Project Operating Funding (Tier 1)

Call status: CLOSED

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Research Program invests in research that aligns with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) priorities that support strong rural communities, keep our food safe and develop a prosperous, environmentally sustainable agri-food sector in Ontario.

Eligible U of G researchers interested in applying for research project operating funding may do so through the Alliance Tier 1 Research Program Call for Proposals.

Please see the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Tier 1 Program Guide for complete details on the 2023-24 Call, including program changes and application instructions.

Research priorities

For 2023-24 there are 11 research priorities that are aligned with the Ministry's three core businesses: Protection and Risk Resilience, Environmental Stewardship, and Productivity and Growth. Review the document detailing the 2023-24 OMAFRA Research Priorities below for more information. Research proposals must address a specific research question identified in the priorities document.

For more details on OMAFRA priorities and research questions please reach out to the appropriate Research Analyst identified in the OMAFRA Research Priorities document.

Town hall

A town hall information session took place on Sept. 14. 

Download the presentation (PDF).

How to apply

The call is now closed.

Online application system

The Alliance Research Program uses the Research Management System (RMS) for receiving and adjudicating research proposals. 

RMS is available at: Please contact if you experience any difficulties logging in.

A Word version of the Full Proposal application, as well as an Excel version of the application budget, are also available for applicants to create and edit their proposals outside of the RMS. However, this information must be entered into the fields in the RMS to be submitted.  See 'File attachments' at the bottom of this page for the program documents and additional documents such as the Value Assessment Plan, which is required for projects involving product development. Please contact if you require these materials in an alternate format.

Single-Stage call and intent Process

The Alliance Tier 1 Research Program is administered as single-stage call. Applicants will only submit a full proposal for review. 

An intent process is employed as part of the single-stage call. The intent process requires all applicants to start a proposal and complete the 'General' and 'Peer Review' tabs in the RMS by October 13, 2023. This will support peer review and committee planning in advance of proposal submission. 


University of Guelph faculty members are eligible to be the Lead Applicant and/or a Co-Applicant on any Alliance Tier 1 Research Program project. Adjunct faculty members may also apply if they are eligible to hold research funding at the University of Guelph and are not employed by or have a financial interest in any of the collaborating organizations or co-funders. Consult the program guide for more details.

Applicants must be fully compliant with all reporting requirements prior to a new proposal being reviewed under any Alliance Research Program. The Lead Applicant and the Co-Applicant will have 30 days from the submission deadline to complete any outstanding compliance requirements, including reporting, Data Management Plan submissions, recovery of outstanding Research Centre fees and other financial obligations. If applicants are not compliant at that time the submitted proposal will be withdrawn from the review process and declined.

Research centre fees

Researchers proposing to use the research centres must include the appropriate Research Centre Fees in their proposal budget. 

New for the 2024/25 funding year (2023/24 call): For Tier 1 projects starting on or after May 1, 2024, the subsidy rate is changing from 92% to 89%. External (non-Alliance) partner funding is required to cover 11% of the total annual cost of research centre usage for the approved project.

See our Research Station Fees Price List for more information.