Major Proposal Development Grant (MPDG) Program Guide

The Research Services Office is not currently accepting applications to this program.

Revised August 29, 2022

Program Goal

The MPDG offers funding for the development of complex, collaborative research grant applications.

Examples of eligible programs include:  NSERC CREATE; NSERC Alliance applications (Option 1 or Option 2); SSHRC Partnership Development and SSHRC Partnership; Genome Canada; CIHR Team Grants, NFRF Transformation; Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence (ORF-RE).

For institutional programs such as Canada Foundation for Innovation – Innovation Fund (CFI IF), development funding may be made available through the internal review and adjudication process.

Eligibility of Applicants

  • Eligible to hold research funding at the University of Guelph.
  • Demonstrated track record of operational funding (over at least five years)

Eligible Projects:

This fund supports faculty in all disciplines in the preparation of major proposals that meet these criteria:

  • The program is eligible for MPDG funding (see list above)
  • The application requires building relationships and developing research plans with partners (outside academia) and/or with an interdisciplinary research team
  • The MPDG proposal is supported with matching funds from College and/or Department.

Funding Available

This fund provides matching assistance to financial support provided by the applicant’s(s’) college(s) to a maximum of $2,500. Approvals are subject to the availability of funds. Funding must be used within three months of the external application deadline.

Eligible Expenses

  • Personnel for activities such as grant facilitation, grant writing and editing, and administrative support.
  • Travel for activities such as attendance at team meetings or for the purposes of establishing partnerships and interacting with program officers.
  • Meeting expenses including hospitality, meeting rooms, AV technology. 

Not Eligible: Research activities, materials, equipment, and supplies.

Funds not used by the account end date will be returned to both sponsors equally.

How to Apply

Submit the following documents to

  1. Completed application form
  2. CV (any form) of PI)
  3. OR-5

Application Deadlines

You can apply for an MPDG up to one year ahead of the major program’s anticipated external deadline.  Check the major program’s Research Alert for specific deadline.

Application Review Process

Applications will be adjudicated by:  Associate Vice-President (Research Services).  The AVPRS may seek internal scientific review to inform evaluation of the proposal. 

Evaluation Criteria

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


  • Alignment of the proposed project with the target grant opportunity
  • Alignment of the proposed project with the University’s Strategic Research Plan


  • PI track-record of leadership and research funding
  • Outcomes of prior MPDG funding (if applicable)
  • Alignment of the proposed team with the target grant opportunity
  • Team composition:
    • Identify how EDI was (or will be) taken into consideration in team composition


  • Potential for the project to develop partnerships and collaborations within and external to the university

Feasibility and Importance of MPDG

  • Feasibility of the proposed grant development activities and timeline
  • Importance of the MPDG to successful proposal development

Reporting Requirements

At the end of the funding term a one-page report is required.  The report will explain how the MPDG funds were used to support and benefit the proposal development.


In exceptional circumstances, extensions may be requested from the Manager, Strategic Programs.  Please note that:

  • funds cannot be transferred to another account (e.g. GPR)
  • funds cannot be used to support development of another proposal without review of it meeting the criteria of the MPDG