Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Funding

In spring 2024, the Canada Foundation for Innovation released its guidance on research security. Researchers applying for CFI funding should be aware of this guidance when applying for, renewing, and reporting on their research grants. 

When Applying for CFI Funding

Determine whether and which policy(ies) apply to your grant funding opportunity by consulting the grant literature

You can also view our decision tree and/or use our self-check to make an initial assessment for yourself. Please check individual competition details to be certain.

Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern

If the STRAC Policy applies to your funding opportunity, UBC researchers should complete the steps below: 

  1. Determine whether your proposed grant application will aim to advance any of the listed sensitive research technology areas. If you are not aiming to advance a sensitive technology research area, this policy does not apply to you. 

  2. If you are aiming to advance a sensitive technology research area, determine whether you may be affiliated to, or receive funding or in-kind support from, a named research organization. See full list of definitions. 

  3. Project/team leaders and team members in named roles in the grant application are individually required to complete the form-fillable Attestation Form PDF and submit it as part of the grant application (note: those considered by CFI to have named roles are only required to complete this form if they aim to advance a sensitive technology research area)

While only project/team leaders and team members are subject to requirements under the STRAC policy for CFI research infrastructure projects, all researchers should take care to implement best practices in security relating to how, when and by whom, your research infrastructure is accessed.

National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships

If your funding application involves one or more private-sector partner organization, you may need to submit an NSGRP Risk Assessment Form, including a risk mitigation plan. Please refer to the original funding opportunity's literature to determine if the NSGRP applies and if it does, complete the steps below:

  1. Determine if you project involves one or more private sector partner organizations that: 

    • Has an active role in the research activities described in the proposal (e.g., sharing of intellectual property, providing expertise, actively participating in research activities, contributing financially to the research activities); or 

    • Houses part or all of the research infrastructure; or  

    • Contributes more than $500,000 to the infrastructure through a cash or in-kind contribution to any single item;

For more guidance on how to complete a risk 
assessment form, see the UILO website.

  1. For any proposal involving one or more private-sector partners that meet any of the above criteria, you will need to complete one Risk Assessment Form, per proposal, which includes a risk mitigation plan.  

  2. If you determined that you need to submit a Risk Assessment Form, you will also need to submit a Private-sector partner identification form for each private-sector partner identified in the proposal. 

  3. When you are ready to apply, contact the Institutional Programs Office.

Which research grants are subject to the policies/guidelines? 

The STRAC policy applies to every CFI funding program except the College Fund, the 2023 Innovation Fund Competition, and the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund – Partnership with Stage 2 of the Canada Biomedical Research Fund. 

The NSGRP will apply to every CFI funding program except the College Fund. CFI will implement these requirements according to the timeline in the table under “Timeline for implementation”. It is important to note that although the STRAC policy was not in place for proposals submitted to the 2023 Innovation Fund competition, the Government of Canada may take research affiliations into account immediately as part of the award finalization process, should risks be identified. In particular, research affiliations will be considered as part of the national security assessment of any project that is subject to the NSGRP. 

Questions? Contact UBC's Research Security team at research.security@ubc.ca


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