The purpose of the funds is to promote the academic development of the University by assisting with the start-up and transition costs associated with innovative academic development projects. The Academic Development Fund is not intended for the support or maintenance of existing or ongoing programs.


Not less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the distributable operating revenue of the University's budget is made available to the Academic Development Fund to support Special Projects under the guidelines set out below. Of that total, 8% is available to fund projects awarded under the Small Grants Competition. Separate guidelines and instructions for application to the Small Grants Competition are available from the University Secretariat. The standard ADF application form will be used by applicants to the Special Projects and Small Grant competitions.

SCUP has authority over the Academic Development Fund under the following terms:

  1. To report allocations to the Board of Governors, through the Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of Senate, on advice of its Subcommittee on Priorities in Academic Development (SUPAD)

  2. To prepare, in consultation with SUPAD, a rolling five-year budget for the Academic Development Fund, which shall include all allocations already made or projected.

  3. To adhere to the guidelines detailed below in preparing recommendations for allocations.

  4. To report to the Senate, at least annually.


1.0 Projects eligible for Academic Development Fund support include:

1.1 The initiation of outstanding scholarly endeavours or frontier research. Projects of this sort are expected to be innovative in the discipline in which they arise and to represent a significant departure from existing research lines at UWO.
1.2 The support of scholarly acquisitions.

2.0 Applications may be made by individuals, disciplinary teams, and cross-and-interdisciplinary teams, including those with external matching funds, with the proviso that the principal applicants be regular, full-time employees of the University. [Special consideration may be given to those applications where careful integration and campus-wide planning is evident.]

3.0 Funds may be requested for equipment, supplies, travel or services, or for the salaries of research personnel, but NOT for the salaries of faculty members or equivalent, such as designated Chairs, Professorships, and Faculty Fellowships, whether term-funded or endowed. The ADF will rarely provide support for persons involved in academic collaboration with the applicant (for example, postdoctoral fellows or graduate students). Applicant(s) requesting such support must present specific justification with respect to the project and to the particular individuals.

4.0 The purchase of equipment, supplies or services intended only to maintain existing programs or projects will not normally be supported by the ADF. If such funds are requested, the continued academic importance of these programs or projects must be justified.

5.0 Instruction related computer and other information technology proposals are NOT eligible for funding under the ADF. Such projects should be submitted for support as part of the annual planning process in Faculties, with appropriate consultation with SCITS. Applications involving computers where such involvement is part of innovative academic activity will be considered for funding under the ADF.

6.0 Proposals for the extension, enrichment or modification of undergraduate or graduate teaching programs, for the reorganization of an academic department or program, or for the establishment of a collaborative or other special teaching facility are NOT eligible for funding under the ADF. Such requests should be part of a unit's normal budget submission during the annual planning process and should be made to the relevant Dean for possible funding through the Provost's Academic Support Fund (PASF).

7.0 Projects are expected to continue beyond the period of ADF funding and to become self-supporting, either from outside funds or from the regular budget of the Faculty or Department concerned; all ADF allocations are made on a "once only" or a "phasing-out" basis.

7.1 Funding will not normally be provided for more than three years, and never for more than five.
7.2 Plans for the long-term funding of the project must be outlined in the application.

8.0 Projects below $15,000 will be adjudicated by SUPAD, which may then make funding recommendations without the assistance of external referees. [ALL projects must be accompanied by the names of referees.] Projects with budgets less than $5,000 will not normally be considered.

9.0 SUPAD shall determine whether to seek advice from external referees on applications to the ADF, and may make funding recommendations without assistance from referees. [All applications must include the names of 5 potential referees and their area(s) of expertise.]

10.0 ADF funds may be combined with funds from other sources in supporting a project, and where appropriate, outside funding must be applied for. The advice of the University Research Office must be sought on the question of the appropriateness of soliciting outside funds, and that office will help in the identification of likely sources. An account of the search for outside funds, or an explanation of its inappropriateness, must be included in the application.

11.0 The application must describe any space requirements of the project. When there are space requirements, SUPAD shall consult with Physical Plant & Capital Planning Services before reporting to SCUP.

12.0 The application must be accompanied by a statement from the Dean or Deans concerned dealing with any space requirements and with plans for the long-term funding of the project.

13.0 Where the proposal has computing requirements, SUPAD shall consult with the Senate Committee on Information Technology and Services (SCITS) before reporting to SCUP.

14.0 Where the proposal affects the academic programs of other academic units, SUPAD shall consult with the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions (SCAPA) before reporting to SCUP.

15.0 The examination of an application will normally include the assistance or advice of appraisers from outside the University. The appraisers will be selected by SUPAD, and must be "at arm's length" from the project and the applicant.

16.0 Proposals for Special Projects are evaluated by SUPAD, which makes funding recommendations to SCUP.

17.0 The Director of each project shall submit a Final Report to SUPAD within six months of the expiration of the grant. Directors of continuing projects shall submit interim reports annually. Their reports shall include sections outlining the objectives of the project, its budget, and an evaluation of the results.

[These terms of reference supersede those in Senate Minute S.3970.]