Funding: Data Linkages

Improving transfer system data reporting is key to the development of a more robust and seamless transfer system. There are important opportunities to track transfer student outcomes through data linkages. ONCAT is committed to working with our partners to improve transfer system data reporting across Ontario colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes.

Data Reporting Areas of Focus 

ONCAT Data Reporting areas of interest include: 

  • Enhancing Institutional Transfer Student Data reporting capacity.  

  • Supporting Multi-Institutional Data Sharing Projects.  

  • Supporting Data Linkages to Statistics Canada Data. 

Funding Strategies 

Institutional Data Projects (DataPilot Phase 2 Projects). For institutions that completed the first stage of the DataPilot, funding is available to support next-step projects that emerge from DataPilot participants (e.g., continued capacity-building for reporting, expansion of datasets, implementation of data-driven transfer practices, etc.). In addition, ONCAT will consider data projects from institutions that have not yet participated in the DataPilot that draw on administrative data within an institution.  

Multi-Institutional Data Sharing Funding. ONCAT will support postsecondary institutions to link administrative records in order to assess transfer student outcomes, characteristics, transfer patterns, pathway uptake, and so forth. In addition, ONCAT will support school boards (K-12) and postsecondary institutions to link administrative records in order to analyze localized patterns of student flows (direct entry/transfer) across regions of Ontario. 

Data Linkages Projects. ONCAT will support PSEs to link their administrative records to external data sources at Statistics Canada. Possible linkages include:  

  • College Graduate Satisfaction Survey-PSIS Linkage, where Ontario colleges can link their KPI survey data and other related administrative student data (e.g., demographics, GPA) to the Postsecondary Student Information Systems (PSIS) dataset housed within Statistics Canada research data centers (RDC). 

  • NSSE-PSIS Linkage where Ontario institutions that participated in the NSSE can link their student-level NSSE data to the Postsecondary Student Information Systems (PSIS) dataset housed by Statistics Canada. 

  • PSE-to-Labour Market, where postsecondary institutions can link their administrative records to datasets within the ELMLP (with the linked datasets being stored at Statistics Canada), to explore the labour market outcomes of direct entry/transfer students.


DataPilot 2.0 grants generally range from $50,000 to $75,000. Data Linkages grants generally range from $10,000 to $50,000. Larger grants may be considered based on project scope and resources needed.


Publicly assisted postsecondary institutions in Ontario (Colleges, Universities and Indigenous Institutes) are eligible to apply.


How to Apply

Reports and Check-ins

ONCAT is committed to learning with its partners and values open and ongoing communication. If you are successful in receiving a grant, the following check-ins and reporting are required:

  • An interim update and financial report.
  • Check-ins on the project as needed (via email and/or in person).
  • A final report and detailed financial statement.
  • Presentations (if needed) during knowledge mobilization events.

ONCAT Project Budget Guidelines

Please refer to the following guidelines when developing your budget.

  • Includes salaries, honoraria, and stipends, specified by rate and time.
  • In cases where a faculty member’s time on the project will affect workload, and/or a teaching release is required to provide backfill for the faculty member or academic administrator involved in this project, ONCAT will fund the hiring of a part-time instructor at the college/university/Indigenous institute at the institution’s per semester rate. Please be clear in the workplan and ‘core team’ sections of your application of the anticipated time commitment of each person, especially where support for backfill is being requested.
  • Senior academic administration (decanal or above) and full-time administration with responsibilities including academic partnerships, program development, and/or transfer credit should be considered in-kind contributions. 
Project Costs
  • Includes direct costs for materials and supplies related to this project.
  • ONCAT will not pay for permanent fixtures (for example: laptops, computers, permanent software purchases, and so forth). ONCAT will pay for costs specifically and solely related to the project, such as temporary software licenses (i.e., fluid survey). 
Travel and Accommodation
  • If applicable, this includes any travel and accommodations necessary to conducting project activities. Please be clear in the workplan where travel is needed and include in the budget a breakdown of number of trips and duration. Use of teleconferencing or other cost-effective means to reduce travel-related costs are highly encouraged.
  • For travel-related expenses, ONCAT abides by the Government of Ontario Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.
  • This is generally calculated at no more than 20% of the request for funding to ONCAT and is intended to cover activities such as overall project administration by the project lead institution, use of space and resources, and so forth. 
Ineligible Expenses
  • ONCAT will not duplicate any funding received from the Credit Transfer Innovation Grant. If you have sought and received funding through the CTIG for this project or any positions requested for funding, this project will be deemed ineligible for funding. Please note: ONCAT may request revisions to project budgets subject to CTIG funding decisions.
  • ONCAT will not cover expenses related to academic program or transfer pathway delivery.
  • For applications that include an online component, the online development will not be eligible for ONCAT funding and will be at the expense of the institution(s). Please refer to eCampusOntario for possible support.
  • ONCAT will not cover expenses not directly and clearly related to the project activities and goals as outlined in the application and workplan.