create competitive packages for the funding of infrastructure and operational research support. The purpose of this collaboration is to lessen the applicant and reviewer workloads by reducing the number of proposals needed to secure both operating and infrastructure support and ensure an accurate and fair review of both operating and infrastructure support requests.
- LOF – Canada Research Chairs (CRC)
- LOF – Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC)
- LOF – CIHR, Programmatic Grants in Food and Health
- LOF – NSERC, Industrial Research Chairs
- LOF – SSHRC, Insight Grants/Partnership Grants
|LOF - under $1 million||February 15, June 15 and October 15|
|LOF - $1 million to $2 million||
NOI: March 15
Proposal: June 15
|Canada Excellence Research Chairs||No deadline|
|Canada Research Chairs||Twice a year|
|CIHR - Programmatic Grants in Food and Health||
Letter of intent: May 14, 2012
Full application: January 11, 2013
|NSERC – Industrial Research Chairs||No deadline|
|SSHRC – Insight Grants||October 15|
|SSHRC – Partnership Grants||Letter of intent: February 2014|
Submitting a LOF proposal
All LOF proposals must be submitted through CFI online by an eligible university. In order to initiate the application process, researchers must first contact their Research Services office. For more details the application process, please refer to our Getting Started with CAMS page.