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 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.


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 (example: derived from applicant institution)
  • 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 (e.g., 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%.

Finalization of awards

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 Research Capacity Program if challenges arise.

Documents and templates