Climate action and awareness fund - Applicant guide
Background and objectives
The Support to Canadian Think Tanks and Academic Institutions Call for Proposals (CFP) at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is a new funding opportunity available in spring 2022.
The objective of this CFP is to catalyze climate research and analysis by Canadian think tanks, academic institutions, and other research groups by addressing sectoral knowledge gaps and crosscutting net-zero themes. The ultimate objective of these projects is to identify, accelerate, and evaluate mitigation actions that can help Canada achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Net-zero research projects could include activities related to literature reviews and knowledge synthesis, qualitative or quantitative analysis, model development, engagement with experts and stakeholders, or community-based research, aimed at building knowledge on net-zero at the national, provincial, territorial, regional, or local scales, including findings specific to Indigenous communities.
The research themes for this CFP were identified by the Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB). Funded projects will catalyze new analysis and support broader conversations on net-zero in support of the NZAB’s mandate.
It is essential to closely review the information in this Guide to form the basis of a proposal.
The Climate Action and Awareness Fund
The Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF) will invest up to $206 million over five years to support Canadian-made projects that help reduce Canada’s GHG emissions. The CAAF is designed to support projects that can create middle class jobs for Canadians who work in science and technology, academia, and at the grassroots community level. These projects are critical as Canada continues to build a sustainable net-zero emissions economy by 2050. The CAAF was created with contributions from the Climate Action Fund, as well as a significant investment from the Environmental Damages Fund.
Net-Zero Advisory Body
The Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB), established under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (CNZEAA), is a group of experts from across Canada mandated to provide the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with independent advice with respect to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
In July 2021, the NZAB published its proposed priorities for research and analysis, which include catalyzing the agenda for the Canadian research community and motivating national conversations on net-zero pathways. Given this mandate, the NZAB has identified the research themes for this CFP. The NZAB may also be involved in reviewing and recommending projects.
The NZAB structures its work along specific lines of inquiry, or areas of focus, which can include specific sectors or thematic opportunities. Under the CNZEAA, it must also take into account - to the extent they are relevant to the purpose of the Act - relevant environmental, economic, social and technological factors, and the best available scientific information and knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge, respecting climate change.
The Canadian Think Tanks CFP will catalyze new analysis and support broader conversations on net-zero in support of the NZAB’s lines of inquiry and the factors it must consider in developing its advice. Please refer to the Net Zero Advisory Body’s website for information on its current lines of inquiry. Proposal alignment with the NZAB’s lines of inquiry and the factors it must consider in its advice will be considered an asset during the proposal evaluation process.
Applicants should also review the NZAB’s first publication, Net-Zero Pathways: Initial Observations.In particular, applicants should note the following definitions:
Net-zero: emissions means that “anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals of GHG from the atmosphere over a specified period.”
A pathway: connects where we are today with where we want to go. […] A pathway captures all the elements required to transform a system to better respond to societal needs and meet net-zero emission goals (e.g., the character, magnitude, and sequence of changes in technologies; infrastructure; business models societal practices; mindsets; governance structures; investments; reporting requirements; and, policy or regulatory frameworks). A pathway has a clear beginning and end, with connecting steps that will be refined over time based on learning.
Applicants may also wish to review the following documents to support the development of proposals:
Climate Science 2050
Climate Science 2050: Advancing Science and Knowledge on Climate Change is a national synthesis that was undertaken to better understand the breadth of climate change science and knowledge needs that exist in Canada. It represents an important first step in bringing the Canadian climate change science and knowledge community together to accelerate work in key areas that will ultimately inform progress toward a climate-resilient, net-zero Canada. The Support to Canadian Think Tanks and Academic Institutions CFP will contribute to implementing the principles and addressing the knowledge gaps identified in Climate Science 2050.
2030 Emissions Reduction Plan
On March 29, 2022, the Government of Canada released its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. This plan presents a sector-by-sector path for Canada to reach its emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. It builds on the Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, and includes $9.1 billion in new investments. The Emissions Reduction Plan was developed with input from Canadians, provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industry and the NZAB. The NZAB’s submission focused on its first four lines of inquiry, governance, buildings, transportation, and oil and gas.
This applicant guide provides detailed information on how to submit a project proposal to the Support to Canadian Think Tanks and Academic Institutions CFP. It provides program-specific information to guide proposal development and ensure proposals meet CFP objectives.
