Call for Letters of Intent: Organic Federation of Canada and Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada- Organic Science Cluster 4 (2023-2028)


The Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), in collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)


Organic Science Cluster 4 (2023-2028)


Organic Science Cluster 4 (OSC4; 2023-2028) is a joint initiative led by the Organic Federation of Canada in collaboration with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University to serve the needs of Canada’s organic sector. This letter of intent (LOI) process is being conducted in anticipation that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) next policy framework for 2023-2028 will include another Science Cluster Initiative, and that there will be an open call for proposals. The OSC is strategic, coordinated proposal submitted to the federal government. See the OSC4, website for details and updates.

Purpose of this Letter of Intent

i. Provide an opportunity for researchers to express their interest in being part of OSC4.
ii. Screen (and provide direction on) proposed research for its relevance and potential impact on the organic sector based on:

  • how the Activity will strategically address organic sector priorities (see the 2021 Canadian Organic Research Priorities document),
  • linkage AAFC national research priorities (Environment, Economic Growth, Resilience)
  • the novel scientific contribution the research will make,
  • the level of industry collaboration and support,
  • the level of collaboration, and cross-Canada relevance,
  • the preliminary plans to communicate the results and measure the impact of the research.

Scientific merit, design, feasibility (including the experience level of the team), budget and likelihood of success will be evaluated in detail at the proposal stage. Applicants submitting the LOI will be provided with comments/feedback, and those LOIs accepted by the evaluation committee will be invited to submit a full proposal.

For more details on what type of research is being considered, please see the Letter of Intent Guidelines for Researchers. 


  • University/college scientists in Canada,
  • Government scientists in Canada,
  • Other public research institutions,
  • Private sector researchers in Canada (with restrictions).

Funding Availability

Total budgets of up to $2 million with a target range of 35-50% industry matching will be considered.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Maximum five years (earliest start date is April 1, 2023)

Special Notes

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.

External Deadline

Applicants should submit the completed LOI to

How to Apply

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent document can be downloaded from the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada website.

Applicants should also review the Letter of Intent Guidelines for Researchers as it provides details of the application process, priority research areas, and further guidance about what should be included in a Letter of Intent.

Each LOI should include:

  • Completed LOI form as a Microsoft Word document that does not exceed 4 pages,
  • All participants in the research who have been confirmed as interested must be cc’d on the LOI submission including co-P.I.s, co-investigators and collaborating extension/industry specialists and industry partners identified as ‘interest confirmed’ listed in the LOI MUST be cc’d on your email submission.

Please submit the completed LOI and accompanying documents to:

Researchers are not required to submit their LOI to the Office of Research for approval before submission to the sponsor and an OR-5 is not required at the LOI stage. Letters of Intent will be reviewed and successful submissions will be invited to prepare a full workplan (proposal) for the proposed Research Activity. The workplans will undergo peer review and OSC Science Advisory Body Review in summer/fall 2022. Those that are accepted into the OSC4 overarching proposal will be submitted to AAFC for technical and programs review in early 2023. 

2. Full Workplan (Proposal)

Those invited to submit a full proposal must submit their full proposal to the Office of Research one week in advance of the sponsor's deadline with a signed OR-5. 

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.

For Questions, please contact

For more information:
See the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada website.

Questions can be directed to Margaret Graves-Program Manager (902-896-3481),


Nicole Boudreau – Organic Federation of Canada (514-488-6192),

Office of Research

Devon Staaf, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office

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