Metropolis BC

Metropolis British Columbia: Call for Proposals

2010 Call for Proposals for Research Grants
Deadline: January 28, 2011


This is the fifth Call for Proposals (CFP) for Metropolis British Columbia (MBC). In this round we will make available up to $250k for research projects. (Note that there will be a companion CFP for dissemination projects). MBC will fund projects for $15k or $30k for a period of 1 year only. We will also consider funding larger projects ($60-$100k) for 1 year (further information on this is below). Applicants are invited to review the following documents to become better informed of the policy priorities of MBC:

  • Questions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding that defines the 2007-2012 phase of Metropolis (Specifically targeting issues of importance to the federal government) view
  • In addition, we are interested in proposals that seek to measure how MBC affects policy decision-making.
  • Large projects are expected to target at least 1 of the following 3 key areas of interest: i) How should we measure success and integration of immigrants?; ii) Temporary residents, including Temporary Foreign Workers; iii) Economic class immigrants to Canada. Click here to see a set of specific questions that motivated our interest in this general area of inquiry.

We invite applications in all the general areas of MBC's mandate: immigration and ethnic diversity.

Applicants who wish to make the case that their research is policy relevant are urged to provide a letter of support from the government department, NGO, or other organization that they hope will benefit from their research.

As in previous years, the principal investigator must be a faculty member at a Canadian university, and must be formally affiliated with Metropolis British Columbia. Co-investigators may be faculty members inside or outside Canada. Research Assistants may include graduate students, while Partners are generally governmental or non-governmental institutions.

Affiliation with MBC requires an email to the SFU Project Coordinator, Linda Sheldon, a recent CV and a brief (1/2 page) statement of how one's research agenda has connected with, or will connect with, MBC. To be eligible for applying in this Call, the deadline for submitting a request for affiliation is January 14, 2011.

Funding Details

The period of funding for this CFP will be April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. We will only consider one year proposals.

Our "standard" grant amount is $15,000, for a one-year project, though we will of course accept proposals for less than this amount. Researchers who have never held Metropolis grants before (at either MBC or in its earlier phase as RIIM) will be limited to a standard grant.

Those who have held Metropolis funds before, and who have successfully completed their projects, are eligible to apply for up to $30,000. We will also consider funding larger projects ($60-$100k) for 1 year.

Since different proposals will have budgets of different sizes, MBC will evaluate them relative to their budgets. Consequently, a project with a total budget of $30,000 will only be funded if the 'value' of its research output is expected to be significantly greater than any $15,000 project. Thus researchers should propose projects with higher budgets only if they also have greater expected research outputs. Also, for proposals over $15,000 we require that researchers explain what they would do if they were only provided $15,000, and what they would do with the additional money.

This year it will also be possible to apply to multiple Metropolis centres, e.g. the Atlantic Metropolis Centre, to enhance research budgets. Accordingly, such applications must address themes which are of interest across centres and, thus, potentially national in scope. Researchers must indicate that a separate application is being forwarded to the other centres and also include an explanation of what they would do if they were unsuccessful in securing funds from other centres.

Application Form in word format
Application Form in pdf format


Adjudication system and expectations

Our adjudication committee will be comprised of two 'teams', one which evaluates scholarly merit (comprised of academics) and one which evaluates importance for policy and practice (comprised of non-academics). Metropolis British Columbia will only provide funds for projects that are judged positively by both teams on the adjudication committee. Historically, the success rate of applications to Metropolis BC has been on the order of 50%. At the same time, the chief stumbling block for applications has been demonstrating a given project's policy relevance. Researchers are encouraged to contact our provincial government liaison, Kathy Knight (, as a point of contact in this regard. Where a proposal has been reviewed an changes or clarification is requested, the Principal Applicant will be invited to revise his/her proposal and resubmit it to the Adjudication Committee.

To be considered for funding, applications must be made on our special form and must include one signed hard-copy and one unsigned electronic copy. These must be received at the office of the SFU Project Coordinator by 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Friday, January 28, 2011. In addition, all principal and co-investigators must submit an electronic copy of a 2-page abbreviated CV as an attachment to their application. CV's longer than 2 pages will not be considered. It is Metropolis British Columbia's practice to consider only one application from any of our research affiliates during any given grant competition. Researchers who have been awarded funds in a previous Metropolis competition must show good progress for a new application in this competition to succeed.

Proposals must be written in plain language and must clearly speak to both the scholarly merit and to the usefulness to policy and/or practice of the research proposed. Applicants are not permitted to apply on behalf of other researchers. Applicants must be candid about the division of labour in a project. We expect that approximately 50 percent of funds in a research project will be dedicated to support for graduate students through research assistantships. Although this is not a requirement, proposals that fund students will be given priority over those that fund non-student research assistants.

Additional information

Transfer of funds and MBC spending rules are explained in our grant guidelines.

All funded researchers working with NGO's must comply with the principles set forth in our Charter of Community Research Principles.

Other obligations of funded researchers:

Each project must generate at least one MBC Working Paper, which must be submitted to the Managing Editor of our series, Linda Sheldon, in a timely fashion (e.g., within three months of the completion of a project).

Each working paper must include an associated Policy Briefing Note. Policy Briefing Notes are 1 page documents written in plain language in standard formats with 4 boxed topics: Research Question, Importance, Research Findings, and Implications for Policy and Practice. To see an example, please visit the Working Paper section of the MBC website.

Each funded project must have at least one associated non-university dissemination activity. These may include: participation in Metropolis-sponsored policy workshops and roundtables, participation in a public forum, or a presentation for a stakeholder group such as a governmental or non-governmental organization. Researchers are encouraged to use their imaginations to improve our reach outside the university setting.

All MBC affiliated researchers are required to submit an annual report of activities. Principal Investigators of funded projects will be required to include a report on the progress of their project along with their general report.

Copies of all theses produced by students emanating from MBC-funded research should be forwarded to MBC (electronic or unbound copies are preferred, in order to duplicate and forward them to the Metropolis Project Team in Ottawa). Distribution will be subject to embargos arising from university thesis regulations and copyrights.

Where to send your proposal

All submissions, both electronic and hard copy, should be sent to Linda Sheldon, Project Coordinator, Metropolis British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Department of Economics, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6. Email:

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