IDEAS Fund

Fuelling student innovation, development, and experiential activities in the Faculty of Science.

Authentic learning experiences fuel creativity, spark discovery, and transform students into the scientific and community leaders of the future. The IDEAS Fund provides financial support for eligible undergraduate science students to engage in innovation, leadership, educational, and professional development activities that are most meaningful to them. The range of activities supported is broad: from professional development seminars and workshops to field experiences and science competitions across the globe, the IDEAS Fund aims to empower students to expand their education to experiences outside of the traditional classroom.  

The IDEAS Fund is supported through the generous contributions of University of Calgary Alumni, the Faculty of Science, and other community partners.

All undergraduate students who are in good standing and enrolled in programs offered by the Faculty of Science are eligible to apply for financial support from the IDEAS Fund. Students may apply as an individual or as part of a formal (e.g. student club) or informal (e.g. conference organizing committee) group.

There is a broad range of activities that are eligible for funding through the IDEAS Fund. There is no complete list of activities, because every student has different goals and wants to engage or develop different opportunities. For your activity to be funded, it must:

  • further your personal and/or professional goals in your discipline,
  • aid in your development as a scientist and/or leader,
  • include a plan for giving back to the UCalgary community, and
  • be clear how you will participate in the activity.

The IDEAS Fund will fund costs that are incurred by participation in the proposed activity. These costs may include transportation, marketing and communication materials, scientific materials/equipment, software solutions, conference or registration fees, accommodations, etc.

  • Events deemed not to fulfill the criteria indicated previously
  • Regular administration expenses associated with clubs or informal groups (e.g. non-specific activities, general activities, office furniture and equipment, annual general meetings, etc.)
  • Establishment of an organization (for-profit or not-for-profit)
  • Creation or development of a for-profit product
  • In-lab research at a research institution (University of Calgary included)
  • Creation of technology/applications that use UCalgary data, or any other institution’s data, without approval from the institution
  • Promotion of any technology, process, or application created in class
  • Cost of events already completed
  • Tuition or Co-op/Internship fees
  • Alcohol or Cannabis

The amount of funds available for distribution changes depending on the level of funds raised each year, but the fund aims to distribute a minimum of $35,000 per year. The amount of funds available will be announced each year. Funding is available on a competitive basis. Not all proposals will be funded, and not all applicants will be funded to the full amount. Incomplete applications will not be included in the competition.

The IDEAS Fund will allow:

  • Individual awards of up $2,500 per student over the undergraduate degree
  • Group applications are allowed at a maximum of $5000 per application

For any single application, the Faculty of Science funds will not support more than 50% of the total eligible costs of the activity, except for international activities where students are eligible for up to 75% of the eligible costs. Funds are not intended to fully support the activities, and are intended to provide significant but partial funding for the various activities. Students are encouraged to participate in fundraising to augment their award and/or are expected to directly fund part of the activity costs. The external funding contribution must be clearly identified in the activity budget.

  • Successful applications to the IDEAS Fund will provide high impact opportunities for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science.
  • The support of the Faculty of Science shall be acknowledged for all activities funded by the IDEAS Fund where printed or publicity materials are produced (brochures, announcements, etc.).
  • Students applying for funds must develop a plan to share their experience with the broader science student community. This can be accomplished in many ways (e.g. offering a workshop or information session outlining the use of the funds, blogging, or other social media about the activity).
  • Trips that occur during the school term should not result in more than three (3) days absence from classes. Students are responsible for notifying their professors of any absence and must ensure no quizzes/tests or important course components (such as presentations) are missed as a result of their trip. No trips will be approved during the final two weeks of term or during the examination period.
  • Groups must take part in a pre-departure briefing prior to their trip and sign rules of engagement. The faculty advisor must also be at this briefing.
  • For group proposals, those that have a strong science educational component will be given priority.

All applications to the IDEAS Fund are evaluated by a committee consisting of:

  • Chair (Associate Dean, Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement) – voting only to break tie
  • Director of Development, Faculty of Science (non-voting)
  • 3 undergraduate students (one SU Representatives for the Faculty of Science and two chosen from the Student Advisory Council for Science
  • 1 faculty member
  • 1 alum of the Faculty of Science

This committee is supported by the Student Initiatives Coordinator in the Faculty of Science.

  • Quorum is 4 with at least 2 undergraduate students
  • Term: May 1 – April 30th
  • The Committee meets at least 3 times per year
  • The Committee is advisory to the Dean and reports annually in writing to the Dean

The Committee meets two times each year to judge applications and distribute funds. Students applications must be submitted by:

  • February 15th, for activities undertaken between May 1st and August 31st
  • July 15th, for activities undertaken between September 1st and December 31st
  • November 15th, for activities undertaken between January 1st and April 30th

In the event that an application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the application will be due on the next day that University offices are open. Applicants will normally be notified within one month after the application deadline.

The submission deadline (for activities undertaken between January 1st and April 30th) was November 15, 2018, thus the online application is currently closed

The next application period opens January 15, 2019 (for activities undertaken between May 1st and August 31st).

To contact the Faculty of Science Student Initiative Coordinator email at science.engagement@ucalgary.ca

Late applications will typically not be considered, but if an opportunity becomes available in the interval between competitions, funds may be distributed for urgent requests, contingent upon funds being available for disbursement.

In exceptional circumstances, the Associate Dean, Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement, may grant last-minute funding if application forms are completed and justification of urgency is provided.