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Athabasca University

Funding Process

If this is your first funding application, the process can seem overwhelming. This page provides an overview of what to expect.


All funding applications must be submitted through the Research Portal. See deadlines.

Please review the applicable instructions below before beginning the application process:

Each application has subtabs under the main Application tab. Review each subtab to confirm what information is required before creating your draft.

Create your draft

You should create a draft of your long responses in Notepad or TextEdit, then copy and paste into the Research Portal. This will help ensure the portal won’t time out in the middle of typing a response. Don’t paste from a word processing program, as your text won’t appear the way you expect.

Use plain language and provide definitions for specialized terms or acronyms. Include citations and references in your responses.

Note: If you are planning to take advantage of early review or mentoring for your external funding application (see below), you must submit your draft to the Research Centre as a Word document.

Submit draft for early review or mentoring

Staff and graduate students who are applying for external funding can get feedback on their application prior to submission.

Please note that this opportunity is not available for internal funding competitions.

Complete your application

Use the instructions below to complete your application (note: these are the same pages as in the Applying section, above). Remember to save often – at a minimum, after completing each tab.

Make sure you include all the necessary information, including related appendices, or your application may be returned. If the Attachments tab includes templates, please be sure to use them.

If you have difficulties with your application, please contact

Research ethics

If your research project involves humans, you should also apply for research ethics approval. If your funding application is successful, you must have Research Ethics Board approval before you can receive the funds.

Committee review

Committees meet regularly to review funding applications.

Internal award applicants will be notified within 4 weeks of the application deadline.

External award applicants will be notified according to the funder’s timeline.

Check the status of your application

You can check the status of your funding application at any time through the Research Portal. Select “Applications: Under Review” from the Principal Investigator section. For a more detailed view, check the Logs tab of your application.


Funding competition results are posted to the Research Portal; you will also be notified via email. You will receive one of three responses:

  • Approved – if you applied for internal funding, you will receive information on how to access your grant funds. If you applied for external funding, your application will be forwarded to the granting agency.
  • Conditional approval – you must submit revisions before the application can be fully approved.
  • Unable to approve – your file will be returned and you will need to submit a complete revised application to be considered at the next committee meeting.

Revisions and resubmission

If you receive conditional approval, or are asked to revise and resubmit, you must provide your revisions through the Research Portal.

For internal competitions

  1. Create a Word document with all the additional information or revisions.
  2. Find your application under Applications: Requiring Attention in the Principal Investigator section of the Research Portal.
  3. Click the “Edit” button.
  4. Upload the Word document in the Attachments tab.
  5. Save.
  6. Click the “Re-Submit” button.

For external competitions

Upload a copy of the revised application and supporting documents and submit.

After approval

Once your funding application is approved, you will receive an email with:

  • your FOAPAL (Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity, Location) code for any expense claim that uses grant dollars
  • instructions on how to approve expenditures related to your research
  • links to important information and resources
  • information on hiring a research assistant
  • details about submitting a final report

The Research Centre will work with other AU departments on your behalf, including Human Resources and the Contracts Office. If you have any questions about your grant, contact your grant administrator.

If something changes (internal funding)

Sometimes you’ll need to change a research protocol during your study, or you will have to modify your budget. If this happens, you must submit details of the changes.

If you have funding through the Graduate Student Research Fund or the Academic Research Fund, you must submit a Modification Event Form through the Research Portal.

Learn how to submit an event form.

If your project goes longer than expected

While your timeline should include enough time to deal with potential interruptions, unforeseen issues can cause disruptions to research. If you feel you will be unable to complete your research by the original date, you must advise your funders.

Internal funding

If you have funding through the Graduate Student Research Fund or the Academic Research Fund, you must submit a Renewal Request Form through the Research Portal. This form must be submitted at least 30 days before the stated end date.

Learn how to submit an event form.

External funding

Some Tri-Agency programs allow an automatic extension for use of grant funds; others may allow extensions only by request. See the Tri-Agency Extension Chart for details.

When your project is complete

Several awards require a final report once the research is complete. Failure to submit a final report may result in not being granted future funding. Where they are required, final reports must be submitted:

  • within 1 month of completing your research for internally funded projects
  • according to the funder’s guidelines for externally funded projects

How to submit your final report or event form (internal funding)

To submit a Final Report Form, Modification Event Form or a Renewal Request Form:

  1. Find your project in the Research Portal under Applications: Post-Review in the Principal Investigator section.
  2. Click the “Events” button to access the list of event forms.
  3. Select the form you need and complete it.
  4. If you need to compose a detailed response, you may want to create it in Notepad or TextEdit first, then paste it into the portal.

How to submit your final report (external funding)

Report submission requirements may vary between funders. It is your responsibility to submit your final report as per your funder’s guidelines.

Updated March 14 2018 by Research

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