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The mission of Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA) is to increase success, reduce administrative burden and to make it possible for the university and SFU faculty to successfully compete for the most significant and prestigious grants, prizes and awards available.


ISA staff handle Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) competitions and projects, coordinate Canada Research Chairs, and manage Western Economic Diversification (WD) projects. The ISA plans and develops institutional nominations for the most prestigious research awards and prizes. We also assist with the more complex Tri-Agency grants, particularly when significant partnerships are involved. ISA staff work closely with Faculty-based research facilitators to deliver a coordinated service.
The ISA team consists of two senior facilitators, a writing team, awards & prizes lead, CFI lead, financial analyst, and four project managers. The team works in close collaboration with Faculty-based research facilitators - providing the integrated and complementary skillsets needed to develop and manage complex proposals, contracts or nominations.


The Research Facilitators in each Faculty remain your local experts, assisting with most individual or small team proposals. However, if you’re considering something like a SSHRC Partnership Grant, an NSERC Strategic Partnership, are developing a CFI, WED or other infrastructure proposal, or would like to suggest a faculty member for a major external research prize, you’ll want to talk to the ISA. 
Eligible projects are assigned to a project manager, who coordinates the team and provides both pre- and post-award support. The project management team is also available for professional support of any research project, so long as we can fit it in.

Institutional Strategic Awards Contacts

Diane Hanano

Director & Interim CFI Liaison

Office Phone

Abdul Zahir

Research Project Manager

Office Phone

Alda O'Grady

Research Project Manager, CRC Lead

Office Phone

Amber Sarna-Conway

Research Project Manager

Office Phone

Barbara Sherman

Research Project Manager

Office Phone

Bianca Baggiarini

Senior Advisor

Charlene Allard

Associate Director (Post) - CFI Lead (on leave)

Office Phone

Dimple Patel

Research Project Manager

Javier Tavitas

Associate Director, Research Development

Office Phone

Joanne Johnson

Research Project Manager

Joanne Kienholz

Awards Specialist

Office Phone

Kimberly Sivak

Research Project Manager

Office Phone

Maria Glavas

Research Project Manager, CFI & Pre-Award

Mark Campbell

Research Project Manager

Office Phone

Melanie Monk

Associate Director, Researcher Excellence & Recognition

Office Phone

Nusaibah Husain

Project Coordinator (Institutes)

Sara Swenson

Senior Advisor

Office Phone