Application guide: Targeted Engagement Grants
This guide is intended to provide additional clarity and support as you complete your application form (including a Young MINDS application). It is meant to be periodically adjusted to support the use of the application form as necessaryFootnote 1. We recommend that you read through this guide before starting your application.
About Targeted Engagement Grants
The Targeted Engagement Grants (TEGs) are offered through the Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) Program.
TEGs provide non-recurring financial support, up to a maximum of $50,000CAD, to initiatives such as conferences, workshops, roundtables, research, publications or any other project that aligns with Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) policy priorities. Projects must inform current and future defence policy thinking in the Canadian context.
Young MINDS Initiative
As part of its efforts to foster the next generation of defence and security scholars, MINDS has established a grant category – the Young MINDS Initiative – to support undergraduate and master’s students interested in defence and security. These grants are valued at $10,000 and must be linked to the MINDS policy challenges.
Overview & Eligibility
- Calls for proposals are issued twice a year, in the winter and fall.
- MINDS promotes a multidisciplinary approach to defence and security issues and encourages applicants from various backgrounds to submit projects.
- Please note that as the program centers its efforts on defence policy development and supporting defence policy decision-making, projects related to the field of social sciences, public policy and national defence matters will be privileged, and efforts will be made not to overlap with other programs in other areas of interest. For example, applicants from the science and engineering fields are invited to consider National Defence’s IDEaS program.Footnote 2
- Individuals are encouraged to apply on behalf of the organization with which they are affiliated, such as a university, not-for-profit organization, or research institution.
- International applicants are eligible to apply.
- Individuals or organizations employed by the Federal government are not eligible to receive funding from this program, with the exception of CAF Class A Reservists.
Young MINDS Initiative
Interested candidates must be enrolled in an undergraduate or master’s program at an accredited university, and pursuing a degree in a field that is defined as broadly relevant to defence and security studies.
Applicants should be sponsored by a professional academic or recognized expert in the field.
MINDS Policy Challenges
MINDS Policy Challenges are published on the MINDS website. They reflect current policy priorities for DND/CAF, are continuously updated to adjust to the strategic context, and are the result of consultations with senior leadership across the Defence Team. These challenges represent key issue areas where DND/CAF could benefit from external expertise to challenge or complement their thinking in order to develop informed policies and solutions.
It is essential that any MINDS application relate to at least one MINDS Policy Challenge. Applicants are encouraged to make connections to multiple challenges if appropriate for their project.
We recommend that you consult the list of Policy Challenges and suggested research questions on the MINDS website before filling out your application.
Completing your application
Applicants must use the standard TEG application form (or Young MINDS application). Only forms that use the proper template, are complete (with a budget), and within the parameters outlined (including word/character limit, as indicated) will be reviewed. Unless otherwise indicated, please write in full sentences. Once completed, please submit your application electronically to: MINDS@forces.gc.ca.
Section 1: General Information
This section collects descriptive information about the proposal and the organization and/or people who will be involved.
- Write the title of the project you are submitting.
Applicant Requesting Grant
- Please include the name(s) of project lead(s), the organization, email address(es), mailing address, business number or GST number, website (if applicable).
- Please also indicate whether you are an employee of the Government of Canada, and whether you are a member of an existing MINDS Collaborative Network.
- Please note: Government of Canada employees are not eligible to apply (with the exception of Class A reservists).
- Please also note that employees of Canadian Defence Academy institutions are not eligible.
- Members of existing MINDS Collaborative Networks areeligible to apply; however, projects must be distinct in scope from that of the Network. Network coordinators are encouraged to reach out to their liaison if they have questions about TEG eligibility.
Amount Requested ($50,000CAD Maximum / or $10,000 for YOUNG MINDS)
- Based on your budget (see Financial Information, below), indicate the total amount you are applying for, in Canadian dollars.
Project Location and Date
- Indicate where and when your project or event will take place. If virtual, please indicate this as well.
- In 1750 characters or fewer, please provide a summary of your project including key dates and any relevant milestones. The schedule of milestones may be a bulleted list. Agendas, conference or events programs, and schedules may be provided as annexes to the application.
Other Funding from DND/CAF
- If you or your organization is already receiving grant funding from DND/CAF, or if you or your organization has received funding in the past, indicate when, from what Defence organization or mechanism, for which project, and the amount(s) received.
How did you find out about MINDS?
- Please indicate how you found out about this funding opportunity (website, colleagues, word of mouth, etc.).
