AgriRisk Initiatives: Microgrants: Applicant Guide

Applicant guide

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  • Help an applicant determine if they may be eligible for a grant from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) Microgrants.
  • Provide an applicant with instructions and guidelines to assist in completing the ARI Microgrants project application form.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.

1.1  About the AgriRisk Initiatives

The AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) is a five-year program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that supports the development of new risk management tools. It is divided into three program components:

  • ARI Research and Development (R&D) stream - contribution funding
    • funds industry-led R&D of risk management tools and practices
  • ARI Microgrants
    • funds academic research on issues relevant to business risk in agriculture
  • ARI Administrative Capacity Building (ACB) stream
    • supports the administration and tests the viability of new risk management tools, such as insurance products, when R&D is complete

Total ARI program funding is approximately $55 million over five years, with the program ending March 31, 2023.

ARI Microgrants

Microgrants are available for academic research proposals that explore the development or improvement of alternative risk management tools and/or practices. The research needs to be relevant to the Canadian agriculture sector and be transferable beyond the applicant, resulting in a public good or benefit.

Note: Research activities related to existing government risk management programs in the Canadian market are ineligible under this program. Projects that seek to modify and/or adapt an existing product in another jurisdiction for use in the Canadian market are eligible.

1.2  Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are academic institutions with proposals led by an academic researcher with the capacity to undertake the research. Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

Graduate students as well as domestic and international researchers may apply, through their academic institution with the support of their thesis advisor and/or department head.

All applicants, including researchers outside Canada, must clearly demonstrate how their proposal is relevant and will benefit the Canadian agricultural sector.

1.3  Funding

Available funding

The maximum AAFC grant per application will not exceed $25,000 per fiscal year in non-repayable grant funding (to a maximum of three years of funding).

Eligible Costs

Eligible project costs can include: overhead costs, researcher salaries, student stipends, travel, contracted services, and other direct project costs (such as consumable materials, translation costs, marketing costs, costs related to the dissemination of project results, etc.).

Project costs will only be eligible from the date a project is approved. Payments will only be made once a grant funding agreement is signed.

1.4  Application Process

Applications will be accepted through a continuous intake process.

A completed and signed application form must be submitted to ARI by email or courier (tracking number is recommended) to the address listed in section 6.0 of this Applicant Guide.

Refer to Annex A of this Applicant Guide for additional information.

2.0 Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed against program criteria listed in this Applicant Guide, including sections 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, and against the following criteria, as applicable:

  • the applicant possesses or has access to the necessary qualifications and experience required to complete the project
  • activities and costs are eligible, reasonable and required to meet objectives
  • the degree to which the risk being addressed will affect the sector
  • the feasibility of the project in meeting its timelines and outcomes
  • the potential for the project to lead to further research, improvements in risk management practices and/or alternative risk management tools
  • identification and understanding of project risks with mitigation measures
  • the degree to which the project targets the following groups: Indigenous farmers and land managers; women in agriculture; young and beginning farmers; official language minority communities (OLMCs); and, farmers with disabilities

3.0 Reporting on the Project

3.1  Reports

Recipients will be required to provide a final report which outlines the results of the project, including how the project met the deliverables outlined in a grant funding agreement.

Other reports may be required at AAFC’s discretion.

4.0 Considerations

4.1  M-30 Act (Quebec only)

The Province of Quebec's M-30 legislation may apply to Quebec-based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) at

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Quebec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec-based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a funding agreement under ARI Microgrants.

4.2  Intellectual Property

The funding agreement will contain an intellectual property clause stipulating that all title to the intellectual property in any materials created or developed by or for the recipient of grant funding will vest in the recipient. In addition, AAFC will include a provision in the funding agreement requiring the recipient to grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to the Crown to such material, in whole or in part, in any form or medium, for program administrative purposes and for any public purposes, except commercial exploitation.

4.3  Official Languages

When it is determined that projects under this program involve activities related to the development and transfer of knowledge and may have an impact on OLMCs, or promote the use of English and French, AAFC will include appropriate linguistic commitments in agreements with the recipient organization and ensure that additional expenses incurred as a result of these commitments are considered eligible for grant funding. If funded, a recipient may be required to publicly acknowledge AAFC's support for the project. In these cases, the department will request that such acknowledgments include text in both official languages.

5.0 After you apply

Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgement notice will be forwarded to the applicant.

Note: You should not consider an application as submitted to the program until you receive the acknowledgement notice.

Our goal is to:

  • respond to general inquiries made to our phone number or email address before the end of the next business day
  • acknowledge receipt of an application within one business day
  • assess an application and send an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application form
  • send you a payment within 30 business days of receipt of a duly completed documented claim. This is applicable only if an agreement is signed

Please note that the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of AAFC to provide funding for the proposed project.

6.0 Contact Us

For more information on ARI Microgrants, please contact AAFC at:

Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

Mailing Address:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriRisk Initiatives
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 240
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5

Annex A: How to apply

ARI Microgrants will be accepting applications through a continuous intake process, until the program expires or until funds are fully allocated, whichever is sooner.

This section outlines the application process to ARI Microgrants:

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Application Form:

Applicants are to complete, sign and submit an application form by email to AAFC at or by mail (tracking number is recommended) to the address listed in section 6.0 of this Applicant Guide. A copy of the institution’s Certificate or Articles of Incorporation must be included in your application submission.

The application form is available online on the ARI Microgrants website. If you require a hard copy of the application form, a request can be made by email to or by phone at 1-877-246-4682.  

The submitted application documents will be used to assess the applicant’s and project’s eligibility.

If the application submission is deemed incomplete, the applicant will be notified and will have 20 business days to provide the missing information before the file is closed.

Applicants may be contacted throughout the review process to provide additional information or clarification to assist with the assessment.

Note that the submission of an application form does not constitute an offer of funding.

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2022.