Proposals must include all details listed below and satisfy eligibility criteria to be considered eligible for funding.
For this CFP, all applicants (lead, supporting, partners) must be Canadian. Lead Applicants must be organizations, not individuals. Lead Applicants are responsible for submitting their proposal, and or negotiating and signing a funding agreement if selected for funding. Eligible Lead Applicants must fall under one of the following categories of not-for-profit organizations:
- Non-government organizations (NGO, e.g., think tanks and research institutions)
- Indigenous organizations
- Universities and academic institutions
In order for a proposal to be eligible, the applicant must provide evidence of their organizational status for verification purposes. The CAAF defines not-for-profit organizations as those that exist not to make a profit; this definition includes charities. Not-for-profit NGOs will be required to provide an identification number for their organization, such as a Charitable Number or a Non-Profit Registration Number. Please provide proof of not-for-profit status, either through a relevant identification number or provided in incorporation/proof of governance papers.
In addition to identifying the Lead Applicant, each proposal may identify supporting applicants and partners.
- Supporting applicants: An organization that will receive a portion of the funds contributed to the Lead Applicant, be involved in some portion of project implementation, and contribute to the success of the project. To be eligible for funding, supporting applicants must also fall under one of the categories identified above for Lead Applicants. Contractors and consultants that contribute to and undertake project activities are not considered supporting applicants.
- Partner: An organization that will not receive a portion of the funds contributed to the applicant, but will contribute to the success of the project by providing funding and/or in-kind contributions. Partners can include ineligible organizations, such as for-profit organizations, associations, and municipal, provincial/territorial, and federal governments.
The lead applicant will be the primary point of contact with ECCC, and if funded, they will be responsible for negotiating a funding agreement with ECCC, will receive funds and report on progress and findings, and will provide any other required correspondence. The Lead Applicant will also be responsible for transmitting funds to the supporting applicants named in the funding agreement. In using ECCC funds, supporting applicants must adhere to all criteria outlined in this Applicant Guide, and funding agreement. The supporting applicant is responsible for ensuring that there is oversight, accountability, reporting, and performance measurement on ECCC funds received from the Lead Applicant.
While supporting applicants or partners are not required as part of the proposal, their participation will be treated as an asset, or additional strength, during the proposal evaluation process as it reflects the opportunity and potential for knowledge transfer.
Research themes and eligible projects
Projects must align with one or more of the following research themes identified by the Net-Zero Advisory Body:
Theme 1: Defining the future systems required for net-zero
Proposals should define and evaluate the future systems that Canada will require to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The analysis should be multidimensional and consider economic and technical feasibility, social acceptability, and the scale and pace of transformation required. If using economic modelling, proposals should indicate how they plan to address assumptions behind their models. Results should inform recommendations on pragmatic emissions reductions opportunities and tools within or across regions or sectors that are required to transform systems to better respond to societal needs and meet net-zero emission goals. Also of interest are proposals that analyze and quantify the costs of inaction or delayed action on net-zero.
Theme 2: Obstacles on the pathways to net-zero
Proposals should advance an understanding of points of resistance or friction that are expected to impede progress on the most likely pathways to net-zero by 2050 for specific economic sectors (as defined in Canada’s National Inventory Report). These could include barriers related to human behavior and psychology, finance and investment, infrastructure and data gaps, or political and geopolitical dynamics. The results should inform recommendations to mitigate or overcome these obstacles and advance progress along the most likely pathways to net-zero.
Theme 3: Distributional impacts of the pathways to net-zero on workers, and their families and communities
Proposals should advance analysis on the time scale and geographic distribution of labour impacts in sectors affected by the likely pathways to net-zero. This could include analysis on length of employment, income, and retirement patterns in specific sectors. The results should deepen understanding of real-world impacts on workers, families, and communities at the local and regional scale and how governments can influence these outcomes. Also of interest are proposals that focus on the geographic distribution, skills requirements, and quality of alternate employment options (e.g., impacts on income, pensions, and benefits) and their implications for families and communities. The results should inform recommendations to minimize adverse impacts and maximize positive impacts through pathways to net-zero.
