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Steps to Research Funding:

1. Finding a Funding Opportunity
2. Proposal Development
3. Proposal Submission
4. Decision by the Funder
5. Ethics Clearance
6. Post-Award Administration

  1. Finding a Funding Opportunity

  2. The application process for research funding begins with a funding opportunity. The Office of Research Services (ORS) assists researchers in locating funding opportunities in many ways by:

    • Providing access to a current searchable database of funding opportunities through Pivot
    • Distributing timely reminders of upcoming funding opportunities and posting them on the website. To subscribe to the funding opportunities listserv, please e-mail
    • Holding information sessions on funding programs and opportunities

    Faculty Research Officers are additional resources for researchers seeking information about funding opportunities.

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  3. Proposal Development

    While proposal development is the responsibility of the individual researcher or team of researchers as the case may be, the ORS facilitates the process by:

  • Providing advice regarding the funder's guidelines and instructions
  • Reviewing draft applications for compliance with the agency’s instructions, university policies, eligibility and selection criteria, and recommending adjustments
  • Providing advice on proposal budget
  • Providing technical assistance with electronic forms
  • Providing Letters of Support if required by the funder
  • Providing access to a library of successful applications from previous competitions

In order for the ORS to have sufficient time to review the proposal, the application and other documentation must be submitted to the ORS at least 10 working days prior to the funder's actual deadline.   

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  1. Proposal Submission

The application process is convenient for faculty members.  Additionally, the process, which allows for accurate data collection about York's research success, has an important potential impact on our future government funding and, thus, it is important for researchers to assist us by ensuring that they submit their proposals through the ORS. Many block grants given to universities by government agencies, for example, are based on an institutional profile of successful funding applications. The more accurate our research data the more successful we will be in these situations.

All proposals by faculty members for external funding of research projects should be processed through the Office of Research Services before being submitted to a funding sponsor association or granting agency. The signature of the Director of ORS (or delegate) is required on all applications for grants and contracts.

The principal investigator (PI) must also obtain approval of the application from his/her Department Chair and the Faculty Dean (or the Organized Research Unit (ORU) Director if processing through a centre/institute) by completing an ORS Checklist and obtaining the required signatures. The Chair's and Dean's (or ORU Director’s) approval are required to assure that the research will not be detrimental to undergraduate or graduate education and that adequate facilities and resources are or will be made available to the researcher to undertake the research project, if successful.

The institutional signature (ORS Director or delegate) on funding applications certifies that:

  • The PI is affiliated with the institution
  • The PI has the necessary time and facilities to carry out the research
  • The PI is willing to administer any grant received according to the policies of the agency and the university
  • The institution will arrange to release funds to the successful candidate once all necessary certification requirements and conditions have been met
A hard copy of the completed application, together with a completed and signed ORS Checklist, is submitted to the ORS for signature by the Director (or delegate) or for e-approval for on-line submission. The application must include a copy of the budget and any other information which would affect the financial aspects of the application. Budget justification details are required. Any agreed upon York University cash or in-kind commitments must be confirmed in writing by the source (i.e. Vice-President, Dean/Principal, Department Chair, Research Centre or Institute Director, etc). Applicants must also provide a hard copy of the application for the ORS files.

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  1. Decision by the Funder

Results of all submissions are usually sent to the ORS by the granting agency or association. ORS then communicates the results to the applicants. Should a notice regarding the decision of a grant application go directly to the PI, a copy must be sent to the ORS as soon as possible upon receipt of this decision.

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  1. Ethics Clearance

For all projects involving human participants, animals or biohazardous materials, university clearance is required before the research project can proceed. Please refer to the Research Ethics section of this website for detailed instructions on ethics certification at York.

For any research that could have an adverse affect on the environment, some agencies (particularly SSHRC and NSERC) may request clearance before the research can proceed. In certain cases, a researcher may be asked to complete the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Pre-Screening Checklist as part of a proposal. Based on answers to the questions on the checklist, the agency will determine whether a "screening" will be required in accordance with CEAA and will work with the investigator and the university to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to allow the research to proceed.

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  1. Post-Award Administration

Post-award administration begins in the ORS with the notification of funding from the granting agency. For tri-council awards, Research Accounting is notified directly by the funder and a cost centre is set up. For non tri-council funding, ORS informs Research Accounting of the award and a cost centre is set up by Research Accounting who requires authorization from the ORS. Research Accounting will notify the principal investigator of the cost centre number for the grant. Thereafter, Research Accounting administers all transactions, prepares account statements, and monitors expenses. Questions regarding a cost centre or expense claims should be directed to Research Accounting.

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Joan Broussard

Director, Research Grants

Office of Research Services
Kaneff Tower, Fifth Floor
Tel: 416.736.2100 x 88859

Fax: 416-736-5512

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