R&D Project Hiring Grants: Funding to Hire a PhD Researcher

Ontario Government Grants

eAs part of Ontario’s R&D Project Hiring Grants program, the Fellowship Component offers based PhD graduates and Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) the opportunity to contribute to industry-driven research and development projects. These 12-month fellowships supported by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) are valued at $85,000 and are open to all fields of study including non-STEM disciplines (science, technical, engineering, and mathematics).

As a part of the program fellows are required to spend a portion of their time on-site or in the field with a small business industry partner. The amount of time working in direct collaboration should be considered by the fellow and industry partner, depending on the project and need for interaction.

Small Business Funding Flow for Research Support

Each twelve-month fellowship unit is valued at $85,000, with a $32,500 cash contribution and $2,500 in value for professional development per year from OCE, in addition to $25,000 cash contribution and a $25,000 in-kind contribution from the industry partner.

Eligibility for Small Business Funding Grants


Those with a doctoral degree (PhD) in any discipline completed within the last five years and have held at most one fellowship opportunity in the past may apply. Company-based fellowships may be hired up to 30 days prior to application submission.

Industry Partner

At least one industry partner must meet the required cash and in-kind contributions in order to meet program eligibility. Partners must be a for-profit company located in Ontario, or not-for-profit social enterprises which are highly innovative. All not-for-profit partners will be evaluated more discriminately than for-profit businesses with a strong revenue-generation component.


Fellowships must be project-based and align with the fellow’s experience and educational expertise. Both applicants and partners must be in good financial standing and be able to report this to OCE.

Decision Making Criteria & Process

Applications submitted to OCE will be judged on the following three criteria to determine if they’re a good fit to receive small Ontario government grant funding:

  1. Project Description: Overall objectives of the project and relevance to the partner organization.
  2. Project Plan: Specific project objectives, methodologies, timelines and milestones.
  3. Intern Qualifications and Experience: Description of the benefits to the intern and interaction with the partner organization.

An internal review will be completed to determine application completeness and financial compliance of the parties applying for government business grants. All applications will then undergo an external review by expert reviewers. OCE will have the final decision on who to award Ontario government grants to. Results will be announced to the applicants approximately four weeks after the application has been received.

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