Theme 4: Motivating net-zero action
Proposals should contribute to a broader understanding of the social, economic, environmental, and technological opportunities for Canada in a net-zero future. The results should inform the development of strategies to support the realization of such opportunities, with the ultimate objective of a net-zero future in which all Canadians feel they belong. Of particular interest are proposals that explore effective strategies and techniques to motivate individuals, businesses, and governments to envision their role in a net-zero future and identify creative actions to realize it. Also of interest are proposals that examine how governments at all levels can work together effectively to ensure an equitable geographic and sectoral distribution of net-zero opportunities.
Project funding and partnerships
For this CFP, Lead Applicants may request from ECCC between $250,000 and $1,000,000 per project for the total project duration (up to 2 years from the negotiated start date, anticipating start dates in fall 2022). If a project does not request funding within this range and/or it indicates a duration exceeding 2 years, it will not be eligible for funding.
ECCC funding is available for up to 100% of eligible project costs. Matching funds are not required; however, evidence of other non-federal funding sources (i.e., partner contributions, cash and/or in-kind) will be considered an asset in proposal evaluation.
Proposals from networks of academics across universities/academic institutions are encouraged to build research capacity across Canada. Supporting applicants and/or partners are also encouraged to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the integration of new knowledge in mitigation planning, implementation, and evaluation.
- The CFP will open on June 13, 2022. It will close July 18, 2022 at 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time (EST).
Here are some key dates to remember when planning a project:
- June 13, 2022 Support to Canadian Think Tanks and Academic Institutions CFP launches.
- June 21 and 23, 2022 Public webinars (English and French) held.
Webinars will present an overview of the CFP, including timelines, deliverables, and frequently asked questions. Details will be posted on the CAAF webpage.
- July 18, 2022 CFP closes at 3:00pm EST.
- October 2022
This is the earliest date ECCC would notify successful applicants that their projects have been approved in principle and begin negotiations of a funding agreement.
- October 2022 Anticipated project start date, for completion within 2 years.
How to apply
Step 1: Confirm eligibility and alignment with research themes on the Funding Opportunity page on the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System
Thoroughly review all information and criteria in this Applicant Guide, to ensure projects satisfy all requirements and clearly demonstrate alignment with one or more research themes. If a project does not satisfy all required eligibility criteria, it will not be eligible for funding.
Proposals must be submitted on an online portal called the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). Accessing GCEMS requires applicants to create a GCKey and access the Single Window Information Manager (SWIM).
Step 2: Prepare a proposal
Applicants will be responsible for providing all required information, formatted as specified.
Guidelines and details can be found in the Proposal section.
Step 3: Submit a proposal
Proposals must be submitted by the Lead Applicant, or by an individual on behalf of the Lead Applicant Organization. Once applicants have submitted a proposal, they will receive an email that acknowledges receipt and provides a four-digit ID number for their proposal. If contacting ECCC about a proposal, please always reference the four-digit ID number associated with the application.
ECCC will notify all applicants on the decision for their proposal. Decisions are final; there is no appeal process. If a project is approved-in-principle, applicants will receive a notification letter that invites them to negotiate a funding agreement with ECCC. The agreement will outline the terms and conditions under which they will be eligible to receive funding. Funding is conditional on the successful finalization of the funding agreement.
To help ensure transparency and fairness, and given our limited capacity to answer all requests for information, ECCC will refrain from individually assisting applicants with their applications. We encourage applicants to refer to our frequently asked questions. Look for updates to these, as additional information will be added to this page based on queries received during the application period.
For general information regarding eligibility criteria and program parameters, contact the Climate Action and Awareness Fund inbox at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any technical issues related to website functionality and access (e.g., GCKey and SWIM), GCEMS technical support can be reached at email@example.com.
All interested applicants must submit a proposal via GCEMS. Proposals must include all of the information stated in this guide. An overview of the evaluation criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals can be found in annex A to this Applicant Guide. Unless stated otherwise, all below sections are mandatory. Incomplete proposals will be not be eligible for funding, and documents received after the stated deadline will not be included in the proposal evaluation process.
Applicants must provide information according to the prompts outlined below. There are nine sections to complete in the GCEMS application form. Please be concise.
Section 1: Tombstone data
All fields in this first section of the GCEMS application form are mandatory. These questions will provide details about an applicant’s organization and the funding experience their organization has with ECCC or other federal departments.
Section 2: Project summary
The second section of the GCEMS application form will provide an overview of the applicant’s project and organization’s experience. It is mandatory to answer all fields in this section.
