Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund

Submission for 2021/2022 will open August 25, 2021

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 charitable 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.

Quick Links

2020/21 CUES recipients

Other funding opportunities

Partnership Recognition Fund

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

Get Updates

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

CUES Funding Streams

CUES is jointly sponsored 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 $15,000 per project (min. $7,500)
New relationships take time. The “Explore Stream” is designed to help get emerging partnerships and projects off the ground. With Explore Stream funding, emerging community-university partners can take the time they need to build trust, define shared interests, identify knowledge gaps and shared goals, and design collaborative research, teaching or learning projects.

Sustain Stream

Up to $30,000 per project (min. $15,000)
In recognition of the work of community partners, the “Sustain Stream” supports established partnerships that have already been working collaboratively and want to do more. Funds can be used to keep a partnership afloat, activate the results of previous collaboration, and translate research results to action that benefits communities.


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 (forthcoming August 2021), determine the appropriate stream for their partnership and project, and connect with each other to discuss the details of their application. Please note that this application process is from the 2020/2021 intake and subject to change for future fund intakes.

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 (opens August 25, 2021).

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 in response to your NOI submission.

Info Sessions

CUES 2021 Info Session: to be announced

An online info session will be held in September 2021 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.

Funding Recipients

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