About funding embargoes

When you receive funding, scholarships or other recognition for your research and scholarship, you’re going to want to tell the world right away, but unfortunately in most cases you can’t.

Many awards are embargoed. That is, you are asked to temporarily keep your news confidential – even though you may have already received the funding or started the research project. This may seem strange, but there are many reasons why it matters listed below.

Embargo conditions can vary, but typically:

List the award on your CV when applying for other funding or for employment Publicize the award on social media, websites or other public forums
Use non-public communications—email, phone call, face-to-face—to share your news with your partners and collaborators on the application, family, friends, colleagues and staff who assisted with the application process Announce the award publicly at presentations and other public gatherings or to the media
Distribute press releases or funding announcements about your award


As a general rule, assume your award is embargoed, unless the sponsor explicitly indicates otherwise in their written notification of the award. To request information on embargo status and conditions, contact Kathe Gray, Communications Officer, Research Communications, katheg@uoguelph.ca.

How does an embargo work?

An embargo is an official but temporary ban on publicizing, announcing, or distributing information about award recipients and their projects to a public audience.

An embargo not only prohibits you from publicizing your award, it also prevents your friends and family, colleagues, and your academic institution from doing so.

Embargoes are usually dictated by the agencies or government offices sponsoring awards and are generally lifted once they officially announce competition results.

Embargo timelines can differ in length, with some requiring an awardee’s patience for a significant amount of time. Specific embargo dates are not always available, and embargoes are often lifted with little advance notice.

Why do embargoes matter?

Receiving recognition for your work through research funding, awards, and scholarships is a huge accomplishment—for award winners and for the entire University of Guelph enterprise. So, why are we asked to keep the information confidential?

Embargoes are imposed for many practical reasons: 

  • to align with timelines/events/news cycles important to sponsors and their stakeholders
  • to allow sponsors and the University of Guelph to coordinate publicity for collective impact
  • to provide the University lead time to create funding announcements and other public communications
  • to give time for sponsors and the University to liaise with the media to extend coverage of research
  • to reduce errors in reporting

As well, the official announcements that end the embargo period help establish and maintain a network of relationships that facilitate research funding. By setting embargoes:

  • research sponsors can show their government funders the value of research
  • all levels of government can show the value of research to taxpayers

By adhering to embargoes, the University of Guelph

  • maintains its long-standing relationships with sponsors of research
  • receives advance notification of funding success, so that researchers can receive timely access to funding and begin projects

Breaking an embargo is considered a serious breach of trust.

We appreciate your cooperation and respect of our agreements with all research sponsors to ensure our continued individual and collective success.

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