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Citizen Scientist Advisory Council Engagement Scaled

Key dates

March 1, 2024 Application period opens

April 10, 2024 2 p.m. EDT Application period closes
Make sure you submit before the deadline!

July 2024 Applicants are notified of application outcome


Make sure your organization is eligible to apply

Review the kinds of projects and organizations we fund to ensure your project is eligible and aligns with our funding areas.

Prepare your submission

Review the sample application. Gather the documentation you’ll need to include in your application.

Have everything ready? Time to apply!

What are the keys to a successful project?

  • Alignment with CIRA’s funding areas: infrastructure, online safety and policy engagement.
  • Project benefits:
    • Northern, rural and/or Indigenous communities.
    • Students (from kindergarten to grade 12 and post-secondary).
  • A well thought-out and realistic project plan, with clear steps and goals.
  • Results should be open for everyone to use, share and build upon.
  • A reasonable budget (even better if you show contributions from other sources or in-kind funding!).
  • Demonstrates engagement of community stakeholders in development, delivery, financing, etc.
  • Long-lasting impact, well after the grant period ends.

Preparing your application

Non-profit, charity or Indigenous community applicants:

  1. Proof of eligibility: documentation confirming your community or not-for-profit incorporation (e.g., articles of incorporation) and your charitable status, if applicable. Please note that tax forms are not valid.
  2. A board of directors/Band Council list with contact information, including the organizational affiliation and title, email address and phone number.
  3. Three letters of support from community partners and/or community participants you expect to benefit from your project.
  4. A copy of your most recent audited financial statements. A tax return will not be accepted.
  5. An operating budget for January – December, 2024.
  6. A completed application form.
  7. A completed project budget sheet.

University or collegiate research applicants:

  1. A letter confirming the lead researcher is employed by the academic institution.
  2. A CV for the lead researcher on the project.
  3. Three letters of support from community partners and/or community participants you expect to benefit from your project.
  4. A completed application form.
  5. A completed project budget sheet.

Applicants in this category don’t need to provide a board of directors list, organizational budgets or financial statements.


How to apply



CIRA uses SurveyMonkey Apply for our Grant applications. If this is your first time using the system, please create a new account. If you’ve applied before, use the same login credentials used previously. And you can always reset your password if you’ve forgotten it.


Here you’ll see the list of tasks you need to complete, including filling out the online application form. Depending on your type of organization, you’ll be given more tasks to complete as you proceed through each step of the application.


Mark a task as complete after performing the required action.

Apply Complete

Once a task is completed, you’ll see a green check mark.

Apply Submit

The final and most important step: when all your tasks are complete, don’t forget to press the big red Submit button before 2 p.m. EDT on April 10, 2024. If you don’t hit submit, we won’t receive your application.

Apply Submit

Not checking your email

  • You will receive important emails regarding your application from [email protected].
  • Check your spam or junk folders if you don’t see our emails in your inbox.

Missing the deadline

  • Submit your application as early as possible to ensure sufficient time for your application to be reviewed.
  • Your application must be complete and all of your supporting documentation must be submitted by April 10, 2024 at 2 p.m. EDT to advance to the next step.

Forgetting to press submit

  • It may seem obvious, but make sure you press submit after completing your application! More than one applicant has missed this step in the past – and that means they missed out on being considered for a grant.


We cannot accept late applications. That’s why we recommend submitting applications well in advance of the deadline on April 10, 2024 at 2 p.m. EDT. This also gives you the opportunity to fix any errors in your application – typically, half of the applications submitted require some adjustment before they can be accepted.  Until 2 p.m. on April 10, you will have the chance to correct your application and send it back to us before the deadline. Tip: make sure you know what time 2 p.m. EDT is in your time zone!

Eligible applications are evaluated by the CIRA Grants Evaluation Panel with the following rubric and given a score out of 100.

Project evaluation criteria % Score

  • Intended Canadian beneficiaries are clearly articulated.
  • Preference to initiatives that benefit:
    • Students (kindergarten to grade 12, and post-secondary)
    • Northern, rural and Indigenous communities
  • Demonstrated engagement of beneficiaries in project development.
Project plan

  • Project activities and outputs document a cohesive plan with sufficient relevant detail that can be reasonably completed in the proposed project time frame.
  • Project team includes sufficient leadership, project management experience and organizational capacity to deliver activities and outputs, as well as an adequate mix of skills and expertise to meet specific project implementation demands.
  • Project is sufficiently unique from projects funded in the past by CIRA (2019 onwards, project list here).
  • Project takes environmental sustainability into account.
Community support

  • Project is community-led, demonstrates community ownership and contributes towards long-term community development.
  • Project shows clear engagement by community stakeholders in development, delivery, financing, etc.
  • Three letters of support from community partners and/or beneficiaries are provided.
Outcomes and sustainability

  • Project outcomes are specific, achievable and can be measured, and the intended project impact is realistic.
  • Project achievements and/or value can be sustained beyond the end of the CIRA funding.

  • Budget is reasonable given the scope and activities of the proposed project and includes all costs with sufficient detail to understand the requirements to deliver the project.
  • CIRA-specific expenses are identified.
  • Budget shows contributions from other sources and/or the applicant.
  • Budget does not include ongoing operating funding for an organization, however up to 15% of the CIRA grant request is eligible.
  • The request should be reasonable within the context of the organization’s operating budget.
Total /100


We ask for three community letters of support with your application to demonstrate you are engaged with the community partners and/or participants that you expect to benefit from your project. What is the story behind why a grant is needed? What needs were articulated by the people your project will serve that encouraged you to develop a project? These letters show us you have developed relationships that will help the project succeed. Community members that could provide a letter might include:

  • Teachers and/or parents that will benefit from tools and training for students regarding online safety.
  • Residents or business associations in a community that will benefit from infrastructure upgrades to high-speed internet.
  • Partner organizations that will be involved in project delivery.

Each letter should communicate the relationship with the applicant, their involvement with the project (current or future), and what direct or indirect  benefits they expect to see.

Letters from people directly involved in the applicant organization (e.g., staff, board members) are not eligible.

Click here to find a list of past projects CIRA has funded along with stories and photos. We do ask on the application form that you distinguish how your project is unique from projects previously funded.

Yes, if the project is complete, you have submitted your final report, and there are no outstanding issues.

Unfortunately, due to limited funding and high demand, we are only able to fund about 15 per cent of the applications we receive.

Other reasons for an unsuccessful application might include:

Start by closely reviewing all of the material on our website. If you need further guidance, you can reach out to [email protected] and we’ll try to answer any questions. Keep in mind that CIRA staff simply assess the eligibility of an application and have no influence over which organizations receive grants.