Research, Measurement, Evaluation and Knowledge Transfer activities

Opportunities to help identify best practices in Indigenous education that could benefit First Nation students.

The 2017-2018 call for proposals to support research projects is now closed. The deadline to submit a proposal was May 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

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About the activities

The Government of Canada, through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, is investing $1.5 million annually in new Research, Measurement, Evaluation and Knowledge Transfer activities under the New Paths for Education program.

This new investment aims to increase awareness and knowledge of best practices in Indigenous education among educators, policy-makers and First Nation leaders across Canada. It will:

The program will support research projects that contribute to the growing body of evidence on educational initiatives across Canada that are positively impacting First Nation students and their educational outcomes. The findings of the research must then be presented at a First Nation education conference, workshop or symposium.

This investment reaffirms the Government of Canada's commitment to working collaboratively with First Nations to ensure that all First Nation students receive a culturally-responsive, high-quality education that improves student outcomes, while respecting the principle of First Nation control of First Nation education.

By applying for funding, successful candidates agree to share their final research and findings with Indigenous communities and other interested organizations.

2017-2018 themes

For 2017-18, proposals are sought in the following five themes, all of which are focused on education initiatives aimed at supporting First Nation students in Canada living on reserve, whether they are attending an on-reserve school or attending a provincial, territorial or private school off reserve. Proposals should generally not exceed $250,000 and all activities must be completed within 18 months.

  1. School attendance
    Research shows that attendance is one of the main predictors of student academic performance. In fact, non-attendance in earlier years is often a predictor of non-attendance for future years. Proposals should examine what strategies educators are applying to encourage First Nation students' attendance and retention at school, and the impact these initiatives are having.
  2. Language and culture
    For many Indigenous people language is an expression of nationhood and identity and a way to transmit values, beliefs and histories from generation to generation. There is also emerging evidence that Indigenous language and culture programming in schools can have an impact on Indigenous student experiences. Proposals should examine education initiatives to integrate Indigenous language and cultural teachings in schools and the impact these initiatives are having on First Nation students.
  3. Indigenization of education
    Proposals should examine how educators are adapting curriculum, promoting experiential learning or modifying the delivery of education at schools to be more relevant or appropriate for First Nation students and what impact these initiatives are having on student success.
  4. Online and technology-based learning
    Proposals should examine how educators are using new technology (apps, distance learning or other online resources) to improve the educational experience of First Nation students and what results these tools are having on students.
  5. Student transitions
    A significant percentage of First Nation students transition between on and off reserve schools and their educational experience can often be influenced by the level of partnership and collaboration between First Nations and provincial/territorial school boards. Proposals should examine local relationships between First Nations and provincial/territorial school boards and what impact, positive or negative relationships, can have on First Nation student outcomes.

Who can apply?


The deadline to submit a proposal was 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) May 15, 2017.

How to apply?

Applicants must submit detailed electronic proposals for all projects to be funded.

A sample proposal form is available. Applicants who have access to the department's Services Portal should use the electronic form by opening a session on the portal. If you do not have access to the portal, please contact your regional office to get access to the portal.

When you open the form, you must save it on your local drive before you begin entering any information. Remember to save regularly and:

Please ensure that the form is fully complete (all mandatory fields are filled in), and that all documents included with the proposal are attached to the Supporting Documents section of the proposal form. Attached documents should be in MS Word or MS Excel format.

As the funding will be provided on a fiscal year basis, separate project timelines and expenditure projections must be submitted in your proposal. For example, the section called Activities Planned and Expected Results in the form must include cost information up to March 31, 2018. If your project extends beyond March 31, 2018, you must:

All research projects must be completed in their entirety within eighteen months from the research project's approval date. The start date should be no later than September 4, 2017 as the project must be completed by March 31, 2019. This would include first the undertaking of research, measurement or evaluation activities and then the presentation of related findings at some form of regional or national First Nation education conference, workshop or symposium.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to closely review the New Paths for Education: National Program Guidelines 2017-2018 before submitting an application, particularly the eligible expenditures section.

To find out more, contact INAC by email at or by telephone at 1-800-567-9604 and ask to speak to an Education officer.

INAC reviews and approves proposals. All proposals for these activities are assessed by these criteria.

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee its acceptance. Funding decisions will be communicated by August 2, 2017. Funding will be allocated subject to the number of proposals and availability of funds.

Proposal assessment criteria

Proposals will be assessed using the general criteria for the New Paths program with some additions:

  1. Current state/Statement of need
    • The background and context for the project, what issues to be addressed and the drivers leading to the proposal.
    • A short review of the past literature related to the chosen research theme, and a discussion of the value added by the proposed project, i.e. how the proposed research project will contribute to expanding evidence-based outcome data in Indigenous education in Canada.
  2. Capability
    • The experience and capacity of the recipient (and identified project leader, where applicable) to manage the implementation of the activities within their proposal successfully and complete the project in a timely manner.
    • The experience and qualification of the principal investigator (i.e. the individual doing the research). This should include at least two examples of similar research, measurement, or evaluation projects undertaken by the researcher within the last 10 years.
  3. Consultation and commitment
    • The extent to which the proposal has the support of the relevant schools and/or communities. This entails a letter of support from a member First Nations for the proposal and must also include a letter from the school and/or community in which the study will take place.
  4. Implementation activities
    • The extent to which the proposal aligns with eligible activities and meets program objectives. The assessment process will consider timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and the degree to which the activities will result in the expected outcomes.
    • Feasibility of similar programs/initiatives of being replicated and contributing to First Nation students' outcome and communities.
  5. Project costs
    • A demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated costs with a justification of the level of funding required.
  6. Project management
    • How the initiative/project will be managed, including project governance, management of project scope, human resources, risk management, and project monitoring, control and reporting. This must include plans on presenting the final findings of the research project at a First Nation education conference or workshop or symposium.
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