CFI Grant Applications & Awards

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada in 1997 to fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

For more information on how to apply for CFI funding and how to manage these funds in accordance with prescribed CFI polices and guidelines, refer to the CFI Policy and Program Guide (PDF).

CFI operates on the principle that its funds must be used effectively and economically. To maximize the purchasing power of its investment and ensure a fair and transparent process, the CFI requires that all purchases related to its projects follow York University’s usual tendering and purchasing policies and procedures.

To ensure that the researcher or principal investigator (PI) and Institution (York) are compliant with CFI policies and guidelines, CFI conducts regular monitoring visits at recipient institutions to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of policies, processes, and controls that are in place for the management of CFI-funded projects. This helps ensure that funds are being used for their intended purposes, and in accordance with terms and conditions of award agreements, as well as CFI policies and guidelines.

There are three (3) distinctive stages which require active collaboration between the researcher, or principal investigator (PI), the Office of Research Services (ORS), Research Accounting (RA) and Procurement Services (PS) among others such as Campus Services and Business Operations (CSBO) where physical infrastructure may also be required.  Where acquisitions of goods and services (including external consultants) are required, the CFI has prescribed a number of activities that must be undertaken in each of these 3 stages.

Pre-application Stage

  • PI and/or Procurement Services (PS) solicit vendor quotations for the purpose of establishing an estimated budget of costs to be incurred for goods or services related to the specific project.  Purchases are NOT made at this stage
  • The pricing obtained, while not binding on the vendor, must include any in-kind contribution and reflect fair market value (binding prices will be finalized if the grant is approved and at the Award Finalization Stage by Procurement Services)
  • Items are placed on an itemized list and submitted with the CFI application that is sent by ORS

Award Finalization Stage

  • The award finalization stage begins upon notice from the CFI to the ORS that the project has been approved.  ORS will notify the PI, RA and Procurement Services accordingly
  • PS, PI and ORS revisit the itemized list to ensure that no changes are required
  • PS will ensure that previously solicited quotations are still valid by contacting the vendor to finalize pricing.  PS will issue a competitive bid for purchases that exceed $100,000
  • Once all the pricing has been finalized, the pricing details are updated on the CFI on-line form provided for this purpose
  • CFI reviews the final pricing and transfers the funds accordingly (or may contact ORS if there are significant variances to what was submitted on the application)

Post Award Stage

  • ORS receives the final award notice and funds from CFI
  • ORS notifies Research Accounting (RA) who sends an Accountability Letter (PDF) to the PI for signature
  • Once the signed Accountability Letter is returned, RA creates the cost centre and notifies the PI via email
  • PI may request Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) funds from ORS
  • PI and Procurement Services will review the final Itemized List and begin to make the approved purchases