The Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), in collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC), are pleased to announce the Call for Letters of Intent for research in Organic Science Cluster III (2018-2023).  This Letter of Intent process is being conducted in anticipation that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) next Agricultural Policy Framework will include another Science Cluster Initiative.


Research proposals should relate to the following areas:

  1. Increasing competitiveness through:
    • Improvements in productivity, production stability, resiliency and/or qualityE.g. Breeding, pest & soil management, irrigation, feed, plant/animal health(e.g. management responding to climate extremes)
    • Improvements in efficiency, cost reduction (e.g. labour, nutrients, water, energy, feed)
    • Development and application of new technologies to support organic production systems(e.g. amendments, equipment, feed, biostimulants, pesticides, probiotics, data support systems, soil test recommendations, precision a technologies)
    • Development of emerging crops, livestock and related products
    • Improvements in processing, handling and packaging
  1. Advancing public good through:
    • Improvements in knowledge about how organic agroecosystems function (e.g. pest behaviour, nutrient cycling and movement, life cycle analysis, energy use)
    • Evaluation of ecosystem services – benefits, shortcomings, improved practices (e.g. biodiversity, soil health, water quality, carbon sequestration)
    • Evaluation of the health benefits of organic (e.g. nutritional value, risk reduction; shortcomings, improvements)
  1. Supporting organic sector evolution through:
    • Assessments of the sustainability of organic agriculture production systems
    • Application of holistic principles to find solutions that close nutrient and energy cycles
      • E.g. Recycling/use of waste by-products in organic systems as a sustainable practice (e.g. struvite, municipal compost)
    • Improvement of animal welfare – assess status, improved practices
    • Improvement of organic standards – Canadian science to support the standard
    • Integration of the traditional knowledge of First Nations peoples into organic


Who can apply

  • University scientists in Canada
  • Government scientists in Canada
  • Private sector researchers in Canada


  • The work must be based in Canada and relevant to the Canadian Organic Sector; international collaborators may be included if their expertise is required, however, no Cluster funds will leave Canada.

Matching Funding Requirement and Budget

At this stage, the details relating to the matching funding requirement for the Cluster program will not be known until the funding agency has released its guidelines in the summer. This is an important consideration since the organic sector does not have a levy or check-off program for organic research (unlike some other commodity groups). This means that industry matching must be secured on an Activity by Activity basis.

As with the last Cluster, we want to ensure that the research is of importance to the organic sector and has impact. This is greatly enhanced by a strong relationship between the researcher and the industry stakeholders. Thus, researchers will be expected to secure matching industry funding for their Activities.

At this stage we are requesting that researchers submitting an Activity proposal must identify matching funding of 33% (minimum of 18% as cash, maximum of 15% in-kind) of the total Activity budget from non-government sources.


  • A higher matching requirement may be requested if the benefits are strictly limited to an individual company, or if the company is requesting ownership of intellectual property.
  • Salaries of government paid employees are not eligible.
  • All costs associated must be incremental expenses (i.e. would not have been incurred if the Activity did not exist
  • Equipment purchases should be specifically needed for this OSCIII Activity (i.e. not to supporting other work).

Helpful Links


CURO Internal Deadline for Review Please contact your Research Facilitator.
cuResearch Checklist Deadline April 3, 2017
LOI submission to sponsor April 10, 2017

Submitting Your Application

  • Applications must be submitted via cuResearch, through which Departmental and Associate Dean’s approval must be provided to complete the online application process.
  • More information on cuResearch can be found here.

Internal Contacts

If you would like assistance with proposal development and/or a substantive review of your proposal, please contact the appropriate Research Facilitator.