Dean's Research Fund: Terms of Reference

Dean's Research Fund

Scope and Mandate

The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) has established a new research fund for one or more projects, referred to herein as the Dean’s Research Fund (DRF). The DRF, which is different from the currently committed $150K used to support research centers, is not intended to support existing projects or centers nor can it be used towards incremental research advances. Also, since the DRF is considered seed money, rather than a complete funding package for a project, it is expected that it will be leveraged through other sources that may include federal, provincial and/or private sector funding sources, to generate a larger value enterprise. 

The new project(s) must be of a large-scale transformative nature with a strategic value to the faculty and university as well as the province of Ontario and Canada. The end result of the project will be to position the FEAS as an international leader in a key research area and should include plans and strategies for increased faculty complement in the research area. Preference will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary and potentially inter-institutional in nature. The principal investigator must be a faculty member in the FEAS.

The definition of a ‘project’ in the context of the DRF may be: (a) carrying out research activities, in which case the DRF and leveraged funds are considered operating funds, or (b) establishing a new laboratory, in which case the DRF and leveraged fund are considered infrastructure funds.

The goals of this initiative, and indeed those of the awarded project(s), shall be:

  • build a team of researchers to form a foundation of strength through cutting-edge, globally competitive research,

  • enhance exposure of the faculty and the university at national and international levels,

  • foster interinstitutional interactions and collaborations,

  • establish strong leadership through Queen’s researchers.

The DRF is an opportunity to ‘think big’ and achieve ‘big dreams’. While the nature of the project and the source of leveraged funds are left to the researchers to decide, two scenarios are provided as examples which researchers may consider with the aid of the DRF (DRF will not only be limited to these two types of projects): (a) Ontario Research Fund (ORF) – Research Excellence program, and (b) Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) program.

Applicants may use a first installment of DRF (i.e. the requested fund in this current call) for preliminary work, building the case for a large project, and writing the proposal. For example, the fund may be used to bring together a group of current- or past-collaborators for brain storming sessions, to carry out short term experiments to generate crucial data and evidence necessary to support the larger initiative, data collection and analyses, hosting and/or visiting industrial partners…etc. For the awarded projects, upon review of deliverables and demonstrated evidence of a significant growth strategy, additional funding may be provided to the researchers at a later stage, possibly as matching cash for ORF or CFI, for example.

Funding Details

Applicants may apply for a first DRF instalment in the following range: $50K and $100K.

Application Details

Application package

Applicants are asked to submit:

  1. A 3 page (maximum) proposal summarizing the proposed project. The proposal must address the goals and requirements of the program stated above, and clearly explain how this project would be of a transformative nature, based on cutting-edge globally competitive research. The proposal must also discuss the plan forward, a strategy for significant growth, quarterly objectives/milestones, and the program and/or source(s) of leveraging the DRF, including the total project budget envisioned.
  2. A one page budget for the DRF instalment requested.
  3. CV (in any format) of the principal investigator and the co-investigators (if already known)


The 2019 deadline has passed, check back for the 2020 deadline. Interested applicants are asked to submit their proposal to

Adjudication Process

The Associate Dean (Research) of FEAS will convene a small committee to make recommendations. The committee will include representation from different departments, particularity departments from which applications were received. The committee will assess the applications based on the fit with the terms of reference, the proposed research and the quality of the applicants.