John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF)  is designed to help universities attract and retain the very best researchers.

To ensure that JELF proposals are aligned with college and institutional research priorities, the selection and development of JELF proposals is coordinated by colleges. Contact your Associate Dean (Research) to learn more.


Internal External ORF Match Deadline
Jan 15 Feb 15 March 15
May 15 June 15 July 15
Sept 15 Oct 15 Nov 15

Detailed Timeline and Requirements

Date Items

Names of applicants provided to RSO


JELF Workshop - Strategic Programs (RSO) with Research Financial Services (RFS)

Nov/Mar/July 15
Dec/Apr/Aug 15 (as required by college; speak to your CRM)

Your college will coordinate a scientific review of your proposal.  Please work with your CRM to establish a timeline.

Jan/May/Sep 15

Submit to

  1. Assessment Criteria (please use the UG JELF Assessment Criteria template)
  2. Internal budget spreadsheet
  3. Vendor quotes
  4. Floor plans, if applicable;
  5. Copy of communication with Digital Research Alliance Canada (if applicable)
  6. Ontario Mitigating Economic and Geopolitical Risk Checklist

Complete in CAMS:

  1. CV (accessible from Researcher Dashboard)
  2. Project information; Project summary; and Financial resources for operations and maintenance (in Project Module)
  3. Suggested Reviewers
Jan/May/Sep 30

Submit to

  1. Draft 2 Assessment Criteria (in Word);
Feb/Jun/Oct 12

Complete submission in CAMS (Save, Validate and Confirm)

Submit PDF of "Assessment Criteria" to and with a signed OR-5

Feb/Jun/Oct 15

External deadline (RSO will submit)

Date Items
Mar/Jul/Nov 15

Submit Draft #1 MCU ORF Small Infrastructure Fund (SIF) Application and Guidelines to

Your previously submitted Mitigating Economic and Geopolitical Risk Checklist will be returned to you for futher edits (if needed).

Mar/Jul/Nov 29

Submit final draft MCU ORF Small Infrastructure Fund (SIF) Application and Mitigating Economic Geopolitical Risk Checklist for administrative review to and

Admin Review and preparation for signature

Mar/Jul/Nov 30/31 External deadline

CFI decisions are expected approximately 5 months after submission

Contact departmental purchasing officer and review procurement process and fair market value assessment

Connect with your CRM to discuss the Award Finalization Process

6 months after CFI decision

ORF decisions are expected approximately 6 months after CFI decisions

If not yet completed, connect with your CRM, RFS and RSO to commence the CFI Award Finalization Process

9 months after CFI decision

CFI Award Finalization deadline

Steps for Completing a JELF Application

This guide should be used in conjunction with the CFI-published Guidelines for completing a proposal.

  1. Log onto the CFI website and create an account in CAMS, the online application system
  2. Select "Create New Proposal" and from the list provided, select “John R. Evans Leaders Fund – Funding for Research Infrastructure"
  3. To learn how to navigate the online portal, see Getting Started with CAMS
  1. Project Information: Complete online in CAMS.
  2. Plain Language Summary: Complete online in CAMS. A 1,500 character plain language summary that may be used by the CFI in public communications. Focus on expected outcomes and benefits to Canada, beyond the academic accomplishments. DO THIS LAST—not adjudicated and needs to be written for news release
  3. Researchers: Complete online in CAMS. Up to 3 candidates may be listed on the proposal when there is demonstrated need. Each will need to create a CAMS account and upload a CV. Justification for the need for the infrastructure needs to be articulated for each candidate. If you plan to have multiple applicants, please talk to the Manager, Strategic Research Programs for advice on how to proceed.
  4. Assessment Criteria: Use the Assessment Criteria Template and submit as Word document to The number of criteria to address and the page limits for this document depend on the amount requested from the CFI in the proposal. The distribution of pages for each criterion is at the applicant’s discretion. To gain a better understanding of these criteria, consult the Common comments from reviewers
Total CFI request ($) Assessment criteria to address Maximum number of pages
<= $75,000 Research, researchers, infrastructure 10
> $75,000 to $800,000 All 15
  1. Financial resources for operation and maintenance: Complete online in CAMS. The upper rows shows how much funding you require to operate and maintain the equipment. The lower rows indicate how you will fund these operational needs. The columns for each year should equal. You will explain how you derived these figures in the Assessment Criteria section 4: Sustainability.
  2. Attraction and retention of leading researchers (to be completed by RSO)
  3. Past/current CFI investments (to be completed by RSO)

