Grants and contributions
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) frequently publishes Announcements of Opportunity (AOs) through its Class Grant and Contribution Program to support research, awareness and learning in space science and technology.
The program provides funding in three main areas:
Support space-related research and development in CSA priority areas, and targeted knowledge development and innovation to sustain and enhance Canada's capacity to use space to meet the country's future needs and priorities.
Raise awareness of Canadian space science and technology by increasing the interest of Canadian youth and educators and their participation in related activities.
Provide learning opportunities to Canadian students, educators and physicians in various space-related disciplines.
Eligibility criteria are specific to each AO and differ for grants and contributions. Be sure to carefully read the AO that interests you to make sure that you are eligible.
Eligible recipients could be one of the following:
- Non-profit organizations
- Post-secondary institutions
- Elementary and secondary schools
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Eligible costs and projects
Consult the AOs to learn more about what types of projects and what costs are eligible.
How to apply
Funding will primarily be allocated through AOs posted on the CSA website. The AOs include an application form and instructions on how to apply. They also outline priorities, objectives, eligibility criteria, eligible costs and the evaluation process.
Unsolicited proposals represent projects that are in line with CSA priorities, but submitted at any time and not in response to an AO. They will be considered at the CSA's discretion and could be accepted on an exceptional basis.
It is strongly recommended to consult the CSA Centre of Expertise to discuss the project before submitting an unsolicited proposal.
When to apply
Application periods vary depending on the AO.
Be sure to check our Funding opportunities page often. AOs are also usually shared on the CSA's Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
Each AO has its own service standards, which are set within the limits of the Class Grant and Contribution Program's service standards. The CSA is committed to responding to applicants within the specified time frames.
For more information about grants and contributions, please contact the Centre of Expertise for Grants and Contributions.
For more information regarding a specific AO, please send an email to the address listed in the AO.
Frequently asked questions
On , the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) held webinars on its Grant and Contribution Program for youth initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The questions have been compiled below.
About the program
1. When will the next Announcement of Opportunity (AO) be posted? What is the application deadline?
The CSA published its second AO in . The deadline to apply to this specific AO is .
2. What is the difference between the two elements of the Grant and Contribution Program (i.e. space awareness and space learning)?
The official definitions of space awareness and space learning can be found on the Grants and contributions page. Generally, space awareness relates more to space STEM activities for K-12 youth while space learning relates to postsecondary initiatives.
3. Does your financing support STEM programs in general or just those that focus on space?
To be eligible, projects must be related to space STEM and meet the objectives and criteria listed in a given AO.
4. Are for-profit organizations eligible recipients for grants and contributions?
For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
5. If a proposal is rejected because it does not meet eligibility criteria, would the applicant be notified right away or only at the end of the evaluation process when all notifications are sent out?
Ineligible applicants are notified in writing once the final decision regarding their application is made and within the timeframe mentioned in the AO service standards.
6. Does the CSA expect projects to be national in scope in terms of impact or could they be regional (provincial, city)?
Projects with a regional impact are eligible. Each proposal is evaluated based on the evaluation criteria indicated in the AO.
Funding and duration
7. Is there a minimum/maximum requested amount per project?
The amounts are specific to each AO. Generally, there is a maximum amount per project indicated in AOs, but no minimum.
8. Are grants for one year?
The project period may differ and is indicated in each AO. Generally, grants can be requested for a maximum of two years.
9. What is the percentage of the eligible costs that may be funded by the CSA?
Approved initiatives will be eligible for total government assistance of up to 100%.
10. When receiving a contribution, recipients are expected to incur the expenses first and get them reimbursed later. This model is not favourable for charitable organizations, as most don't have enough funding to spend first and recover later. The majority of already secured funding is designated for various purposes. Is there an option to receive advances for a period of time, to support our cash flow? Some other federal agencies and departments provide advances and it is hugely helpful.
The payment schedule for contributions is established based on several criteria, such as but not limited to risk assessment, cash flow forecast requirements and availability of funds, and it will be integrated into the contribution agreements signed by the two parties.
11. In the AO, the budget was $1.6 million and a maximum amount per proposal was $400,000. Does that mean that only up to four projects will be selected for a contribution?
The number of projects funded depends on the amounts per project requested. In this case, four projects were selected. The requirements for the projects funded under this AO were different from the requirements for the projects funded under the grants AOs.
12. Will there be any funding opportunities for other significant space events that do not relate to Moon exploration, such as the solar eclipse that will track through Canada?
Currently, the CSA has no plan to offer funding for youth space STEM activities that are not related to the Gateway program or Moon exploration. Should any new initiative be approved, the CSA will inform the community through the usual channels.
13. If a grant deadline is at the end of January/beginning of February, when will successful grant applicants be notified?
According to service standards included in each AO, successful applicants would be notified in May.
14. Can you tell us how many applications you have received for each AO published so far? Also, how many recipients were you able to award the funding to in the first call ()?
For the first AO (grants), the CSA received 33 proposals and funded nine projects. For the second AO (contributions), 11 proposals were received and four were selected.
15. What categories will next AOs be in (e.g., Space Brain Hack, Healthy Mind and Body, etc.)?
For grants AOs, the proposals should focus on topics related to Moon exploration: robotics and artificial intelligence, health and nutrition, science on rovers, etc. Details are provided in each AO.
16. Is the CSA in a position to test technical aspects of a project, for example through the STRATOS high-altitude flights?
The CSA may be involved in some of the project's activities such as testing. However, there may be other requirements, such as development of an additional collaboration agreement, definition of a new project value, and confirmation of availability of CSA resources.
17. How many more AOs do you expect to publish in – and –?
The CSA intends to publish three or four more AOs in the next two years.
18. Are the evaluators volunteers from outside the CSA, employees or both?
For previous AOs, the CSA used internal evaluators only. Support from external evaluators could be requested to evaluate future applications.
19. Where or when can we see the recipients of previous AOs?
All the grants and contributions awarded by the CSA are published on a quarterly basis on the Open Government website.
20. As an astronomy educator, do I have to wait for a specific AO or can I submit my proposal at any time?
The funding is primarily allocated through AOs. On an exceptional basis and based on strict conditions, unsolicited proposals that are in line with CSA priorities could be submitted at any time. Please consult the Grants and contributions page for more information.
Contact information and updates
21. How can organizations receive updates about AO postings?
22. Who should we contact if we have questions about the CSA's grants and contributions or youth STEM initiatives?
You can contact us about youth STEM initiatives by using this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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