Funding: Research

ONCAT supports research that advances knowledge and understanding of the current state of transfer students and transfer pathways in Ontario. The objective of this funding strategy is to generate knowledge that can directly inform policies, pathways, and institutional practices and contribute to a greater understanding of system-wide issues that impact transfer and student mobility.

Research Areas of Focus 

ONCAT Research areas of interest include:  
  • Academic and labour market outcomes of transfer students.
  • Transferability of emerging and non-conventional credentials (e.g., microcredentials, PLAR, postgraduate certificates, industry-based professional development).
  • Transfer with Indigenous Institutes.
  • Transfer Student Supports and Experiences (e.g., post-transfer integration, mental health supports for transfer students).
  • COVID-19 impacts on transfer student flows.
  • Other research on transfer and student mobility in Ontario.

We highly recommend you reach out to ONCAT to discuss your project idea to ensure it is eligible and aligns with ONCAT research plans.



Research grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000.



  • Postsecondary institutions in Ontario (colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes), not-for-profit organizations, and postsecondary education researchers working in the field of postsecondary education in Ontario are eligible to apply.
  • Applications can be from individual institutions or collaborative initiatives.


  • Issues that are specific to the applicant’s institution only.
  • NOTE: Activities and/or personnel that are funded through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant (CTIG) are not eligible for ONCAT funding. The applicant must ensure that its institution has not been granted funding for the same or similar research.



Submission Requirements

To be considered for funding, proposals must include the following

  • Clear scope and Sound Methods: Proposals should articulate clear research questions and a detailed research plan that outlines data sources, research approaches, and techniques. 
  • Strong Rationale: Proposals must demonstrate how the knowledge being generated can inform policies, pathways, and institutional practices in student mobility in Ontario. Proposals should explain how the research will contribute to the literature on student mobility and how it can serve as a sector resource for developing a more seamless postsecondary education system in Ontario.
  • Research Capacity: Proposals must demonstrate clear capacity to conduct the research and an appropriate research team.
  • Knowledge Mobilization Strategies: Proposals should include an overview of knowledge mobilization strategies during the course of the project and how research findings will be shared and possibly implemented.
  • Budget: Submissions must include a clear and realistic budget that aligns with the proposed activities.
  • Ethics Review (if applicable): Submissions should include timelines for Research Ethics Board approval, as needed, for projects involving human participants or that require institutional research involving multiple institutional partners and/or access to institutional data/records.

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 10% 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.