Conduct Your Research

Preparing your application

When you are working on an application for research funding, it can be helpful to have additional assistance. We can help. We provide one-on-one proposal review up until one week prior to funding deadlines. If you have not made contact and requested services before this one week deadline, we cannot guarantee that we can fully review your proposal. If you are applying to an external competition, you will receive some feedback after you have submitted for the one week internal deadline.

  • Read the request for proposals and any instructions carefully. Use these documents to determine the priorities of your funder, and what criteria the funder will be using to evaluate the applications. You will want to keep these in mind, and be sure that each of these priorities and criteria are clearly addressed in your proposal.
  • Make contact with the grants officer in charge of the program if you have questions. This person has a wealth of information available and can be very helpful in providing you with insights on how the committee responds to various strategies you might use in your proposal.
  • Think carefully about budget. A lower budget is not automatically better - most committees want to see a realistic budget that they can see logically links to the activities and outcomes that you are proposing.
    • One approach to putting together a solid budget is to mentally walk through each activity you plan to carry out. Use a pen and paper to list the costs of each activity as you think of it (for surveys, maybe this would be: fuel, paper for surveys, copying/printing, research assistant time, pens/pencils, etc). When you break down your activities into small steps it is much easier to estimate what your costs will be. Once you have made your list, add a value to each of the items, and determine which are and which are not eligible within the guidelines of the grant you are applying for.
    • Be sure to consider and include overhead costs in your budget application. More information can be found in the MRU Research Overhead and Indirect Costs Policy (POL 585-6)
  • Read/watch any resources provided by the funder. Funders, particularly tri-council, provide many resources for applicants. Take advantage - watch the videos, attend the information sessions. Research funding is highly competitive and you need to give yourself every edge you can.
  • Take advantage of MRU Resources. ORSCE often holds information sessions for major opportunities, brings in speakers on specific opportunities and on general topics of interest related to research and research funding, and offers one-on-one support. We're here to help - just ask.

Research Development Officers

One of ORSCE's core priorities is supporting researchers in the development of their research proposals and grant applications. ORSCE's Research Development Officers (RDOs) offer one-on-one support in developing your grant proposals. The RDOs can work with you from idea to proposal submission, or review proposals at any stage of completion.

Contact a RDO for:

Strategic Advice: The RDOs can sit down with you one-on-one and discuss your research direction, project idea, funding options and provide strategic direction in your options for funding your research.

Grants Development: You have a plan and need to get started on the grant proposal. Contact an RDO - we can provide some direction in how to approach proposal development, provide strategies for some of those particularly tricky areas (budgets, for example) and read provide feedback on drafts. The earlier you make contact, the more we can help.

Final Proposal Review: Just need an additional set of eyes for a final review of your proposal? Contact us a week before the MRU internal application deadline.

Contact Us for more information.

Sample proposals We keep a selection of sample proposals for certain competitions for you to review. Contact Melissa Deane at to inquire as to whether we might have something relevant for the competition to which you are applying.

External resources

Aside from our services, there are many resources on the web for grant applicants.

NSERC Discovery Grants Information Centre This page offers links to many excellent resources for people planning to apply for NSERC Discovery, as well as videos on how to approach the application process. This is an important first stop for anyone who plans to prepare a Discovery application.
SSHRC - How to Apply General instructions and resources for anyone planning to apply for SSHRC grants - include subject matter eligibility, etc.

We are here to help

For questions and assistance with preparing grant applications, please contact ORSCE manager, Melissa Deane, at 403.440.5081 or