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Athabasca University

Academic Research Fund

The Academic Research Fund (ARF) supports research projects as well as the dissemination of juried/solicited creative works and publications.

In March 2018, a re-imagined Strategic Research Plan was launched, in conjunction with the implementation of the Athabasca University Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities Strategic Plan. The Strategic Research Plan sets the direction for investments in research, scholarship and creativity for the next five years and focuses on nurturing research excellence and enriching the social, environmental and economic relevance of research conducted by our researchers.

The Academic Research Fund supports the attainment of these goals by providing funds to support smaller-scale research initiatives, some of which may lead to pursuit of funding from external agencies. The Academic Research Fund is funded primarily by Athabasca University. Additional funds are derived from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) General Research Funds. Recent changes to the SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG) have resulted in the creation of SSHRC Explore Grants. These funds comprise the annual Academic Research Fund budget and are administered by the Academic Research Committee.

Recipients of Academic Research Fund Grants, including SSHRC Explore Grants, should acknowledge the funding in related publications and presentations.

The fund supports these activities by fostering success in the pursuit of external research funding and facilitating research that falls outside the normal eligibility criteria of external funding agencies.

Awards are up to:

  • $6,000 (CDN) for research awards
  • $2,000 (CDN) for the dissemination of juried/solicited creative works or publications

How to apply

Application forms are available in the AU Research Portal.


For research projects, the application deadlines are on the following days (or the next business day):

  • February 1
  • May 1
  • August 1
  • November 1

For publications and juried/solicited creative works, applications may be submitted at any time for expedited review.

More information

Updated May 27 2019 by Research

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