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Kule Research Cluster Grants at the University of Alberta

Kule Research Cluster Grants support sustained activities of an interdisciplinary research team in the social sciences, humanities and arts that have the potential to be recognized as excellent at the national or international level. Grants are awarded up to $100,000 over three years to build an interdisciplinary research cluster.

Deadline for Letter of Intent (LOI): Friday, November 1st, 2019


The Principal Investigator (primary applicant) must be a full-time faculty member at the UAlberta proposing a project in the social sciences, humanities or arts. Team members can be from university (Canada and international), community organizations, government, and industry/business. The core team must include at least 4 full-time faculty members from UAlberta.

Special note

In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, we particularly encourage the development of proposals related to Indigenous research as defined by SSHRC, but with the less restricted understanding that projects can also be on or for Indigenous people (for the full SSHRC definition please consult this webpage). We also encourage comparative Indigenous research projects, especially those rooted in the Canadian experience. All proposals related to Indigenous research will be adjudicated by an expanded Research Committee involving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.

How to apply

Submit a short Letter of Intent to The LOI should be max. 5 pages using Times New Roman or Calibri 12 point fonts, single spacing and 1" margins. Please self-identify if your proposal should be considered under Indigenous research. In the LOI we would like to know what the focus of the research cluster will be, what the cluster expects to achieve, who will be involved, what activities you will engage in, and what you need KIAS support for. If your project is shortlisted by the Research Committee, then you will be invited to develop a full proposal with the support of the Director and Program Coordinator. Full proposals will go to the Administrative Board for final approval. ***More detailed instructions below***


Potential of research cluster to achieve national or international recognition; interdisciplinarity and appropriateness of the team; suitability of the activities proposed; matching support; and commitment to developing a longer term research agenda through other research funding opportunities.


Up to $100,000 over three years. Budget items should be eligible expenses under SSHRC guidelines, but please note that Research Cluster Grants cannot be used for publication subventions. Post-award, similar to SSHRC's policy, you may make changes in your budget without seeking sponsor approval as long as you use your grant for the broad purpose for which it was originally awarded.

Budget allocation to be negotiated with the Director. Proposals are adjudicated by the Research Committee and approved by the Administrative Board. Successful projects are expected to start in March 2020.

Please note, the RSO 'Proposal Request' created and submitted via the Researcher Home Page is not required for the LOI stage of the Kule Research Cluster Grant application. 

When submitting a Letter of Intent we suggest you include the following information:

  • Title and Summary of the Project: What is the title of your project? Provide a short summary. (100 words)
  • Name of PI, affiliation, and brief bio: Who is the Principal Investigator and what units is she/he affiliated with? Provide a brief bio (no more than a few paragraphs) about the PI’s background focusing on why she/he is the appropriate lead for the proposed project.
  • Names of others, their affiliation: Names and affiliation of UAlberta, national and international team members.
  • Discussion of Partnership: Discussion of the involvement of the PI and of the members of the cluster. Why is this team right for the project? Who would you try to involve in the cluster? What partnerships will be developed?
  • Description of Project: What is the research area of strength that the project will build? Discussion of the urgency of the project and strategic fit at the University of Alberta.
  • Activities and Timeline: Discussion of research activities to be conducted and how they will build this research area. Please provide a timeline (successful projects are expected to start in March 2020).
  • Anticipated Outcomes: Discuss the anticipated outcomes of the project. What will the project prepare your team for? What might be the next steps after the cluster?
  • Brief Budget: Outline of support needed with justification. We do not expect an exact budget at this point. Budget items should be eligible expenses under SSHRC guidelines (please note that publication subventions are not an eligible expense for our Cluster grants).
  • Optional: References or citations (max. 1 supplementary page)

Successful past applications

Several examples of successful past LOIs and Full Proposals can be found in our Successful Grants Library. Log in to Google Apps with your U of A CCID to be able to view them. Please note that formatting requirements for Kule Research Cluster Grants have changed throughout the years so older proposals may not be fully representative of current requirements in terms of length, spacing, font size etc. We believe these proposals are still helpful though in planning the scope and team composition of your project. Please consult the information in the "How to apply" section above to make sure you follow current formatting requirements.

If you have questions or want to discuss ideas, please contact

Application date
3 years
America : Canada
Social sciences
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Up to CAD$ 100.000