Resources & FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a summary of frequently asked questions from the IPO information session on the CFI IF 2023 competition. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us at

Should we expect anything unusual about the upcoming IF competition because of COVID?

As far as we know, the CFI budget for the IF 2023 competition is COVID proof and the competition is expected to go ahead.  The review process may look a little different (e.g. no in-person meetings) to accommodate travel restrictions and social distancing protocols, but the structure of the review will remain the same.

Is it possible to collaborate with another Canadian institution?

Yes.  We have several multi-institutional applications in every competition.  For these types of applications, confirm with your colleagues what their respective internal deadlines and processes are. These multi-institutional applications must go through the internal processes at each of the institutions, not just the lead institution. 

Can a researcher be involved in more than one CFI proposal?

Yes. A researcher can be part of a team on more than one CFI IF proposal.

While representation of global leadership as part of the team composition is crucial, will there be credit given to the inclusion of promising early-career and mid-career researchers?

We do recommend that teams include researchers in different stages of their career including early career researchers.

How is the capacity to work together as a team judged at the CFI?

When you are writing the “Researcher” section, there are some factors you can include to demonstrate working together as a team. One of the best ways to demonstrate this is publishing together, being co-applicants on grants; co-supervising trainees. You can also demonstrate this graphically by including a connectivity to show the linkages/connections and strength of connections among the team.

Does UBC score multidisciplinary proposals more highly in the internal competition?

Unless it is specified as an objective of the IF competition, the CFI reviewers will not place a higher value on multi-disciplinary proposals. Hence, the UBC internal review will not score multidisciplinary proposals more highly.

Are projects that are requesting items to build custom infrastructure eligible?

Yes, this is allowed, as long as the design is not part of the research project.  For example, the printing of custom chips is not eligible, as this is viewed as the cost of doing research.  However, if the requested infrastructure is required to design the custom chip that will be used to do research - that is eligible.  

Is building a web based database platform an eligible CFI request. Are ongoing licensing fees CFI eligible?

Yes, building a database platform is allowed. But requests to pay for subscription fees for example to access data is not eligible as that is seen as the cost of doing research.

A number of CFI reviews brought up a lack of a detailed data management plan. For the upcoming competition, will there be an emphasis on this?

The CFI reviewers make comments that do not always align with the CFI criteria. It is best to provide as much detail as possible.

What is the range of CFI IF budgets? Does having a smaller budget increase your chances of being put forward at the UBC level?

In the last CFI IF 2020 competition, the minimum total project cost per application was $1 million. This minimum amount may change for the upcoming competition. The total project cost that UBC submitted in the last competition ranged from $1.3M to $9.3M. Having a smaller budget offers UBC the option to submit more proposals to the CFI. However, it does not affect how the project is evaluated at the UBC internal review.

Are infrastructure requests that are part of a core facility or a core-facility component eligible/advised or are they detrimental?

Based on the criteria from the last IF 2020 competition, infrastructure requests can be stored/housed within a core facility if it aligns with the research needs of the CFI proposal and it makes sense to do so for operations and maintenance purposes.

Equity Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) instructions for e.g, NFRF, recommends against using demographics and 'counts' as the basis for this section. Is it possible for UBC to provide us with successful NFRF versions as examples of what we could do for CFI?
Is there a correlation between team size and success rate?

Finding the appropriate team size should be about the fit between the researchers’ expertise and the request. More complex projects tend to need a full team.


CFI Resources:

UBC internal resources - please do not distribute these resources as they are for internal UBC use only:

BCKDF Resources: