Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence Round 9

Notice: Faculty members who are planning to apply for funding are encouraged to login to the My Research Application (MRA) on-line system well in advance of the submission deadline to ensure that there are no problems with your login credentials. The system utilizes your UTORid credentials. The information in the on-line form will be automatically routed to the appropriate internal approvers for review and endorsement. If you encounter problems, please consult the My Research - Application User Guide for additional information or contact the RAISE help desk (416-946-5000, RAISE@utoronto.ca).



The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE) program promotes research excellence of strategic value to Ontario by supporting new leading-edge, transformative, and internationally significant research.


ORF-RE Round 9 has three application streams:

  1. General – open to all disciplines;
  2. Disruptive Technologies focused on Clean Technologies; and,
  3. Social, Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

Institutions must select one stream for each Notice of Intent (NOI) and application form.


The ORF-RE focuses on research excellence and strong benefits to Ontario. Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

  1. Research Excellence: Scientific merit, quality of research, and expertise of research team
  2. Research Impact: Anticipated value to Ontario in the following three categories:
    • Commercialization
    • Economic Benefits
    • Societal Benefits
  3. Achieving Impact: A Plan for achieving Research Impact
  4. Development of Research Talent: A clear plan for the training of highly qualified personnel
  5. Project Management and Governance: Management of the project, including governance structure, sustainability, budget, and milestones

Submission of a NoI is not binding and will not be assessed by the Ministry. However, the NoI is a mandatory part of the review process as it allows the Ministry to commence the selection of appropriate external reviewers. Applicants are required to submit their NoI through their Institutional Research Office.


Funding Structure

The ORF-RE program will fund eligible direct operating costs (including salaries and benefits and limited costs for facilities and equipment, management and administration), as well as a portion of indirect (overhead) costs. The program’s 1/3 contribution is inclusive of both direct and indirect cost support.

The program will contribute towards eligible operating costs of an approved research project to a maximum of 1/3 of the total project costs, with 1/3 of the remainder coming from the applicant institution(s) and 1/3 from the private sector.

The Ministry may consider a “blended” funding formula in cases where the institution and its private sector partners, in combination, make up 2/3 of the required funding. This funding flexibility would be provided based on the opportunity for success and the quality of the partnership between the applicants and their private sector (other) partners and should be clearly outlined on the application.

The minimum support that will be provided by the ORF-RE to a project in the General and Disruptive Technologies (cleantech) streams is $1 million. The maximum support provided is $4 million.
Proposals in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities stream are eligible to receive a minimum of $200,000 and a maximum of $1 million.


Deadlines – To Research Services Office

Notice of Intent (NoI)April 25th, 2017 to Research Services for Institutional sign-off.

– Please submit to Jennifer Niu at jenni.niu@utoronto.ca

– Under “Institutional Contact”, please put: MayLiza Baak, Director at Research Services

Full application – First Draft: August 21, 2017 at 9:00 am for review

MRA (My Research Applications)August 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

Final full application: September 18th, 2017 at 4:00 pm


ORF-RE Materials

PDF – List of ORF Round 9 Notice of Intents (MRIS document)

PDF – April 12th – MRIS Information Session Slides

PDF – University of Toronto Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA)

PDF – ORF-RE Round 9 – Program Guidelines

Notice of Intent Form

Full Application Form



Contact Information

Jennifer Niu
Research Funding Officer
jenni.niu@utoronto.ca | 416-946-3603

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