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Research Common


Research Common

Information on conducting original research and on the supports available for research at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Associated Policies & Procedures

Those submitting or approving applications for external research grants are encouraged to read the following Red Deer Polytechnic policies and procedures: 

Submission Instructions for Principal Investigators/Project Leads/Co-Investigators

Principal Investigator (PI) here refers to the principal researcher who is either the applicant for an individual grant (PI is the grant holder) or the project lead responsible for the overall intellectual direction of the project for an institutional grant (Red Deer Polytechnic is the grant holder). For the purpose of these instructions, PI also refers to a researcher named as a co-investigator, or the equivalent, on a grant application.

This application submission process applies to research grants only. The Office of Research and Scholarship does not administer training, infrastructure, operating, and other grants that are unrelated to research. 


All applications for external research grants must undergo an administrative review by the Office of Research and Scholarship (ORS) and receive institutional approval from the Associate Vice President, Teaching, Learning & Research. Additional approvals from other members of the senior administration team may be necessary. The requirement for review and approval also applies to external research grant applications where a researcher from Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) acts as a co-investigator, or the equivalent, in cooperation with a lead researcher at another institution.

Note: If the grant competition has a pre-application stage requiring a letter/notice of intent, with or without a letter of support, please contact the ORS.

To allow sufficient time for administrative review and approval, the following internal deadlines must be observed:

  • ORS review deadline = 10 business days prior to the competition deadline unless otherwise indicated;
  • ORS submission deadline = 2 business days prior to the competition deadline.

Applications must be sent via e-mail to the ORS no later than 4:30 PM on the date of the internal deadline. Submissions to the ORS must include:

  1. a complete copy of the grant application;
  2. a Research Grant Approval (RGA) Form (see link below) signed by the PI and the PI's associate dean and dean; and
  3. Excel file or other spreadsheet showing the calculations of budget line items (a budget worksheet is available from the ORS).

Final submission of the application to the grant competition may or may not fall to the PI depending on the conditions set by the funding sponsor. For the Tri-agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) and other federal and provincial funding agencies, the responsibility for final submission to the sponsor lies with the ORS.

Upon deciding to apply for a grant Notify the ORS of your intent to apply to the specific grant competition.
As you begin to compose your application Discuss the grant application and the necessary resources with your associate dean and dean. Contact the ORS and/or the Research Grant Specialist for assistance at any time.
Partway through the writing process Optional check-in meeting with the Research Grant Specialist.
Before the ORS review deadline Make arrangements with your associate dean and dean to review your complete application and sign the RGA Form.
ORS review deadline: 10 business days prior to the competition deadline unless otherwise indicated Submit your application to the ORS for administrative review no later than 4:30 PM on the date of the ORS review deadline.
Before the ORS submission deadline Finalize your application, taking into account any requested changes and/or comments from the administrative review.
ORS submission deadline: 2 business days prior to competition deadline unless otherwise indicated Return your application to the ORS for approval no later than 4:30 PM on the date of the ORS submission deadline. Final submission to the sponsor will be the responsibility of either the PI or the ORS.


Steps to Submitting an External Research Grant Application

1. Identify Funding Opportunity

See our External Funding Opportunities page as well as communications from the Office of Research & Scholarship (ORS) for help with your funding search. Please be sure to note any relevant exceptions to the ORS review deadline. Known exceptions will be posted on the External Funding Opportunities page.

2. Notify the ORS of Intent to Apply

Notify the ORS as early as possible if you intend to apply for funding. Download the Research Grant Approval (RGA) Form (see link below) and fill in as much information as you are able. No signatures are required at this stage. E-mail the partially completed RGA Form to the ORS. This will ensure that the ORS is able to confirm eligibility, review the terms of the grant, and offer support with the development of your application. In your email, please include a brief description of the proposed project.

Tri-agency grants may require additional information that the ORS will provide at the time of notification of the intent to apply. At this point, the ORS may set an earlier administrative review deadline to accommodate the application processes of certain sponsors (e.g., Tri-agencies) or competitions.

3. Assemble Application

Grant applications can be complex, with several components that take time and planning to assemble. The participation of one or more partner organizations can increase the amount of time and effort involved. It is vital to start as early as possible and to understand and adhere to the grant description, eligibility requirements, and application instructions (including formatting standards). Even the smallest of details could mean the difference between a favourable and unfavourable funding decision.

