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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY | BIOFUELNET | ComprehensiveCanada-wide long-term trials of various energy crops

Forwarded on behalf of the Grants Coordinators, Office of Research Services. Please forward to interested faculty and/or students within your unit and post.

To interested researchers, please note:

  1. Office of Research Services internal deadline for Comprehensive Review for this competition is: noon, 10 working days before the sponsor deadline.
  2. Office of Research Services internal deadline for Institutional Review for this competition is: noon, 3 working days before the sponsor deadline.
  3. When submitting an application for Institutional Review, be sure to include the appropriate Approval Form from your Department/Faculty with the application.
  4. Please notify a Grants Coordinator at the Office of Research Services of your intent to apply to the upcoming competition.

Contact for Faculty of Medicine, Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, HKR, and Grenfell Campus is Vicki Gill,, 709-864-3045.
Contact for Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, and Marine Institute is Karen Follett,, 709-864-8252.
Contact for Faculty of Science, Business Administration, Education, School of Music, and the Labrador Institute is Tasha Harrold,, 709-864-4745.

Further details on processes for institutional review and approval are available at


Sponsor:             BioFuelNet - A Network of Centres of Excellence


Call for Proposals: Comprehensive Canada-wide long-term trials of various energy crops


The trials will provide BFN and its stakeholders with data on potential sources of biomass available for use as feedstocks in either biological or thermo-chemical conversion processes. The ultimate goal will be for BFN to identify the optimal combination of feedstock and conversion technologies for the production of liquid biofuels. Properties to be monitored and reported upon include:

  • Details of land/soil quality, preparation and harvest
  • Irrigation rates and moisture content of biomass
  • Rates of growth, yields, residues, removal rates (dry tonnes per hectare)
  • Cost and/or value ($ per dry tonne) in local markets
  • Quantities and cost of inputs (water, fertilizer, herbicides/pesticides/fungicides, fuel, etc.)
  • Post-harvest logistics
  • Other properties, to be determined on a per-project basis
Successful projects will work closely with BFN’s Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability (SEES) theme to provide trial data to perform in-depth lifecycle and economic analysis.

Project areas and topics:

The trial will involve establishing agriculture and agro-forestry plots and monitoring their progress in three of the following Canadian climate zones, selected to enable a pan-national perspective:

  1. South British Columbia mountains
  2. Northwestern forest
  3. Prairies
  4. Northeastern forest
  5. Great Lakes and St. Laurence
  6. Atlantic Canada

The targeted crops will be planted in all three selected Canadian climate zones; however, specific genotypes of the promising crops that are known to be region-specific may be planted in just one or more regions. All crops must minimize competition with food and feed. BFN has identified the following target crops for particular interest for investigation:

  1. Biomass grass crop (e.g. switchgrass, Miscanthus)
  2. Multi-purpose (biomass/co-products) crop (e.g. Camelina, flax, hemp)
  3. Biomass tree species (e.g. hybrid poplar, willow)
While at least 75% of BFN grant funds will be directed towards these crops, other promising crops will also be considered.

Value and duration:

There are three $200,000 grants available; each grant provides $50,000 per year for 4 years (2014-2017). One grant will be allocated per selected climate zone (see Section 4 below).


Letter of Intent Phase:

Sponsor deadline: Monday, September 30, 2013; 5:00 p.m. EST

Additional information:
  • Applicants are expected to engage suitable partners, from private industry, government and/or other organizations, to ensure sufficient resources are available to produce the desired results. BFN is particularly supportive of research that has clear evidence of user-involvement in the formulation, support and conduct of the research itself. Special consideration will be given to projects that receive support from external partners (via letters of support that identify in-kind and/or cash support).

  • Researchers and organizations that intend to receive BFN funding must meet the general eligibility conditions of NSERC, SSHRC and the CIHR. Investigators that intend to receive NCE funding are limited to involvement on a maximum of two Letters of Intent.

  • Please email LOIs to Xiaomin Zhou at the address below with “BFN LOI” in the subject line.

  • Full proposals will be due by late November 2013 with funding decisions expected to be communicated by January 2014.

Xiaomin Zhou, Manager, Financial Operations
514-508-2884 or