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 and attract, retain, and develop researchers undertaking transformative research and applied research programs.

The RCP strongly encourages the submission of proposals that align with the Alberta Research and Innovation Framework (ARIF) and the research priorities expressed in the strategic plans of the applicant institutions.

The RCP has 4 competition streams:

For more information, see the RCP Guidelines (PDF, 569 KB).


The RCP uses a cost-shared funding approach to provide up to 40% of the total eligible project costs for successful proposals, enabling projects to leverage support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (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.

The table below outlines the specific eligibility requirements of the RCP funding streams in relation to the CFI.

RCP Streams Eligibility
College-Industry Innovation (CII) Institutions that have established CFI eligibility for the College-Industry Innovation Fund
Cyber-Infrastructure (CYB) Institutions that have been recognized as eligible by the CFI for the Cyber-Infrastructure Initiative
Research Infrastructure (RI) Institutions that have established CFI eligibility for the Innovation Fund
Small Equipment Grants (SEG) Institutions with CFI JELF (John R. Evans Leaders Fund) allocations
Exceptional Opportunity (EO) Institutions must first engage the RCP to discuss eligibility

Partner contributions

In order to be eligible for support, projects proponents must have a plan in place for securing the balance of project costs from eligible funding sources. The RCP is primarily aimed at leveraging those CFI awards that support Alberta priorities. Thus, 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 (i.e., 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)
  • Canada Research Chairs (CRC)
  • Tri-council programs (e.g., Networks of Centres of Excellence and Canada Research Chairs)

Government of Alberta Infrastructure Contributions

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

Finalization of Awards

Funding for successful proposals 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

RCP Guidelines (PDF, 569 KB)

RCP Alberta Alignment Module (Word, 65 KB) for reporting program alignment

RCP Financial Accountability Report Template (Excel, 37 KB) for reporting requirements of awarded projects

RCP Outcomes Report Template (Word, 94 KB) for reporting requirements of awarded projects

Alberta Research and Innovation Framework

CFI's Policy and Program guide for further information on the CFI