Research Grants Program

2024 Research Grants Banner

Next Deadline: 15 November 2024 (application guidelines will be distributed in September)

Philosophical Framework     

Landscape architecture as a profession strives to balance human use and enjoyment of land with the conservation and health of the environment. The primary goal of the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) is to support the fundamental ideals expressed through the profession of landscape architecture.

These ideals include but are not limited to:

  • conserving and managing environmental resources; 
  • promoting sustainable development;
  • accommodating the needs of humans in the environment; and
  • enhancing and improving aesthetic quality in the landscape. 

“Professionalism depends on a body of knowledge about what ought to be. This is not just to do with the market; this is not knowledge in the academic sense.  This is about the application of moral obligation in the context of action. Future-seeking knowledge is what the professional bodies of medicine, law and architecture (landscape architecture) are really all about.” Francis Duffey, 1996 in Mitchell, “New Thinking in Design”

Research Grant Objectives 

Over the past thirty years, LACF has funded a wide range of projects including historic research, oral histories, professional education programs, design research, habitat design guidelines, environmental education and awareness programs, and design communication projects. Projects funded are outlined here.

“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.“
Herbert Simon, 1969 in “The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial”

Grant Focus: Design, Speculate, Postulate, Question, Research, Theorize. Explore

Grant applicants should push beyond the boundaries of everyday practice. The LACF Grants Jury is open to submissions exploring new design theories, speculations about new landscape interventions, questioning the current norms of practice, and arguing for new areas of research and professional development, as well as submissions seeking to expand the traditional areas of landscape research.

Proposed research may be in the form of designs, articles, papers, and essays. In all instances the successful proponents are encouraged to promote the wide dissemination of their design-research results in the larger public realm as well as within the profession.

The jury recognizes that the sums awarded by the Foundation may be “seed money” to instigate further design-research investigation. Preference will be given to submissions that look beyond the immediate requirements and propose results which advance the profession. Members of the profession are encouraged to take this opportunity to push the boundaries of inquiry, take some risks, and to enjoy the beginnings of a longer-term journey!

“The next ten years maybe the most challenging, creative and hopefully, rewarding decade in the history 
of our profession.”  Colleen Mercer Clarke, Landscapes/Paysages Vol.21, No 1

Every year LACF receives applications on a surprising range of topics and three bursaries are available to fund specific topic areas. Find out more about the Northern Research Bursary, Gunter A. Schoch Bursary and Donald Graham Bursary on our website.

Special Project Grants funding is also available from the LACF for projects that are outside the scope of the Research Grants Program. Find out more about the Special Project Grants funding on our website.


  • Research Grants valued up to $10,000 are available to CSLA professionals, educators, PhD candidates and others seeking to explore or question an issue or particular interest they believe to be crucial to the profession or to the landscape.
  • Two research grants of $2,500 each are offered to graduate and undergraduate students pursuing their thesis or final project for work whose study focus is in keeping with the mandate of the Foundation.
  • Working in conjunction with LACF Research Grant Funding, up to $7,500 of Bursaries are available in addition to LACF Research Grant funds, see application form for total funding potential for each application type. 
  • Large or on-going projects may be funded in consecutive years, but applications must be made annually.


LACF grant applications will be accepted from landscape architects, students, educators and others. Members of the LACF Board of Directors, the Grants Committee and Grants Jury and their immediate relatives are not eligible for grants.  

Project Eligibility

The following request are ineligible for support:

  • Capital expenses not directly related to project
  • Sponsorships
  • Travel un-related to the project, which includes travel or registration fees for conference attendance or presentations.

Promotion and Communication of Projects

As a condition of award, all recipients are strongly encouraged to publish, present or appropriately communicate the results of their work to CSLA members, the public and other audiences. 

Grant recipients, upon completion of the project must:

  1. Allow LACF to use the end-product for purposes of promotion and visibility of LACF and to distribute results of funded projects upon requests from others.  
  2. Provide a summary of the final project upon suitable for posting to the website. 
  3. Suitably acknowledge LACF as project sponsors.

Optional Virtual Presentation: LACF will give Grant Recipients, upon completion of the project, the opportunity to present their findings at a virtual event in the fall of the year of completion.  Researchers will present an approximate five-minute synopsis of their research results.  The audience will be given an opportunity to ask questions.  Though this is not a requirement, we strongly urge researchers to avail themselves of this occasion to make their research better known, and potentially open doors to future collaborations.

Adjudication Prerequisites, Required Sections and Overall Criteria 

1.    See Application Form for required submission information. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

2.    Prerequisite screening is completed by LACF Grants Chair prior to Jury review; applications not meeting the following Prerequisites may not be put forward for Juror review.

  • Prerequisite 1: Complete Application form (Y/N): Confirmation that a complete application form is provided. 
  • Prerequisite 2: Consistency with LACF Grants Program (Y/N): The project fits within the philosophical and administrative framework established by the LACF (conserving and managing environmental resources; promoting sustainable development; accommodating the needs of humans in the environment; and enhancing and improving aesthetic quality in the landscape).
  • Prerequisite 3: Letters of Support Provided (Y/N): Confirmation that the letters of support have been submitted with the application or directly to LACF from the endorsers for the application. 

3.    Members of the LACF Grants Jury will discuss, evaluate, and assign potential funding values for the eligible submissions based on the following Section/Criteria and general weighting:

  • Required Section 1: Team (10 Points): prime applicant and study team demonstrates ability required to execute the project successfully.
  • Required Section 2: Topic/Relevance (20 Points): project topic is clearly defined, original and pushes beyond the limits of everyday practice, reflecting the values of the profession including the core principles of the Canadian Landscape Charter, and advances EDIA.
  • Required Section 3: Approach, Outcomes & Methodology (15 Points): project outcomes are clearly defined and the overall strategy proposed to achieve the project aims is logically supported. The detailed plan clearly proposes research techniques and methods for information collection and likely useful outcomes that will feed into below noted communication plan. 
  • Required Section 4: Project Schedule (10 points): The schedule must outline the major milestones of the project, and be consistent with LACF funding program requirements. The feasibility of the project schedule will be considered. 
  • Required Section 5: Budget (5 points): provides a clear breakdown of the project costs, hourly labour rates and other anticipated funding sources. A detailed budget is not required for student applications, but will be considered favourably if considered and provided. 
  • Required Section 6: Communication Plan (10 Points): suitability and expected effectiveness of plans to communicate research results both within and, as appropriate, beyond the professional community.  A plan for appropriate and visible recognition of LACF grant is given.
  • Required Section 7: Project Support (10 Points): applicable content and messaging of letters of support from arms-length and authoritative sources endorse the project; written commitment from funding partners.
  • Overall Criteria 1: LACF Profile Enhancement (10 Points): clear articulation of LACF recognition.
  • Overall Criteria 2:  Proposal Quality (10 Points): complete, succinct, well organized, and clearly stated.

4.    Please note the ratio of points allocation is subject to change year to year, is not a definitive ranking or scoring intent, but used for discussion purposes only. Discussion points and results are confidential and will not be provided.  Decisions of the Jury are final and the Jury reserves the right not to make any grant awards.

Property Rights

All documents submitted are the property of the LACF and will not be returned. The LACF assumes no responsibility towards participants for the loss, disappearance, or destruction of documents in their application, or for documents submitted late.