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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
November 25, 2015

Canadian Excellence

Grants vs. Contracts

Grants vs. Contracts: Definitions

The determination of whether a funded project is a "grant" or a "contract" relates to the nature of the work being performed and the conditions under which that work is performed. The following information should be considered when preparing applications as a grant or contract.


A grant provides financial support for an investigator, or investigators, conducting research in a particular subject area or field, without any formal detailed stipulations as to the direction of such research.


A contract provides financial support for an investigator working in a particular field under specific stipulations and conditions as specified in the contract (e.g. patent and publication rights, timing, etc.)