How to apply for funding through a call for preliminary proposals

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Information provided during the November 28, 2017 webinar on preliminary proposals.

When Global Affairs Canada wants to work with multiple partners to achieve specific results in international development, it launches a call for preliminary proposals. A call for preliminary proposal follows a comparative process. The projects that receive funding will be those that represent the best fit for the specific call. This means those initiatives which best:

Submitting a preliminary proposal does not guarantee funding.

We cannot offer funding on the basis of a preliminary proposal. We use the preliminary proposal process to identify the applicants with the best chance of receiving funding if they submit a strong full proposal based on that idea. This lowers the effort required to initiate an application for funding.

We do not give applicants detailed feedback on their preliminary proposal. Limiting feedback on preliminary proposals enables us to respond to applicants and advance the whole process much more quickly than would otherwise be the case.

We do not fund the preparation of full proposals. If an applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, they may accept or decline the invitation. Submitting a full proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding can only be recommended after a full proposal is assessed. If funding is provided, only costs incurred after the signature of a funding agreement are eligible for reimbursement.

Please review and follow the instructions below carefully before applying through a call for preliminary proposals.

Step-by-step instructions on submitting a preliminary proposal

Step 1: Read the call page to determine:

Carefully review the organization eligibility requirements outlined on the call page before investing time in developing a preliminary proposal. Preliminary proposals submitted by applicants who do not meet the organization eligibility requirements will not be read.

Carefully review the project conformity requirements. Preliminary proposals that do not meet all of these requirements (for example in geographic scope, project value, cost share, or any other specification) will not be read.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to read the eligibility and project conformity requirements published on the call page.

You can access calls, get a heads-up on upcoming calls, and view closed calls and results from past calls.

Step 2: Review available guidance before preparing your preliminary proposal

Global Affairs Canada publishes information on the Funding Guidance page to give all organizations equal access to information they need to meet our requirements.

Also be sure to read “How we assess your proposal”  before beginning your proposal.

Step 3: Create a draft “proposal” in Partners@International

All submissions must be started by beginning a “proposal” in the Partners@International portal. A “proposal” in the portal is the digital file through which you’ll submit all the information and documents required as part of your application.

If your organization is registered in the Partners@International portal:

If your organization is not registered in Partners@International:

Step 4: Check the call-specific Questions and Answers page on a regular basis

We publish answers on the call-specific question and answer page to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time.

Please do not submit any questions about your organization’s eligibility or your proposed project. We will not respond to questions that are unique to one organization.

Step 5: Complete all required documents

You must use the preliminary proposal form linked to the call page on the web. We will not read applications using any other template, including the application form for a full proposal.

For technical difficulties, please see Questions and answers—application form technical issues.

The preliminary proposal must show a “Validated” label on the front page in order to submit through the Partners@International portal.

To validate the preliminary proposal form:

Please note:
  • the validation function is an automated check to see if mandatory fields contain text or numbers (as appropriate)
  • this function will not check the quality or accuracy of your application
  • please read over your application carefully before submitting it

Important: Individual calls may require additional mandatory documentation at the preliminary proposal stage. This will be explained on the call-specific web page.


You must submit documents in either English or French, or a combination of the two.

Step 6: Upload the documents to the Partners@International portal

Step 7: Press the “Submit” button on your proposal in Partners@International before the deadline

Submit your completed application package a few days before the stated deadline. This way, you will avoid the possibility of a technical problem or a missing document preventing the submission of your application.

Submissions are only accepted via the portal. If you do not submit a complete application package through the Partners@International portal before the deadline, Global Affairs Canada will not assess your application.

Following a review of your preliminary proposal

We will contact you to let you know whether:

We will not provide detailed feedback to applicants who are not invited to submit a full proposal.

The combined value of proposals submitted to a call usually far exceeds the funding available. In a call for preliminary proposals, only a limited number of organizations are invited to submit a full application package.

In order to complete a full application package, applicants will need to undertake further analysis and consultations and develop project management plans. The level of information required is similar to that required in this application form, including the list of additional documents.

Full proposals submitted by the date specified following the receipt of an invitation letter will be assessed on their own merits, not in comparison with others.

If more funding becomes available, an organization that is not invited to submit a full proposal initially may be contacted at a later date with an invitation to submit a full proposal.

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