Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases Catalyst Grant Program


The goal of this award is to launch or contribute to a bold, innovative and ambitious project, with the potential to subsequently leverage additional substantial support.

General Information

  • The purpose of the fund is to support innovative, high-risk, high-reward catalyst grants for research that aligns with the Institute’s mandate and priorities and makes substantial use of the Live Cell Imaging Lab and the other Snyder Institute Core Research Platforms and affiliated platforms.
  • Up to $250,000 is available in each funding cycle, and can be awarded as a single grant or multiple smaller awards. In the event that no suitable proposals are identified in a particular cycle, the Snyder Institute Executive Leadership may exercise the option to roll funds forward into a subsequent call for applications.
  • In the absence of extenuating circumstances, funds should be spent within 18 months of notice of the award (one six-month extension can be requested). Funds not used within this period will be returned to the original sources.


  • The primary applicant must have a full-time faculty appointment at the University of Calgary and must be a Full Member of the Snyder Institute.
  • The majority of collaborators must be primary members of the Snyder Institute.


Deadlines for applications are at 11:59 PM on:

Deadlines Result Date
December 15th March 30th

Use of Funds

Expense eligibility is generally governed by the institutional policy and procedure and program aims.

Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Salary support for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and research support staff.
  • Research – support for research projects includes consumables, small equipment, core research platform costs, bioinformatics and specialized needs to facilitate the research of project.
  • Under exceptional circumstances the awardee may inquire of the Institute Director if a specific expense not covered in the above categories is an eligible expense (e.g. to bring in a specialist to establish a new technique in the PI’s laboratory and/or a Snyder Institute Core Research Platform).

Examples of ineligible costs include:

  • Contributions to faculty stipends.
  • Travel to support conference attendance of faculty members or trainees.
  • Costs to bring in a visiting speaker to Calgary.


The primary applicant will be responsible for meeting all of the grant eligibility and reporting criteria, failure to do so can result in termination of the award.

Recipients must acknowledge the support of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, the Snyder Institute Catalyst Grant Program, the Joan Snyder Legacy Fund, and any and all Core Facilities used in the research in all publications, abstracts and oral presentations.

Recipients will be responsible for managing expenditures in accordance with the approved budget and for reporting the use of funds and outcome of the research. Any significant deviation from the submitted budget will need to be approved by the Snyder Executive Leadership.

A report to the Institute Director, and subsequently viewed by the Snyder Institute Executive Council, must be completed every 6 months. These are not to be laborious; rather they are accountability statements in line with project milestones (or reasons why these have not been met) and a detailed financial statement. In the absence of extenuating circumstances, where progress is deemed unsatisfactory based on review of six-monthly reporting, the Snyder Institute Executive Council can terminate the grant and inform the Awardee of this decision in writing.

Within 2 months of the completion of the award, the recipients must submit an Outcomes Report to the Snyder Leadership that includes the following:

  • A summary of the project with emphasis on impact outcomes.
  • Expenditures incurred.

The Outcomes Report will be provided to the donors.  The applicant should be aware that information will be requested of them in advance of annual reporting to the donors that support this Catalyst Grant scheme.

Application Terms

  1. Completed Summary of Grant Application form.
  2. A Project Proposal that does not exceed 5 pages and covers the following areas:
    • Description of the project, including the relevant biology/translational healthcare problem, hypothesis, and aims. The project description should emphasize the novel and potential beneficial outcomes of overriding project rather than specific experimental or methodological approaches (not to exceed 1 page).
    • A summary of any available preliminary data (not to exceed 1 page).
    • An explanation of the level/type of innovation, risks and rewards incorporated in the project (not to exceed 1.5 pages).
    • A team biosketch of the assembled team describing the profile an role of each team member including research support staff, PDFs, graduate students (not to exceed 1 page).
    • An explanation of incorporation of Snyder Institute core resources and affiliated research facilities (not to exceed ½ page)
  3. Detailed budget and budget justification, including any leveraged contributions (not to exceed 1 page).
  4. EDI statement (not to exceed ½ page).
  5. Curriculum Vitae of the Principal Applicants (CIHR Biosketch). Do NOT include CVs for all team members.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Applicants must clearly state their commitment to EDI in their existing research teams, including among students, postdoctoral fellows, co-PIs, co-applicants and/or collaborators, as applicable. They must explain what actions they have taken, the outcomes expected, and the assessment planned for each of the following three key areas:

  • Team composition and recruitment processes;
  • Training and development opportunities;
  • Inclusion.

Actions taken are expected to remove barriers and provide opportunities for the meaningful integration of individuals from all equity-seeking groups including, but not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

Applicants are strongly advised to consult resources and strategic guidance available through the Offices of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Indigenous Engagement and their faculties and departments.


Applications will be reviewed by the Snyder Institute Research Portfolio Lead and an assembled group of reviewers from the Institute/CSM/UCalgary (with conflict-of-interest individuals being excluded). After ranking by the ‘committee’, they may opt for external review of top-ranked applications prior to any recommendation on funding.

The Research Portfolio lead will make a recommendation for Award of the Catalyst Grant(s) to the Institute Director and Deputy Director for approval of Funding.

This will be followed by formal notification of Awardees.

Partial awards may be offered in some cases.

Review Criteria

The review committee will consider:

  1. Innovation of the project and feasibility based on expertise of the Project Lead (and team).
  2. Preliminary data will be considered; however, the purpose of the award is one of high-risk, high-reward and so extensive preliminary data are not essential.
  3. A relevant discovery biology/translational healthcare problem is identified that aligns with Snyder Institute priority areas as identified in the Institute’s strategic plan.
  4. Extensive incorporation of the Live Cell Imaging Laboratory, its research team, and other Snyder Core resources (and affiliated research facilities).
  5. Scientific excellence.
  6. Composition and quality of Project Lead and any assembled teams, in which inclusion of PhD and MD scientists and Early Career Researchers (ECR) will be viewed favourably.
  7. Availability of additional matching or leveraged funds from within University of Calgary or beyond.

Submission Process

Applications will be submitted in PDF format as a single document by 11:59PM on the application deadline date to the e-mail.