Everything you ever wanted to know about the CLL Fund Competition, but were afraid to ask.

Scope and Format 

What is the format of proposal?

The application should include a 5-page proposal, which is free-form and should be submitted as a single PDF document. While applicants can decide how best to structure the proposal content, we recommend that you use the space to adequately address each of the selection criteria. 

Do I need to include references in my proposal?

References are not required as part of the application. You are welcome to include references if needed, but they must be included within the 5-page limit.

Can I include CVs and other additional material as appendices?

No. Applications should include only the 5-page proposal, and additional pages or materials will not be forwarded to reviewers. You are welcome to include links in your application to supplementary material in your application, but review of that material will be at the discretion of the reviewers.

Do I need to submit an RPIF with the proposal?

No, you are not required to submit a Research Project Information Form (RPIF) with your CLL Fund proposal. If an RPIF is required, the lead applicant will be notified.  

Can details of the proposal (e.g., members, title, objectives) change between submission of the NOI and full application?

Yes. But if the project title or lead applicant changes please reference the original NOI in the proposal.


Who can be the lead applicant?

Any Vancouver-based UBC Faculty member, either tenured or tenure-track, or UBC staff with sufficient seniority to hold financial accounts. If the lead applicant is a staff member, than a faculty co-lead must be identified. Faculty leads are encouraged to engage a staff co-lead, but that is dependent on the needs of the specific project, including access/permissions for use of campus infrastructure, data etc.

Can a researcher or staff member be involved in multiple projects?

Yes. We do not limit the involvement of researchers or staff in multiple projects. However, team members may be asked to explain the connection or exchange of information between projects or how significant time commitment and responsibilities in multiple project will be managed. 

Can an individual apply as the lead for more than one proposal? 

No. Individuals can only apply as the lead on one application per competition. 

Can projects involve researchers from other organizations?

Yes. However, since CLL projects are based at and use the UBC Vancouver campus, the proposal will need to explain how the researcher(s) from other organization(s) will be actively involved in the project. Project teams are encouraged to bring together talent within UBC.

Who can be considered a partner? 

Any non-academic collaboration can be counted as a partnership, including local business and industry, governments, non-government organizations, and First Nations. Proposals must detail the role of each partner organization. UBC academic and operational departments would be part of the project team, and would not be considered external partners.

Can potential collaborators and partners that are not yet secured be included in the proposal?

Yes, and strengthening/formalizing relationships may be part of the proposal, but potential collaborators and partners should be clearly differentiated in the proposal from those who are secured. 

Can researchers or staff that have previously received CLL Funds apply to the 2020 Competition?

Yes, if the project for which they secured funding has been completed and the funding fully spent or returned. Researchers and staff with current allocations of CLL Funds will not be awarded 2020 Competition funding. 

Are CLL projects funded through previous years eligible for additional funding?

No. For the 2020 Competition we are looking for new projects and partnerships to support. In future years, the competition will allow for projects to apply for additional funding. 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

How can our project demonstrate a commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)? 

UBC believes that sustained excellence in research, education and engagement depends on the integration of diverse perspectives and approaches and the inclusion of those who have been historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized. CLL aligns with other VPRI funding initiatives in incorporating EDI as a fundamental component of research applications, and applicants should embed EDI considerations throughout their proposals, through project leadership, team compositions, activities and incorporation of research themes. 

What does EDI mean for team leadership and composition?

Applicants should consider the composition of their teams with respect to the representation of individuals with diverse identities, not only the four federally designated employment groups (women, Indigenous Peoples, visible minorities/racialized groups and persons with disabilities), but also think broadly about diversity to incorporate a rater of self-identifies, i.e. ages, careers stages, gender identities, sexual orientation, ethno-cultural backgrounds and countries of origin.

Applicants are cautioned to avoid “token inclusion” by carefully examining how EDI is incorporated into the project leadership and team, to ensure that diverse team members are able to fully and meaningfully participate in project activities. 

What does EDI mean for project activities and incorporation of research themes?

Applicants should consider strategies to develop their teams’ diversity competencies and inclusion skills, including awareness of UBC policy and resources. Project activities should be designed to ensure that team members, as well as partners, have equal opportunities and access to resources, and feel that they belong as an integral part of the team. Applicants should likewise consider how EDI is relevant to their proposed research, as a means to enhance the innovative, rigor, ethics and social relevancy of their project. 

What resources are available to help applicants understand how to incorporate EDI into proposal and projects? 

VPRI has developed an EDI Guide for Research Cluster Applicants that is also applicable to CLL projects: GCRC EDI Guide for Applicants. The New Frontiers Research Fund also has resources on Best Practices in EDI in research: EDI Best Practices Guide. Applicants are encouraged to review these resources before developing their proposals.  

UBC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion has resources, training and other events on improving equity, diversity and inclusion. Applicants may also wish to consult with the Associate Deans of Equity in their respective Faculty, or one of the Senior Advisors to the Provost on Racialized Faculty and Women Faculty, or the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs. 


What can the funds be used for?

