New Directions Research Program

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This program offers funding for research that stimulates the sustainable growth and competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food, agri-business and rural sectors.

Program status: There are currently two active calls for proposals under this program. See below for details of the calls for proposals.

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Program overview

The purpose of the New Directions Research Program is to stimulate the sustainable growth and competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food and agri-business sectors, and to strengthen rural communities. The development of new and alternative products provides potential to increase the diversification of agriculture. New knowledge and new technologies help Ontario's agri-food and agri-business sectors address challenges, expand market opportunities at home and abroad, and support thriving rural communities

Research Priority Areas

Priorities for this program can shift annually and reflect key opportunities and challenges facing the agri-food sector and rural communities.

There are currently two active calls for proposals under the New Directions Research Program.

All applicants must clearly indicate how the proposed research will address the program priorities. Proposals may not be funded in all priority areas. See Section Three of the relevant call document (accessible in the Research Management System) for extended details about the priority areas.

1. Honey Bee Health

The focus of this call for proposals is on the health and productivity of honey bee colonies (stationary or migratory). Research will pertain to numerous aspects of colony health. Research on honey bee health and productivity is requested in the following areas:

  • Evaluating the efficacy of treatments for the control of pests and pathogens
  • Evaluating the resistance to pests and pathogens through breeding and genetics
  • Evaluating the effects of multiple pests and pathogens on honey bee health
  • Evaluating the relationship between pathogen presence and development of clinical disease, and/or significant colony damage

2. Northern Livestock

The focus of this call for proposals is on the expansion of livestock production in Northern Ontario with a particular focus on the Great Clay Belt, specifically along the Highway 11 North corridor between Cochrane and Hearst. Research will pertain to the environment, economics and social understanding to support sustainable livestock farms in the Great Clay Belt. Research priority areas are:

  • Barriers to Establishment of Livestock Farms in the Clay Belt
  • Changes in Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Dynamics Through Land Conversion
  • Baseline Soil and Water Data and how Dynamics Change Through Land Conversion

Who is eligible?

Researchers with demonstrated capacity to perform quality research from the following organizations can apply:

  • businesses and industry
  • colleges and universities
  • government - municipal, provincial (non-Ontario) and federal
  • hospitals
  • non-governmental organizations
  • research institutes and foundations

Applicants outside the province of Ontario can apply but must indicate how their proposed research will benefit Ontario's agri-food and agribusiness sectors and rural communities.

Note: you are ineligible to apply as Lead Applicant if you are:

  • staff from Ontario provincial government
  • a researcher who has received prior funding but has an outstanding progress report

Funding amount and duration

  • maximum funding per project - $200,000 Canadian (includes a maximum of 25% indirect costs)
  • project duration - Up to three years in length

How to Apply

Application Deadline and pre-submission consultation


Honey Bee Health
Two-stage call
(Letters of Intent and Full Proposals)

Northern Livestock
Single-stage call
(Full Proposals only)

Application Deadline * Letters of Intent due June 28th, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST Full Proposals due July 12, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST

Pre-submission Consultation

To register: Contact Tieghan Hunt ( and indicate if you will join in-person or by webinar

There is no pre-submission consultation for the Honey Bee Health call
  • Thursday, May 25, 2017
  • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • 1 Stone Road West, Guelph in Conference Centre Room 1

* researchers who register in the RMS with a Research Office need to allow time for their internal approval process
* the RMS does not allow submissions past the deadline


For questions about the program contact:

For questions about the Research Management System contact:

RMS Administrator

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For more information:
Author: Daphne Tot, Research Analsyst/RIB
Creation Date: 10 December 2013
Last Reviewed: 12 May 2017