SPARC offers a competitive advantage to UBC faculty members by providing strategic services and resources for major Tri-Agency research grant competitions designed to develop capacity, build collaborations, increase application success rates and enhance research excellence at UBC.
Note: SPARC’s mandate is to support major faculty Tri-Agency research grant competitions (refer to “Programs” tabs at the top of the page). SPARC does not support student or trainee competitions.
SPARC services and resources for UBC faculty-led applications are summarized below.
1. Program Outreach
SPARC organizes a variety of events throughout the year for new and established UBC 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.
Networking & Community Events
UBC faculty 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.
Individual & Unit Consultation
SPARC is available to meet with UBC faculty 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 UBC faculty researchers to connect with VP Research & Innovation Faculty Research 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 faculty research community through our library of CWL-protected resources.
Sample Grant Library (access requires a UBC CWL)
Recent successful grant applications, generously contributed by UBC faculty researchers, are available for viewing as electronic documents (via CWL). 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.
Guidelines, Tips & Templates (access requires a UBC CWL)
UBC faculty 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.
Presentation Materials (access requires a UBC CWL)
SPARC workshop materials are available for download following the events and include audio recordings, presentation slides and handouts.
Test Your Concept (TYC)
SPARC organizes faculty panels for UBC faculty 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.
The SPARC team is available for meetings with UBC faculty 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 pairs UBC faculty reviewers with UBC faculty applicants to provide them with written feedback to strengthen proposals prior to submission (e.g., SSHRC Insight Grant). Face-to-face meetings can also be organized to discuss feedback at the discretion of the applicant and reviewer.
Small Panel Review
SPARC organizes small discussion groups of UBC faculty researchers who provide each other with written feedback and engage in group discussion to strengthen proposals prior to submission (e.g., SSHRC Insight Grant).
SPARC organizes formal panels comprised of UBC 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 to UBC faculty researchers 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 to UBC faculty researchers 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.