UBC Science Strategic Innovation Fund


Investing in our people and ideas in order to achieve our strategic priorities and improve our world through science

To advance the objectives of Improving our World Through Science, UBC Science has allocated a strategic innovation fund (SIF) of up to $300,000 per year. Each year, priority areas are developed by the UBC Science community to guide SIF investments. All members of the UBC Science community are eligible to apply. Faculty and staff, as individuals or groups, as well as UBC-recognized student groups representing the UBC Science community, are invited to submit proposals identifying and articulating a strategic project requiring investment that advances one or more of the plan's annual priorities. Proposals are not intended to fund the development of new courses or educational programs.  

Next call for proposals

It is anticipated that there will be one call for proposals per year.

Timeline of current call

  • October 26, 2022: Call for proposals released
  • November 25, 2022: Deadline to submit proposals via email to Deborah Watt
  • December 2022: Proposals reviewed by selection committee
  • Early January 2023: Results communicated to applicants


The lead applicant must be faculty, staff or student(s) within the Faculty of Science, or a member of a UBC-recognized student group. Applicants may apply individually or as the designated lead on part of a larger collaborative team effort.  Lead applicants may participate on more than one proposed project, but may only be the designated lead on one application per competition. Please note that lead applicants on last year’s successfully funded SIF projects are not eligible to apply as lead applicant on any project within this year’s proposal intake.

Creating a proposal

  1. Identify and articulate a strategic project requiring investment that advances our 2022-23 priority “Building and Sustaining Inclusive Community.”
  2. Submit your proposal to Deborah Watt via email using the attached application template.

Allocation criteria and considerations

A dedicated advisory group will use the following criteria to recommend proposal selection and prioritization to the Dean of Science. The Dean will consider the group's assessment in light of these criteria to make the final decisions.

  • Investment proposals must support the plan’s 2022-23 priority “Building and Sustaining Inclusive Community.”  
  • Proposals must be requests for one-time or term-limited funding, not recurring funding.
  • Projects must be planned in such a way that all funds are spent within eighteen months from the time they are awarded. No extensions will be granted.
  • Proposals must not request funds to develop new educational programs in UBC Science. They should not reproduce other sources of funding available at UBC.
  • Consideration will be given to proposals that seek to develop collaborative, cross-unit approaches, focusing on the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people.
  • Proposals should be clearly feasible within the allotted timeframes (maximum eighteen months) and produce a lasting benefit to UBC Science.
  • The work that will be undertaken using the SIF funding should be clearly explained, and its objectives clear.
  • Additional funding sources should be leveraged where appropriate, and consideration given to long-term opportunities to support initiatives.
  • SIF awardees will be asked to provide a report at the end of the proposal period that summarizes their activities and how they advanced the UBC Science Strategic Plan’s 2022-23 priority.

Examples of potential project approaches

The following list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive: 

  • Developing and hosting a speaker, symposia or workshop series
  • Developing and hosting social events that encourage connections across UBC Science
  • Pilot, case or feasibility studies 
  • Environmental scans and needs analyses
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Framework or toolkit development
  • Capacity building / uniting cross-unit expertise
  • Network development
  • Creation of a shared platform
  • Development of multi-media materials 

Project Budget, Expenditures and Reporting

The Dean's Office has not set specific minimum or maximum amounts for SIF proposal budgets. Project budgets will be assessed in conjunction with the proposed project's aims, objectives and feasibility of completion within one year. SIF awardees will be reimbursed by the Dean's Office for all budgeted project expenditures at the end of the project period upon completion of project activities and reporting.  

All SIF projects are subject to UBC'S Expenditure Guidelines.  

Eligible SIF Costs

Project funds are intended to catalyze the development of approaches to addressing the plan's objectives and strategies. Expenses may include:

  • Personnel (salary costs for a project administrator / coordinator)
  • Meeting or workshop costs
  • Outreach or engagement related costs
  • Travel costs. Please note that applicants are encouraged to be mindful of the potential effects of COVID-19 on travel plans should they be integral to the proposed project goals or outcomes
  • Media services

SIF Adjudication Process 

An appointed advisory group recommends to the Dean of Science how to allocate the Strategic Innovation Fund according to the allocation criteria. The group reviews proposals in a fair and unbiased manner. The Dean's Office supports the group by managing the proposal call, review, and selection process, and ensuring that decisions and action items are recorded and acted on.

Program Contact

Deborah Watt
Project Manager
Faculty of Science, Dean's Office 

SIF Projects for 2021/22