Award Info

Award Information


In 2016 York University was awarded a seven-year Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant entitled “Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)”. Funds have been allocated for a research grant program open to core members of the VISTA research group. Two Requests for Proposals will be released on an annual basis, and will normally fund three applications per call at a maximum of $50,000 per award.

Scope and Research Objectives 

The mandate of VISTA is to advance visual science through research that spans computational and biological perspectives and results in real-world applications. To this end, the VISTA Research Grant program focuses on funding projects that promote interdisciplinary and/or translational vision research, and engage VISTA partners.

Funding Available and Conditions of Funding 

  • Only VISTA Core Members may be Principal Investigators.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the maximum level of funding is a one-time grant of up to $50,000.
  • The duration of each grant is a maximum of 2 years. Investigators may also apply for one year of funding with the potential to reapply for a second year.
  • The funds are meant to enable faculty members to initiate research or creative projects that build on current research programs or that are innovative in their approach. They should enhance faculty members' ability to apply for funds from external sources for larger-scale initiatives.
  • The program is not intended to provide continuing support for ongoing research/creative projects or to serve as a substitute for external funding. The intent of CFREF is not to replicate existing funding, but to provide an opportunity to secure new and/or greater sources of funding, or perhaps move in a different direction.
  • The project must be in collaboration with an external partner (academic, public or private sector), either established or new, and another VISTA Core/Associate member.
  • The research must fall within the scope of VISTA’s broad mandate (defined above), i.e., vision-related projects that include either a strong transdisciplinary (e.g., combining biological and computational perspectives) or translational component (where translation means a plan or potential to advance fundamental research toward application). If two grants are otherwise judged to be equal, the one that accomplishes both of these goals will be judged superior.
  • As the above conditions are met, VISTA research grants will be judged on excellence. All manuscripts arising from the projects must be submitted to Innovation York at for Intellectual Property (IP) review prior to final publication.
  • Successful applicants are encouraged to work with Innovation York to draft and execute a collaboration agreement with the VISTA partner to ensure all parties agree on how intellectual property, publication, and confidentiality, etc. will be managed. Should you wish to put a collaboration agreement in place, please contact Suraj S. Shah, Associate Director, Commercialization & Industry Partnerships, who will liaise with the Innovation York Research Agreements team to support you.
  • CFREF funding must be acknowledged in professional communications, publications, presentations and conference materials as follows: "This research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund."


***Please note that this will be the final round of the VISTA research grants.

A Notice of Intent must be submitted by: March 3, 2023.
The deadline for the submission of full proposals: March 31, 2023.
Please refer to the proposal guidelines for further details on submission requirements.
Please submit NOIs and proposals to