Section 2: Project Evaluation
Applications are evaluated on three criteria: relevance, diversity, and innovation and leveraging technology.
Relevance (60% of total score)
Part 2 – In 5050 characters or fewer, demonstrate the relevance of your project to Canadian security and defence, and how your project will support and/or be of value for DND/CAF:
- Clearly describe how your project aligns with and plans to address each of the MINDS Policy Challenges listed in Part 1. If your project covers more than one Policy Challenge, make sure to explain how they are interconnected.
- Explain how your project will respond to the need for relevant and timely advice and foster collaboration between DND/CAF and defence and security experts.
- Ensure deliverables are appropriate and useful for a DND/CAF audience
- Demonstrate clearly the extent of planned DND/CAF engagement.
- Expand on whether and how your project fosters the next generation of experts and young scholars.
- For the purpose of TEGs, we are looking for substantive inclusion of students (rather than early career researchers). Additionally, simply hiring research assistants at the MA or PhD level would not be considered highly substantive.
- Provide clear details on how young scholars will be meaningfully involved in any/all stages of the project.
- Describe how your project will contribute to the Canadian public’s understanding of defence and security issues.
- Demonstrate how you will seek to share the results of your project with the Canadian public.
- Applicants are encouraged to consider how they may connect with people outside of their current networks and distribution lists.
- Provide a detailed explanation of the project’s contribution to strengthening the public’s understanding of Canadian defence and security issues.
Ensure to explain how you intend to engage and/or convey results of your project/event to DND/CAF, the defence and security community, and the Canadian public (e.g. through reports, briefings, publications, or other means).
Part 3 – Provide a list of project participants and/or speakers, even if this list is preliminary (if applicable).
- Diversity (20% of total score)
In 3425 characters or fewer, describe how your project includes diverse perspectives (beyond multi-disciplinarity) in its design and delivery, uses methods to reduce unintended bias, and aligns with the federal objectives related to gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus).
- Demonstrate consideration of different intersectionalities and GBA Plus implications in all stage of the project and deliverables.
- Clearly articulate the diversity of participation and perspectives within the team, research subjects, and/or speakers.
- Diversity is expected to be more multi-faceted than gender parity.
- Consider and clearly identify possible unconscious biases in your research question, methodologies, deliverables, etc. Articulate the potential consequences and how they will be mitigated.
For information and resources on GBA Plus and considering diversity and inclusion in your application, please refer to Annex A at the end of this guide.
- Innovation and Leveraging Technology (20% of total score)
In 1750 characters or fewer:
Part 1 - In 1750 characters or fewer, describe how your project shows innovation or creativity - either in the topic studied, in the unique value it will add in its field, in the way it plans to achieve its objectives or deliver or disseminate results, in developing interactions with the expert community or government entities or by any other means.
Part 2 - In 1750 characters or fewer, clearly explain how your project plans to leverage technology to achieve results and/or share your findings with the defence and security community and the Canadian public (data analytics, podcasts, website, social media, video, etc.).
- Identify all methods of promotion and dissemination.
- If applicable, identify how you will track engagement.
- Identify all methods of data collection and analysis.
- Identify all methods of promotion and dissemination.
Section 3: Financial Information
Part 1 - Budget
Using the budget table included in the TEG application form as an example, provide a detailed financial breakdown by category, including all sources of revenue and all expenditures.
- Explain precisely how the funding requested from MINDS will be used, indicating which expenditures it will cover, and providing a detailed explanation of how these expenditures were calculated (e.g. numbers of attendees and rates on which accommodation, travel and hospitality costs are based).
- You may use a separate Word or Excel document and include it with your application submission.
- DND reserves the right to request receipts and/or other documentation to assess how funds are used.
- Failure to provide a detailed budget consistent with the Treasury Board of Canada guidelines may result in rejection of your application.
- MINDS accords higher importance to costs that directly support the generation of ideas. As a publicly funded program, applicants are encouraged to carefully assess the amount and relative ratio of funding allocated to hospitality. MINDS will only fund hospitality costs – including per diems, hotel expenses and meals – up to the maximum allowed under the Government of Canada guidelines provided by the National Joint Council.
- Note that travel and hospitality for Government officials participating in your event cannot be covered by a TEG.
- Eligible expenditures include: research costs (subscriptions, travel, accommodation, etc.); conference/seminar costs (room rental, audiovisual rental, interpretation, materials, travel, and accommodation); non-administrative salary costs (research assistants); publications (provided proper credit is given); translation costs; administrative/support salary costs, including benefits; advertising/promotional material for funded activities; and licensing and other fees.
