FES-GRI Joint Research Fund

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) research programs, Future Energy Systems (FES) at the University of Alberta and Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources (GRI) at the University of Calgary, are continuing their energy research collaborations with a new call for transformative and paradigm shifting projects.

Research funded through this joint program must be sustainable, with strong potential for natural growth towards new funding after CFREF funding for FES and GRI has ended. Proposals can be built on existing strengths, although applications to simply extend existing projects at either institution are not eligible.

Research that has high risk but great potential is encouraged, as is research that can move quickly through technology readiness levels. The research teams are expected to build on and evolve their expertise, to step out of established comfort zones, and to expand ways of thinking in developing the research projects.

Teams for proposal applications will have an equal number of researchers from each institution. Each team will have a co-lead from each institution. Team members from outside the two institutions may be included, but must not form the majority of the team. Teams can be expanded as research evolves and gaps are identified, or funding opportunities for leveraging emerge.

Strategic Research Topics

FES and GRI identified five potential research topics for this funding endeavour. For more information about each topic, refer to the application page.

  1. Digital science (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning) applications in energy technology, infrastructure, and/or processes.
  1. Environmental and geological implications of energy systems.
  1. Implementation of novel and scalable energy storage solutions.
  1. Prototype technologies for energy generation or integration.
  1. Societal experiences with energy transition.




Research topics announced and call for proposals posted

November 10, 2020

Proposal submission deadline; submissions of proposals using online forms via the Future Energy Systems website

January 14, 2021

Proposal assessment and final decisions

January 15-29, 2021

Results announcement jointly by FES and GRI offices

February 1, 2021

Successful projects established and funds allocated

February-March 2021




Dr M Anne Naeth, Director; anaeth@ualberta.ca

Sam Ferraz, FES Program Coordinator; ferraz@ualberta.ca

Dr Ian Gates, Director; ian.gates@ucalgary.ca

Jessica Tink, GRI Manager; jctink@ucalgary.ca