Ensure that suggested reviewers are NOT in conflict of interest.  If you wish to exclude potential reviewers, please email names, titles, and affiliations of excluded reviewers to along with a brief reason for exclusion.

  1. Construction/Renovation quotes: A Physical Resources estimate is encouraged even for minor changes such as adding a power outlet. Institutions are expected to have completed planning and development work for such projects at the proposal stage. Applicants must include floor plans of the proposed area(s), showing the location of the infrastructure and the scale of the plans (when renovation involves multiple rooms and is over $500,000). Floor plans must be provided in a pdf attachment that is clearly legible.

    Physical Resources requires 8 weeks to create an estimate, so the Needs Assessment Form should be submitted to Strategic Programs 12 weeks before the first internal deadline.

  2. Collect vendor quotes for eligible costs. See the CFI program guide for explanation of eligible costs. See quote guidelines.

    Each quote must:

    1. Include three prices: the regular list price, the academic or best customer price, and the CFI price (only the discount above the academic price will count as an in-kind contribution), or: 

    2. If the supplier does not offer an academic or best customer price and any discount on offer applies only to the CFI, a statement must be provided to that effect.An example would be “Supplier X does not offer an Academic or Best Customer Price. The discount pricing offered is specifically related to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant program.”

    3. The cost of shipping and handling/freight must also be identified, unless the quote states that it is included in the price of the equipment.

    4. State the currency (CAD, USD, etc)

  3. Enter quotes into budget spreadsheet (use Excel template):

    • Fill in only columns B-G and V-X as indicated.

    • See Cost Requirements to find current exchange rates used by Research Financial Services.
  4. Ensure that your budget is justified in the Assessment Criteria “Infrastructure” section.  See Sample Justification.
  5. Research Financial Services will review your vendor quotes and spreadsheet to populate the financial module, which will result in a summary of expenses organized according to the following categories.

Example of a summary of expenses organized according to the financial module

To create a CFI CV you can either work within the CFI CV module, or you can “transfer” information from the CCV website to the CFI CV. 

To transfer from CCV to CFI CV, you will need first to create a CAMS account. Then, within your CCV, you can select “transfer” to export data. You can then cut/paste the exported data into the CFI CV. After transferring information from the CCV to the CFI CV, please review the CV module to ensure accuracy.

The CAMS system also allows you to “share” a CV, which gives another party access to view or edit your CV. See Getting Started with CAMS Section 6.3

  1. Complete submission in CAMS. (Validate and confirm completion)
    Example of CAMS submission (validate and confirm completion)
  2. Submit PDF of “Project” to and  with a signed OR-5.
    1. First click “display/print” (shown above)
    2. From pop-up, select Display/Print Project.
    3. Email OR-5 and PDF attachment to and by deadline (3 days before external deadline) to allow time for final administrative review.

    Example of CAMS Display/Print popup, highlighting Project and View.

Complete the Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure - Small Infrastructure Fund (ORF-RI-SIF) application and the Mitigating Economic and Geopolitical Risk checklist. The SIF proposal is largely the same as the CFI JELF application, except for the Benefits to Ontario section. This section must describe a clear and compelling value for Ontario. Refer to the UG Guide - Application to ORF SIF document for more detailed guidance and instructions.

Learn how the JELF Award Finalization will proceed by visiting the Award Finalization page

Internal Resources

External Resources


P. Van Asten, Strategic Programs
Research Services Office, UC 437