You are expected to discuss the project, the funding opportunity, and any necessary RDP resources (e.g., course release, office or lab space) with your associate dean and dean. Their authorization is required before the ORS will review and approve your grant application.

You will have the option to schedule a check-in meeting with the Research Grant Specialist ahead of the administrative review deadline. This is an opportunity to ask questions, review the draft proposal and budget, and identify potential issues that could result in a missed deadline. Of course, you may contact the ORS or the Research Grant Specialist at any time if you have questions or need help.

RDP Grant Budget Worksheet: Available by request from the ORS. Financial Services, in collaboration with the ORS, has developed a budget-building aid to assist PIs with grant applications. A special feature of this worksheet is the automatic calculation of salary and benefit rates based on current RDP collective agreements and terms and conditions of employment. The worksheet also provides assistance with calculating the indirect costs of research (overhead), which must be included in the budget if the grant allows. PIs are strongly encouraged to make use of this budgeting tool.

Note: This worksheet does not supersede any budget template that a sponsor may require as part of an application. Rather, the RDP worksheet can be used to construct the budget and then the appropriate amounts transferred to the sponsor template.

4. Complete the Research Grant Approval (RGA) Form and Obtain Signatures from Your Associate Dean and Dean

The ORS will not accept your grant application for review and approval unless the application is complete* and accompanied by a signed RGA Form (see link below). If applying for multiple grants, each application must have its own RGA Form. Obtaining signatures from your associate dean and dean can take time, so plan accordingly.

*A complete grant application means all required components are attached, free of typos and grammatical errors, and formatted according to the sponsor’s standards. Partially completed working documents will not be accepted.

5. Submit Application to the ORS by the Administrative Review Deadline

E-mail the following items to the ORS: (i) complete application assembled as a single PDF; (ii) RGA Form; (iii) Excel file or other spreadsheet showing the calculations of your budget line items (the RDP Grant Budget Worksheet is preferred). These documents must be received by the administrative review deadline — 10 business days prior to the competition deadline unless otherwise indicated. Applications must be received no later than 4:30 PM on the date of this internal deadline.

The ORS, in consultation with Financial Services and other units, will conduct an administrative review of the application to ensure compliance with the grant requirements and RDP policies and procedures. The administrative review will take place within 5 business days and functions to:

  • verify that the proposal is complete and complies with the grant requirements and RDP policies and procedures;
  • check the budget for eligibility of expenses as defined by RDP and the funding sponsor;
  • ensure that indirect costs/overhead complies with funding sponsor and RDP rules; and
  • verify that contributions from partner organizations are eligible and the letter(s) of support contain the necessary information.

Note: ORS staff will not substantially edit or proofread your application as part of the administrative review.

Applications received after the administrative review deadline are not guaranteed a comprehensive review, except when the PI has obtained prior approval from the ORS.

6. Finalize Application and Return to the ORS by the ORS Submission Deadline

Feedback from the administrative review will be provided to you within 5 business days. There may be requested changes and/or comments to address before the application can receive final approval. The ORS will work with you as needed during this time.

Return the final application to the ORS by the ORS submission deadline — 2 business days prior to the competition deadline unless otherwise indicated. Applications must be received no later than 4:30 PM on the date of this internal deadline.

Failure to observe the ORS submission deadline may prevent the application from receiving institutional approval, except when the PI has obtained prior approval from the ORS.

7. Receive Final Approval and Submit Application to the Sponsor by the Competition Deadline

ORS staff will obtain the signature of the Associate Vice President Teaching, Learning & Research and any other senior official as needed. If the ORS submission deadline is not observed, obtaining the necessary institutional approval(s) may not occur in time for the competition deadline.

If the PI must forward the application to the sponsor, the ORS will return the signed application to the PI. Be sure not to miss the competition deadline!

If the ORS must forward the application to the sponsor, RDP’s designated institutional representative will complete the steps necessary to submit the application to the sponsor by the competition deadline. ORS staff will provide the PI with confirmation of submission.

8. Sponsor Notification of Decision

When you receive notification of the competition outcome, please forward a copy of the Notice of Decision or Notice of Award (including any terms and conditions) to the ORS. Please note that the PI is not authorized to sign agreements on behalf of Red Deer Polytechnic.

Federal Grant Submission