Pre-Announcement Of Inaugural Funding Opportunity

NDRIO is pleased to provide preliminary information regarding its upcoming $20M Inaugural Funding Opportunity (IFO). The IFO aims to build national research capacity and deliver on NDRIO’s mandate to create a broad and integrated Canadian digital research infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem. Specifically, the IFO will address the needs of the research community related to DRI, while promoting an equitable and inclusive DRI environment in Canada. 

The full description of the Inaugural Funding Opportunity will be provided in the upcoming weeks.

Aim and scope 

NDRIO seeks to bridge the gap between the three DRI pillars (i.e., Advanced Research Computing, ARC; Research Data Management, RDM; and Research Software, RS). In keeping with NDRIO’s values, the IFO also seeks to build a culture of collaboration and integration across the DRI environment in Canada. Therefore, the IFO will be open to proposals from all research disciplines, and with strong encouragement for inter-provincial collaborations and multi-disciplinary partnerships.

Applications in digital humanities, social sciences, indigenous research and/​or other research areas underutilizing the national DRI will be strongly encouraged. Proposals submitted in collaboration with First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and other Indigenous communities should ensure their unique rights and interests are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented throughout the proposed project. In this context, NDRIO’s commitment to research data management as a DRI pillar seeks proposals that respect and broaden understanding of Indigenous Data Sovereignty.


Canadian post-secondary institutions, research hospitals and/​or non-profit organizations eligible for CFI funding can submit proposals as Lead Institution on the project. Federal Government institutions and agencies, as well as Provincial or Municipal organizations, and non-profits involved in research, will be able to participate as project collaborators. 

IFO Key Objectives

NDRIO’s focus on integration of the three components of DRI (ARC, DM and RS) will require IFO proposals to address at least two of the following objectives:

  • Facilitate interoperability, integration, and access to existing DRI components (i.e., Advanced Research Computing, Research Data Management, Research Software)
  • Facilitate integration across projects within DRI components
  • Develop new or enhanced tools and platforms to facilitate finding, analyzing, and managing research data
  • Conduct integrated digital research in areas of national importance
  • Enable researchers in disciplines and research areas that have not utilized DRI to migrate their workflows to existing infrastructure using new or enhanced approaches

Value and Duration

The Inaugural Funding Opportunity will offer two streams of funding for projects ranging from 12 to 18 months.

  • Funding Stream 1 will be open to projects requesting between $100,000 to $1 Million
  • Funding Stream 2 will be open to projects requesting between $1 Million to $3 Million

Each Stream will be adjudicated separately by an Expert Merit Review Committee. Additional details related to NDRIO’s and the Institution(s)’ respective contributions will be available in the detailed program description.

Application Process

The IFO application process will consist of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Full Proposal. An Expert Merit Review Committee will review applications at both stages. Only applications selected at the LOI stage will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. Selection criteria for both stages of the competition will be published in the detailed program description. 

Competition Timeline

Please note these dates are tentative and will be confirmed on May 1st, 2021 when the Letter of Intent submission opens

May 2021
Letter of Intent (LOI) submission opens
July – August 2021
LOI submission review and selection
September 2021
Proposal submission opens
January 2022 – March 2022
Proposal adjudication
April 2022
Deadline to begin projects

Contact NDRIO

Should you have any questions about NDRIO’s Inaugural Funding Opportunity, please contact: funding_​subventions@​engagedri.​ca