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Phase II FAQ

This page lists questions BioFuelNet has received regarding applications for Phase II funding. This page will be updated as more questions come in, so please check back regularly.

Question: What is the difference between Work Packages, Projects and Task Forces?

Answer: Projects are made up of a series of Work Packages (WP); typically a Project will have between 4 and 8 WPs. Each WP fulfils a role within the Project as a whole, contributing the achievement of the Project’s objectives. WPs will typically involve a single researcher, although multiple researchers per WP are permitted. Task Forces (TF) are similar to the regional platforms of Phase I (West Prairie, Central, East) in that they integrate researchers along the entire biofuels value chain as well as outside stakeholders from government and industry. TFs will typically meet twice per year for workshops as well as engaging in regular conference calls; an annual report is prepared for each TF. Researchers apply for funding for a WP within a Project; they do not apply to be part of a TF. Rather, researchers indicate in their application which TF they would like to join.

Question: The applications page says that partners are a requirement for funding. What constitutes a partner, and how much funding is required?

Answer: Partners can be just about any organization that contributes to or participates in a Work Package (WP). Examples include companies (small, medium or large), government agencies (federal, provincial, municipal, foreign), not-for-profit organizations, networks, universities (domestic or foreign) and others. Applicants for Phase II must ensure that the partner(s) provide at least 25% of the grant amount being requested from BioFuelNet (BFN). For example, an application for $80k per year from BFN must demonstrate partner organizations contribute at least $20k in cash, in-kind or some combination of the two. Applications indicating support significantly exceeding this 25% threshold will have a greater likelihood of being selected for funding.

Question: Is there a minimum amount of cash contribution expected from partner organizations, or can it all be in-kind?

Answer: There is no minimum amount of cash required. However, cash contributions are interpreted by BFN’s Research Management Committee as a stronger indication of partner commitment than in-kind. Work Package applications indicating cash support are more likely to be funded than those with purely in-kind contributions.

Question: Can I count contributions from my own university as partner funding?

Answer: Yes, but only in certain cases and with certain exceptions. Please use the table below for reference:

Eligible contributions Ineligible contributions
  • Student scholarships and stipends (cash)
  • Waived fees for services offered to project team
  • Salary and benefits of the PI
  • Administrative overhead
  • Use of lab and facilities to which the PI has regular access

Question: I would like to coordinate my application with several colleagues, each of whom would be responsible for one Work Package within our target project. How do we go about submitting these applications together?

Answer: Applicants apply for funding for Work Packages (WP) rather than for the Project as a whole. Due to the competitive nature of the application process and the limited availability of grant funds, your team’s WP applications must be submitted individually; the applications page does not accept group submittals. These WP applications will be evaluated individually within the context of the larger goals of the project. Reviewers will evaluate all other applications for WPs within the same project, and it is possible that some WPs from your group will be selected for funding while others will not. At your discretion, you may choose to alert the reviewers in the “Notes” tab of the application that several of the WPs wish to be considered together. If you choose to go this route, please clearly indicate if you are proposing an all-or-nothing proposition, i.e. if one of these WPs is cut, then the other WP applications would withdraw. The Research Management Committee will take this into account before contacting successful applicants to submit a full proposal. Finally, it is also possible for multiple researchers to apply for a single WP, but the funding for each WP remains capped at $180k for 2 years, regardless of the number of co-applicants.

Question: The questions within this application seem pretty light – where do I enter specific details about methodology, apparatus, milestones, deliverables, etc.?

Answer: The application website represents a modified version of the traditional letter of intent (LOI), which does not typically contain such detailed information. However, instead of requesting letters that address a series of general topics, those topics are directly covered through the questions on the Work Package tab. More detailed information will be requested for the full application, which will be prepared in February of 2015.

Question: Is there a template I can follow?

Answer: There is no template to follow other than the questions asked within the application. All applications must be submitted online through the applications website.

Question: Who are the Project and Task Force leaders?

 Answer: The final Project and Task Force leaders will be officially appointed in March, 2015. In the meantime, the following individuals are serving as leaders on an interim basis:

Interim Project leaders:

1. Purpose-grown: Thevathesan (Guelph)
2. Residues: Lefsrud (McGill)
3. Biological: Saddler (UBC)
4. Pyrolysis: Abatzoglou (Sherbrooke)
5. Gasification: Lavoie (Sherbrooke)
6. Emerging: Bressler (Alberta)
7. Engines: Bergthorson (McGill)
8. 3 SEES: Mabee (Queens) and Whalen (McGill)

Interim Task Force leaders:

1. Biological: Saddler (UBC)
2. Thermal: Lavoie (Sherbrooke)
3. Feedstock: Vessey (SMU)
4. Policy: Mabee (Queen’s)
5. Forestry: Perrier (Polytechnique)
6. Aviation: Thompson (Toronto)

Question: Who will be reviewing the applications for Phase II funding?

Answer: Subcommittees of BioFuelNet’s Research Management Committee have been appointed by the Board of Directors on December 16th, 2014. The individuals appointed to these subcommittees are as follows:

First name Last name Organization
Nicolas Abatzoglou University of Sherbrooke
Jeffrey Bergthorson McGill University
David Bressler University of Alberta
Pascal Brun Enel Green Power
David Chiaramonti University of Florence
Wajid Chishty National Research Council
Stefan Czernik National Renewable Energy Laboratories
Russell Girard Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Ed Hogan Natural Resources Canada
Michel Lachance BioEcon Experts
Jean-Michel Lavoie Université de Sherbrooke
Mark Lefsrud McGill University
Jerry Leonard Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence
Warren Mabee Queen’s University
Darko Matovic Queen’s University
Terry McIntyre BioFuelNet
Dietrich Meier Thunen Institute of Wood Research
Franziska Mueller-Langer Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH (DBFZ)
Pierre Paffenhoff Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Michel Perrier Ecole Polytechnique
Fernando Preto Natural Resources Canada
Art Ragauskas Oak Ridge Laboratories
Ziyad Rahme SDTC
Jack Saddler University of British Columbia
Priyank Saxena Solar Turbines, Inc
Olaf Schwab Natural Resources Canada
Evans Sealander Sealander Brokerage
Salim Silim Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Scott Stanners BC Bioenergy
Geoffrey Sunahara National Research Council
Naresh Thevathesan Guelph University
Mahendra Thimmanagari Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Murray Thomson University of Toronto
Kevin Vessey St. Mary’s University
Maria Wellisch Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada
Joann Whalen McGill University

Click here for detailed information on Phase II applications