Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund


Are you a community group working with UBC on a shared project?

Are you a UBC faculty member, staff or student seeking funding for your community partner?

Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) is a competitive funding program that provides successful recipients at eligible community organizations in British Columbia the funds to build partnerships and pursue shared projects with UBC. We support the partners behind collaborative research, teaching and learning projects that benefit communities across the province.

A total of $500,000 is available for the 2021 competition, paid directly to community partners. Why fund partners? Community-university partnerships enrich UBC research and education, support the non-profit sector, and help communities thrive. CUES removes financial barriers and prioritizes reciprocal, inclusive engagement so all communities — especially those that have been and continue to be underserved, marginalized, or excluded — can benefit.

Want to learn more? Register for our September 22 information session.

CUES Funding Streams

CUES is jointly administered by UBC Community Engagement, Vice-President External Relations, and the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Funding is allocated across two streams:

Explore Stream

Up to $13,000 per project

New or emerging – you are just getting to know each other and building trust.

Explore funding helps get emerging partnerships and projects off the ground. Take the time that’s needed to build trust, define shared interests, identify knowledge gaps and shared goals, and design collaborative research or teaching and learning projects.

Sustain Stream

Up to $25,000 per project

To sustain and build on an existing community-university relationship through shared action.

Sustain funding supports established partnerships that have already been working collaboratively and want to do more. Implement the findings of a previous or ongoing collaboration by translating research or teaching and learning results into actions that benefit communities.


Download the Applicant Guide to learn more about the fund and how to apply.

Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) before October 14, 2021.

A Notice of Intent is required to submit a full application.

Prepare a full application, deadline January 18, 2022.


Do you know a new or existing community-university partnership looking for funding? Want to share this opportunity in your workplace bulletin and social channels? Use our Media Toolkit with images and copy to help spread the word.


Who is Eligible?

Interested in CUES funding? Before getting started, check that your partnership and project meet these minimum eligibility criteria:

  • The community partner is a registered Canadian charity or other qualified donee. (First Nation band councils without registered charity status are welcome to contact us at to explore eligibility options.)
  • The UBC partner is a current UBC faculty or staff member, or a student with a faculty signature.
  • Both partners and your proposed project are based in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Your proposed project has a shared purpose and benefit for the community you serve.
  • Your proposed project will begin in Spring 2022 and be completed within 18 months.

Not sure if you’re eligible? We’re always happy to discuss eligibility and answer your questions. Contact us at for more information.

How to Apply

The CUES application process is fully online. Before applying, partners are encouraged to review the Applicant Guide, determine the appropriate stream for their partnership and project, and connect with each other to discuss the details of their application.

The application process has two steps:

STEP 1: Submit Notice of Intent (NOI) — required for all applicants

Deadline: October 14, 2021

Prospective applicants submit a notice of intent using an online form.
A sample notice of intent is available here to prepare your answers.

NOIs are not reviewed. They are an administrative requirement to be considered for CUES funding.

STEP 2: Submit application

Deadline: January 18, 2022

Only those who submit an NOI by the deadline may submit a full application. A link to submit the application is sent via email to those that submit an NOI on October 19, 2021.

Info Sessions

CUES 2021 Info Session: September 22, 2021

An online info session will be held on September 22, 2021 from 10h30-11h30 prior to the NOI deadline for prospective applicants to learn more about the fund and the application process.

For those that submit an NOI, an additional online info session will be held in November 2021 to assist in preparing the full application.

Eligible Expenses

Funding is intentionally flexible to support the different costs that are associated with community engagement activities. Below are examples of eligible and ineligible expenses:

Eligible Expenses

Expenses must be directly related to the proposed relationship and/or partnership-building activities and outcomes. Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Salary/stipends for project team members supporting relationship and/or partnership-building activities
  • Honoraria for community members, elders, leaders and knowledge keepers or brokers
  • Training or education fees necessary for project team members to fully participate or contribute
  • Program or organizational evaluations or assessments
  • Engagement costs, including travel & accommodation, facilities/space rental fees, for meetings, hospitality and catering costs
  • Equipment and supplies that directly support relationship and/or partnership-building activities

Ineligible Expenses

CUES funds are not intended as a replacement for other sources of direct research funding or daily operational costs, or as an alternative source of funding for expenses not typically eligible by other research grants. Examples of ineligible expenses include:

  • Direct costs of research, e.g., costs associated with data collection, analysis or academic conference presentations.
  • Any administrative or core costs/expenses for community organizations, e.g., salaries associated with an organization’s daily operations or programming or office equipment.
  • Costs of alcohol.

Past Fund Recipients

CUES by the Numbers

Since CUES launched in 2017…

  • Total funding awarded: $1,234,555
  • Community groups funded: 54
  • Indigenous communities funded: 21
  • UBC Faculties represented: 9

We are always happy to hear from potential applicants to discuss their projects and answer questions. Contact us at

Get Updates

Get updates about CUES and other funding opportunities from UBC Community Engagement, including funding announcements, upcoming info sessions, deadlines and more.