Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Grant Application

The Lee-Chin Institute offers small grants - here's what to do to apply

The Lee-Chin Institute offers small grants to support Rotman faculty or PhD student research, curriculum development or professional development in the area of corporate sustainability. Proposals for the coming fiscal year are typically due in late February or early March and decisions will be made soon thereafter.

Eligible projects include:  

  • research leading to publication in recognized academic journals, chapters in books or full books
  • research leading to presentation(s) at conferences, working papers, or precursors for further grants
  • curriculum development, including full courses, modules, or cases
  • professional development, including attendance at relevant conferences.

Projects must explore how companies adapt to or integrate social, environmental and governance risks and opportunities. This is variously called corporate citizenship, social responsibility, sustainability, social finance, social enterprise, social innovation and other terms. As this is still an emerging field that has implications across management disciplines, our scope is necessarily wide.

Preference will be given to projects that are most clearly related to these issues, are well defined in scope and methodology, expand current disciplines into new areas or approaches, and have not or are not likely to find support from other funding sources. Theoretical and applied research are both acceptable, although our orientation is towards work that can be applied by senior business leaders. See previous examples for some guidance on what has been chosen.

Grants can be used to cover direct expenses such as research assistant time, purchasing data, materials, conference costs and travel expenses as applicable. Small grant requests are as welcome as larger ones (typically grants are for $1,000 - $10,000). Note that like SSHRC research grants, these grants cannot cover principal investigator salary or stipends.

Selections will be made by our review panel, comprising senior Rotman faculty and LCI staff, within a few weeks – in time to hire research assistants or otherwise proceed this summer.

How to propose

A brief proposal (3-5 pages at most) in plain language is preferred. The proposal should include:

  • Applicant(s)
    • For collaborative work, please provide the Rotman faculty leader. Faculty or researchers from elsewhere may be involved, but a Rotman faculty member must be the lead on the grant.
    • For PhD students, please provide a Rotman faculty supervisor.
  • Project Title
  • Project Description/Abstract
  • Expected Outcome/Products
  • Brief Literature Review
  • Relevance to corporate citizenship/sustainability
  • Methodology
  • Other Sources of Funds
  • Funds Required/Proposed Use
  • Timeline (typically funding should be used within the first year, or by special request, within 2 years)

Please contact us at if you have any questions, would like to discuss your work to explore eligibility, or to get feedback on a proposal in process.

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