- A short title is required to identify the project.
Anticipated project start date
- Provide a tentative start date for project activities. Projects can anticipate starting in October 2022 or later to allow for project funding decisions and for negotiations with ECCC to develop the funding agreement.
Anticipated project end date
- Provide a tentative end date for project activities. Projects must be completed within 2 years of the signed funding agreement. Projects that list start and end dates out of this range may not be eligible for funding.
- Identify the jurisdiction of the Lead Applicant organization. Projects must be undertaken within Canada. As applicable, also identify the geographic region of interest for the proposal (national, province or territory, region or city).
- Organization name, type (see: Eligible applicants), description (500 characters), website, and (if applicable) the organization’s identification number, such as a Charitable Number or a Non-Profit Registration Number and type of identification number
- Name, email, and phone numbers of all participants from the Lead Applicant’s organization
- Lead Applicants may partner with at least one other organization, such as other not-for-profits, Indigenous organizations, university and academic institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, provincial, territorial or municipal government, etc.
Provide a brief project synopsis to describe the project, its objectives, and how it will advance the state of knowledge within the research theme. Provide an overview of the project goals and outcomes as they relate to the identified research theme, to any of the NZAB’s lines of inquiry or to any relevant environmental, economic, social and technological factors it must consider, and to strengthening Canada’s research capacity to identify, accelerate, and evaluate mitigation actions towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 in Canada. Identify if the project and its objectives will advance relevant science and knowledge, including Indigenous Knowledge, respecting climate change.
Project team experience
Demonstrate the organization’s ability to carry out the project, commensurate with the size or scope of the proposed work, by outlining how the applicant will satisfy the necessary staffing needs and the expertise the organization brings to the project, including relevant qualifications and the experience of the applicant’s team members.
Provide a description of the project team’s financial ability to deliver the project. If the proposal has supporting applicants or partners, please describe how these collaborations contribute (either financially and/or in-kind) to the achievement of the project goals, outcomes, and performance metrics. If appropriate, tasking out or sub-contracting under these collaborators is possible.
Project management capacity
Describe how the applicant and/or their project team have experience delivering research endeavours of a similar magnitude (scope, complexity, partnerships, budget, time frame) or how the applicant has identified suitable management approaches to maximize successful delivery of the proposal.
Section 3: Project details
Identify the theme(s) for which the applicant is applying. A list of themes can be found in the Eligible Projects section. If the project falls under two or more themes, please select the themes that align with the project.
Supporting applicants are organizations that will receive a portion of the funds contributed to the Lead Applicant, be involved in some portion of project implementation, and contribute to the success of the project. To be eligible for funding, supporting applicants must also fall under one of the categories identified for Lead Applicants (see: eligible applicants).
- Names and organization types of supporting applicants, and (if applicable) organization's identification number and type of identification number
- Names and emails of participants involved with supporting applicant organizations
Partners are organizations that will not receive a portion of the funds contributed to the applicant, but will contribute to the success of the project by providing funding and/or in-kind contributions. Partners can include ineligible organizations, such as for-profit organizations, associations, and municipal, provincial/territorial, and federal government (see: eligible applicants).
- Names of partners
- Names and emails of participants involved with partner organizations
Provide a plain-language (i.e., non-technical) summary of the project. The project summary should be brief and include a description of the project, high-level objectives, how funding will be spent, and the risks that may arise if the project is not funded.
Provide a brief summary of the main risks that the project may encounter, and how the applicant will mitigate the likelihood or impact of these risks. These could include environmental, financial, technical, or capacity risks. Focus your response on non-COVID-19-related risks.
Value for money
Describe how the proposal addresses any of the following:
- incorporates diverse expertise and skills
- leverages pre-existing infrastructure, data, and relationships
- otherwise provides value-added to Canada’s climate change research and policy landscape
Federal, Provincial, Territorial, Municipal and/or Indigenous Government Involvement
If applicable, describe how the proposal leverages government expertise, resources, data, and/or research infrastructure.
Provide a summary of how the project will catalyze new analysis, provide data, information, or insight to knowledge users and/or decision makers, or support broader conversations on net-zero. In the response, please address the following:
- Which audience(s) the project intends to reach.
- What will be communicated both during the project and once it has been completed.
