Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) – Small Grants Program (SGP) 2020-2021


Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER)


GIER’s Small Grants Program seeks to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship relating to any aspect of the environment among investigators from all seven Colleges at the University of Guelph. Environmental research and scholarship is construed broadly, and refers to work that examines: environmental processes, functions, services, and values; environmental technologies and technological impacts on the environment; environmental policy formation and analysis; environmental health; human relationships with, and cultural understandings of the environment; and artistic engagement with the environment, among others. While all areas of research are eligible for this program, for 2020-21, GIER is particularly interested in proposals that address one or more the following strategic areas:

  • COVID-19 and the Environment: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically forced us all to modify our behaviour. These changes in human behaviour have had important ripple effects on the environment. Because these are major changes that are interdisciplinary in their nature, GIER is committed to better understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment, including social and economic inequities.
  • Indigenous Environmental Research and Engagement: GIER acknowledges the importance of Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and values on environmental stewardship and hence looks forward to cultivating stronger relationships with Indigenous scholars and communities to advance reconciliation and decolonization initiatives at the University of Guelph.
  • Environmental Arts meets Environmental Sciences: Society is confronting unprecedented environmental challenges, but practitioners have come to an agreement that most environmental challenges are at their core human issues. Artistic invention can empower individuals and societies to understand the past and to imagine futures. It can also create empathy and resilience to future crises.
  • Environmental Communication & Knowledge Translation: We are faced with many ‘wicked’ environmental problems which are interrelated and go beyond traditional scientific fields. To tackle these challenges, scientists need to engage with those outside their field or profession. However, scientists are generally poorly-equipped to do this and a lack of interdisciplinary context often compounds the difficulty to engage with the public or policy-makers.


Full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (including Emeritus) at the University of Guelph may apply for the program. Faculty at Guelph can be Principal Investigators or Co-Investigators. Postdoctoral fellows at Guelph can be listed as Co-Investigators. The Principal Investigator can only submit one proposal (as Principal Investigator).

Eligible Expenses:

Researchers may seek funds in support of:

  • Collaborative, interdisciplinary grant proposal development in environmental research/scholarship/creative work
  • Direct costs of environmental research/scholarship/creative work, including:
    • Salary/stipend support for Highly Qualified Personnel –undergraduate students, graduate students, research assistants, or postdocs
    • Data collection, including (university-approved in light of COVID-19) travel for fieldwork
    • Supplies and materials
    • Costs of training to use specialized facility or equipment
    • Professional or technical services
    • Consulting fees, subcontracting fees
    • Fees paid to research participants
  • Knowledge mobilization activities, such as:
    • Workshops, webinars, or conferences hosted at UofG
    • Other knowledge translation and mobilization activities

Because of the goals and timeline of these grants, investigators may not seek funds for:

  • Large infrastructure and equipment purchases (over CAD 1,000)
  • Publication costs
  • Conference travel (outside of UofG)
  • Course release

Funding Availability

Total funding available for SGP for 2020-21 is $110,000

Maximum Project Value

Up to but not exceeding $15,000 per application.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The start date must be no later than April 1, 2021 (funds can be applied retroactively to as early as January 1, 2021). Projects will end no later than April 30, 2022.


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

External Deadline

See 'How To Apply' below.

How to Apply

Please complete the Application Template and Budget Template provided. No other application or budget files will be accepted. Please also submit the CV/resume for Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators (2 pages maximum). Submit all documents as a single PDF file to before January 29, 2021, 5:00 pm EST with the subject heading: “Small Grants Program.” Late applications or those that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be evaluated. Successful applicants will be required to complete an OR-5 form and agree to the terms of the award (including reporting requirements).


File GIER Budget Template135.73 KB
Microsoft Office document icon GIER Application Template837.5 KB
File GIER Program Call25.63 KB
For Questions, please contact

Please contact for more information.

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52832

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