FES-GRI Sustainable Energy Systems Grand Challenge

(Download the full FES-GRI Sustainable Energy Systems Grand Challenge call for proposals document in PDF format here)

Application process

Applications will go through three stages:

  • Announcement of interest and scoping. At this stage, partial or complete teams will identify themselves to the FES-GRI administration as planning to compete in the challenge, and will identify their topic and proposed funders. At some point in this stage clear indications of secured cash commitment of $500,000 will be required, and the complete team developed. A preliminary assessment will be made of the appropriateness of the technology, concerns identified, and efforts made to facilitate formation of a strong team and other potential leveraged funding. Note that this stage may include various discussions with FES-GRI administration as the application is developed.
  • Application and assessment. In this stage, full teams will generate an application (details below) and submit it for assessment. Formal letter(s) of secured cash commitment of $500,000 will be required. If further work is needed the FES-GRI administration will refer the application back to the applicants. Once the application is complete, a decision will be made.
  • Award and launch. Applicants will be informed of the decision, and if successful, funding will be offered with conditions specifically relevant to the project.

Assessment criteria

  • For a research proposal to be considered, confirmation is required of a combined total of at least $500,000 (cash, including university overhead) of research funding committed to the research team by external partners. This cash requirement does not include NSERC Discovery, SSHRC Insight, or any other currently held grants.
  • The proposed projects must be new, not a continuation of previously or currently funded projects from FES and/or GRI. However, the proposed projects may build on, or emanate from, previously funded projects from FES and/or GRI
  • Each research team must be led jointly by a University of Alberta and University of Calgary faculty member. Each team must include investigators from both institutions, although equal representation is not required. Investigators and participants from other academic institutions are welcome, as are collaborators from outside academia.


Activity Date
Grand challenge issued July 20, 2021
Proposal submission deadline, proposal assessment, and results announcement First come, first served; successful applicants will be allocated funds only after passing all application and feedback steps, including securing $500,000
Successful projects established and funds allocated March 2022 (preferred)
Completion of projects March-September 2024 



Dr 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

Download the full FES-GRI Sustainable Energy Systems Grand Challenge call for proposals document in PDF format here.