Internal Research Grant Fund


The Internal Research Grant Fund (IRGF) is the main source of internal research funds available to eligible faculty at Mount Royal University. This program is designed to support faculty in developing their research programs through the funding of:

  • Pilot projects
  • Projects designed to lead to larger-scale external funding applications
  • Projects that are not well-suited to external funding opportunities

Opportunity Deadlines

Fall Application Deadline: noon Thursday, September 29th, 2022 

Winter Application Deadline: noon Friday, January 13, 2023 
The maximum period for a project is now 1 year.  Applications awarded in the Fall IRGF opportunity must be completed by December 31, 2023. Applications awarded in the Winter IRGF opportunity must be completed by March 31, 2024.
Applicants are encouraged to apply to the opportunity that best suits their proposed project timeline.

Applications will be accepted until noon on the submission deadline. Results will be announced 6-8 weeks from the submission deadline.
Program guidelines subject to change between opportunities. Please review for updates prior to application submission.

SSHRC Awards

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) recently merged the Aid to Small Universities and SSHRC Institution Grants into a single program to be administered by eligible institutions. MRU receives a $36,503 block grant to be awarded as SSHRC Explore (for research activities) and SSHRC Exchange (for dissemination activities) grants.

The application process for the SSHRC Grants is integrated with the Internal Research Grant Fund (IRGF) for Explore Grants and Faculty Research and Scholarship Dissemination Fund (FRSDF) awards for Exchange Grants.

Applications for these awards will be conducted through ROMEO in the IRGF and FRSDF opportunities respectively. Applicants with SSHRC eligible activities will automatically be considered for the SSHRC Grants by the Scholarship Review Committee. The top 4 ranked IRGF and top 3 ranked FCTF SSHRC eligible applications from each opportunity will be awarded SSHRC Explore and SSHRC Exchange Grants respectively. These SSHRC awards will be administered identically to existing internal awards, but they will be 'branded' as SSHRC awards and will have specific acknowledgement and reporting requirements.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be full-time tenurable or tenured Mount Royal University faculty at the time of application. Part-time faculty members interested in applying are required to partner as a co-applicant with an eligible full-time faculty member. Non-MRU faculty may participate as co-collaborators and are expected to bring their own resources to the project. With the exception of certain travel- and subsistence-related expenses, IRGF (or SSHRC Explore) funds may not be used to cover expenses collaborators incur in the conduct of research or research-related activity.

Applicants may hold one IRGF (or SSHRC Explore) every 2 years. Lead applicants can only submit one application per opportunity. Previous IRGF grants must be completed at least 12 months before applicants are eligible to apply again. A grant is completed when all expenses have been incurred and the final research report has been submitted. This applies to the Principal Investigator only. NOTE: grant extensions will impact your eligibility period.

Ineligible applications will be returned without adjudication.

Program Opportunities

Eligible applicants (see above Applicant Eligibility section) can apply for the below categories of IRGF funding:

STANDARD GRANTS are led by an individual eligible applicant and may have one or more co-applicants or collaborators.
The maximum value of an IRGF Standard Grant is $5,000 over one year.

TEAM GRANTS are led by an eligible applicant with one or more co-applicants or collaborators.
The maximum value of an IRGF Team Grant is $10,000 over one year.
COVID-19 Considerations: Applications submitted to the Fall IRGF should be ready to commence upon notification of award. Applicants may be asked to detail how their proposed project could proceed within MRU's current COVID-19 guidelines. 

Adjudication Process and Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be adjudicated by the Scholarship Review Committee (SRC). The SRC is composed of faculty members from across Mount Royal University. Each academic Faculty has representation on this committee. As a whole, the Scholarship Review Committee has a wide range of research experience covering quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies. Therefore, it is important to understand that all SRC committee members will review and adjudicate all IRGF applications - please ensure that you write your proposal so that it can be reasonably evaluated by all faculty on the SRC.

Each application will be assigned three members of the Scholarship Review Committee as Primary reviewers. All proposals will then be discussed by the full committee for final allocation decisions.

The ORSCE will notify applicants of the results of their applications and will provide committee comments to applicants who were not selected for funding.

* If you are concerned about a potential Conflict of Interest with your proposal and a particular committee member, please be sure to explain this in the Conflict of Interest section of your application. The ORSCE will work with your Faculty Dean to explore and mitigate potential conflicts that have been identified to us.*

The SRC Criteria for Internal Research Grant Review

1 - Unsatisfactory
2 - Lacking, requires additional information or clarity
3 - Satisfactory to good: adequate, moderately addressed, some uncertainties of lack of clarity remain
4 - Good to very good: meets expectations
5 - Very good to excellent: very clear, exceeds expectations

