The Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (ORF-RE) provides research institutions with funding to support the operational costs of major projects of strategic value to the province.
The fund provides up to one-third of the total value of a project, with the remaining two-thirds coming from a combination of private sector and institutional contributions.
ORF-RE Round 11 has two application funding streams:
Stream 1: General – Basic and Applied Research
- is open to all research disciplines
- funds projects from $500,000 to $2,000,000 (Ontario portion)
- funds projects up to a maximum of 5 years
Stream 2: Targeted – Experimental Research
- funds projects that demonstrate strong commercialization potential, where the innovation is at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 3 or higher
- Targets projects in the following sectors:
- information communications technologies
- life sciences and medical devices
- industrial technologies
- requires collaboration with an Ontario-based company
- funds projects from $300,000 to $1,000,000 (Ontario portion)
- funds projects up to a maximum of 4 years
For both streams, priority will be given to applications focused on:
- connected, autonomous, electric vehicles (including battery and powertrain technology)
- industrial/mining technologies related to electric vehicles, spanning the entire value chain from minerals to manufacturing to recovering resources from vehicles or their component parts at end-of-life
ORF-RE Round 11 information session
You may register for an online ORF-RE Round 11 information session given by OMCU. You can choose from two sessions offered for universities. Pre-registration is required on a first-come, first-served basis. Event capacity is limited.
- Register for November 23, 2021 - 10:00 to 11:00 am ET (1 hour)
- Register for December 2, 2021 - 10:00 to 11:00 am ET (1 hour)
ORF-RE competitions are held approximately every two years. The application deadline for Round 11 is March 21, 2022.
Program and application forms for guidelines (PDF 2.6 MB) and Stream 1 (PDF 1.3 MB) are now available for download from the OMCU Stream 2 (PDF 2 MB)Round 11 ORF-RE website .
In this round of the program, the Ministry is prioritizing applications that support Government of Ontario initiatives included in the 2021 Ontario Budget such as Ontario's First-Ever Critical Minerals Strategy and Ontario's Vehicle Innovation Network. Applicants are encouraged to review these initiatives for more information.
Applications that support research and development activities that lead to the commercialization of "Ontario Made" products, technologies and solutions will be prioritized for funding. The Ministry is especially interested in submissions that support the automotive and mobility sector with a focus on connected, autonomous, electric vehicles (including battery and powertrain technology) and the industrial/mining technologies sector, from minerals to manufacturing to recovering resources from vehicles of their component parts at end of life.
In general, the ORF-RE focuses on research excellence and strong benefits to Ontario.
Funded projects must:
- be conducted in eligible research institution(s) in Ontario and spent in Ontario
- be conducted by a research team with a strong track record of excellence and competitiveness
- have significant relevance to Ontario
- have a clear and tangible knowledge translation strategy in place
- invest in the human capital of Ontario through the development of highly qualified personnel
- have both a business plan and a governance structure in place for their management
(Based on Round 10 guidelines. Will be updated when Round 11 guidelines are made available.)
The ORF-RE grant can be used for the following:
- Direct costs
- Salaries and benefits: claimed in proportion to the time spent working on the project
- Facilities and equipment: up to 10% of total direct costs
- Other direct research costs: including, but not limited to, materials, fieldwork expenses, and dissemination of research. Some hospitality costs may be eligible where essential for networking purposes but must adhere to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act – 2010.
- Technology transfer/commercialization expenses (refer to Project Budget section in Ministry Guidelines)
- Management and administration: up to 10% of total direct costs
- Hospitality costs may be eligible where essential for networking purposes but must adhere to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act – 2010
- Indirect costs
- Overhead costs associated with conducting the research project (max. 40% of direct costs)
If you are interested in applying to ORF-RE Round 11, please notify a Research Projects Advisor as soon as possible.
The call for applications and Queen's internal deadlines will be communicated through Queen’s Funding Opportunities webpage.
All interested applicants are required to meet with a Research Projects Advisor to discuss internal ORF-RE guidelines, the proposed research, the team, and partner contributions.
Draft applications, budgets, and letters of support must be submitted by established internal deadlines for review. The final application must be provided by the established deadline for institutional signature ahead of submission by Research Services.
- Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (Ministry webpage)
- Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence – Round 11 Program Guidelines (PDF 1.6 MB)
- Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence – Round 11 Stream 1 Application (PDF 2 MB)
- Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence – Round 11 Stream 2 Application (PDF 1.3 MB)
- 2021 Ontario Budget
- Ontario's First-Ever Critical Minerals Strategy
- Ontario's Vehicle Innovation Network
- Technology Readiness Levels
- Ontario's Intellectual Property (IP) Action Plan
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office
- Mitigating economic and/or geopolitical risks in sensitive research projects. A tool for university researchers December 2019 (PDF 181 KB)
- Geopolitical risk matrix assessment, partnership and best practices checklists developed by the U15
- Safeguarding Your Research
- Made in Ontario Environmental Plan