Future Skills Centre: Call for Proposals

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Future Skills Centre


August 2019 Call for Proposals

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Future Skills Centre - August 2019 Call for Proposals


The Future Skills Centre recently launched its latest open call for proposals that address one of the following three questions:

  1. How can we best support Canadians facing labour market disruption to transition to new jobs or industries?
  2. How can employers be more effectively engaged in developing and delivering demand-driven solutions to skills gap challenges?
  3. How can skills development systems be optimized, building up the capacity of service provides and encouraging collaboration between organizations?

Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity relies on a skilled and competent workforce. There is mounting evidence, however, that in a time of rapid economic and labour market change, action is required to collectively to ensure our skills development ecosystem keeps pace with the scale of disruption that is being faced. There is an urgent need to better understand what skills Canadians require to prosper and how Canada can leverage its skills development infrastructure to meet the needs of workers and employers across the country today and into the future. 

The objective of this Call for Proposals is to identify, test and evaluate innovative projects that have the potential to generate actionable evidence about how to better equip Canadians with the skills required to navigate a fast-changing labour market. 


Applications may be submitted by a sole organization, or a consortium of organizations, including:
1. Legally incorporated not-for-profit organizations, including not-for-profit social enterprises and registered charities
2. Publicly-funded post-secondary institutions
3. Industry associations
4. Professional associations
5. An Indigenous organization that is a legal entity
6. Municipalities or District Social Services Administration Boards
7. For profit organizations (provided the project is undertaken at cost, with no mark-ups or profit incorporated)
The following types of organizations are not eligible to apply:
1. Provinces or territories; and
2. Federal government bodies.
3. Individual persons
Applications with multiple partners are eligible to apply. However, one organization must be identified as the lead applicant for the purpose of signing the funding agreement, receiving and managing the funds, ensuring coordination of project parties and activities, and communicating with the Centre regarding the status of the project on behalf of all partners. The lead organization must be a Canadian entity. All participating organizations must be eligible as set out above. Applicants are only eligible to lead on one application, but may participate in more than one application. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Office of Research Services immediately (research.services@uoguelph.ca) to verify if any other applications are in progress for this program. If more than one application is received at the Internal Deadline for the Letter of Interest, an Internal Adjudication process will apply. 

Funding Availability

Projects of all different sizes and stages of development will be considered. The total budget for this call is $36 million.

Maximum Project Value

The maximum award for an individual project under the Innovation Stream is $1.5 million, but Future Skills Canada aims for most projects to be funded within the range of $500,000 to $1 million.
The maximum award under the Evidence Stream is $2.5 million, but Future Skills Canada aims for most projects to be funded within the range of $1 million to $2 million.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Projects must launch by June 30, 2020, and must be completed and funds spent by June 30, 2022.

Special Notes

As part of the adjudication process for this Call for Proposals, the adjudication panel will assess Letters of Interest to determine whether they best fit in the Innovation Stream or Evidence Stream:
  • The Innovation Stream will support successful projects in any of the three themes that are in an early development phase. Projects in this stream will have access to technical advice and other implementation guidance to support the development of robust theories of change and exploration of the extent project activities produce target outcomes and identification of factors that contribute to success.
  • The Evidence Stream will support approaches in any of the three themes that have existing evidence of their effectiveness and have potential to be a scalable solution to our Canada’s most pressing skills development challenges.
The two streams will help the Future Skills Centre ensure a balanced portfolio of projects across the innovation-to-evidence continuum. Future Skills Centre will work closely with successful project partners in both streams to design a customized evaluation approach that align with each project’s purpose, context, and goals.
This Call for Proposals is designed to fund new activities and the expansion of existing activities to new clients and geographies. Existing, ongoing service delivery activities are not eligible for this Call.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applicants must submit a copy of the Letter of Interest, and OR-5 to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

External Deadline

Applicants must submit the Letter of Interest through the application portal directly. Decisions will be communicated by the end of October.

Internal Deadline

Applicants who are shortlisted must notify the Office of Research Services and submit a copy of the Full Application to research.services@uoguelph.ca for approval. 

External Deadline

Shortlisted applicants must follow Future Skills Centre instructions for submitting a full application. 

How to Apply

The application process will take place in three steps:

  • Letters of Interest must be submitted on the application portal by 5pm EDT on September 16, 2019. Decisions will be communicated by the end of October.
    • Letters of Interest must include an approximate project budget and your requested funding. Funding requests should be commensurate with the level of effort required to successfully deliver on project outcomes. While direct matching funds are not required, a demonstration of in-kind support on a 1:1 basis is strongly encouraged.
  • Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a full application by 5pm EDT on December 16, 2019.
    • If shortlisted, proponents will be required to submit a detailed budget as part of the full application.
  • Interviews with shortlisted projects will take place in February 2020. Final decisions will be communicated by the end of February.

Successful projects will be announced in March 2020.

Information For Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).


For Questions, please contact
Questions about the application process and timelines may be submitted to projects@fsc-ccf.ca and responses will be posted to the FAQ section of the website. The deadline for submitting questions is 5pm EDT on September 6.

Office of Research

Amy Bossaer, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x58613

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