CLL Funds are intended to support innovative projects that use UBC’s campus for research, as well as the sharing of learning. Eligible expenses are intended to enable a new/expanded innovation projects, and include support for students or post-doctoral fellows, and equipment, software or other licenses to support project activities. Funds cannot be used to offset general operating cost or expenses already covered through UBC budgets (e.g. space, maintenance, faculty and staff salary). Course buyouts are not an eligible expense. Knowledge dissemination costs such as conference registration, travel and printing will be considered on a case by case basis. 

Can I pay undergraduate students, grad students and/or postdoctoral fellows with CLL Funds?

Yes. Any amount of CLL Funds can be used to support undergraduate, Master or PhD students either through a research stipend or to hire directly (e.g. WorkLearn, Graduate Research Assistants). Trainees must be supervised or co-supervised by a UBC faculty member. 

Can I hire staff with CLL Funds?

Yes. A maximum of 30% of the requested funds may be used to support project-specific and grant funded staff where a portion or all of their time is dedicated to the project. Typically this would include research technicians/lab technicians that are directly working on research or critical to enabling the innovation of the project. CLL Funds may not be used to offset budget-funded staff. 

Can the funds be used for publication costs?

Yes. The CLL Fund will support knowledge dissemination costs, including both academic and professional publications. However, these are reviewed on a case by case basis and additional information and proof of expenses may be required. Proposals should provide details and justifications for specific knowledge dissemination expenses. 

Can CLL funds be used to pay partners?

Generally, partners should be engaged in the project because it provides some benefit to them not because they are being paid. However, there may be situations where offering an honorarium is customary or where the project needs to hire an external contractor for a small piece of work. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and should only be a small portion of the overall funding requested.

Can I apply for multiple years of funding? 

No. CLL Funding will be allocated on a yearly basis, and project funds must be spent within 12 months of award. Any unspent funds at the end of 12 months must be returned to the CLL Fund. Projects may indicate that they are planning a multi-year or multi-phase timeline, and include information on the successful completion of past years or phases in the proposal, for the reviewers to consider. 

What can be considered for other funding sources?

Any funding source external to UBC where the funding directly enables the project (e.g. grants from Tri-council and other organizations, MITACS, industry sponsored research). Awards from other UBC internal competitive funding sources will also be considered (e.g. Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters) but applicants are encourage to pursue external funding. UBC operational and budget funding may not be counted for the purposes of CLL Fund Competition. 

Can in-kind contributions be considered as external funding? 

In some cases, yes. In-kind contributions may be considered, if they translate into significant cash equivalents and offset expenses that would have required funding. Partner staff time to work on the project could be considered an in-kind contribution.


Use of Campus Infrastructure

What permissions are required to utilize campus infrastructure for CLL projects?

Installations, modifications, and/or renovations to campus lands, buildings or utilities infrastructure will need to follow standard UBC project request and approval processes. Depending on the scope and complexity of the work (i.e. impact on infrastructure, need for permits, etc.) a project manager from Infrastructure Development or project coordinator from Building Operations may need to be assigned. The costs for project management/coordination services would need to be factored into the project budget, through CLL or external funding.  

Does co-leadership or partnership by operational department staff on a CLL project team imply permission to use campus infrastructure? 

Generally, if a department head responsible for a specific portfolio is a co-lead on the project, it can be assumed that permission has been granted for use of that portfolio in the CLL project. However, specific legal permissions and protocols may still need to be addressed. Involvement of one department head does not imply permission to use resources or infrastructure outside of their portfolio.

Who is responsible for operations and maintenance of built installations, and their removal? 

GThe project team is responsible for the project, including any built components, for its full life cycle. This includes planning and budgeting for operations and maintenance, as well as removal of the built components and returning the site to its previous condition at the completion of the project. Permissions for the use of the site must be secured from the appropriate stakeholders.

Can our project be permanent change to campus building or infrastructure?

Generally, all pilot projects are assumed to be temporary, unless specific arrangements are made and the installation achieves certain levels of functionality and performance. The permanence of any change would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis, and proposals and project would need to support and commitment of the appropriate academic and/or operational departments.


VPRI Support and Assistance 

What assistance does VPRI provide? 

The VP Research & Innovation Office may provide successful project teams with access to specialists in knowledge mobilization, innovation, commercialization, funding development and community engagement. Applicants are encourage to review the portfolio of research administration and support units, and consider the types of resources and guidance that would be valuable for their projects. 

How can I access VPRI support? 

Applicants should include in their proposals a description of the types of activities for which they would like assistance (e.g. knowledge dissemination, partnership development, and commercialization), and have a sense of which VPRI units they would like to work with. The project budget should include funding for these types of activities, as well as a rational for why additional support is required. Ideally, applicants should have some discussion with the relevant VPRI units between submittal of the NOI and the full proposal to ensure that the description is accurate. Please contact Innovation Development for Guidance on connecting to VPRI units. 


Do projects need to align with UBC Covid Safety Plans?

Yes. Applicants should describe how their project activities will comply with the appropriate UBC Covid Safety Plans for the relevant departments and project locations (note that these may be different departments). A project-specific safety plan is not required for the proposal but may be required for successful project before work can begin.

Will there be another competition?

Yes. At this time we are planning for an annual CLL Fund Competition. Information on the 2021 Competition will be announced in September 2021.