Earlier in 2021, Smart Prosperity Institute released a call for proposals seeking research that explored achieving a resilient recovery and a low-carbon economy amidst Canada’s changing climate policy context. Complementary to this, the Greening Growth Partnership and Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN) are launching this new call for proposals targeting academic research on protecting Canada’s natural capital and accelerating the transition to a resource-efficient circular economy.


Topics of particular interest for this current funding opportunity include:


1) Information for guiding natural capital decision making and investments in nature.

For example:

  • What policies, models or tools are needed to better integrate consideration of financial, economic, climate, and ecosystems data into environment and conservation program design?
  • What are the opportunities for using novel data sources (e.g. ‘big data’ from internet and social media usage; program intake forms; registry of landholders/title holders) to better evaluate the impacts of environment and conservation programs?


2) Nature-based solutions and natural capital in a changing Canada.

For example:

  • What are the impacts of the changed economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic on investments in natural capital and other environmental/conservation initiatives?
  • Given Canada’s new federal climate plan and target for a $170/t carbon tax by 2030, what are the opportunities for synergy in advancing nature-based solutions and/or conserving natural capital?  How can policy packages be designed to encourage continued and expanded environmental stewardship under these evolving climate policy conditions?
  • How can improved understanding of the impacts of nature-based solutions/natural capital on Indigenous Peoples and marginalized populations enhance investment decision making?


3) The inter-relationship between low-carbon and circular economy transitions.

For example:

  • What are the key sectoral opportunities for a shift to a circular economy to contribute to Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction targets? 
  • Conversely, what are the material flow and end-of-life management implications of Canada’s transition towards net-zero (e.g. adoption of clean technologies, low-carbon retrofit and new infrastructure), and what opportunities exist to integrate circular economy principles, policies, and approaches into Canada’s low-carbon transition? 
  • What public policy, regulatory, or capacity barriers are faced by firms or sectors seeking to adopt more circular practices in Canada, and what policy or regulatory changes could remedy these?


Proposals should be focused on Canada and can be submitted by faculty, graduate students, or post-doctoral fellows. This call is seeking to fund both full research proposals (typically not exceeding $40,000; to be completed by March 31st 2023) as well as shorter research development activities (not exceeding $10,000; to be completed by March 31st 2022). Final deliverables should include a research paper submitted to the SPI Clean Economy Working Paper series and a policy-maker oriented blog post, highlighting main research findings and policy implications.


Deadline for applications is 11:59 pm EDT on 7 June 2021


  • For more information, see the full Request for Proposals here and download the application template here.
  • You can read about the Steering Committee conducting the proposal review here
  • To learn more about the Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network click here.
  • Questions? Please contact us at research.network@smartprosperity.ca.