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Measuring Impacts and Progress Grant

Grants to Ontario Nonprofits, Universities, and Colleges for
Empirical Research to Increase Access to Justice for All Citizens

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Law Foundation of Ontario

Deadline Date:

11/30/18 5:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $25,000 and grants starting at $50,000 to Ontario nonprofit organizations, universities, and community colleges for empirical research that may positively impact how the justice system serves residents of the Province. Funding is intended to improve access to justice and the legal system.

The purpose of the program is to support research that is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. Tied into the idea of "empirical research" is the scientific method of working or testing a hypothesis through observation and experiment. Empirical investigations use quantitative data, analyzing numerical data, or qualitative data, using non-numerical data such as observations and interviews.

This granting stream highlights the Law Foundation of Ontario’s strategic objective of expanding knowledge: “We continually deepen our knowledge of access to justice, including the contribution of community organizations. We are committed to share our knowledge of what is happening and what works”.

The Foundation offers two types of empirical research grants:

Small grant
- Applications for a small grant are for a project that enable the development of new research questions, as well as experiment with new research methods. Activities may include literature searches (peer-review and/or grey literature), environmental scans, and relevant knowledge-gathering initiatives. The findings of these activities are expected to inform the development of new research question or set the stage for experimenting with innovative research methods.

Large Grant
- Applications for a large grant are for a project that will include a significant portion of data gathering and analysing as a means of promoting how the justice system serves the people of Ontario. Activities may include literature searches (peer-review and/or grey literature), environmental scans, data-linking exercises, data gathering (quantitative and/or qualitative), and information analysis.

The Foundation will fund core operating costs if they can be shown to be directly related to the project. Rather than cover such costs on the basis of a flat percentage, preference is given on the basis of actual need. Applications should demonstrate the connection between the project and the expense.

Preference will be given to applications that have one, some, or all of the following characteristics:

- Builds knowledge through interdisciplinary and/or cross-sector perspectives
- Supports innovative approaches to research that builds on the skills of diverse scholars, institutions, or disciplines
- Builds partnerships with the nonprofit sector
- Provides answers to research questions related to which legal information, services, and/or dispute resolution mechanisms make a difference or work best and how they can be improved
- Seeks to improve data collection or access to data in the justice sector
- Explores the experiences of people who have engaged with the justice system and the impact of justice system outcomes on them
- Examines justice system experiences and impacts on diverse individuals and communities
- Mobilizes research and knowledge to lead to improvements in the justice system’s operation
- Come to a completion or be self-sufficient after the term of the grant, as this is one-time research funding

A Measuring Impacts and Progress Grant must support access to justice and fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s mission and vision.

The Foundation promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes grant applications that meet the diverse needs of Ontarians.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184506

Estimated Size of Grant:

Small grant—up to $25,000
Large Grant—between $50,000 and $100,000

Term of Contract:

Small grant projects should last up to 12 months.
Large grant projects should last up to two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are made to nonprofit organizations that work to benefit the people of Ontario. Applications need to be made by a nonprofit organization, a university, or a community college. If an organization is a nonprofit with charitable status, please include a registered charity number on the application.

An unincorporated committee may apply if administration of the grant can be done through an appropriate accountability structure, e.g. through a law firm in trust or an incorporated nonprofit. If the grant request is approved, the Foundation will require a Memorandum of Agreement that sets out clear roles and responsibilities for each partner.

Organizations based outside Ontario may apply to the Foundation for a grant if the proposed project offers a benefit to the people of Ontario.

The Foundation does not provide funding to individuals or to for-profit ventures.

The Foundation will not fund capital expenditures for immoveable assets (i.e., buildings). Usually, applicant organizations will be expected to include equipment or office furniture expenses as in-kind contributions.

The Foundation will not fund litigation.

As a general matter, absent special circumstances, full-time faculty at a college or university will not be personally compensated for research undertaken on a project that falls within their own research agenda and/or their institutional research obligations. However, the Foundation will fund other expenses associated with the proposed research, including the hiring of students as research assistants.

The Law Foundation of Ontario does not usually fund indirect costs applied by universities or colleges to recover administrative overhead for the project.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadline: November 30, 5:00 pm EST

The Law Foundation of Ontario strongly encourages applicants to contact a grants officer to discuss proposed programs or project’s fit with the Foundation’s funding guidelines and priorities.

Staff may contact applicants for further information as part of the grant application assessment process. The more the Foundation understands about an organization and a proposed project, the better assistance the Foundation can provide.

The Foundation is committed to meeting community needs including the needs of the Francophone community. Applicants can communicate in French during the grants process and will receive direct French language services during this process.

The Foundation accommodates the needs of persons with disabilities in the grantmaking process.

The Foundation’s mission and vision:

For FAQs:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit the application form and supporting materials via email to

For more information, please contact:
Mario Gravelle, Grants Officer
416-598-1550 x 236,
Thijiba Sinnathamby, Grants Officer
416-598-1550 x 318

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario