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Identifying Funding Sources

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) works closely with researchers to help identify potential funding sources for research activity. The document below provides an essential overview of the major funding opportunities offered by federal (Tri-Council) and provincial (Quebec Fonds) agencies.

OSR’s Table of Agency Programs

For more details on these and any other competitions please contact the appropriate Grants Officer in OSR, Grants and Foundations – team, and consult the various sponsors’ pages found within this section. Be sure to subscribe to the OSR funding listserv, which will deliver funding opportunities directly to your email. Our deadlines listing also has a full list of active funding opportunities which can be searched by word or date.

Sponsored research is usually characterized as a donation, a grant or a contract. In practice, these terms describe a spectrum of research funding arrangements, such as donations and gifts, grants and grants-in-aid, contributions and a variety of contractual agreements.

Below you will find a breakdown of the differences on main agreement points between types of sponsorship.

  1. Grants*

    • Intellectual property: Owned by researcher & McGill according to IP Policy. No rights accorded to sponsor.
    • Publication: No restrictions.
    • Deliverables Only a report.
    • Peer-reviewed: Yes.
    • Budget: Yes, as per agency guidelines.
    • Time Frame: As per agency guidelines; some flexibility.
    • Accounting: Up front or a series of advanced payments.
    • Project cost: Direct costs and indirects.
  2. Contracts

    • Intellectual property: Terms and conditions are negotiated.
    • Publication: Right of review for confidential information, arising patentable IP.
    • Deliverables: As per deliverables defined.
    • Peer-reviewed: Only if leveraged by a grant.
    • Budget: Yes; please contact us for assistance.
    • Time Frame: Fixed and firm.
    • Accounting: On signing and reaching target milestones.
    • Project cost: Pricing of research and indirects (includes honorarium).
  3. Donations/gifts

    • Intellectual property: No right, privilege, or material benefit.
    • Publication: No restrictions.
    • Deliverables: None.
    • Peer-reviewed: No.
    • Budget: Typically no.
    • Time Frame: Flexible.
    • Accounting: Flexible.
    • Project cost: Direct costs and indirects.
  4. Service agreements

    • Intellectual property: No intellectual property. Sponsor owns the report.
    • Publication: Few or no new publishable results (i.e., testing on equipment, state-of-the art studies, etc).
    • Deliverables: As per deliverables defined.
    • Peer-reviewed: No.
    • Budget: Yes; please contact us for assistance.
    • Time Frame: Fixed and firm.
    • Accounting: Typically, 70% upfront and 30% upon delivery of results.
    • Project cost: Pricing of research and indirects (includes honorarium).

* Some granting programs require industry support (letter of support, in-kind or matching cash contributions). In such cases, please contact an Officer working on industry agreements in the OSR.