- How the applicant plans on leveraging or creating knowledge mobilization infrastructure/relationships (e.g., networks, working groups, expert workshops, targeted briefings, seminars, or conferences) to communicate results.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion
Explain how the project will promote the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, particularly in the context of the research environment the applicant will establish and being responsible for leading, training, and mentoring team members, according to:
- team composition and recruitment processes
- training and development opportunities
For each of the above, the applicant must identify a minimum of one concrete practice that will be implemented. A non-exhaustive list of examples is provided below.
- Supporting equitable access to funding opportunities for all researchers and trainees.
- Promoting the integration of equity, diversity, and inclusion-related considerations in research design and practices.
- Increasing equitable and inclusive participation in the research system, including on research teams.
- Collecting the data and conducting the analyses needed to include equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations in decision-making.
Definitions of equity, diversity, and inclusion, provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, are available for consideration in the development of the proposal.
Section 4: Project budget
This section requires detailed financial information for the project. Use a table to show the funding broken down by source, fiscal years, and eligible expenditure types. If a project is successful, the funding agreement will provide specific information on which expenditures are eligible.
Show your funding request from ECCC through this CFP, the applicant’s own organization’s contribution to the project, and any other sources of funding. Provide the most accurate estimate for expenditures rounded to the nearest dollar.
Applicants will be asked to provide a Contributor Type in the Project Budget Table, including their funding request from ECCC through this CFP and their own organization’s contribution to the project. Other optional contributor types include any other ECCC support for your project, Other Federal Department, Provincial Government, Municipal Government or Other.
Under each Contributor Type, please provide a “contributor name” in the text field. For instance, for this ECCC CFP, the contributor name would be Think Tanks & Academic Institutions – Climate Action and Awareness Fund. Applicants will then indicate the amount of funding support requested per year.
Applicants must break out their funding request from this CFP based on Government of Canada fiscal years in their Project Budget Table (starting on April 1 and ending on March 31 the following year). For all projects, funding should not be requested earlier than October 2022.
Eligible expenditure types
Select and provide the cash and in-kind support requested per year based on the Expenditures Type from the following list.
- Human resource costs, including salaries and benefits, contractors, and consultants;
- Travel costs not to exceed Treasury Board approved rates;
- Material and supplies costs;
- Printing and production costs;
- Communications and distribution costs;
- Equipment rental or purchase;
- Vehicle rentals and operational costs;
- Translation costs;
- Liability insurance costs that are directly attributed to carrying out the project;
- A reasonable share of overhead and/or administrative costs and rent that is directly attributed to carrying out the project;
- Any GST/HST that is not reimbursable by Revenue Canada and any PST not reimbursable by the provinces;
- For all costs, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the project shall be considered eligible.
|Salaries and wages||
Salaries, benefits, and wages (including students), plus the mandatory employment related costs required by law (federal, provincial, or territorial), such as CPP/QPP, EI and WCB. These human resource costs may pertain to supporting applicants, partners, and their contractors, if they are working on the project and there is supporting evidence of their contribution.
Stipends are eligible expenses and should be included in Salaries and Benefits (as long as the person is attending activities to benefit/support the project and they are not otherwise being compensated).
When payment for people’s time is required (for non-staff), this should be categorized under “Management and Professional Services Expenditures”.
Work performed by a contractor could fall under the contractor cost category.
|Management and professional services||Costs associated with management and professional services required to support a project, such as accounting, monitoring, and translation. Consultants are an eligible expense if they contribute to project activities. Taking a course or training for an individual to receive a certification would not be considered an eligible expense.|
|Contractors||Costs associated with contractors engaged to undertake the project activities, such as general labourers, or researchers.|
Travel expenses must be necessary, in that without support for these travel costs, the ability to undertake the project activities and ultimate success of the project would be in jeopardy.
|Materials and supplies costs||Costs of materials and supplies directly related to undertaking project activities (e.g., general office supplies, tools, and equipment).|
|Purchase of capital assets||
Capital assets are defined as those individual assets with a value of more than $10,000 each, with a useful life of more than one year. Proposals must clearly explain how the acquisition of capital assets is necessary to carry out project activities.