Applications must receive a score of 3.0 or higher for each criterion to be recommended for funding
Criterion Score 1/2/3/4/5 Comments
Literature Review
Literature review is clear and situates the proposed research. Selected references are current and there is evidence of information/knowledge synthesis. (What do we know and need to know about the proposed area of research, scholarship or community engagement?)
Problem/Research Question
Problem and/or research question is clearly articulated. (To what question/problem is this project the answer?)
Research Program
Project is situated (placed in the context of) previous and/or future research program of the applicant. (How does this project fit into the scholarship activities of the applicant?)
Research Contribution
The applicant describes how the work will contribute to the proposed field of study. (What is the potential significance and originality of the project outcomes?)
Proposal Understandability
The proposal is written in a manner that makes the topic understandable to an educated, but non-specialist, audience. (Does the applicant use 'plain language' and avoid the undefined use of jargon and technical terms?)
The methods to conduct the work are described in enough detail to understand all phases of the project from data collection to analysis. (Is it clear what the applicant intends to do and how it will be done?)
Research Outcomes Plan
A plan for communicating research outcomes is clearly presented. (How will the results of the research be shared with the appropriate communities of interest - including knowledge mobilization if appropriate?)
Student Engagement
The role/benefit and training of undergraduate researchers is included in the project or an explanation is provided as to why this is not needed or appropriate to conduct the work. (What are the benefits to undergrad students in the project? What is the potential role of undergraduates in the project? If undergraduate students are not included, is the rationale understandable?)
Budget Justification
The proposed budget is reasonable. (Are the proposed expenditures appropriate for the activities being conducted?)

Budget FAQ

Most expenses that are related to the direct costs of research are eligible under the Internal Research Grants fund.

Examples of typical IRGF expenses are:
  • Personnel/student Research Assistant (RA) costs
  • Data collection costs (including related travel)
  • Conference/dissemination travel (see the note below)
  • Small equipment purchases (excluding computers)
  • Specialist services not available at Mount Royal University (e.g. translation)
Personnel costs: Include rates (as a guide, the "standard" RA rate is $17-$21 per hour at Mount Royal University), hours and total costs. The current employer's costs are approximately 17% (9.2% vacation and holiday, employer's contributions of 5.10% and employer's CEI contributions of 2.268%). The benefit costs should also be included for budgetary purposes (this covers CPP and CEI employer costs) and is an additional cost charged to the grant account.

Equipment: Include a reasonable estimate of what the required equipment will cost. Estimates can be determined by contacting suppliers or consulting appropriate websites. Don't forget costs for taxes, shipping, exchange and duty. All equipment purchased through an IRGF award are the property of MRU.
Collaborators expenses: Non-MRU faculty may participate as co-collaborators and are expected to bring their own resources to the project. With the exception of certain travel- and subsistence-related expenses, IRGF (or SSHRC Explore) funds may not be used to cover expenses collaborators incur in the conduct of research or research-related activity.
For travel/conferences: Try to estimate the full cost. If the conference has not yet been scheduled or is some time in the future, estimate the costs.
For example: Domestic conference presentation: $1250.

  • Application budgets comprised entirely of conference or dissemination-based travel will not be funded through the Internal Research Grants Fund. Faculty should apply to the Faculty Research and Scholarship Dissemination Fund and other faculty-specific sources for conference travel funds.
  • Applications that include more than one conference in a funding year are likely to have only one conference funded if successful.
Ineligible expense examples:
  • COVID Quarantine related expenses
  • Personnel Costs for principal applicant, co-applicants and collaborators
  • Teaching Release
  • Office Supplies: General office supplies and photocopying are not eligible expenses. Printing that is specifically related to the project (e.g. printing of paper surveys to be used in data collection) is an allowable expense. Contact Print Services for current rates. Be sure to provide appropriate justification for these costs in your application.
Other Funding:

It is common and acceptable practice to submit the same proposal to multiple funding opportunities. However, you must indicate in your application if this proposal has been submitted to another internal or external opportunity. If both opportunities are awarded, you may be asked to forfeit your IRGF award if you do not adequately indicate how you will effectively utilize both opportunities.

Additionally, if your project budget exceeds the maximum award amount, you must clearly indicate in the application how you will obtain the additional funds.

ORSCE follows MRU and Tri-Agency policies and procedures must be observed when spending an IRGF award. You may find the relevant MRU policies and procedures on the ORSCE and Financial Services websites. Visit the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration for more information on the relevant polices.

Once funding has been secured, our Research Finance Analyst will be happy to sit down with you and explain key finance procedures associated with your project, however, by accepting funds from the Internal Research Grants Fund, you are agreeing to use those funds in accordance with all policies and procedures governing research at Mount Royal University.

Research Compliance

Compliance certification (human ethics, animal, biomedical, etc.), is not required before applications have been approved for funding. However, successful awards will not be released until all required certifications have been secured. Please contact Priscilla Wamucii (, Research Compliance Officer, for more information.


Melissa Deane (, Director of the ORSCE, will be able to answer many of the questions you may have on the IRGF process.