Description and objectives

This program supports research in the areas delineated in our Canada First funding proposal: data science in the broad sense, encompassing methodological research in data science (machine learning, operations research, statistics) and its applications in multiple sectors.

The program will enable the funding and support of up to five large-scale research framework programs related to strategic topic areas. The total IVADO budget for this funding opportunity is of the order of $6 million. IVADO’s financial contribution will be from $1 million to $2 million per research framework program, with, ideally, complementary additional funding coming from outside sources (e.g., funding organizations, industry contributions, …).

These research framework programs will be developed in collaboration by research teams to address major scientific challenges in digital intelligence. Projects must have an impact in terms of advancing knowledge in digital intelligence as well as strong potential for impact on socio-economic development in Québec and the rest of Canada, while strengthening the international and global positioning of our community. Moreover, the research framework programs must have the capability to structure and mobilize a dynamic community (academia, industry, field of application, etc.) in Québec and the rest of Canada and, ideally, help to build new international collaborations.

To ensure that the advancement of knowledge and opportunities in digital intelligence equitably benefits all members of society, we promote principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion across all of our programs and are committed to providing you with an inclusive, non-discriminatory, open, and transparent recruitment process and research environment.


This funding opportunity is not a competition but a call to the research ecosystem to work together. For this reason, a consultation was launched (Stage 1) to identify, together, strategic topic areas that the chosen research framework programs could address (Stage 2) before developing a detailed research proposal (Stage 3). Please send us your ideas for strategic topic areas before July 9, 2021.

Stage 1: Consultation within the IVADO ecosystem (June 1 to July 20, 2021)

IVADO began by holding an iterative consultation with members of its ecosystem to help shape strategic topic areas relevant to this funding opportunity. In addition to the proposed strategic topic areas, the consultation will also be an occasion to receive high-level drafts of framework programs along with lists of the professors and partners potentially relevant in the funding opportunity as well as potential funding partners for each proposed strategic topic area.

To enable the iterative process with the ecosystem, IVADO is regularly updating the “Strategic Topic Areas” section of the program Web page as proposals are received and invites the ecosystem members to submit comments throughout the consultation process, which will conclude on July 20, 2021.

Stage 2: Identification and selection of the strategic topic areas (August to November, 2021)

An advisory committee was created to assist the IVADO team in identifying strategic themes based on the proposals received during the consultation (Step 1). This committee is composed of:

  • Janice Bailey (Scientific Director, FRQ-NT) and Carole Jabet (Scientific Director, FRQ-S): co-chairs of the committee;
  • Yves Joanette (Université de Montréal), Michèle Breton (HEC Montréal) and Louis-Martin Rousseau (Polytechnique Montréal): representatives appointed by the Vice-Rectorates Research;
  • Jean-François Cordeau (HEC Montréal), Marc Bellemare (Google Brain, Mila) and Julien Cohen-Adad (Polytechnique Montréal): representatives proposed by the IVADO scientific committee.

IVADO will continually collect and collate the strategic topic area received during the consultation period for presentation to the Advisory Committee. The Committee will discuss the strategic topic areas and may suggest modifications, pooling of proposals or other improvements on an iterative basis with the IVADO team. The Committee will consult the IVADO International Committee. The Committee will present the selected strategic topic areas to the IVADO Executive Committee, including, for each, identification of the “champions”/professors (potential PI) with an eye to establishing the program committees. No member of the Advisory Committee can be a PI of a research framework program selected by IVADO. The Scientific Committee will be kept informed throughout the process.

Stage 3: Co-building of the framework programs for research (November to December 2021)

IVADO will assist the PIs in the development of the Research Framework Program proposal (team composition, description of the research project, preliminary budget and justifications, dissemination plan of the results, training plan for HQP, EDI commitments). The research framework proposal will be presented by the PIs to the Executive Committee for approval. The Executive Committee may request modifications. The proposal, while not in competition with others at this stage, will meet the standards generally expected of an application of this size. The scientific committee will be informed of the progress of the proposals during the co-construction process.

Stage 4: Rollout of the framework programs (January 2022 – August 2024)

Research activities may begin as early as January 2022. Research teams, supported by a dedicated full-time IVADO resource for each Framework Program (funded from the Framework Program budget), will be required to commit to submitting scientific and financial reports for annual evaluation by an independent committee of reviewers. IVADO funds must be used by the end of August 2024, the current deadline for the use of IVADO funds.

Strategic topic areas

Please consult the page in French for a detail of the submitted proposals.


Conditions of funding

The requirements in this section apply only to IVADO’s financial contribution to the selected research framework programs. Ideally, the budgets will comprise other funding sources with their own specific conditions and that may, for example, allow for funding of researchers on the team who are not eligible to receive IVADO funding.

IVADO’s financial contribution to this program is drawn from its Canada First grant. These funds may be transferred to and managed solely by eligible professors in the institutions covered by the initial Canada First agreement, as described below:

  • You must be a faculty member at one of the following institutions: HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, McGill University* or University of Alberta*;
    *If you are a faculty member at the McGill University or University of Alberta, you must also be a member of one of our research groups (Mila, CIRRELT, GERAD, CERC in Data Science for Real-Time Decision-Making, CRM, Tech3Lab, Consortium Santé Numérique);
  • You must have one of the following eligible statuses: assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, research professor, or visiting professor. Adjunct professors are not eligible.

Professors who do not meet these eligibility criteria may take part in a research framework program as a collaborator.

Information sessions

2 virtual information sessions took place on June 9 and 14.


Please consult the F.A.Q. available on the French version of the web page.

You can send your questions to

In the event of any differences in translations or interpretations, the French version shall prevail.