Funding FAQs

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact

If you have any questions regarding the online application system, please contact


How were the Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) priority actions chosen?

Priority actions for Streams 1 & 2 were established by the UBC community during the ISP engagement sessions which took place at both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses during Spring 2020. Students, faculty and staff from both campuses voted on which ISP actions should be prioritized by the university

How was the ISI funding call developed?

The ISI Funding call was designed with wide engagement across UBC. Final decisions on the guidelines were made by the Indigenous Strategic Plan Executive Advisory Committee.


Who is eligible to apply to the ISI Fund?

UBCV and UBCO students, faculty, staff and post-doctoral fellows are all eligible.

Can a student submit an ISI Fund application?

Yes, a UBC undergraduate or graduate student may submit an ISI application as the Principal Applicant to Stream 3: Student-led Projects, as long as they have a UBC faculty or staff member as Co-Applicant. Students may also be Co-Applicants on proposals submitted by faculty, staff or post-doctoral fellows to Streams 1 and 2.

Can UBC staff submit an ISI Fund application?

Yes, UBC staff can submit an application to Stream 1: Innovative Projects or Stream 2: Transformative Projects.

Can UBC sessional instructors or lecturers submit an ISI Fund application?

Yes, they can submit an application to Stream 1: Innovative Projects or Stream 2: Transformative Projects. All sessional instructors/lecturers must have an active appointment at the time the funding decisions are being made (Fall 2022).

Can post-doctoral fellows submit an ISI Fund application?

Yes, post-doctoral fellows may apply as Principal Applicant to Stream 1: Innovative Projects or Stream 2: Transformative Projects. However, a faculty member must sign as Co-Applicant to the project.

Can cross-Faculty proposals (e.g. Science and Arts or Education and Law) be submitted to the ISI Fund?

Yes, cross-Faculty or cross-unit proposals may be submitted. In fact, collaboration between Faculties and units is encouraged. Proposals will need to be approved by the Dean/Head of Department/unit of each Faculty or unit involved.

Can one be the Principal Applicant in one project and Co-Applicant in a second project?

Yes, a Principal Applicant in one project can be a Co-Applicant on another project.

What does sustainability and merit review mean in the ISI Fund context?

The ISI Fund aims to support projects that can be maintained after ISI funding support has ended, so a commitment from Department/unit to the sustainability of the project is required. Commitments can be cash or in-kind.

Can students who are close to graduating apply for funding?

Students must plan to be at UBC for at least one-year of the implementation cycle. Those who are close to graduating should articulate a detailed plan for the project to continue following their graduation.

Can students request funding for their master’s or PhD thesis?

The ISI Fund is not intended to be used as a scholarship or fellowship. However, applicants may request funding for expenses related to knowledge dissemination, community engagement, etc. Please see the list of eligible and ineligible expenses and some examples of student-led projects funded by other calls. For further inquires, contact

Developing a proposal

What are the key requirements for all ISI Fund projects?

Please visit the ISP website for adjudication criteria for each stream.

Who can I go to for advice on developing my proposal?

There are four information sessions and six drop-in consultation sessions where applicants can go to seek advice. In addition, applicants can email with questions.

Can I hire students to support my ISI Fund project?

Yes, you may hire students to support your project in line with usual UBC policies and procedures. Note: Teaching Assistant costs will not be covered.

Can I submit a proposal for Work Learn funding to hire a student BEFORE my ISI Fund project has been approved?

The UBCV Work Learn program begins to accept proposals for funding in June for student positions for the winter term (beginning in September). Should your ISI Fund application not be approved and/or if you no longer require Work Learn funding, you can decline any Work Learn funding that you are offered. For UBC Okanagan please visit the Work Study website.

Can I ask for equipment from the ISI Fund?

No, the ISI is not an equipment fund. However, minor capital expenditures may be considered if justified by a rationale that clearly indicates that a) the expenditure is required for the success of the project, and b) the project has significant in-kind funding from the associated unit/Faculty.

Can I ask for catering expenses from the ISI Fund?

Yes, as long as they can be justified as proportionate, reasonable and in alignment with UBC policies.

Can I hire off-campus contractors or vendors using the ISI Fund?

Yes, as long as costs are reasonable and in line with normal UBC policies and procedures.

Can I apply for teaching/course release in my ISI Fund proposal?

