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Azrieli Accelerator Catalyst Grant Competition

The Azrieli Accelerator at the University of Calgary cultivates and launches research that can transform neurodevelopment research across the lifespan. Our framework supports research that spans fundamental neuroscience to intervention and systems change, in the fields of neurodevelopment, neurodevelopmental conditions, and neurodiversity.

Established in January 2022 in the Office of the Vice-President (Research), the Azrieli Accelerator seeks to strengthen transdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary collaborations across campus and launch big and bold research in the areas of neurodevelopment, neurodevelopmental conditions, and neurodiversity as it relates to all stages across the life course.

We aim to strengthen connections across campus within the scientific community working in these areas, and also with the community our research serves - neurodivergent individuals of all ages and their families.



`Value: up to $50,000

Six grants will be awarded, up to $50,000 each

Duration: 1 year

With possibility of extension

Deadline: Dec. 1, 2022

Applications are open from October 3, 2022 until December 1, 2022. 


Proposal Criteria

This funding is intended to catalyze new collaborative research related to neurodevelopment, neurodevelopmental conditions, and/or neurodiversity. The competition is open to all UCalgary faculty members.

Proposals submitted should articulate plans for how this funding will increase the applicant’s (or, team’s) competitiveness for larger scale external funding opportunities and include plans for knowledge translation and/or knowledge engagement.

The Team

  • Please list team members as one of the following: Nominated Principal Applicant (only one), Principal Applicant, Co-Applicant, or Collaborator
    • Teams must include at least two Principal Applicants and/or Co-Applicants
    • Involvement of early career researchers and senior research trainees is encouraged.
    • A researcher can only be listed as Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant on one Azrieli Accelerator Catalyst Awards application
  • Proposals should outline contributions of each team member, including a description of relevant expertise.
  • Proposals should consider equity, diversity and inclusion principles in the context of the research team as well as the proposed research activities.
  • Funds will be held by the Nominated Principal Applicant, who must be a UCalgary faculty member.
    • Team members (both internal and external to UCalgary) may provide matching fund contributions (cash or in-kind) to increase the value of the award.


Use of Funds

  •  The following are examples of eligible use of funds:
    • Generating critical preliminary data: e.g., pilot lab tests and experiments, access to key data sources, survey development and generation, evidence review (may include sex and gender-based analyses of new and/or existing data)
    • Capacity building: e.g., trainees and highly qualified research personnel to obtain preliminary data or develop research tools
    • Team coordination and development: e.g., personnel to bring researchers and stakeholders together and synthesize information
    • Creation of career advancement or leadership opportunities for researchers in the field of neurodevelopment, neurodiversity, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and/or trainees, care providers, and other stakeholders (utilizing EDI principles)
    • Education and training: e.g., workshops and courses for new investigators, trainees, staff, and other stakeholders
    • Team grant and program development: e.g., writing support
    • Developing partnership with other strategies, including UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy: e.g., consultation and use of resources developed and managed through other strategies
    • Fostering community partnerships: e.g., knowledge translation and exchange, compensation for front-line service provider and agency time spent on research
    • Minor equipment and technology enhancements

Expected Outcomes

Catalyst awards are designed to ready teams for a future program proposal to grant funding opportunities through local, provincial, national, or international funding agencies and partners. Projects should also identify the groups who will apply the knowledge generated by this work. For example – will the results be applied by other researchers in this field? By community agencies? others?



Azrieli Accelerator staff will coordinate the review process and conduct an initial eligibility review with leadership. Full award applications will then be evaluated by reviewers with a broad range of expertise from across UCalgary who do not have any conflict of interest with applicants.

Proposals will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit (50%): Impact of hypothesis, overall interest to the field, relevance to Azrieli Accelerator mandate, methods/approaches, feasibility
  • The team (25%): complementary expertise, demonstration of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • The long-term objective (25%): need to catalyze the project, potential impact, sustainability; plans for future funding applications, expected outcomes
  • Note: reviewer comments will not be provided but overall scores can be available upon request

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a single pdf file that includes the following to: by 5pm on December 1, 2022:



Note: Figures, charts, tables, etc. are included in the 3 pages max. Please use Arial 11pt font or Times New Roman 12pt font and set page margins to 0.5 in/1.27cm on all sides.

Must include the following:

  • Background: Brief overview of relevant background and/or rationale of the proposed research
  • Research Aims: Indicate the broad goal(s) and specific research aims of the proposed research
  • Methods/Approaches/Timeline: Provide brief overview of methodology that will be used to address each of the research aims
  • Significance/Outcomes: Describe the expected near-term expected outcomes of the proposed research, highlighting the significance and how it advances neurodevelopment and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities research and/or neurodiversity. Define the deliverables expected that will be enabled by this grant. Describe the long-term objectives of the overall project as the ultimate goal for the newly catalyzed project (e.g., external funding, larger community engagement, etc) and identify who/which groups will apply and translate the knowledge (for example: researchers, clinicians, community groups, etc).
  • References (unlimited pages):Included as an appendix


SECTION 2. BUDGET (1-page max)

  • Provide a justification for use of funds, including descriptions of the staff required to complete the project (already part of the team or to be hired are both acceptable).




SECTION 4: CVs FOR EACH APPLICANT (5 pages max per applicant)