Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is a government funded agency that supports the development of Ontario’s economy by creating jobs and enabling breakthrough research. Through its R&D Project Hiring Grants program, OCE supports a vibrant, sustainable research and innovation advantage for businesses in Ontario.
Through the program, businesses can hire an academic researcher for up to 4 – 12 months. OCE will provide up to 50% of the researcher’s wages to a maximum $10,000 for internships or $35,000 to hire a PhD fellow. With this government funding support, businesses can overcome internal innovation challenges while helping youth researchers gain valuable experience.
To learn more about how the R&D Project Hiring Grants program can boost your business’ research and innovation capacity, read the program’s overview blog.
Employers Eligible to Receive R&D Project Hiring Grants
Businesses located in Ontario must be accepted into the R&D Project Hiring Grants program prior to hiring their academic researcher. This approval process requires that:
- The employer has a valid Business Number (BN) provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
- The company is for-profit and can provide the necessary cash or in-kind contributions; and
- The business must use project results to benefit the Province of Ontario.
In special circumstances, OCE will consider applications from not-for-profit organizations. In this case, they must have an innovative product, program, or service that generates revenue. Also, the internship or fellowship must be non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) oriented.
Types of Research Projects Supported Through the R&D Project Hiring Grants Program
To be deemed eligible for funding, projects must:
- Have a research and development component;
- Be related to the intern or fellow’s experience/expertise;
- Have clearly defined activities, milestones, and deliverables; and
- Not provide a ‘first job’ type of placement for interns or fellows, rather be purely project-based.
Expenses Eligible for the R&D Project Hiring Grants Program
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) will provide Ontario government grants towards the hiring of an intern or fellow over a period of up to 4-12 months. During this time, businesses can claim up to 50% of the following expenses directly related to the research project:
- Salaries, benefits, and stipends for interns and fellows;
- Travel costs;
- Research materials, publication and workshop costs, license fees, supplies and services;
- Lab analysis and product/process testing; and
- Dissemination of findings through publications and videos.
Expenses not eligible to receive support from the R&D Project Hiring Grants program include any expense not directly attributed to completing the research project, or:
- Compensation not awarded to the intern or fellow;
- Commuting costs when traveling from the intern or fellow’s residence to the employer;
- Travel fees outside of Ontario;
- Immigration or passport fees;
- Airfare purchased through benefits or points;
- Entertainment and other personal expenses;
- Education fees;
- Sales tax;
- Insurance fees; and
- Regulatory compliance expenses.
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