UBC Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters

Program Link: https://research.ubc.ca/vpri-competitions-initiatives/research-excellence-clusters/grants-catalyzing-research-clusters

Sponsor:  UBC Offices of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation and the Provost & Vice-President, Academic

Value: Emerging clusters may request grants up to $100,000 per proposal. Established clusters may apply for grants of up to $200,000.  Funding must be spent within 1 year of receipt, or if a two-year term is chosen, clusters must spend at least 30% of their budget by the end of the first year.

Description: The Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters (GCRC) competition was created to enable the formation and growth of interdisciplinary research excellence clusters. Fostering collaboration is a central priority in UBC’s strategic plan (Shaping UBC’s Next Century).

For the purposes of this funding competition, a research excellence cluster is defined as a network of researchers spanning multiple disciplines at UBC who form and nurture interdisciplinary teams that foster partnerships and collaborations, develop new research questions/directions/themes in research creation, address key societal and cultural problems, and work together to solve challenges that transcend traditional boundaries. These grants are specifically targeted to catalyzing research initiatives, thereby enabling clusters to produce a greater impact than would otherwise be possible. Researchers from all disciplines are invited to apply for funding.

GCRC competitions are open to clusters led by researchers at our Vancouver campus and affiliated hospital sites. Clusters being led by researchers at our Okanagan campus can apply for funding through the Eminence program.

There will only be one competition in the winter for 2023/24 GCRC. New clusters and eligible clusters funded by previous GCRC competitions are invited to apply.


Required Notice of Intent: November 1, 2022

Full application deadline: January 11, 2023

Information sessions: October 13 and 17, 2022



Information sessions will be held via Zoom on:

October 13 from 10-11:30 am, and

October 17 from 10-11:30 am

Please register here.

An optional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Session will be held on November 14 from 9:30-11 am for those who submitted an NOI. Registration for this session will open closer to the date.



Please visit the GCRC web page for complete submission components .

To apply to the GCRC competition, the cluster lead must log in to VPRI’s online application system UBC Research + Innovation Apply using their campus-wide login (CWL), and follow the instructions provided. Once the full application has been initiated, the cluster lead may invite co-applicants with a CWL to contribute using the “add collaborator” button located in the left side block. Applications can be saved and completed at a later date before final submission and can be downloaded as a PDF at any time. Each section must be marked as complete before the lead applicant can submit the application.

A completed and signed Research Project Information Form (RPIF) must be uploaded as part of the application.

Researchers are invited to submit an application that demonstrates how the requested funding will be used to create and/or advance a research excellence cluster. Clusters should seek to generate new opportunities for collaborative research, scholarship and/or artistic creation. The outcomes achieved with GCRC funds may vary among applications (e.g., new partnerships, the pursuit of increased extramural funding opportunities, and international collaborations, which should make a strong case for the value of those outcomes to the proposed research cluster, and demonstrate how the funding will be used to achieve them.

Please visit the GCRC web page for complete submission components.



The lead applicant must be a UBC Vancouver faculty member eligible to hold Tri-Agency funding. Clusters may include non-faculty researchers, and we encourage clusters to include researchers from both UBC campuses and affiliated hospital sites as appropriate. Researchers may be members of more than one cluster, but can only be the nominated lead on one application per competition.

Clusters led by faculty members at the Okanagan campus must apply for cluster funding through the Eminence Program.

Currently and previously funded clusters whose project term lengths have ended or will end by March 2022 are eligible to apply.

All clusters must apply as either an Emerging or Established cluster and must choose a one- or two-year project term. The two-year term is designed to allow more flexibility for planning and spending an awarded budget. Please note that there is no budget increase if a two-year term is chosen. Applicants selecting a two-year budget term will not be eligible to apply to a potential 2024/25 GCRC competition.

Direct costs of research are ineligible. Clusters may choose to use a portion of their funding to support trainees by completing the trainee stipend section of the application. Stipends cannot be applied for following the awarding of GCRC funds.



The VP Research & Innovation Office will be hosting two information sessions on the current competition.  We encourage all groups who are interested in applying for this competition to attend one of these sessions.

For further information on the GCRC funding competition, contact Stacey Herzer in the VP Research & Innovation Office.

Requisite online Notice of Intent deadline: November 1, 2022

Final submission deadline: January 11, 2023

Contact: Stacey Herzer stacey.herzer@ubc.ca in VPRI or Robert Olaj in ORE robert.olaj@ubc.ca