Faculty course buyouts can be requested for Streams 1 and 2 if a rationale is provided as to why the applicant’s Faculty cannot cover the full cost. In any case, the cost of Faculty course buyouts is split 50/50 between the ISI Fund and the Faculty and/or Department. Applicants need to ensure that they have their Faculty’s support and commitment for matching funds for course release before requesting it in their proposal. The Department or Faculty should present a plan for how Indigenous content courses will be covered if a course release is granted, specifying who will cover the course or if the course will not be taught in the year in question.

How robust does the budget need to be at the Letter of Intent (LOI) stage (For Streams 1 and 2)?

At the LOI stage, we request that applicants share a high-level estimated project cost. If invited to submit a complete application, a total budget breakdown is required at the time of full application. A budget template is available for all streams on the ISP website.

Should these initiatives be BC-based, or could they have a national or even global focus?

The UBC’s 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) illustrates the various relationships that UBC engages in locally and globally. Therefore, proposals with local, national, or even international focus, are welcome.

How is matching funding considered for student-led projects?

Matching funds are not required for Stream 3, but are always welcome and encouraged.

How far along should the LOI be developed to join the consultation sessions?

When attending the consultation sessions, consultants are prepared to answer questions, but the more developed your idea, the more able consultants will be to answer your questions. If there are further questions after the consultation sessions, please send an email to

Can I submit a proposal that is aligned to an action different from the 6 ISP priority actions?

Proposals for Streams 1 and 2 must respond to at least one of the ISP priority actions. Student-led projects can align with any of the 43 actions in the ISP.

How do I submit my proposal?

Can I submit an application without the approval of my Department Head or Dean?

For Streams 1 and 2, your LOI can be submitted without the approval of your Department Head or Dean. However, applications which advance to the final application stage will need written approval from the Department Head or Dean.

For Stream 3 (student-led projects), advance approval is not needed from the Department Head or Dean.

Does the ISP Self-Assessment Toolkit need to be completed before the Letter of Intent (LOI) submission?

Stream 1 and 2 applicants are not required to have already completed the ISP Self-Assessment Toolkit by the LOI stage. However, all applicants must have completed the ISP Self-Assessment Toolkit prior to submission of the full application.

Are letters of collaboration with Indigenous communities requested with the Letter of Intent (LOI) for Streams 1 and 2?

Endorsement letters from Indigenous communities are not required with the LOI, and may not apply to all projects invited to submit a full proposal. The ISI Fund is meant to support research and initiatives that support Indigenous-centered work. In some cases, this work will be building upon and drawing on existing and long-standing relationships with Indigenous partners. It is acknowledged that this work should not create undue labour for Indigenous communities. Direct collaboration between Indigenous communities and the project’s Principal Applicant and team, may not apply to all projects. Rather, applicants are encouraged to explore existing collaborations that have been built through existing and ongoing partnerships that in some cases are fostered and supported through external partners.

Does an applicant Faculty/unit have to complete the Intent to Action Tool before submitting an application?

Applicant Faculties/units are strongly encouraged to complete the entire Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) Implementation Toolkit as part of their commitment to advance the implementation of the ISP. The ISI Fund application requires all applicants for Streams 1 and 2 to complete the ISP Self-Assessment Tool before submission of full applications.

I am working with an Elder, who I plan to provide a salary for the project’s duration. Will there be a conflict of interest to also include the Elder as Co-Applicant?

If you are planning on paying an Elder a salary, then do not list them as a Co-Applicant but make sure to explain how central they are to the project, in the project description.

My application has moved to the proposal stage, how do I locate the proposal application on Apply?

Managing funded proposals

How long does ISI funding extend?

All ISI Fund projects, whether single or multi-year, are funded for one year at a time. Multi-year projects will need to re-apply for 2nd- or 3rd-year funding, and this funding is contingent upon sufficient project progress.

At the end of the project, any surplus funds remaining must be returned to the general ISI Fund account, to be used for future projects.

When do I submit a progress report?

Project leads are required to provide an annual milestone report providing an overview of their progress. Project leads are also required to provide a financial report with their annual milestone report.

Can Stream 3 projects end earlier or later than 12 to 18 months?

Yes, projects with a justified work plan can be shorter than 12 months. Extensions beyond 18 months are also acceptable, if justified. 

For Stream 3, when does the 12-18 months begin?

Stream 3 Student-led projects will be funded in May 2022. Streams 1 and 2 be funded in September 2022.