Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact isp.funding@ubc.ca

If you have any questions regarding the online application system, please contact LT.hub@ubc.ca


How was the ISI funding call developed?

Indigenous Strategic Initiatives Fund
Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives

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?

Tools and Resources
Meaningful Reconciliation

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

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 who has provided their informed consent to participate in the project. Students may also be Co-Applicants on proposals submitted by faculty, staff or post-doctoral fellows to Streams 1 and 2.

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

Sessional lecturers or lecturers 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 (Summer 2023).

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 and provide their informed consent to participate.

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

Indigenous Strategic Initiatives 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?

Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives

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?

Meaningful Reconciliation

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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. For further inquires, contact isp.funding@ubc.ca

Developing a proposal

What are the key requirements for all ISI Fund projects?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

Stream 1 and 2 applicants are required to have already completed the ISP Self-Assessment Tool by the LOI stage.

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

There are three information sessions and six drop-in consultation sessions where applicants can go to seek advice. In addition, applicants can email isp.funding@ubc.ca with questions.

Primary support for Stream 3 projects should be sought from the faculty or staff co-applicant on the project.

Can I hire students to support my ISI Fund project?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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. The ISI Fund will not fund greater than 50% of a course buyout. 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)?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

UBC’s 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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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

How far along should the Letter of Intent (LOI) be developed to join the consultation sessions?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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 isp.funding@ubc.ca.

How do I submit my proposal?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

Who needs to complete a Community Partner Endorsement Letter for my proposal?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

If your proposal includes already established community partnerships external to UBC it is a requirement to submit a letter of agreement and support for your project proposal from the partner(s).

Internal to UBC partners do not need to complete a Community Partner Endorsement Letter, but applicants are welcome to detail their applicable internal partnerships in the ‘Co-Applicants, Project Team Members and Partners’ and/or the ‘Relationality and Collaboration’ sections of the proposal application.

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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.

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

The ISI Fund application requires all applicants for Streams 1 and 2 to complete the ISP Self-Assessment Tool before submission of Letters of Intent.

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

Managing funded proposals

How long does ISI funding extend?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

All ISI Fund projects, whether single or multi-year, are funded for one year at a time. Multi-year projects will need to qualify 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?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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

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

Indigenous Strategic Plan

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

When does each Stream receive funding and begin implementation?

Indigenous Strategic Plan

Stream 3 projects will be funded and begin their 12-18 month project term in late Spring/early Summer 2024. Streams 1 and 2 projects will be funded and begin their project terms in mid Summer/early Fall 2024.

We honour, celebrate and thank the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam) and Syilx Okanagan peoples on whose territories the main campuses of the University of British Columbia have the privilege to be situated.