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Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)

The Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) provides targeted funding to advance strategic priorities within the industry. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture sets the research priority/theme for the targeted SRI proposal call. Projects are expected to go beyond the scope and scale of work normally undertaken within the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), with the goal to address complex challenges facing the industry. The projects for SRI funding are selected through the Agriculture Development Fund Advisory Committee.

SRI invites collaborative, multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional teams to develop and submit integrated research proposals that align with the SRI theme. Up to $2.5 million will be awarded for a project under this competition.


1. Eligibility


The lead applicant (principal investigator) must hold a firm academic position as a permanent full-time employee of a Saskatchewan university or a research institute. The principal investigator needs to have the ability to train students and post-doctoral fellows during the project period.

Proposals from out of province principal investigators with Saskatchewan collaborators will also be considered if the outcomes of the proposed project benefit the Saskatchewan agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Eligible expenses

  • Salaries for students, postdoctoral fellows, technical assistants;
  • Consultant fees;
  • Equipment rental;
  • Equipment purchase: will be approved case by case. Requires a strong justification in the application;
  • Materials/supplies;
  • Project travel (conferences, field work, collaboration/consultation); and
  • Publication costs.

Overhead costs are not eligible.


2. Reports from Past SRI Research Projects


3. SRI Project Summaries

A summary of SRI research projects awarded are available to download:

Strategic Research Initiative Project Funded in 2022

The SRI research project, Carbon Sequestration Under Pasture and Forage Resources, co-funded by the Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association, was provided $3,152,400 in research funding.


4. Call for Proposals

2023 Theme: A comprehensive approach to address root rot in pulses

We’re inviting collaborative, multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional research teams to submit research proposals for the 2023 SRI.

This year, research proposals need to focus on an integrated research approach combining breeding, pathology, molecular biology and agronomy to accelerate development of a sustainable solution for root rot complex in peas and lentils.

The proposed projects must address the following research streams:

  • Understanding genetic mechanism of resistance for root rot complex, host-pathogen and between pathogen interactions and use of novel breeding strategies for development of cultivars with broad and combined resistance for the root rot complex.
  • Investigating root rot epidemiology and Saskatchewan conditions that impact root rot complex and pathogen spore survival.
  • Investigating effective sustainable management practices to minimize root rot severity and yield loss due to this disease.

Proposals must provide a strong justification and context for the work proposed. It must demonstrate the novelty of the proposed work, how it will build on current knowledge to fill existing knowledge gaps and provide practical solutions to the real-world issue of root rot complex in peas and lentils.  

Proposed projects must clearly articulate the value-proposition, expected outcomes and how they will support the development of the Saskatchewan agriculture and agri-food sectors. 

The call for SRI research proposals is a two-stage process.

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI): Submission of LOI that provides an overview of the proposed project. LOIs are due on June 2, 2023.
  2. Full application stage: Only successful LOIs will be invited to the full application stage. Full applications are due on September 20, 2023. Funding decisions will be communicated to applicants in December 2023.

Submission of Letters of Intent (LOI)

Deadline  LOI forms Submission
June 2, 2023 at 5 p.m.

LOIs must be completed using a ministry-provided SRI-LOI template.

Completed LOIs must be submitted to before the deadline.
To obtain a copy of the LOI template, please contact with the subject line “SRI-LOI template request” 

Applicants are requested to consult with Dr. Harsha Marambe, Senior Research Specialist, Agriculture Research Branch (306-787-2522; on development of proposals or for further information.

Application Timeline
March 2023 Call for LOIs issued
June 2, 2023 Deadline to submit letters-of-intent 
September 20, 2023  Deadline to submit full applications
December 2023 Funding decision
March 2024  Contract signed

5. Apply

SRI is a two stage process: a call for letters of intent (LOI); and full applications. The call for LOIs were released in March. The LOIs and full applications need to be submitted to by June 2, 2023 at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact the Agriculture Research Branch.

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