Research ideas and applications
The information on this page is intended to help Environment's faculty members develop research ideas, pursue research funding opportunities, and complete applications. Here are some useful Q&As:
What should I be thinking about as I formulate my research ideas?
Thinking about how individual research projects fit within your overall research strategy (short to medium/medium to long-term) may be helpful. A variety of publications exist that offer insights into areas you might want to focus on as you plan your academic career:
- "To build a successful academic career, you need to play by the rules" article on Social Science Space
- "Top 10 tips for starting your first academic job" article on Times Higher Education
Additionally, every faculty member in the early stages of their professorial career has a mentor or mentors (assigned by their unit).
Please contact the Associate Dean of Research (ADR) for more information.
How do I find out about research funding opportunities?
- The Office of Research (OR) website has a list of funding opportunities and submission deadlines for upcoming competitions. This page is managed and updated regularly by OR.
- Notices and announcements are sent out (usually weekly) by the Faculty Research Coordinator in Environment.
- Researchers' networks or other sources can be used.
- You are also encouraged to regularly consult various agencies' websites such as:
- Other external databases also exist. The University of Waterloo subscribes to the Community of Science database, which may assist you with identifying additional sources of funding.
- Pivot is accessible from any desktop computer on campus. If you find an appropriate funding source, you may wish to subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive announcements with new competition deadlines or grant programs.
- Additionally, you can browse through publications like The Canadian Directory to Foundations and Grants. These can be found in the reference section of the Dana Porter Library.
- Public and private foundations are often the source of additional funds for specific focused activities with a practical application. These can also be useful to supplement other grants or grants with a matching component.
Which resources are available for Principal Investigators (PIs)?
The Principal Investigator’s handbook is a collection of resources designed to guide PIs on the compliance obligations related to their research projects including intellectual property and commercialization, hiring a research team, and research agreements. Developed by the Office of Research, each aspect of the PI’s responsibilities is detailed with mandatory requirements and best practices.
Is this a grant or a contract?
Traditionally, grants are provided by government agencies and have no overhead associated with them. Alternatively, contracts are offered by private sector organizations and also via select government programs; these have overhead associated with them. The distinction, however, is no longer clear-cut. Discussions with the ADR can help determine whether the process will be channelled through OR's Government Research Contracts section or its Research Partnerships grants section. You are encouraged to initiate this discussion at an early stage. Please also note the following:
- The current cost of a course buyout is $16,000. Anything beyond these limits must be included in the budget as funding from other sources.
- There are recommended pay rates for student research assistants and non-student assistants paid from research grants. You may also want to hire students through UWaterloo's co-op system. Alternatively, it may be that you decide to hire graduate students. Regardless, do recognise and understand your responsibilities regarding the employment of students.
What should I do next?
Once a potential grant source has been identified, thoroughly review the guidelines to ensure eligibility and to familiarize yourself with the grant application requirements. If you need further clarification, please contact the Faculty Research Coordinator who will then put you in touch with the respective funding coordinator in OR. You may also wish to visit OR's website to obtain the contact information of the individual who handles specific granting agencies or sponsors.
Notice should then be given, or as early as possible to the ADR and the Faculty Research Coordinator that an application will soon be forthcoming. Appropriate information to send at this time are:
- Name of sponsor and web address of competition,
- Agency/Sponsor's deadline date and, if known, OR's internal deadline date (usually seven days prior to the submission date),
- The level of interaction/assistance you require from the ADR during the process of completing the application.
NEXT - FOLLOW THE STEPS LISTED HERE: apply for a research funding.