Funding provided to institutions through the JELF helps institutions to recruit and retain outstanding researchers, acquire the tools that enable the innovative work of leading researchers and offer research support that, when combined with research support from our partner organizations, is highly competitive.

There are five different funding streams: the unaffiliated stream and four partnership streams.

Unaffiliated: This stream accepts proposals for research infrastructure that are standalone and not affiliated to an application submitted to any of our funding partner organizations.

Partnership: These streams accept proposals that are submitted alongside an application for research support from our funding partners:

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC ) through its Insight Grants  and Partnership Grants  programs.


Universities recognized as eligible by the CFI can apply to the JELF if they have a minimum annual average of $200,000 over the last three years in research funding received from the three federal research funding agencies (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). For each institution that meets this criterion, dedicated JELF allocations are calculated and communicated to the institution.

The Small Institution Fund (SIF), which is part of our John R. Evans Leaders Fund, was created for institutions whose dedicated JELF allocation would be calculated as less than $800,000. Each SIF-eligible institution can draw from this fund to a maximum of $400,000 or $800,000, depending on their share of tri-agency funding. No special steps are required for eligible institutions to access the Small Institution Fund when submitting a proposal to the JELF.

Research hospitals and research institutes wanting to apply may do so through the eligible university with which they are affiliated.

Up to three researchers may be listed on the proposal to either work collaboratively using the same requested infrastructure, or to work independently while sharing the requested infrastructure. For the latter, the CFI requires that the justification for the infrastructure be articulated for each researcher.

The researchers listed in the proposal must be:

  • Recognized innovative leaders or have demonstrated the potential for excellence in the proposed research fields;
  • Engaged in or embarking upon research or technology development that is innovative, high quality and meets international standards; and,
  • Current faculty members with full-time academic appointments or candidates that the university is in the process of recruiting to full-time academic positions in an important strategic sector.

Researchers who have previously been supported by the CFI can submit another proposal.

Universities can submit proposals requesting up to $800,000 from the CFI, with a maximum total eligible cost of $2 million. The CFI will allow the submission of proposals requesting less than or equal to $75,000 from the CFI from the social sciences, humanities and arts, and/or eligible institution that have access to the Small Institution Fund.

How to Apply?

Only eligible institutions may submit a proposal to the CFI. We encourage researchers to contact the research office at their institution to learn more about internal application processes to apply for JELF funding.

Researchers and institutional administrators will use the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS)  to prepare and submit proposals. For more information on how to use CAMS, please consult the documents Getting started with the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) on

Click on a tab above to find out more about the specific application and review processes for the different streams. To learn more about the JELF assessment criteria, read the guidelines for completing JELF unaffiliated (PDF) and partnership (PDF) proposals.

Funding Amount

Up to a maximum of $800,000

Contact Information

See website for details

Processing Fee




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