If the project appears to focus primarily on the purchase or installation of capital assets or equipment, it is ineligible.
|Equipment rentals||Cost of renting equipment used to undertake or support the project activities, and costs of equipment rental includes any related and necessary costs, such as fuel for machinery or paper/ink for printers and photocopiers. Each piece of equipment is defined as less than $10,000 in order to be acceptable as an eligible purchase or rental. For example, purchase/rental of 20 equipment items valued at $9,500 each would be eligible.|
|Overhead||Indirect costs necessary to support the achievement of the project objectives that cannot normally be obviously traced to a specific project activity and/or that are not material enough to be detailed under their specific cost category.|
|Communications and printing – production and distribution costs||
This category relates only to items and/or products that are directly related to the project ECCC is funding. This may include, for example: journal page charges, the preparation and distribution of brochures, fact sheets, news releases, public reports, and other promotional material. This also includes public events and media relations.
Translation costs fall under the “Management and professional services” expense category.
|Vehicle rental and operation costs||
For purposes of an ECCC agreement a “vehicle” is generally considered to be a motorized device used chiefly for the transportation of people.
Rental of other devices, such as to move equipment and supplies, are better placed under the “Equipment rentals” cost category. The cost of vehicle rental includes related costs, such as insurance and fuel.
Liability insurance costs that are directly attributed to carrying out the project or any GST/HST that is not reimbursable by Revenue Canada and any PST not reimbursable by the provinces.
Additionally, if your expenditures are not explicitly prohibited in the list of ineligible expenses below, please contact the Climate Action and Awareness Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ineligible Expenditures (if a proposal includes any ineligible expenditures, it may not be eligible for funding)
- Projects and activities already underway. Funding is only available for new projects.
- Ongoing projects or the continuation of existing projects are not eligible for funding.
- Proposed projects with expanded scope (i.e. geographic, audience, activities, etc.) and performance indicators may be presented as a new project phase and may be considered eligible. The new and distinct phase would have a new beginning and end date. The proposed project must be able to track the performance indicators specifically from this new phase’s activities.
- Continuation of projects previously funded by the Environmental Damages Fund.
- Projects outside of Canada. CAAF project activities must take place within Canada and/or the benefits of the project activities must accrue to Canadians (e.g. Canadians travel outside of Canada to gain knowledge/information/experience that they bring back to Canada).
- Activities required by law and/or mandated by other levels of government.
- Containment and clean-up of environmental spills.
- Restoration of contaminated sites.
- InfrastructureFootnote 1 , particularly related to municipal, provincial, and federal government program areas.
- Lobbying or fundraising activities, including annual or regular organization events/campaigns.
- Recreation and tourism projects or beautification initiatives.
- Preparation of formal curriculum materials.
- Core organization functions and activities, such as meetings, maintenance, and administration (however, project-specific administrative support is eligible).
- Annual or regular organization events/campaigns.
- Expenses to attend general conferences and workshops (project-specific conferences
- and workshops are eligible).
- Land acquisition and property fees.
- Leasing, financing charges, legal fees, and loan interest payments, including those
- related to easements (e.g., surveys).
- Any goods and service costs that are received through donations or in-kind bursaries or
- cash incentives.
- For this CFP, further disbursement of funds in the form of grants is not an eligible expenditure, and CAAF funds cannot be further dispersed to federal departments or agencies, individuals, or for-profit organizations.
- Honorariums are traditionally paid to people outside the organization who do not have a formal contract or employment agreement with the organization being funded; these expenditures are ineligible.
- Travel and lodging expenses for participants to attend conferences and workshops, and hospitality costs, are ineligible.
For questions regarding the eligibility or ineligibility of expenses, please contact the Climate Action and Awareness Fund at email@example.com.
Presenting a balanced budget
Applicants must clearly state the amount of funding being requested for their project through this request for proposals. Applicants will not be able to proceed to the next section if the “Amount Requested” does not match what is stated in the project budget template.
Section 5: Project work plan
This section should provide sufficient detail to enable a thorough evaluation of the project’s research and analytical merit, demonstrating how the project will be implemented to achieve its objectives.
- Expanded project description and alignment with chosen research theme
- Context – how the proposal aligns with the broader relevant research and policy landscape
- Project methodologies and approaches
This section of the proposal requires detailing the activities applicants plan to undertake for their project. Each activity should be assigned a category to describe it. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an appropriate category name. Start and end dates and other specific details, such as the tools or methods, and the goals and expected results of each activity, should be included.
