Research Capacity Program – Overview

Supports Alberta's post-secondary institutions and researchers in acquiring small equipment and large research infrastructure.


The Research Capacity Program (RCP) is a competitive funding program designed to support the acquisition of small equipment and large research infrastructure to build capacity in Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

The RCP aims to attract, retain, and develop researchers undertaking transformative research and applied research programs. The RCP aligns with and complements the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding programs, and serves as Alberta’s only mechanism for leveraging CFI support.

The RCP strongly encourages the submission of applications that align with the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy and the research priorities expressed in the applicant institution’s research priorities.

The RCP includes the following competition streams:

For more information, including project highlights, see the:


The RCP employs an independent Multidisciplinary Review Panel comprised of academic and research experts from across Canada with senior research and administrative experience. Panel members are chosen based on their research record, area of expertise, senior leadership and knowledge of the research funding environment, and for their collective ability to bring multidisciplinary expertise to the review process.

The RCP does not disclose the identities of its Multidisciplinary Review Panel members to ensure their objectivity and impartiality. RCP may provide anonymized reviewer feedback to institutions, at its discretion.

The review process encompasses 3 stages:

  1. Expert review (where applicable, CFI expert reviews are used).
  2. Independent review by the Multidisciplinary Review Panel.
  3. Decisions by the Minister of Technology and Innovation.

The panel uses the program guidelines and criteria to review all applications, taking into account the CFI or stream-specific expert reviews, and assessing the alignment of applications with Alberta’s research and innovation priorities and the research priorities expressed by the applicant institutions.

The panel deliberations result in a set of recommendations, which are provided to the minister to inform final decisions.


The RCP uses a cost-shared funding approach to provide up to 40% of the total eligible project costs for successful applications, enabling projects to leverage support from the CFI and other sources.

Funding for successful applications will be conditional on securing the balance of project funding from partners and submitting the CFI’s award finalization documentation. Institutions should engage the RCP if challenges arise.


All submissions to the RCP must adhere to the CFI Policy and Program Guide with respect to eligibility criteria, application processes and related requirements.

Eligible institutions

The RCP adheres to the CFI’s applicant eligibility guidelines. Accordingly, RCP streams are limited to institutions approved as CFI-eligible. Please refer to the CFI Policy and Program Guide for details.

Partner contributions

To be eligible for support, projects' proponents need a plan in place for securing the balance of project costs from eligible funding sources.

The RCP primarily aims at leveraging CFI awards that support Alberta priorities. The project scope, budget, and funding sources must be identical in the submissions to the CFI and to the RCP.

Accordingly, the RCP considers any of the following as possible sources of partner contributions:

  • institutional funds
  • other Government of Alberta ministries
  • other government sources
  • Alberta Innovates
  • business and industry
  • non-profit organizations
  • endowments
  • user fees
  • licensing fees and royalties

To coordinate with the CFI, the RCP normally does not consider the following sources to be acceptable:

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • Tri-council programs (for example, Networks of Centres of Excellence and Canada Research Chairs)

Government of Alberta infrastructure contributions

In cases where Alberta Infrastructure uses capital funding sources for equipment and infrastructure contributions, such sources, combined with the requested RCP contribution, should not exceed 40%.

Research security

The RCP adheres to rigorous research security standards. Applicants seeking funding through the RCP must ensure compliance with the research security obligations, both during the application process and throughout the duration of the funded project.

As part of the proposal package for the 2024-25 competitions, the institutional cover letter is required to incorporate a brief confirmation expressing the institution’s endorsement of the proposed projects as well as a guarantee that all research endeavours and partnerships outlined within the proposed applications will uphold measures to safeguard research advancements. The cover letter must be authorized by a designated institutional representative.

Documents and templates