Strategic Science Fund: 2021 competition

About the competition

The inaugural competition of the Strategic Science Fund (SSF) will support third-party science and research organizations for up to a five year period, starting in April 2024.

Competition details

Eligibility and review criteria

Eligible recipients are not-for-profit organizations incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially) that cannot access other federal funding programs. TPO applications will be assessed against framework principles, which form the basis of the merit-review criteria:

  • Principle 1: Added value to federal science, technology and innovation (STI) investments
  • Principle 2: Strategic value aligned with core federal responsibilities and priorities
  • Principle 3: STI capacity, sound governance and operational efficiency
  • Principle 4: Demonstrable impact
  • Principle 5: Presence at the national level
  • Principle 6: Criticality of federal funding

How to apply

  1. Read the program guide

    The program guide provides details on the Strategic Science Fund, including overall program objectives, eligibility and selection criteria, funding request, and the 2-stage assessment process which consists of the letter of intent (LOI) and full application (FA). Applicants are encouraged to review the program guide when preparing an application package.

  2. Complete the online letter of intent application

    The letter of intent (LOI) is a screening tool to determine which organizations will be invited to submit a full application. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the proposal meets eligibility and merit criteria.

    Applicants are asked to submit an LOI application via the online SSF application portal (see step 4). See the LOI guide to the 2021 competition for more application details, including instructions on how to complete the online LOI application.

    Following the SSF Secretariat's positive assessment of the LOI, applicants will be invited to submit a full application. See the LOI assessment results for the list of applicants advancing to the full application stage.

  3. Complete the full application online

    The full application outlines the overall objectives, activities and plans for the requested funding from the SSF. This phase of the review process includes significant up-front due diligence involving the input of external experts during a technical review, as well as an expert panel that will provide a strategic assessment and funding recommendations.

    Applicants who are invited to submit a full application will be asked to do so via the online SSF application portal (see step 4). The full application guide for the 2021 competition provides additional application details.

  4. Submit the application package

    Letter of intent application deadline: January 14, 2022, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time.

    Full application deadline: September 20, 2022, at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time.

    Letters of intent applications and full applications must be submitted via the online SSF application portal:

    SSF application portal

    Applicants will receive acknowledgement of the submission of their application.

  5. Assessment process

    LOIs will be reviewed and assessed by the SSF Secretariat, with input from other federal government departments and agencies, as needed, to confirm the extent to which each LOI responds to merit-review criteria. See the LOI guide for the 2021 competition for application assessment details.

    Following the SSF Secretariat's positive assessment of the LOI, applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

    The review and assessment of the full application will include:

    • a technical review of each proposal by at least 2 subject matter experts; and
    • a multidisciplinary expert panel, which will consider technical reviews and provide recommendations on organizations to support.

    Final decisions will be made by the Minister of Health and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, informed by the advice of these independent expert assessments.


Letter of intent timeline

Text version
  1. Call for LOI application period opens (August 13, 2021)
  2. LOI application period (August 2021 - January 2022)
  3. Deadline for LOI applications (January 14, 2022)
  4. LOI application assessment period (January 2022 - April 2022)
  5. Notification of LOI assessment results (May 2022)

Full application timeline

Text version
  1. Invitation to submit full application (May 2022)
  2. Full application period (May 2022 - September 2022)
  3. Deadline to submit full application (September 20, 2022)
  4. Full application assessment period (September 2022 – October 2022)
  5. Notification of funding decisions (Spring 2023)
  6. Disbursements of funds - up to a 5 year cycle (April 2024)