Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Personal tools
You are here: ROADS at McMaster > Funding Sources > Institutional Initiatives > Canada Foundation for Innovation John Evans Leaders Fund (JELF - formerly Leaders Opportunity Fund)

Canada Foundation for Innovation John Evans Leaders Fund (JELF - formerly Leaders Opportunity Fund)

The John Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) is designed to help universities attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers at a time of intense international competition. To this end, the JELF offers universities the opportunity to:

  • acquire infrastructure for their leading research faculty to undertake cutting-edge research;
  • create competitive packages of research support in the form of infrastructure and a portion of the operating and maintenance costs from the CFI, coupled with direct research costs from partner organizations.


Application Process:

JELF competitions are held in February, June and October of each year. Proposals requesting less than $2M in total costs may be submitted during any one of the three competitions.

The CFI allocates JELF funds to eligible institutions, such as McMaster. Each Faculty at McMaster has a JELF allocation. If you are considering a JELF application, you must first obtain approval from your Department Chair and Faculty Dean.  The amount of the maximum CFI request is set by the Faculty Dean.

Once ROADS receives confirmation of your maximum CFI request from the Faculty Dean, a Senior Advisor will be assigned to provide you with guidance documents and assist you with development of your proposal.



The JELF may be used for a current Faculty member with a full-time academic appointment or a candidate being recruited by the university. It is designed for one Faculty member or a group of up to three Faculty members, if there is proven need to share the infrastructure. It is not intended for large groups, centres, or departments. Applicants who have received funding through the JELF, New Opportunities Fund, Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund, or Career Award are eligible to apply provided they demonstrate the need for further funding.



The CFI JELF program is a matching program:

  • Up to 40% of the total project budget is requested from CFI
  • 20% or more comes from a combination of in-kind or vendor discounts and cash.


More Information:

If you have any questions regarding the JELF program, please contact Sherisse Webb, Assistant Director, Development, at webbsh@mcmaster.caor extension 26946.


Additional information about the JELF program can be found on the CFI website at