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Frequently Asked Questions

We are unable to submit an application for a funding process due to operational requirements, is it possible to obtain an extension?
Unfortunately, we cannot give extensions. To support fairness in the process, everyone hasto submit their proposals by the deadline. The application system will not allow you to submit your application after a funding process has closed.

How do I get a Grants and Contributions System (GCS)Organization ID?
To get your GCS Organization ID, access GCS and click on the “Create an Account” link to set up your account and obtain your GCS Organization ID.

How do we submit a Letter of Interest with another organization?
You cannot submit a joint Letter of Interest. If 2 organizations are working together, one organization will have to submit as the main applicant and the other organization as a partner.

Will we receive information on the next steps?
Yes. We’ll communicate to you by email. Make sure that your contact information in your application is correct. Please add the CFP mailbox (cfp@cic.gc.ca) to your safe senders list, and routinely check your junk mail.

How many projects will be funded? Are there a specific amount of LOIs that will move to stage 2?
There is no pre-determined number of letters of interest that will move to stage 2, nor is there a pre-determined number of projects to be funded.
IRCC will select the projects of the highest quality that can be most beneficial in helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of settlement services.

What is indirect versus direct services, and what is the purpose of SDI in relation to base settlement services?
SDI is intended to build evidence through research and testing, and as such funding is considered “indirect” under the Settlement Program.  However, direct services to clients, if they are included as part of the testing component of a project to support the research and to provide data, are valid project elements.

Can organizations submit more than one LOI? Can one project fall under multiple priorities?
You can submit multiple letters of interest for funding consideration under one priority or under different priorities.
Each letter of interest should address a single priority. If there are elements of your project that address more than one priority, please select the one that is most applicable.

What types of projects have been funded for SDI in the past? Is it only for current settlement services providers?
SDI has been used to fund research and testing of various innovative service delivery approaches.
It should be noted that projects funded through the 2017 Expression of Interest addressed a different set of priorities, and are very separate from the 2020 suite of priorities.
SDI funding is available to new and current partners. About 30% of recipients from the 2017 SDI process had not previously been funded by IRCC.

Can you provide an example of an eligible project under each funding priority?
Examples of eligible projects under each priority may be found in the Funding Guidelines on our webpage. 

Who is eligible to submit an LOI (ex: students, corporations, churches, private individuals, etc.)?
Eligible applicants are listed in the Funding Guidelines, under Eligible Recipients
Please note that eligibility is slightly different for priority 3. Please check Customized Service (Funding Priority 3) in the Funding Guidelines for more details.

Can you seek to expand/extend a previous SDI funded project under this Expression of Interest?
No, this process is not meant to provide funding to extend existing SDI contribution agreements.  If you have questions about an existing agreement, please contact the IRCC project officer who manages your SDI agreement. 
 
Do partnerships need to be finalized before submitting the LOI? Are partner letters of support needed at this point?
Partnerships are a very important element of this round of SDI projects. While you do not need to finalize partnerships in the LOI stage, your LOI should clearly indicate the types of partnerships you are working to establish and how they will contribute to achieving outcomes.

If your concept is strong but you don’t have partners, how would your chances of being funded be impacted?
Partnership building and collaboration must be featured prominently throughout the life of the project. It is expected that applicants will find partners with whom they can work, within or outside of the Settlement Sector, such as employers, academic institutions, other governments, as well as non-profit or for-profit organizations.

Does my organization have to demonstrate in-house research/evaluation capacity, or can it be funded to hire consultants/experts in these fields?
If you or your organization has research/evaluation expertise, you should articulate this in your Letter of Interest. If this expertise is not available, you should identify potential partners that can provide it.

Can you please give an example of eligible vs. ineligible purchases of IT equipment/software under priority #1?
The goal of this priority is to better understand how technologies that newcomers and service providers are already using can be best leveraged, before we consider new technology interventions.
Purchases, technical or otherwise, should align with the activities that support the concept being tested. A clear rationale for purchases should be provided if/when funding for your proposed project is being negotiated.
Examples: An existing AI tool is licensed but it will need individualization so it works for a certain region/SPO application. That work could be quite extensive, but it is not a new technology. This would be eligible.
Conversely, a new app, designed to promote employment opportunities for newcomers in a region, would not be eligible.

Do I need to provide budget/costing information at the LOI stage?
Your LOI must include a cost estimate per fiscal year.
A more detailed budget is required in Stage 2 of the application process. The detailed budget does not need to match the Stage 1 cost estimate exactly, but should reflect the scope of the proposed project.

How much funding is available for my project?
There is approximately $30 million per year, over three years for Service Delivery Improvements projects. There is no specific maximum as each proposal will be assessed on its own merits and the recommended funding will be based on this assessment. Budgets will be negotiated as part of the Contribution/Grant Agreement negotiation process.

Is preference given to national projects vs. regional/is there a portion of funding dedicated to particular priorities or regions?
There is no specific amount dedicated to regional or national projects.
IRCC will select the projects of the highest quality that can be most beneficial in helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of settlement services.

Can pre-arrival, visa and other overseas activities be funded through this process?
Please consult the list of eligible clients in the Funding Guidelines.

Will I own the copy-right/patent/right of use for whatever innovation I create?
The Intellectual Property (IP) Rights developed through an agreement, and related materials, are vested in (owned by) the recipient organization which grants to IRCC a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free licence to reproduce, distribute and translate the work for the purposes of carrying out the Department’s program objectives. 

Can you elaborate on SPOs delivering Community Connections being eligible to apply via Priority #3 and how?
Settlement service provider organizations delivering IRCC-funded Community Connections services are eligible to apply for the anti-racism component of Priority#3.
For other elements of Priority#3, settlement service provider organizations will need to partner with an eligible organizations, such as an academic institution, capacity building organization, or a Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) organization or Umbrella organization.

What specifically will the project evaluator be required to do at project completion, and what skills do they need?
The evaluator’s primary role is to evaluate the following:
•  whether the project has achieved its expected outcomes, including what evidence supports the achievement of outcomes
•  whether the project is more effective and efficient than current interventions.
The evaluator should have some experience and expertise in evaluation.

What is the duration of projects? When do they have to begin and end?             
Projects for this EOI are expected to start in the summer/fall of 2021 with an end date no later than March 31, 2024 (duration of one to three years). Consideration may be given to some projects seeking to begin before fall 2021.

Can I submit a proposal that builds on findings from our IRCC-funded base settlement programming?     All projects must address one of the three funding priorities as described in the Funding Guidelines. As SDI is focused on testing and research rather than direct service delivery to newcomers, proposals should limit any direct service delivery to the minimum needed to gather evidence about a particular intervention.

Do all projects have to focus on Covid-19 recovery?
All projects must address one of the three funding priorities as described in the Funding Guidelines.
Each of the three priorities has been developed in the context of supporting newcomers and the settlement sector in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We already have set up GCS under IRCC funded programs.  Do we need to create another one for the SDI?
You do not need to create a separate GCS account for SDI. You will need to enter your GCS organization ID in the letter of interest form.

What are IRCC’s plans to support small community organizations who do not have the infrastructure to develop/stabilize their competencies?
Priority #3 is designed, in part, to support the settlement sector as a whole to develop the skills and tools to adapt, design and implement innovative solutions, and to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of existing and new programming. Current IRCC-funded settlement service providers will benefit under this priority either through partnerships with funded organizations or through the dissemination of best practices and new strategies.