The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) supports research by investing in research infrastructure

CFI offers several different types of funding opportunities:

For all CFI applications, please notify the UTM OVPRI as early as possible of your intent to apply. Email


John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF)

The JELF helps institutions recruit and retain outstanding researchers, acquire the tools that enable the innovative work of leading researchers, and offer highly competitive research support. The JELF is designed to serve the infrastructure needs of individual faculty or small groups of up to three faculty members where there is a need to share infrastructure. 

This is not an open competition. Larger divisions at the University have been pre-assigned a portion of the University's CFI allocation. JELF projects thus need to be approved by the researcher's division as these grants spend down the finite divisional allocations.

If your unit has permitted you to apply for a JELF, please contact the OVPRI as soon as possible. Keep in mind that other U of T divisions may have different JELF application processes. 

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates:


  • CFI-JELF Internal Draft Application Deadline (campus): May 8, 2024
  • CFI-JELF Final Application (campus/hospitals): June 6, 2024
  • My Research Application (MRA) Deadline: June 6, 2024**
  • Sponsor Deadline for CFI-JELF: June 17, 2024
  • ORF-RI Draft Application & Geopolitical Risk Checklist (campus): July 22, 2024
  • ORF-RI Final Application & Geopolitical Risk Checklist (campus/hospitals): August 19, 2024

INTERNAL DEADLINES: October 2024 Round*

  • CFI-JELF Draft Application (campus): September 9, 2024
  • CFI-JELF Final Application (campus/hospitals): October 7, 2024
  • My Research Application (MRA): October 7, 2024**
  • Sponsor Deadline for CFI-JELF: October 15, 2024
  • ORF-RI Draft Application & Geopolitical Risk Checklist (campus): November 18, 2024
  • ORF-RI Final Application & Geopolitical Risk Checklist (campus/hospitals): December 16, 2024

* Only one MRA is required for application to the CFI and ORF. Applicants are responsible for submitting the MRA and obtaining the necessary unit and divisional approvals prior to the MRA deadline, which is the date by which the MRA should reach Research Services.

** Upcoming deadlines for future rounds are tentative and subject to change. Please check back closer to the opening of the round.



Innovation Fund

All teams that are approved to submit EOIs have been notified. If you are interested in applying for the CFI-IF in the future, please plan an application for the following round (TBA in 2025-2026).

For questions and inquiries, please contact or

The Innovation Fund provides continued investments in infrastructure, across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied through to technology development. Only projects with total costs over $1 million will be considered. The CFI-IF is an “institutional initiative”, meaning that the University determines which projects will go forward to the national level competition with an allocation from our CFI-determined “ask envelope.”

Funding formula for a project:
40% CFI funding + 40% ORF-RI funding + 20% raised by researchers from other sources

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates 

UTM EOI deadline: Friday, December 15, 2023, 5 pm

UofT EOI deadline: Submit to UTM OVPRI by June 8, 2024 

UofT pre-proposal deadline: Submit to UTM OVPRI by July 8, 2024

CFI Notice of Intent (NOI) deadline:  October 2, 2024

Draft full proposal & Internal Review deadline: November 18, 2024

Internal full proposal deadline: January 23, 2025

full proposal deadline: February 4, 2025

ORF-LIF full proposal deadline: March 2025

Decisions by CFI Board of Directors: November 2025

ORF-LIF decisions: March 2026?