Clean Rail Academic Grant Program (Round 5)

Program Description

Transport Canada is leading the Government of Canada’s efforts to reduce rail sector emissions by supporting research of new and emerging technologies.

The Clean Rail Academic Grant Program (the “Program”) provides federal funds to academic research programs currently developing technologies and practices which aim to reduce air emissions from the rail sector. The Program also supports the communication of findings from funded research to other academic institutions or the rail industry.

The amount of funding being allocated for research and development projects (“R & D Projects”) in this funding round is $250,000.  Each application is eligible to receive $25,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Who can apply: Universities located in Canada that are members of Universities Canada (the “Applicant(s)”, meaning also, once an agreement is formed, the university identified in Part 1 of the Application Form).  Only the principal researcher may apply on behalf of a university.
  2. Type of R & D Projects:  Ongoing R & D Projects that aim to develop/evaluate technologies or practices that will reduce air emissions in the rail sector.

    Examples of possible areas of research and development are:

    • Locomotive systems: including mechanical changes to existing diesel-electric technology, as well as alternative approaches to powering locomotives
    • Data Management: including the use of networked communications and monitoring systems to decrease stops and wait times
    • Infrastructure: including the use of new materials in rail and tie applications and improvements to switching controls
    • Railcars: including projects focusing on reducing frictional losses at the wheel-rail interface and using advanced material to lighten cars
    • Fuels: including improvements to existing and alternative fuels
    • Optimizing Railway Operations: including operator behavior, use of long trains, and rail yard efficiencies.
  3. Location of work: Work to be undertaken exclusively in Canada in existing facility premises.
  4. A duly completed and signed Application Form must be received by the application deadline.
  5. Only one application may be submitted from each principal researcher.
  6. Projects that have previously received funding under this Program are not eligible for funding.

R & D Projects that do not meet the Eligibility Criteria will not be considered for funding.

Selection Criteria

R & D Projects that meet the Eligibility Criteria will be evaluated against the following merit-based Selection Criteria to determine which R & D Projects will receive funding under the Clean Rail Academic Grant Program. This evaluation will be conducted by a committee of Transport Canada staff that are involved in matters of rail safety, regulatory requirements and research.

  • How does the R&D Project develop new technologies and/or practices that will reduce air emissions in the rail sector?
  • Does the R&D Project involve people that have experience working towards a similar objective?
  • How will the results of the R&D Project be shared or disseminated with other academic institutions and/or industry?
  • How will the funding from this grant contribute to meeting the objectives of the R&D Project?

How to Apply:

The application package, which includes the program description, application form and terms and conditions are available upon request by contacting

Send completed and signed Application Form to Transport Canada by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, on January 12th, 2018.