Spark Grant

The Spark Grant supports applied research and innovation in its initial stages, enabling the development of new research questions, experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or innovative ideas. This Grant focuses on field-of-play innovation in its initial stages for immediate performance outcomes. 

Funding Available: Up to $35,000 per project per annum

Project Duration: Up to one-year

Eligible Researcher(s)

  • NSO and/or COPSIN researchers
  • Student support not eligible

Eligible Research & Innovation Themes

  • Psychology & Athlete/Coach Well-Being
  • Training Sciences: Physiology, Nutrition, Strength & Conditioning
  • Sport Technology & Engineering
  • Injury Care & Sport Medicine
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Learning & Skill Acquisition
  • Data Sciences & Statistics

Submission Deadline

  • March 1st (annually) 
  • Assessed by Own the Podium

Year-End Reporting: March 15th (annually)

Application Checklist: 

  • Select the appropriate application for which you will apply (Spark, Accelerate, Technovate)
  • For Accelerate and Technovate grants, a student(s) has been secured to undertake the research
  • Prepare a Gantt chart with clear milestones that can be gauged to track progress
  • Prepare a detailed budget with total budget income and total budget costs
  • Download Project Rationale Form and complete with a description of the proposed research (the Project Rationale Form provides opportunity to collaborate with your research team before application submission)
  • Use the “APPLY NOW” button.   Fill in the application online and attach your Project Rationale Form. 


Spark Grant


Frequently Asked Questions

The criteria for assessment will focus primarily on NSO readiness to engage in research or innovation in the DTE/CE. The grant supports performance enhancement strategies or improvements in best practices in the DTE/CE. Project implementation plans will also be assessed to ensure full achievement of goals. OTP maintains a top-down approach and prioritize targeted sports.

There will be several application windows throughout the year to review submissions. These windows will also include applications received from NSOs as part of the Sport Review process. Applications will be submitted using a standard application form focusing on project goals, performance impact, and implementation plans. OTP will assess the applications internally through a Review Panel and work collaboratively with NSOs and partners to achieve project goals.

A NSO can apply for more than one Spark Grant but the application should be in different areas of inquiry related to performance. For example, a project could focus on nutrition and another one related to sport psychology. The Grant is capped at a specific amount and the project scope should be manageable within a year. Multiple grants would require adequate supervision from the NSO.

Yes. The intent of the Spark Grant is to initiate a project with funding and facilitate project growth towards more in-depth research or innovation. Transitioning to a Mitacs is not automatic and each project supported by a Spark grant will be evaluated by a separate Review Panel before being accepted for a Technovate or Accelerate grant.

The NSO (example IST lead or HPD) is responsible for the application submission. It is expected that project deliverables can be integrated into the DTE/CE as required. The NSO assumes accountability for the project but may partner with COPSIN partner to achieve project deliverables. 
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