Major Proposal Development Grant Program

University of Guelph - Office of Research Services
Major Proposal Development Grant Program

Program Goal:

Through the provision of research seed funding, this fund assists University of Guelph researchers in developing significant research grant proposals that have strong potential for attracting significant funding for submission to external funding agencies. 

Eligibility of Applicants:

Individuals or groups of faculty at the University of Guelph

Eligible Projects:

This fund supports faculty in all disciplines in the preparation of large-scale proposals that require the coordination of large research teams.

All proposals must align with the University of Guelph’s strategic research plan. Examples of large-scale funding opportunities include, but are not limited to, NSERC CREATE, NSERC Strategic Networks, SSHRC Partnership Grants, NCE, etc.

Proposals approved to receive financial support under this program are to be submitted to the relevant external funding sponsor(s) within 12 months of the date that such financial support is approved.

Funding Available:

This fund provides matching assistance to financial support provided by the applicant’s(s’) college(s) to a maximum of $5,000.00. Funding must be used within 12 months of the date of the award. Extensions may be requested from the Acting Associate Vice-President Research Services, Jill Rogers ( 

Approvals are subject to the availability of funds. 

Eligible Activities:

  • Travel for activities such as attendance at team meetings or for the purposes of establishing partnerships and interacting with program officers, etc.
  • Meeting expenses such as those related to the arrangement of in-person, WebEx or teleconference meetings of project team members, etc.
  • Personnel for activities such as grant facilitation, development and editing as well as administrative support, etc.

Application Requirements:

A request of two to three pages contains at least the following information: 

  • The name of the external sponsor/program to whom the proposal will be submitted and the corresponding deadline date for submission
  • Brief description of the research plan (i.e., including scientific aims and goals)Additional details such as: 
  • Additional details such as:
    • Description of the research team
    • Description of anticipated partnerships and collaborations within and external to the university
  • A budget indicating the amount of funding requested from this development fund and the intended use of funds
  • Statement of alignment of the proposed initiative with the university’s strategic research plan
  • A written statement from the applicant’s department chair and ADR describing support for the initiative (i.e., both cash and/or in-kind support)
  • OR-5

Application Deadlines:

There are three grant proposal application deadlines each year: February 28th, June 30th, October 31st. Should the application deadline fall on a holiday or weekend, the application deadline will automatically be extended to the next business day. Applications are to be submitted to

Evaluation Criteria:

The following key factors will be considered in the review of projects: 

  • Quality of the proposed research or creative activity
  • Potential of the project to obtain significant external funding
  • Potential for the project to develop partnerships and collaborations within and external to the university
  • Alignment of the research activities with the priority research themes and signature areas of the university’s strategic research plan
  • Strength of department and college support as evidenced by commitment of resources and matching funds
  • An existing record of collaboration among team members will be viewed positively
  • Timing of the receipt of the application in relation to the external sponsor’s deadline. A submission to the Major Proposal Development Grant Program is normally expected four months or more prior to the external sponsor’s deadline.