Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC)
Dairy Research Cluster 4
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is a non-profit organization, funded by dairy farmers across Canada and representing Canada’s 10,000 dairy farms. The organization plays a leadership role on behalf of the industry in several important areas, including funding and support of research in dairy production and in human nutrition and health. DFC has a long-standing commitment (over 30 years) of investing in dairy research to drive innovation and ensure a sustainable future for the sector.
Since 2010, DFC has been a partner of the Canadian AgriScience Clusters Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as part of the strategic framework Growing Forward 1 (2010-2013), Growing Forward 2 (2013-2018) and Canadian Agricultural Partnership (2018-2023). The Clusters program addresses national dairy research priorities in a coordinated and strategic approach in partnership with sector partners and government. In anticipation of the renewal of the Clusters program under AAFC’s next agricultural policy framework, which would cover the period of April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2028, DFC, in collaboration with its DairyGen partners (i.e.: Lactanet, Semex and Holstein Canada) and Novalait Inc., is launching this Call for Letters of Intent (LOIs) in preparation for the Dairy Research Cluster 4 application. The Canadian scientific community is invited to submit LOIs for innovative and structured projects focusing on industry and government priorities as presented in the Appendix. Research projects to be included in the Dairy Research Cluster 4 application will be selected through a two-step evaluation process (LOI and Full Proposal [FP]) based on the relevance for the dairy sector and on the scientific quality. It is important to note that funding will be pending AAFC’s approval under the next AgriScience Cluster program, which hasn’t been announced yet. Therefore, there is no guarantee of funding at this point.
See page four (4) of the Letters of Intent Applicant Guide for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agriscience Prioriy Areas.
Researchers from Canadian universities and from AAFC research and development centres are eligible to apply to this Call for LOIs. Non-Canadian researchers could be considered as co-investigators or collaborators. A researcher cannot submit two LOIs under this Call for LOIs for which they are the Principal Investigator (PI). The PI is responsible for the complete direction of the project and other activities associated with its efficient execution. The role of the co-investigator(s) and collaborators in the project must be clearly defined. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to act as co-investigators. Please note that commercial product research and development is not eligible.
It is important to note that funding will be pending AAFC’s approval under the next AgriScience Cluster program, which hasn’t been announced yet. Therefore, there is no guarantee of funding at this point.
See page two (2) of the Letters of Intent Applicant Guide for the maximum budget allocated for the duration of the project in association with the industry partners' research priorities.
DFC is planning a Dairy Research Cluster 4 application of $14.5 M total budget, similar to current Dairy Research Cluster 3. Research projects budget should be planned for the period that spans from July 1, 2023, to December 31, 2027.
Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
How to Apply
SPECIFICATIONS FOR LETTERS OF INTENT
The Dairy Research Cluster 4 LOI form, available on the DFC website, must be used. Please comply with the space and format limitations as presented in the LOI form. Do not use photo-reduced type. The font is Arial and the size is 11 points. The body of the LOI form is self-contained and must not include additional pages and/or attachments. LOIs must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 4, 2022 (11:59 p.m. – local time zone of PI). LOIs submitted in French will be translated for English reviewers; the PI and/or their team may not review the translation. In the interests of improved coordination and funding efficiency, DFC reserves the right to share LOIs with other research funders.
The submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) is the first step in the selection process. Full Proposal (FP) details and the form will be provided to the PI of a selected LOI.
STEP 1 – LOI
The LOI will first be reviewed by committees of scientific and technical experts based on its research relevance and merit. DFC, DairyGen and Novalait Inc. will make the final decisions regarding the selection of LOIs to proceed to the next phase.
STEP 2 – Full Proposal (FP)
The FP will be evaluated based on its scientific merit and feasibility, team expertise, training opportunities, knowledge translation and transfer, and realistic budget. The FP will first be subjected to an independent external peer review process. Based on the external peer reviews, committees of scientific and technical experts will evaluate the FP and make recommendations to DFC, DairyGen and Novalait Inc. Decisions on selected projects to be included in the Dairy Research Cluster 4 application will be communicated to the PIs in the fall of 2022.
Please contact the Office of Research services at email@example.com if you are invited to submit a full proposal.
Information For Co-applicants
If you are part of an application or team that has been invited to submit a full proposal but are not the lead, please contact the Office of Research as soon as possible.