SPARC offers a competitive advantage to faculty members by providing strategic research funding development services and resources designed to develop capacity, build collaborations, increase application success rates and enhance research excellence at UBC.
SPARC services and resources available to researchers at UBC’s Vancouver, Okanagan and academic hospital campuses is summarized below.
1. Program Outreach
SPARC organizes a variety of events throughout the year for new and established faculty members to provide an introduction to a specific funding agency and/or competition. These opportunities are communicated to the UBC research community via the Events+Workshops calendar and through the UBC Research Digest.
Researchers who are new to UBC can meet the SPARC team at the annual Research Orientation Day held by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Other events are organized on an ad hoc basis and typically target a special funding opportunity or create a networking opportunity within a specific research area/discipline. To suggest an event, please contact a SPARC team member who specializes in the relevant research domain.
SPARC is available to meet with researchers interested in discussing funding program options. SPARC also offers specialized presentations and meetings tailored to the needs of UBC Departments, Faculties and other units. To request a SPARC session/meeting, please contact a team member who specializes in the relevant research domain.
2. Project & Proposal Development
These workshops provide a forum for researchers to connect with VP Research and International Funding Agency Advisors, UBC grant experts and peer review panel members, as well as networking opportunities for those that intend to build new teams and collaborate on grant applications.
SPARC offers various program-specific resources to the UBC community through our library of CWL-protected resources.
Recent successful grant applications, generously contributed by UBC researchers, are available for viewing as electronic documents (via CWL) or hardcopies (requiring a visit to the SPARC office, the Department of Medicine at VGH or ORS at UBC Okanagan). SPARC sample grants are an excellent source of ideas for effective structure, style and layout development. Note: These grants represent past competitions and may not reflect current requirements, so please consult the relevant agency funding announcement or SPARC contact for details about recent changes.
Researchers can access program-specific guidelines, tips and templates developed by SPARC including: ‘cheat sheets’ for drafting initial content; templates to ensure your application adheres to the competition instructions and adjudication criteria; common mistakes to avoid; best practices shared by previous applicants/reviewers; etc.
SPARC workshop materials are available for download following the events and include audio recordings, presentation slides and handouts.
SPARC organizes faculty panels for researchers interested in sharing their project concepts and receiving feedback to develop proposals prior to submission. TYC panels may be competition-specific (e.g., SSHRC PG LOI, NFRF Transformation) or general (“SSH TYC Fridays”).
The SPARC team is available for meetings with researchers who are developing project ideas into a competitive research funding application. To request a consultation meeting, please contact a SPARC team member who specializes in the relevant research domain.
3. Proposal Review
Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.
SPARC organizes small discussion groups of faculty researchers who provide each other with written feedback and engage in group discussion to strengthen proposals prior to submission (e.g., CIHR Project Grants).
SPARC organizes formal panels comprised of faculty members responsible for selecting applications to meet agency-mandated institutional quotas. The panellists also provide written feedback and engage in group discussion to strengthen selected proposals prior to submission (e.g., NSERC CREATE). Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.
SPARC professionals provide written feedback on full applications to strengthen them prior to submission. Feedback addresses proposal issues such as content gaps related to selection criteria and instructions/guidelines; application organization and formatting; clarification of meaning; strengthening content impact; etc. Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.
SPARC professionals provide written feedback on a targeted section or sections of applications to strengthen them prior to submission. Feedback may address sections such as: Budget Justification; Benefits to Canada and the Supporting Organizations; Expected Outcomes Summary; etc. Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.