Lead Applicants are provided the opportunity to determine how project milestones will be defined, and are responsible for ensuring that assessors have a clear and accurate understanding of the project, including how much time will be allocated to each project activity. These should demonstrate how the project meets all of the eligibility criteria and what program milestones will be reached that support achieving the CFP objective.
Successful applicants will be required to present progress reports on key activities and milestones on a negotiated frequency. The progress reports will detail measurable actions over the entire period of the proposal. Successful applicants will likely be required to report on:
- milestones for implementing the project objective, such as delivering eligible activities, engaging with the audience, undertaking communications activities/informing the public of your project and its results, and securing finances, either financially or in-kind, and
- specific deadlines for meeting and reporting on the mandatory Key Performance Indicators (outlined below), and any other indicators as applicable. The indicators provided at the proposal stage should inform the development and delivery of the project objectives.
It is important to describe clearly the link between project activities, milestones, and indicators and the expenditures in the Project Budget. Applicants may consider organizing activities and targets into fiscal quarters according to the following breakdown, and as they relate to key dates, including as outlined in the “What are the key dates for project implementation?” section of this Guide:
- January – March
- April – June
- July – September
- October – December
Ensure that all project activities are directly referenced in the Project Description.
Describe the activity, including protocols, methodologies, workflows, and considerations.
Activity expected results
Describe the reason for conducting the activity. Please ensure to provide a measurable result. Describe how the activity will advance knowledge, data, and/or tools development.
Activity Start and End Date
If no set dates can be determined, provide the best estimate of a start (not before October 2022) or end date, ensuring the project does not exceed 2 years from the planned start date. If the proposal is successful, exact start and end dates will be determined during funding agreement negotiation.
Activity Total Estimated Cost
Please identify the percentage of the total project budget allocated to this activity. Total budget refers to the full project cost, and is inclusive of any funding requested from CAAF and any cash or in-kind contributions from other funding sources.
Section 6. Key Performance Indicators
Project indicators have a role in project monitoring and evaluation over the lifetime of the project. They are what ECCC uses to evaluate the progress of each project and, for multi-year projects, determine if applicants are eligible for funding in the subsequent fiscal year, and to evaluate the annual progress.
At a minimum, applicants will provide a target in their proposal for the following indicator verbatim (proposals that do not contain values for the mandatory performance indicator will be deemed ineligible):
|Mandatory performance indicators
|Number of communication activities or products delivered to knowledge users.||These can include publications (including scientific journal publications, conference or other presentations, seminars with knowledge users, publication in professional magazines, etc.).
||Include target value||# of activities|
In addition to the mandatory performance indicator above, applicants are encouraged to add other relevant and meaningful indicators (see examples below). Please ensure that additional performance indicators are supported by details on how participants will be involved or engaged in the Project Goals/Objectives section of the GCEMS application form.
|Number of cities/regions that benefit from an increased understanding of emissions as a result of project activities.||Municipalities and regions.||Include target value||# of cities/regions benefitting|
|Number of identified industries or sectors that benefit from an increased understanding of emissions as a result of project activities.||Of particular interest are industries and sectors with significant impact on GHG emissions as defined by the National Inventory Report (NIR). Sectors include: oil and gas, electricity, transportation, heavy industry, buildings, agriculture, waste, and others.||Include target value||# of sectors benefitting|
|Number of knowledge-sharing events/discussions hosted that develop and/or grow the critical mass of expertise in Canada as a result of the project’s activities.||May include information dissemination, workshops, conferences, interactive activities, digital engagement, online platforms, etc.||Include target value||# of events or discussions hosted|
Section 7: Other Supporting Information
Required supporting documents are listed below. Applicants are asked to limit the number of supporting documents to 10 or fewer. Please title documents based on their content (i.e. Letter of Support – Company X; Final Project Report; etc.) and provide a brief description of contents.
Letters of support, noting briefly the commitment of identified supporting applicants and/or partners to meet their obligations as laid out in the proposal, including explicitly their financial and/or in-kind contributions consistent with the budget information. Project proposals that intend to work with a specific Indigenous nation or community must include a letter of support from that nation or community. All letters of support must be submitted before the stated CFP deadline.
Proof of governance documentation demonstrating that the Lead Applicant organization solely or in a collective partnership has a governance structure that assures accountability to a membership (includes Boards). Submitted documents must clearly explain the governance structure of the lead organization (e.g., Board of Directors). Governance documents can vary widely in terms of level of detail and structure; these can include by-law documents and legislative documents, as long as they describe the overall governing structure of the Lead Applicant. Names of individuals do not need to be included.
Section 8. Official Languages
The Official Languages section is a mandatory requirement for all applications to ECCC for funding opportunities. If a project is approved, it will form the basis of the Official Languages Clauses in the funding agreement. Each question is yes or no. Any associated costs (e.g., translation, hiring of bilingual staff) pertaining to project delivery and/or promotion should be included in the budget.
Section 9: Certification
Once the application is complete, submit it online including with this certification section. This will ensure that the information stated in the application is complete and accurate. The Lead Applicant (or their authorized organization’s delegated authority) must provide attestation to the terms of the proposal. The application cannot be submitted without checking this step. It is the responsibility of the Lead Applicant to ensure that ECCC has a clear and accurate understanding of your project.
Completed proposals, along with any supporting documents, are uploaded to the GCEMS application portal for submission. The online application portal will send an automatic message upon receipt of a proposal. If an applicant does not receive an acknowledgement email, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation. If contacting ECCC about a proposal, please always reference the four-digit ID number associated with the application.
To help ensure transparency and fairness, and given our limited capacity to answer all requests for information, ECCC will refrain from individually assisting applicants with their proposals.
ECCC will notify all applicants about the decision for their proposal. Decisions are final; there is no appeal process and, due to expected volume, no feedback will be provided on applications.
If a project is approved in principle and subject to any conditions identified by ECCC, the applicant will receive a notification letter that invites them to proceed to the next stage: the completion of a funding agreement with ECCC. The agreement will outline the terms and conditions under which they will be eligible to receive funding. Funding is conditional on the successful finalization of the funding agreement.
Annex A: Full proposal review criteria
Reviewers will independently assign scores from 0 (low score) to 4 (high score) for each of the
criteria, taking into account the criteria-specific statement sets provided in the review
- Proposal addresses one or more of the knowledge gaps or areas for exploration identified in the theme selected.
- Proposal provides data, information, or insight to support knowledge users and/or decision makers.
- Proposal team has the expertise and capacity to complete this project
- Proposal team has the project management expertise to deliver on the proposal’s activities, and demonstrated an effective approach to project implementation
- Proposal team has access to financial resources to cash-manage project activities if necessary
- Proposal team has identified alternative plans to adapt to consequences related to COVID-19 or other unforeseen delays
- Proposal identifies appropriate and feasible project and monitoring indicator(s) suitable to evaluating and monitoring progress over duration of the project
Timeline and Budget
- Proposal timeline is detailed, well-developed, and allows for adequate time to complete project activities within 2 years from the project start date
- Proposal activities provide an estimate of how much of the budget will be spent on each activity
- Proposal budget is detailed, well-costed, and adequate to complete deliverables
- Proposal leverages cash or in-kind contributions by partners
- Proposal has the potential to contribute to and advance knowledge, data, and/or tools in noted theme
- Proposal activities, including protocols, methodologies, and workflows, are technically sound
- Previous experience in multidisciplinary (research partners contributing from multiple disciplines) research, or demonstration of an effective approach to implementing the multidisciplinary project is identified
- Proposal provides good value for money by incorporating diverse expertise and skills, leveraging pre-existing infrastructure, data, and relationships
- Proposal leverages federal expertise, resources, data, and/or infrastructure
- Proposal demonstrates a clear and well-defined knowledge mobilization plan beyond standard research communication activities (e.g., Open Access data and publications, conferences)
- Proposal identifies audiences that may be interested in the knowledge generated, and crafts messaging or approaches to meet the audience’s needs
- Proposal aims to leverage knowledge mobilization infrastructure/relationships (e.g., networks, working groups, social media, recurring seminars or conferences) to communicate results
- Proposal identifies clear steps to aid knowledge users in leveraging the results of this project
Projects will be subject to an administrative screening for eligibility, followed by a technical review by federal government expert reviewers. They will independently score each criteria within each proposal, provide comments (i.e., rationale) for each score, and recommend which projects should be considered for funding. A strategic review committee from within the federal government will confirm the recommendations, taking into consideration the merit of the proposal, as well as the thematic and geographic distribution of proposals, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and value added characteristics (e.g., partnerships, leveraged funds, etc.).
- Date modified: