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Funding Opportunities

The McDonald Institute has several funding opportunities to enable meaningful scientific progress and maximize collaborative interactions, researcher exposure and overall impact of the Astroparticle physics community.  The four streams, Internships,  Research Resources, Exchanges and Linkages, and Collaborations each has its own set of funding envelopes, timelines, and review processes.

Internships:

Research Resources:

Exchanges:

Collaborations:

Innovation:

All applications will be reviewed by the McDonald Institute Research Management Committee, which oversees the scientific progress of the McDonald Institute, with award results available within 60 days from each application due date. If you are currently receiving funding through the McDonald Institute, you will require the templates available in our financial toolkit.

 

 

 

Research Resources

 

McDonald Institute Postdoctoral Scholar Award - OPEN

Description: The McDonald Institute Postdoctoral Scholar award is a one-year top-up for postdoctoral fellows at a recognized Canadian academic institution. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence across a broad suite of contributions to astroparticle physics research in Canada (e.g., leadership roles in the community, innovation, scientific contribution). This opportunity is limited to postdoctoral fellows in Astroparticle physics. The McDonald Institute will support up to five applications, with a maximum value of $15,000 CDN each for one year. This award does not constitute base pay but is a top-up of existing contractual amounts to reward exceptional performance.

Eligibility:

The applicant must be a postdoctoral fellow in APP research at a recognized (Tri-Council funding eligible) Canadian academic institution
The applicant should have completed a Ph.D. within the last five years.
The applicant must either be working on a postdoctoral appointment or have been offered a postdoctoral appointment that will commence no later than January 15, 2023.
The annual base pay for the postdoctoral appointment must be declared in the supervisor’s letter of recommendation and be consistent with departmental norms at the supervisor’s institution.

Application process:
The applicant must provide the following:

  • A curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Minimum of 2 letters of recommendation including one letter from the current or prospective supervisor and one letter from a researcher outside Canada within the astroparticle physics field who is familiar with the applicant’s expertise

Letters of recommendation should provide information on the applicant’s achievements and impacts, mentoring and leadership skills, and the applicant’s long-term plan to cultivating fair and equitable opportunities for colleagues in the field.

Application documents should be sent to admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca with “MI PostDoctoral Awards – [Applicant’s Last name]” as the subject line.

Timeline:
Competition opens: September 1, 2022
Competition closes: January 15, 2023
Results Released: End of February 2023

 

Frontier Research Venture Fund – FUNDED

Description: One year of research funding for new high-risk, high-reward research areas that help maximize the scientific output from the suite of experiments that are currently operational or under development at SNOLAB or internationally.

Eligibility: Funding is for faculty members at any Canadian academic institution, who can currently hold funds from of any the granting agencies including CFREF.

Projects must be one year in length and address one of the following:

  • Unique capacity building/training/professional development opportunities within existing research projects.
  • Seed funding of new research and development initiatives to build new teams or enable proof of principle that will lead to follow-on funding from other sources of research support.
  • Funding can be used for salaries, equipment, materials, supplies, and travel.

How it works: Successful recipients will be notified by award letter, which stipulates the terms of the funding. The one-year window begins when the funds are released, upon signing of the award letter. Funds will be transferred to the faculty’s institution using the standard processes.

Reporting is ongoing, per the use of funds, on a quarterly basis. Indirect costs may be eligible for additional funding but must be indicated at the time the award letter is signed and outlined in a separate budget submission.

Timeline:
Competition Opens: Monday, February 28, 2022
Competition Closed: Friday, April 8, 2022
Results Released: Mid-May 2022

Amount: Maximum of $100,000

Completed applications should be sent to admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca with the subject line “FRVF Round 5 – {Applicant’s Last Name}”.

HQP Pooled Resources Round 9 Competition – OPEN

 

Description:

This round of the HQP pooled resource competition aims to fund undergraduate astroparticple physics researchers working in Canada with a start date in May 2023 for the summer period.  

The guideline and application form are provided. Funding for positions is available to those pursuing astroparticle physics research in Canada aligned with the McDonald Institute Research Strategy. This will be one of the last HQP Pooled Resources opportunities as the CFREF funded program comes to a close in August 2023, and all spending must be complete by August 2024.

Eligibility: The applicant must be able to supervise at a Canadian academic institution and be eligible to hold an institutional account for grants or awards (e.g., granting agencies, or currently receives CFREF funding).

The proposal must be in line with the McDonald Institute’s vision and scientific goals.

Proposal: Applicants can apply for multiple positions; however, a separate application form for each position must be completed. Where applicable, certain information may be copied between your applications, but each position is unique and will be considered based on the merits of the application package. Template completion is mandatory and includes several sections with assigned page limits.

For this undergraduate stream, a student may not need to be identified at the time of applying.

Applications that are incomplete or fail to follow the template will not be considered. Once a proposal has been submitted, a confirmation email will be sent.

How it works: Successful supervisors will be granted one ticket for each successful position. The awarded ticket is expected to be filled by May 2023. The position is considered filled when a signed letter of offer or comparative letter is received by the McDonald Institute. All unused tickets and/or portions of funding will be returned to the pool.

Ticket Value: The McDonald Institute recognizes that different institutions have different pay scales and arrangements for student salaries. The expectation is for salaries to be consistent with the norms in your department, but the ticket value will not exceed $12,000 maximum per four-month term for an undergraduate student.

Timeline:
Competition Closes: January 06, 2023, 4:00 pm EDT
Results Released: Early February 2023

Completed applications should be sent to admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca with the subject line “HQP Pooled Resources Round 9 – {Faculty Last Name}”.

 

Exchanges and Linkages

 

Graduate Student Exchange – FUNDED

Description: This program allows graduate students at a recognized Canadian academic institution to travel and work with another research group for up to six months to gain experience and bring new knowledge back to their home research group. This opportunity is limited to applicants studying astroparticle physics or a related field being applied to the advancement of astroparticle physics. Funding will only cover pre-approved costs for travel and accommodations during the exchange. Application for partnership-development visits (of no less than two weeks duration) that could potentially lead to an exchange may also be granted.

Eligibility: Open to all graduate students studying astroparticle physics or a related field who are either enrolled at a Canadian academic institution and/or wish to visit a Canadian academic institution as part of the program. There is no restriction on citizenship.

How it works: Individuals will prepare the application form with the assistance of their host institution for the exchange. The program will cover the costs of travel and accommodations during the exchange, however, there are a limited number of awards annually. A budget estimation form must be completed as part of the application, applications requesting retroactive coverage are not eligible. Funds will be distributed through a cost-recovery model, upon receiving compliant invoices.

Timelines:

Call for application opens: April 04, 2022

Applications will be reviewed quarterly, and notice of decision will be released thereafter (in July 2022, October 2022, January 2023). If your application is based on an exceptional opportunity that requires a shorter timeline for a response, please make a note in the body of the mail during your submission.

Resources:

Collaborations

Research Partnership-Building Workshops Program – Open

The Research Partnership-Building Workshops program aims to mobilize astroparticle physics researchers working in Canada by supporting novel workshops, training events, and short-term visits that either initiate or expand opportunities for eligible research or training partnerships.

Funding preference is given to activities that expand research networks internationally, but any activities meeting the “Core Application Criteria” below are eligible for funding. Applications should specify one of three streams for funding (via reimbursable voucher).

 

 

STREAM 1 – Novel Canadian partner-building activities (all participants’ primary appointments are in Canada) — awards up to $5,000 CDN reimbursement of eligible expenses

STREAM 2 – International participation in novel Canadian partner-building activities (10% or more of participants have primary appointments outside of Canada) — awards up to $7,500 CDN reimbursement of eligible expenses.

STREAM 3 – Canadian participation in novel, internationally located, partner-building activities (10% or more of participants have primary appointments in Canada) — awards up to $12,500 CDN of eligible expenses.

Eligibility

Core Eligibility Criteria:

– Research themes of proposed activities must align with the objectives of the McDonald Institute.

-Proposed activities must be novel – funding may not be used to support costs of normal-course events (e.g., experimental collaborations’ regularly scheduled workshops, recurring conferences, seminars, etc.).

-Applicants must have post-PhD academic appointments in astroparticle physics research at a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution.

Who can apply?

-McDonald Institute funded faculty members

-Faculty members with astroparticle physics research appointments at a Canadian post-secondary institution

-Postdoctoral fellows with an astroparticle physics research appointment at a Canadian research institution

How it works:

The applicant must provide a completed application form. A budget justification form must be completed as part of the application. Applications requesting retroactive coverage are not eligible. Funds will be distributed through a cost-recovery model, upon receiving compliant invoices.

Timelines:

Call for application opens: June 01, 2022

Applications may be submitted at any time to admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca The Institute commits to review applications within 3 calendar months of submission.

Please send all documents (Application Form, Budget Justification Form) to the Program Officer at admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca with “Research Partnership-Building Workshops Program – [APPLICANT’S LAST NAME]” as the subject line.

Resources:

 

Innovation

Proof of Concept Seed Fund Pilot Program – OPEN

Description: The McDonald Institute Proof-of-Concept Seed Fund Program provides early-stage support for technology innovation supervised by an awardee. Funding of up to $20,000 CAD is currently available to offset the real costs to an eligible astroparticle physics researcher developing an early-stage demonstration of practical technologies either adapted, or transferred from research-driven activities. Funding may be used for a portion, or the entirety of costs incurred for, prototype development, technology integration, or technology demonstration. Once funds for the current Pilot are exhausted, the opportunity will close until the next fiscal year (April 2022- March 2023).

Applicant Eligibility: Any researcher focused on astroparticle physics and already eligible to hold funds from Tri-Council granting agencies (or currently in receipt of CFREF funding through the McDonald Institute) may apply if they are eligible to manage an institutional research account. Any researcher working under the direct supervision of a researcher meeting the above criterion may act as the application lead (proponent), but all funds must flow through a Tri-Council eligible researcher’s account (awardee).

Eligible Expenses: Successful awardees may invoice the McDonald Institute to recover up to $20,000 of proof-of -concept costs including salary costs of awardee-supervised research personnel (post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate students, or technical or engineering staff); materials, licences and fees required to fabricate, operate or demonstrate the proof of concept (including fees for machining work, assembly, software development). Up to 20 percent of an award is eligible for travel support related to proof-of-concept activities. Documented expenses incurred in the three months prior to an award letter may be reimbursed if they are CFREF eligible, provided that the applicant has disclosed such prior spending in their application budget.

Ineligible Expenses: Awardees will not be eligible for the reimbursement of intellectual property protection costs, legal advice, hospitality, or the recovered costs of goods that are subsequently sold to a third party (e.g., prototypes or services that are sold as products). This list is not exhaustive, please reach out to the program contact staff for confirmation of eligibility.

How it works: Successful applicants will be granted an award letter committing the McDonald Institute to reimburse up to $20,000 CAD of receipted expenses incurred up to 12 months from the award date. The target of the first award call is to bolster community members’ experience in mobilizing research technology to address practical problems and to de-risk such mobilizations by demonstrating feasibility (problem-solution “fit”). Applications are welcomed at any time for this funding opportunity Once this funding pool (currently $20,000 CAN) has been exhausted, this competition will close for the current fiscal year. Contact Dr. Alexandra Pedersen (Business Development Officer) for additional application information and guidance.

Timelines:  
Call for applications opens: April 18, 2022. Results will be announced within one month of each application submission.

Potential applicants must contact Dr. Alexandra Pedersen, the McDonald Institute Business Development Officer, at admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca prior to submitting an application to discuss the project.

Completed applications may be sent to admin@mcdonaldinstitute.ca with the subject line “Proof of Concept Seed Fund – {Applicant Last Name}”.

 

Pilot: Innovation Validation Program – OPEN

Introduction: This program provides an opportunity for students to validate a product- or policy-based solution to a current problem facing astroparticle physicists and their collaborators.  

What: Voucher of $2,000 max. reimbursing eligible receipted expenses for validating an innovation model. 

