Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF)

In 2014 the Government of Canada created the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) to support research programs at Canadian universities and colleges striving to achieve global research excellence in strategic areas where Canada already had significant strengths.


The goal of the program is to provide additional capacity in these areas to ensure that there would be world leading research centres able to attract the best talent in the world, forge strong international partnerships, provide the conditions for breakthrough discoveries, while creating economic benefits.

There have been two competitions to date, with ~$350 million awarded in the first round and ~$900 million in the second. Of 51 letters of intent received by CFREF in the second round, the McDonald Institute was one of the 13 successful applications.

In recent years, research intensity in the field of astroparticle physics has increased dramatically. The McDonald Institute research program uses funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund to ensure that Canada remains a world leader in astroparticle physics. The McDonald Institute does this by delivering a world-class science program at SNOLAB, forging new collaborations, effectively engaging industry with academia, and creating an enviable program of HQP training and outreach.