Application guide: Targeted Engagement Grants

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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

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:

Section 1: General Information

This section collects descriptive information about the proposal and the organization and/or people who will be involved.

Project Title

Applicant Requesting Grant

Amount Requested ($50,000CAD Maximum / or $10,000 for YOUNG MINDS)

Project Location and Date


Other Funding from DND/CAF

How did you find out about MINDS?

Section 2: Project Evaluation

Applications are evaluated on three criteria: relevance, diversity, and innovation and leveraging technology.

  1. Relevance (60% of total score)

    Part 1 – Indicate which MINDS Policy Challenges your project addresses. At least one Challenge must be included. The Challenges can be found on the MINDS website.

    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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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.

Part 2 - Additional Funding and Delivery

Section 4: Important Information & Signature

Please read the important information and Privacy Notice Statement carefully before signing your application form. Electronic signatures are acceptable.

Additional information


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

Conflict Resolution

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


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


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 to learn more about the review process.

Final Report

No later than 60 days following the completion of the recipient’s project, the recipient must provide a report to DND including:

Tax Implications

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.

Contact us

Additional questions should be directed to the MINDS team via email at

Information and Resources on GBA Plus and considering diversity and inclusion in your TEG application

  1. 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.


    Figure 1 - Intersectionality (source : Introduction to GBA Plus)
    Figure 1 - Intersectionality. Text version below.
    Figure 1 - Text version

    This figure illustrates some of the factors which can intersect with sex and gender. Six oblong shapes of differing colors overlap and fan out. Each oblong has two identity factors written on it. The top oblong has “sex and gender” written in a larger font. Starting below sex and gender and going clockwise, the additional identities identified are: geography, culture, income, sexual orientation, education, race, ethnicity, religion, age and disability.

    Applying GBA Plus leads to better projects and initiatives, as it reflects and responds to the diverse needs of the Canadian population.

  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

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