Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund

NOI deadline: September 16, 2020 (required for all applicants)
Application deadline: October 18, 2020

Are you a community group working with UBC on a shared social, environmental, health-related or cultural project?

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

Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) provides funding for charitable organizations in British Columbia 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 in 2020, 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 underserved, marginalized, or excluded — can benefit.

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:

CUES by the Numbers

Since CUES launched in 2017…

  • Total funding awarded: $733,943
  • Community groups funded: 33
  • Indigenous communities funded: 14
  • UBC Faculties represented: 7

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 2021 and be completed within 18 months.

If you meet the above criteria and want to learn more, sign up for CUES updates. We will notify you when the applicant guide and further information about the 2020 application process are available.

Not sure if you’re eligible? We’re always happy to discuss eligibility and answer your questions. Contact Holly Kim 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 proposal process has two steps:

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

Deadline: September 16, 2020

Submit your notice of intent using this online form. Download this PDF to review the NOI questions and prepare your responses in advance.

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

STEP 2: Submit application

Deadline: October 18, 2020

Only those who submit an NOI by the September 16 deadline may submit a full application. Download the full application package for each stream below. A link to submit the application will be sent via email in response to your NOI submission.

We are always happy to hear from potential applicants to discuss their project and answer questions. Contact Holly Kim at

Applicant Guide

Ready to learn more and apply? Download the full CUES Applicant Guide here.

Info Sessions

CUES Info Session #1: July 22

An online info session was held on July 22nd, 2020, to share more information about eligibility and the NOI process.

CUES Info Session #2: September 22

A second online info session will be held on September 22nd, 2020, for all applicants who submitted an NOI. All applicants who submit an NOI will be sent a link to register. Please save the date.

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 research funding or daily operational costs. 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.

Contact Us

We are always happy to hear from potential applicants and discuss the details or your partnership or proposal. Please contact Holly Kim, Program Manager.

Holly Kim
CUES Program Manager, Community Engagement

Submit a Notice of Intent

All applicants must submit a Notice of Intent. NOIs will not be reviewed. They are an administrative requirement to be considered for CUES funding.
Deadline: Sept. 16, 2020.

Go to NOI form

Get Updates

Get updates about CUES, including competition announcements, upcoming info sessions, deadlines and more.