SPARC Support and Resources

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.

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1.      Program Outreach

Information Sessions

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 website announcements and our monthly newsletter, SPARC Connects.

Monthly SPARC Connects Newsletter

SPARC distributes an electronic newsletter at the start of each month to provide the UBC research community with an overview of current and ongoing services and resources, including key SPARC and agency deadlines. Subscribe, and/or view archived newsletters on the SPARC Connects webpage.

Networking & Community Events

Researchers who are new to UBC can meet the SPARC team at the annual Vice President Research & International Office’s Research Orientation Day held in August. 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 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

Strategic Workshops

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 intent on building new teams and collaborating on grant applications.

Resources

SPARC offers various program-specific resources to the UBC community though our library of cwl-protected resources.

Sample Grant Library (access requires a UBC CWL)

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.

Guidelines, Tips & Templates (access requires a UBC CWL)

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 available for download following the events, and include audio recordings, presentation slides and handouts.

Test Your Concept (TYC)

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) or general (“SSH TYC Fridays”).

One-on-One Consultation

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.

Partnership Development

SPARC is available to conduct environmental scans/scoping assessments, and to facilitate networking and partnership development opportunities between researchers and industry, government, NGOs and community organizations. To book an initial consultation, please contact a SPARC team member specializing in the relevant research domain.

Proposal Management

SPARC is available to provide planning and management of the various requirements and stages of major institutional proposals (e.g., CERC, NCE, SSHRC PG, etc.). To schedule an initial consultation, please contact a SPARC team member who specializes in the relevant research domain.

 

3.      Proposal Review

Internal Review

Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.

One-on-One Review

SPARC pairs faculty reviewers with applicants to provide them with written feedback to strengthen proposals prior to submission (e.g., SSHRC IG, NSERC SPG). 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 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, NSERC Discovery Grants).

Large Panel Review

SPARC coordinates large panels of faculty reviewers who provide written feedback and engage in group discussion to strengthen applicants’ proposals prior to submission (e.g., CIHR Foundation Grants).

Internal Selection

SPARC organizes formal panels comprised of faculty members responsible for selecting applications to meet agency-mandated institutional quotas, and to provide written feedback and engage in group discussion to strengthen selected proposals prior to submission (e.g., NSERC RTI, NSERC CREATE). Note: Registration and submission deadlines and requirements apply.

SPARC Review
Full Review

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.

Module Review

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.