Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation Grants


The Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation invites applications for small grants to support development and submission of complex-systems focused proposals that have an external partner component.

  1. Seed grants: Two awards of up to $8,000 will be available to support activities related to the development of external grant applications to be submitted in fiscal year 2019-2020.  Grants will be awarded to a lead PI, but can be used to support any aspect of proposal development—personnel support, workshops, planning meetings, internal matching funds, etc.

Revised Deadline: March 1, 2019

Start date: May 1, 2019

These awards will require a final report that documents the grant submission (i.e. a copy of the Office of Research cover sheet).

  1. Matching grants: Commitment to three matching awards of up to $5,000 for outstanding applications that are to be submitted to external organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis through fiscal year 2018-2019.  (Example:  $5000 internal match required for some MITAC post-doc programmes).

Deadline: Rolling, through fiscal year 2018-2019 (April 30th, 2019).

Start date: Funds will be awarded only if the grant is funded. 


  • Applications can be from any academic domain and must have a substantive complex systems focus. 
  • At least one investigator must be from the University of Waterloo and the targeted award, if successful, must involve funds that will be awarded to a University of Waterloo researcher.
  • The targeted grant program must require a matching contribution (cash or in-kind) from a partner external to the university.  External partners can include non-UW academic or non-academic institutions, including universities, research institutes, foundations, other non-profit organizations, industry partners, government organizations, or crown corporations.

Preference will be given to applications that:

  • Leverage contributions that facilitate new external partnerships for the applicant;
  • Involve or expand networks of complex systems scholars, potentially through the WICI membership networks, and address frontiers in complex systems science;
  • Involve cross-departmental and cross-faculty collaborations;
  • Build diversity in complex systems research, through personnel, outreach, topical area, or methodological focus, including providing substantive support for trainees and other highly qualified personnel;
  • Are relatively large in scale (budget);
  • Provide grant-related administrative and infrastructure support, as allowed by granting agencies, to WICI;

Awardees will be eligible for WICI core membership. (Current core members are also eligible to apply). 

Application Details

To apply, please submit a proposal of no more than 2000 words (excluding a bibliography) and no more than 4 figures or tables, addressing the following points:

  1. A clear statement of the proposed area of inquiry, with a well defined research question;
  2. Clear scientific justification for the proposed research, including complex systems aspects;
  3. A statement of research objectives;
  4. A short statement describing the proposed partnership relationship;
  5. A statement of supporting proposed activities, including a mention of project personnel if appropriate;
  6. A statement of potential research contributions and broader impacts, including how the proposed research builds on, and can contribute to, WICI activities and resources, as well as the broader community of complex systems researchers.

In an appendix, please provide:

  • The relevant Request for Proposals, highlighting the partner contribution regulations;
  • Indications of support from potential partners; 
  • A detailed CV for the PI, with a short (500 word) statement of the PI’s prior involvement with complex systems research, and any other information that the PI would like the review committee to consider.  

Please compile all proposal documents into a single .pdf file.  Proposals should be double spaced in 12-point font, with the word count noted at the start of the proposal.  Non-conforming proposals will not be reviewed.  

Proposals should be e-mailed to info@wici.ca, with a subject header “Application: partnership proposal development grant, <PI name>.  Indicate in the e-mail which fiscal year/program (seed or matching) you are applying for. 

Important Note: Confirmation from the Office of Research that they have received a fully executed Office of Research Cover Sheet is required for release of funds.

The following links might be helpful:

https://uwaterloo.ca/research/about/people/group/38 (Office of Research--Corporate Research Partnerships)