- Funding cannot be used to offset expenses related to insurance, interest charges, professional services (including audits), utilities, amortization, rent, office overhead (including stationery costs), institutional overhead, capital assets, honoraria, prizes/rewards/accolades, to purchase alcohol, or for purposes other than those stated in the proposal.
Part 2 - Additional Funding and Delivery
- In 1750 characters or fewer, explain your ability to successfully deliver this project on time and within budget.
- In 1050 characters or fewer, indicate if your organization has applied for and/or received funding from any other sources for this project.
- If so, please list the other sources and potential sources of funding and the status of your application(s).
- In 1050 characters or fewer, explain how the project would be impacted if only partial funding were to be granted by MINDS.
Section 4: Important Information & Signature
Please read the important information and Privacy Notice Statement carefully before signing your application form. Electronic signatures are acceptable.
Successful and unsuccessful applicants may request a debrief on their application within 30 days of being advised of the outcome by contacting the MINDS team at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no appeal mechanism for decisions made by DND to approve or not approve a grant. Any questions or concerns about the grant process or decisions should be sent to the MINDS team at email@example.com
Funding recipients must acknowledge MINDS support by providing written recognition in all materials produced and intended for the public. Members of the Defence Team shall also be permitted to attend any events funded by the grant. Grant recipients are encouraged to send event invites and publication announcements to the MINDS team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding recipients shall grant a free license to reproduce or use any information or publications produced from a project for Government of Canada purposes.
If, as part of your project, you intend to conduct social science research, including interviews or surveys, with CAF members or their families, DND civilian employees, applicants for enrolment in the CAF or members of cadet organizations, you are required to contact the Social Science Research Review Board (SSRRB) before you begin. Please contact the SSRRB at SSRRB-CERSS@forces.gc.ca to learn more about the review process.
- The aim of SSRRB coordination is to ensure that research within the DND/CAF do not impede or conflict with operations, on-going DND/CAF programmes, or other approved higher-priority research.
- SSRRB will require you to obtain, on your own, a DND/CAF sponsor who will provide you with any administrative or logistical support that you may require, such as internal advertising of your research project, contacting potential research participants or arranging data collection activities (e.g., in-person focus groups, interviews, etc.).
- In general, the MINDS team is not considered an appropriate sponsor for the purposes of SSRRB.
No later than 60 days following the completion of the recipient’s project, the recipient must provide a report to DND including:
- How the project furthered the public policy debate on the Defence Policy Challenges and/or the developed focus questions;
- The number of Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) members and Government of Canada security practitioners engaged by the project;
- The number and names of domestic and international experts associated with the project;
- A financial statement indicating how the grant funding provided by DND to the recipient was used, as well as any other sources of revenue and expenses for the project;
- Any media interaction, including publications;
- Copies of unpublished conference presentations; and,
- A list of all publications arising from the project, as well as anticipated completion/publication dates.
If grant funding is paid directly to individuals (rather than through an institution or organization), the funds will be considered taxable income and a T4A will be provided at the end of the calendar year.
Privacy and Access to Information
DND will comply with the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act with respect to applications received. By submitting personal information, an applicant is consenting to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Notice Statement, which explains how the applicant's information will be managed.
Applicants shall note that for all agreements information related to the funding agreement (amount, grant or contribution, name of the recipient and project location) will be made available to the public on DNDs website.
Additional questions should be directed to the MINDS team via email at email@example.com
Information and Resources on GBA Plus and considering diversity and inclusion in your TEG application
- What is GBA Plus?
Gender-Based Analysis Plus, or GBA Plus, is an analytical process that provides a rigorous method for the assessment of systemic inequalities, as well as a means to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender diverse people may experience policies, programs, and initiatives.
The “plus” in GBA Plus acknowledges that GBA Plus goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences to consider many other identity factors such as: race, ethnicity, religion, age, mental and physical ability, region, language, economic status, sexual orientation, and more.
Applying GBA Plus leads to better projects and initiatives, as it reflects and responds to the diverse needs of the Canadian population.
- GBA Plus in your TEG Application
Applicants for a Targeted Engagement Grant should apply a GBA Plus lens when preparing their proposal by providing an explanation of the potential benefits and negative impacts from a GBA Plus perspective of the proposed design and implementation plan of the project, including supporting data and evidence where possible.
