Fund Your Research Through Canada’s Strategic Science Fund (SSF)

Canada is at the forefront of science and innovation and has been for many years. To remain a world leader, the federal government continues to invest in science and innovative research through funding programs. The Strategic Science Fund (SSF) is one way in which the Canadian government continues to fulfill that mandate.

“When we have diverse voices and thoughts, we get more impactful results in science and research. That’s why we are taking action to make sure that everyone has access to equal opportunities, treatment, and recognition in the Canadian academic world. I applaud the work of Canada’s institutions to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in research and eagerly await the positive changes this will bring to the health, well-being and success of Canadians.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

The Strategic Science Fund (SSF) is designed to support third party science and research organizations (TPOs) through federal government investments. This fund will invest in projects that improve research techniques in critical, high-interest fields.

“The Strategic Science Fund (SSF) aims to mobilize the expertise and resources of independent science and research not-for-profit organizations to enhance Canada’s science, technology and innovation (ST&I) excellence.”

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada

Moreover, the fund is eager to foster a robust research environment which succeeds in attracting and retaining top tier talent for Canadian organizations.

Funding Amount

Applicants for the Strategic Science Fund (SSF) will be assessed by the SSF committee and may receive one of two funding outcomes:

  1. A co-funding model; or
  2. A matched-funding model.

Both funding outcomes will also be subject to the following conditions:

  • Contributions will be non-repayable;
  • A contribution agreement is required;
  • The SSF program will propose the minimum cash/in-kind contribution required for the proposed activities; and
  • Stacking of government funding must not amount to more than 100% of eligible expenditures.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants will be Canadian incorporated not-for-profit organizations. However, applicants need to be undertaking projects related to science, innovation, and research.

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects should meet the following criteria:

  • Research in critical science and technology fields, designed to develop products and services, such as new treatments, innovative technology, and informing public policy consensus;
  • The development and dissemination of research results;
  • Activities that encourage collaboration between Canadian researchers in international projects;
  • Engagement for stakeholders and efforts to collate research community findings;
  • Activities which support company creation, growth, and maintenance, such as attracting and retaining highly qualified industry personnel;
  • The development and dissemination of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational content and findings;
  • Educating the public through communications related to science; and
  • Increase efforts for fundraising that is designed to grow awareness and stimulate interest in research projects and results.

Learn more about eligible projects for the SSF program.

Program Timelines

  • The Letter of intent acceptance is currently open with the deadline as November 12, 2021;
  • The full application deadline will likely be in February 2022 (to be confirmed by the SSF council);
  • Funding decisions are expected to be established by January 2023; and
  • The funding payment period for the Strategic Science Fund will support successful applicants for up to a five-year period starting April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2029.

To learn more about the government funding process and common payment structure, review this comprehensive article on funding timelines.

Looking for More Canadian Research Grants?

Canadian organizations that are interested in applying for other government funding programs to support their research and innovation should consider other funding programs as well, such as the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). This program also helps accelerate the research and development projects of Canadian innovators.

Get Started with Government Funding

The Strategic Science Fund (SSF) is a great example of the wide variety of government funding programs for research and development projects. However, there are plenty of other government funding programs that serve a wide breadth of activities and industries.

Before applying, Canadian businesses should take a moment to review this comprehensive guide which outlines how to navigate the funding process. Should you have any questions along the way, there is always a government funding professional available to help.

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