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DRI EDIA Champions Pilot Program

Call for Proposals is now closed.

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance) is pleased to launch the DRI EDIA Champions pilot program call for proposals, a $3.15 million funding opportunity to support a new equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) initiative. This opportunity aims to increase awareness and uptake of the Alliance’s digital research infrastructure (DRI) by equity-seeking groups. Equitable access to tools like those found within the Alliance DRI can empower researchers to lead, share knowledge and drive discovery. This, in turn, strengthens the Canadian research ecosystem by expanding the pool of DRI-informed researchers. This project is part of the Alliance’s 2023–25 digital research infrastructure (DRI) investments, with the goal of increasing awareness and uptake of the Alliance’s DRI by equity-seeking groups.

This call for proposals is open to graduate or post-graduate researchers who:

  • Are affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution, including universities or colleges, CÉGEP, institutes or polytechnics engaged in applied research with industry or community partners;
  • Self-identify as a member of an equity-seeking group AND/OR have relevant expertise in EDIA with a strategy to reach an equity-seeking group; and
  • Will propose a new project to promote the awareness and uptake of Alliance DRI to an equity-seeking audience.

The pilot program will award $35,000 per successful applicant (“DRI EDIA Champion”) to support their project.


Important information


Seeking volunteer experts for the Alliance’s Merit Review Selection Committee

We are recruiting volunteer experts for the Merit Review Committee to support the DRI EDIA Champions call. We encourage applications from subject matter experts in all fields, disciplines and areas of interest; French and/or English speakers; and individuals living across Canada and internationally who can contribute their expertise. 

Though not a requirement, expertise in EDIA and/or living EDIA experience is considered an asset. As a thank you for their expertise and time, merit reviewers will receive a modest honorarium of $250.

Find out more about the Committee and how to sign up here: Merit Review Committees


DRI EDIA Champions: key objectives

The objectives of this pilot project are to advance awareness, understanding and use of DRI services provided by the Alliance to equity-seeking Canadian researchers.

To meet these objectives, successful applicants to the DRI EDIA Champions pilot program will:

  • Receive onboarding and training related to the DRI tools and services available;
  • Be part of a community of practice, meeting other DRI EDIA Champions for an in-person session;
  • Gain additional knowledge and training through programs such as OLS’s open science learning;
  • Promote and facilitate access to national DRI services within the research community to members of equity-seeking groups; and
  • Provide feedback on how the Alliance can sustain, improve and grow the DRI EDIA Champions model initiated by this pilot into a potential DRI EDIA Champions Program.


Value and duration

The funding envelope ($3.15 million CAD) will provide up to $35,000 CAD per applicant who will take on the role of ​DRI EDIA Champion. The DRI EDIA Champion pilot project provides funds that are to be used primarily for stipends; $27,000 is available for stipend, up to $5,000 for project costs and up to $3,000 for travel.



This call for proposals is open to graduate or post-graduate researchers who are affiliated with an eligible institution and will propose a project to promote the awareness and uptake of Alliance DRI to an equity-seeking audience.

Equity-seeking includes:

  • First-generation post-secondary students
  • Geographically isolated
  • Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis)
  • Members of 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities
  • Members of racialized groups
  • Neurodiverse
  • Persons living with a visible or invisible disability
  • Women

 To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • A graduate or post-graduate researcher enrolled at a Canadian university; or
    • A student enrolled at a Canadian college, CÉGEP, institute or polytechnic engaged in applied research with industry or community partners.
  • Self-identify as one of the following:
    • A member of an equity-seeking group; and/or
    • An individual with relevant expertise in EDIA and a well-thought-out strategy to reach an equity-seeking group.
  • Be affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution and must maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period. 
  • Identify a mentor from their institution or identified community who agrees to provide support with the EDIA aspect of the project. The mentor may also provide support with facilitation of other aspects of the project. The mentor may be a colleague or other appropriate individual; it is not required that the mentor be the applicant’s supervisor.
  • Submit only one application; multiple applications will not be accepted.

 Applicants are not required to hold Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.

For more information on eligibility, including eligible Canadian institutions, projects, expenses and more, please reference the Call for Proposals.


Key dates

  • Deadline for submission of Proposal: July 17, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET 
  • Estimated Notice of Award / Eligibility of expenses: August 2024  
  • Estimated project start date: August 2024  
  • Project end date: March 31, 2025


Application process 



Applications will be accepted in both official languages (English and French) through the Alliance’s online application system. Those needing accommodation or assistance are asked to email

Applicants must complete the application form in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Call for Proposals and with the instructions in the application form.


Information session

To help with the application process, the Alliance will host a DRI EDIA Champions info session on June 27, 2024, 1:00 p.m. ET.