How it works: If you apply, your team agrees to meet with Edward Thomas (Associate Director, External Relations) to learn uses of a Lean Model Canvas and the ways that your team would use this simple validation tool as part of the voucher’s terms and conditions. The team will commit to a 45-min professional development training session that will cover the following expectations for the voucher: 

  • Submit a Lean Model Canvas for their Idea 
  • Must have tested three assumptions of their Lean Model Canvas . 
  • Student teams must also submit a proposed budget outlining how the $2,000 voucher will be spent. The budget must be approval prior to the date of receipts to be reimbursed. No costs incurred prior to the start date of the voucher will be accepted.  

Successful applicants will be granted an award letter committing the McDonald Institute to reimburse up to $2,000 CDN of approved and receipted expenses incurred up to 6 months from the award date.  

The purpose of Competition Round 1 (2022) will be to bolster community members’ experience in mobilizing research technology to address practical problems and to de-risk such mobilizations by demonstrating feasibility (problem-solution “fit”). This competition will prioritize problem-solution opportunities identified in the 2022 (Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences event sponsored by the McDonald Institute. 

Methodology: All teams must complete a Lean Model Canvass (instructions, template) as their guiding methodological framework for testing assumptions when validating an innovation model. A version of the model must be submitted with post-award deliverables. 

Team Eligibility: Any student group focused on validating an innovation model may apply if it includes either 1 or more Queen’s University students, or 1 or more students working under the supervision of an astroparticle physics researcher at a Canadian post-secondary institution or scientific facility. For Competition 1, the following additional eligibility criteria shall apply: 

  • Must have one student from the 2022 (Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences event.  
  • Root premise of the innovation should be from their solution, above. 
  • A team may onboard or offboard as many members as they like, but each member must have a role.  
  • There must be at least one currently enrolled student at Queen’s University engaged in the team. 

Students meeting the above criterion may act as the application lead (proponent) with an eligible supervisor’s co-signed acknowledgement if no Queen’s student is part of the team. All funds reimbursed to an institution must flow through a Tri-Council eligible researchers’ account (awardee). This means a faculty supervisor may expend funds used for the award and invoice the McDonald Institute to recover up to the value of the voucher. Eligible and receipted expenses borne by student awardees may be invoiced directly to the McDonald Institute for reimbursement by cheque. 

  • Expenses: All expenses must be approved prior to purchase by the Business Development Officer and reimbursement is upon submission of receipts. 
    • Eligible Expenses: Successful awardees may invoice the McDonald Institute to recover up to $2,000 of Proof-of-Concept costs including: salary costs of research personnel (post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate students, or technical research personnel); materials, licences and fees required to fabricate, operate or demonstrate the proof of concept (including fees for machining work, assembly, software development). Economy fare travel expenses for prototyping and research costs are eligible. Market research from third party providers are eligible up to a maximum of $500. 
    • Ineligible Expenses: Awardees will not be eligible for the reimbursement of intellectual property protection costs, legal advice, hospitality, or any goods that are subsequently sold to a third party (e.g., prototypes that are sold as products). Salary costs for members of applicant teams are ineligible.  
  • List of Likely Expenses:  
    • Materials for minimum viable product (applicants must include two (2) recent quotations for any item(s) over $500). 
    • Licences and fees required to fabricate, operate or demonstrate the proof of concept (including fees for machining work, assembly, software). 
    • Professional development training intended to advance the team’s ability to demonstrate their innovation (cannot exceed 50% of the voucher’s cost) 

Conflict of interest: An actual or apparent conflict of interest arises when a member of the awardee team is placed in a situation where their personal interest, financial or other, or that of an immediate Family member or of a person with whom there exists, or has recently existed an intimate, personal relationship, conflicts, or appears to conflict, with their responsibility to the terms of this award or with the interests of the McDonald Institute or Queen’s University. This includes situations which may arise where the awardee is in a position to influence directly or indirectly McDonald Institute or Queen’s University business or other decisions in ways that would lead to a gain/benefit for the awardee or immediate family member. 

 

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