Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence

The Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence program provides research institutions with funding to support the operational costs of major projects of strategic value to the province. The fund provides up to one third of the total value of a project, with the remaining two thirds coming from a combination of private sector and institutional contributions.

Update 15/02/22: Competition timelines have been adjusted to reflect the new Ministry deadline

Application Timeline and Important Dates for ORF-RE Round 11

  • There is no Notice of Intent stage for this round. Applicants are encouraged to notify Western Research of their intent to apply as soon as possibly by emailing Sahana Mazumder, Program Administrator (smazumd2 [at] uwo.ca).
  • Western Research ORF-RE Round 11 Information Session
    • Thursday, November 25, 2021, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Register Here
    • Slides and a recording of the presentation will be posted on this page following the session
  • Ministry ORF-RE Round 11 Information Sessions
    • Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. or
    • Thursday, December 2, 2021, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    • Register Here
  • Tuesday, February 1, 2022: Preliminary draft & preliminary budget to RDS
  • Thursday, March 24, 2022: Information for institutional letters, draft partner letters of support and final budget submitted to Western Research in order to guarantee the required institutional letters. (Western-led projects and co-applicants on external proposals.)
  • Thursday, April 7, 2022: Final proposal, all letters of support (collaborating institutions, partners, end users), and ROLA proposal submitted to Western Research
  • Thursday, April 14, 2022: Submission of applications to the Ministry by Western Research


  • Eligible institutions include: universities, colleges, research hospitals, non-profit research institutions.

Application Streams

ORF-RE Round 11 has two application streams:

  • Stream 1: General - Basic and Applied Research
    • Open to all research disciplines
    • Funds projects from $500,000 to $2,000,000
    • Funds projects up to a maximum of 5 years
  • Stream 2: Targeted - Experimental Research
    • Funds projects that demonstrate strong commercialization potential, where the innovation is at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 3 or higher
    • Targets projects in sectors of information communications technologies; life sciences and medical devices; and industrial technologies
    • Requires collaboration with an Ontario-based company
    • Funds projects from $300,000 to $1,000,000
    • Funds projects up to a maximum of 4 years

For both streams, priority will be given to applications focused on:

  • Connected, autonomous, electric vehicles (including battery and powertrain technology)
  • Industrial/mining technologies related to electric vehicles, spanning the entire value chain from minerals to manufacturing to recovering resources from vehicles or their compontent parts at end-of-life

Please note that the above amounts are inclusive of 40% indirect costs. The maximum direct research costs are therefore approximately $1.42M for Stream 1, and $714K for Stream 2. Cash from partners will be subject to an indirect cost rate of 25%.

Funding Amount

ORF-RE provides up to 1/3 of the total value of a project with the remaining 2/3 from a combination of private sector and institutional contributions. 

Partner contributions must have been received no earlier than March 21, 2021. Expenses (project start date) must be September 28, 2021 or later. Consult our ORF-RE Budget Guide (forthcoming) or contact Research Development if you have questions regarding eligibility of partner cash or in-kind contributions.

Relevant Documents and Links

ORF-RE Round 11 Information:

ORF-RE Round 11 Additional Resources (Western login required):


For more information, or questions relating to the ORF-RE program, please contact: Deanne van Tol, Research Development Officer, or Sahana Mazumder, Program Administrator.