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Innovation Fellowship

Overview +

The Metcalf Innovation Fellowship program provides critical thinkers with opportunities to address complex ecological, social, economic, and cultural issues. We believe fresh insights and true experimentation often happen on the edge of an issue, out beyond where organized and traditional efforts are being made. We want to create opportunities for this work to be developed, disseminated, and heard. This Fellowship gives individuals of vision and creativity, people with outstanding talent and originality, the freedom to pursue powerful ideas, models, or practices that have the potential to contribute to building a healthier, more resilient Canada.

Typically, Innovation Fellowships explore policy issues or systemic aspects in one or more of the Foundation’s three areas of interest: environment, inclusive local economies, and performing arts. Fellowships act as intellectual companions to our granting and program work, often directly informing program strategies.

Funding can be used to support costs associated with project activities; awards of up to a maximum of $30,000 will be made available. Typical awards are in the range of $15,000-$25,000.

Eligibility +

Proposals should amplify and help advance the goals of one of the Foundation’s three program areas.

Applications can be received either directly from a prospective Fellow who, upon receipt of an Innovation Fellowship, would enter into a contract for services with the Foundation, or from the registered charitable organization with which the individual is associated.

Applicants must have:

  • a significant record of achievement and be recognized within their field; and
  • worked in an area related to their proposed exploration for a minimum of ten years.

Deadlines +

Applications will be considered on a rolling intake basis. Prospective applicants should contact the Metcalf Program Director for their focus area to discuss their proposed fellowship in advance of submission.

Application Guidelines +

Click here to view the full program guidelines.

FAQs +

  • What are the project parameters of an Innovation Fellowship?

    Most Metcalf Innovation Fellowships result in the publication of formal papers, which are expected to be approximately 20 to 35 pages in length (up to 15,000 words).

  • What doesn’t the Innovation Fellowship fund?

    Typically, the Foundation does not consider requests:

    • for the production of books;
    • for the creation of curricula or toolkits;
    • for research that does not address policy issues directly related to the sectors in which the Foundation works.
  • What is the first step to obtaining support from the Foundation?

    Please review all information on the website regarding the Innovation Fellowship program. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Program Director in the field most closely aligned with their work.

  • Would Foundation staff be willing to review my proposal in advance of the deadline?

    Foundation staff is happy to discuss potential applications and to help organizations craft a more focused argument for funding, but they do not read drafts of applications prior to their submission.

  • Can more than one person work on an individual Fellowship?

    Although most Fellowships are granted to single individuals, the Foundation does welcome collaborative submissions from individuals whose experience and expertise are complementary and combine to create a strong proposal.

  • What is the maximum/minimum size of an Innovation Fellowship grant?

    Funding can be used to support costs associated with project activities. Awards of up to $30,000 will be granted; average awards are in the range of $15,000 – $25,000.

  • How are applications assessed?

    Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by Foundation staff to determine if more information is required. Applicants may be asked to expand on, or clarify, the content outlined in their EOI. Once all requested information is submitted, the proposal will then be reviewed by the Foundation’s Board and staff. We will assess applications according to the following criteria:

    • the background and qualifications of the applicant(s);
    • the alignment between the proposed work and one or more of Metcalf’s program areas;
    • the likelihood that the ideas expressed could gain traction in the context of current practice and policy;
    • the proposed methodology for your study/work;
    • the scope of the project, its creativity, originality, and rigour, and its potential contribution to longstanding or systemic issues; and
    • the quality of the submitted written materials.
  • How does the Foundation make funding decisions?

    Funding decisions are made by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and decisions are final.

  • How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?

    You can expect to receive a decision from the Foundation within 3 months of submission.

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
38 Madison Avenue, Toronto, ON  M5R 2S1