The expectation for integrating GBA Plus into a research project or event is that the topic/problem is considered from multiple perspectives (e.g., gender, age, language, CAF rank, etc.) and that there is intersectionality (i.e. identity factors are considered simultaneously – so it isn’t that all men, women, or gender-diverse people do X but rather, men, women, and gender-diverse people within a certain age range and of a certain socio-economic background are doing X).
Below are three categories of questions that might help you think things through. While they are by no means comprehensive and are provided as a starting point, they do align with the evaluation criteria we use to score the Diversity/GBA Plus section of your application. We also recommend consulting the list of resources provided further below to deepen your analysis and strengthen your application. When possible, make sure to reference any external source of information.
Category A – Individuals, Communities, or Participants
- Who are the individuals most closely involved or most likely to be impacted by your project or research topic?
- Are they part of a particular demographic group?
- Are they located in a specific region (rural, urban, remote communities, Arctic, international, etc.)?
- Do they work in a specific industry or sector of the economy?
- What are the gender identity and sexual orientation characteristics of these individuals? How does the project impact them differently?
- How old are they, and what life stage are they at? Do they have a physical and/or mental health issues?
- What are their socio-economic (lower, middle or high income; lower educated or highly educated), cultural (newcomers to Canada, particular religious group) and familial characteristics (single-person household, two-person household, two-parent household, lone-parent household, etc.)?
- How do the factors identified above intersect and influence how individuals are affected (positively or negatively) by your project or topic?
- How have you (or will you) consult with groups in a way that can influence your work?
- What are the short, medium and long-term impacts (positive and negative) of the initiative or project?
- If you have identified possible negative impacts, is there a way your project can mitigate them? If so, explain how.
Category B – Outreach
- If you are proposing a conference, meeting or panel, are the speakers sufficiently diverse? This goes beyond diversity across disciplines, provinces/territories or careers.
- If you are proposing a conference, meeting or panel, how will you ensure that the audience will be sufficiently diverse? How exactly will you do this, and are these methods passive or active (i.e. send out invitations vs. actively engage)?
- How are you planning on disseminating the results of the project, conference, meeting or panel in order to ensure a broad audience benefits from its findings and results?
Category C – Project team
- Who are the researchers or other participants you have chosen to lead your work?
- Do you have sufficient diversity within your proposed group, and how have people been selected to ensure that different views (by gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) are included?
- How do you intend to mitigate unconscious biasFootnote 3?
- If you consider you have achieved diversity in your team and/or audience, how much space have you allowed for different people to influence your outcomes? How do you foster inclusion? For example, do you simply have 50% women speakers, or have you enabled them to influence agenda?
- In the case of work taking place in Northern, Arctic or Indigenous communities, have you partnered appropriately with Northern, Arctic or Indigenous leadership to ensure they have an equitable space to influence the work, consultations and agenda?
- How would you engage and incorporate new/younger professionals and their perspectives?
- Who are the individuals most closely involved or most likely to be impacted by your project or research topic?
- Evaluation Criteria
A strong GBA Plus / Diversity section should clearly demonstrate:
- your understanding of how this type of analysis interacts with and improves your project by providing specific considerations of an intersectional nature;
- how you and your team will make efforts to mitigate unconscious bias;
- that your team and/or panel of speakers (if applicable) is comprised of individuals with diverse identity characteristics and provides details on this representativeness; and
- that arrangements were made to ensure that diversity and inclusivity will result in diverse inputs throughout the project timeframe, and will impact on and be reflected in the project activities and deliverables.
- Resources to familiarize yourself with and conduct GBA Plus
We strongly suggest that you consult the Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE)Footnote 4 website and complete the free GBA Plus online training in order to incorporate GBA Plus into your project application. You may also want to watch WAGE’s microlearning videos.
The following resources could also provide useful insights and tips:
(Offers practical guidance on the use and implementation of GBA Plus in your work such as a step-by-step overview of GBA Plus, description of each step, and related key questions)
(Provides questions to help you reflect on your own position and unconscious bias, as well as on peoples’ multiple identity factors, and how they may impact their experiences)
(Offers tips on applying GBA Plus at different stages of research)
- GBA Plus Research Checklist
(Presents a list of questions to ask yourself to avoid common GBA Plus pitfalls)
(These tools provide useful tips to consider, especially if the project or initiative you are requesting funding for is a conference, event or workshop. For tips on organizing inclusive digital events, we recommend this post as a starting point)
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