The LCO’s Call for Research Papers, released on December 3, 2015, stipulates that questions about proposals should be submitted at the latest by January 15, 2016 to the project head, Sarah Mason-Case, at or (416) 650-8232. It also states that the LCO will post responses on our website as quickly as possible.

Below, you will find answers to the questions we have received to date. We have removed identifying information to protect the applicants’ privacy.

This page will be updated periodically as we receive additional questions.

1. Does the LCO limit the number of pages or have expectations with respect to the length of proposals?

The LCO’s submission process is relatively flexible compared to other grant agencies. We do not have a page limit or page number expectations for the proposals. As a general rule, proposals should be thorough in addressing the requirements set out in the Call for Research Papers, including the issues raised in the section on research paper topics. However, proposals should also be concise.

2. Do all researchers need to be located in Ontario?

Researchers need not be located in Ontario, although familiarity with Ontario’s laws, policies and institutions is necessary for most topics in the Call for Research Papers.

3. Does the LCO accept proposals from LL.M. students?

Yes, the LCO does accept proposals from LL.M. students. We expect all applicants to have relevant, expert qualifications that demonstrate their ability to carry out the research in a manner that skillfully addresses the requirements detailed in the Call for Research Papers. Those qualifications do not hinge on a specific level of academic achievement, but on the applicants’ overall expertise and experience.

4. Does the LCO accept proposals and research papers in French?

Yes, the LCO does accept proposals and research papers in French. An example of a research paper we funded in the past that was written in French can be accessed on our website.

5. Does the LCO have a policy on the payment of indirect or overhead costs to research institutions that employ successful applicants?

The resources the LCO is able to devote to funding external research are very limited. Because the funding that we offer is relatively limited, as a matter of practice, the LCO pays researchers directly as independent contractors and we do not pay indirect or overhead costs to universities that they may be affiliated with.

6. Does the LCO accept details on indirect or overhead costs in the “estimate of resources required to complete the assignment” that applicants must submit as part of their proposal?

Please see our answer to question 5, above.

7. Does the LCO recommend an approximate length for the final research papers?

The LCO does not have specific expectations for the length of final research papers. The length of each paper will vary according to the successful applicants’ topic and methodology. Final research papers should reflect thorough review and analysis of the topic to the full extent that is achievable within our timelines for delivery. We also respect that authors have other professional and personal commitments that they will pursue in parallel with this opportunity. Looking to our Legal Capacity, Decision-Making and Guardianship project as a guide, we received final reports of 40 pages to over 300 pages with two reports in the 100 page range.

8. Should the format of the final deliverable resemble an academic paper or could it be a tool or product to be applied by a targeted sector?

The objective of the Call for Research Papers is to obtain expert input on complex issues that will assist the LCO in making reasoned, evidence-based and practical reform recommendations in our reports. It also aims to create critical debate and promote scholarly work on the subject matters at issue. As a result, the LCO prefers final deliverables to have a “research paper” format. Nevertheless, the design of each research paper will depend highly on the authors’ topic and methodology. In many cases, LCO commissioned research papers include recommendations. Those recommendations may be broad or specific, and they may be targeted at reforms in different sectors. Furthermore, the LCO is aware that past authors have leveraged their research papers to create further products that are applicable to their circumstances. Contract researchers may write separate materials arising out of their research with acknowledgement that the work was originally carried out for the LCO, consistent with our Policy on Copyright and Attribution (available on the LCO website at

9. Would the LCO be interested in a research topic beyond those identified in the Call for Research Papers that addresses [a specified subject matter]?

The LCO will consider all proposals together once the deadline for submission has passed. Nevertheless, as indicated in the Call document, the LCO will consider proposals on topics that we have not identified that would make a demonstrable contribution to our understanding of the issues raised in the description of the project on our website and that would benefit from external, expert knowledge that the LCO might not be able gain otherwise through internal research and consultations. For further information on our expectation for proposals, please see the Call document and our answer to question 1, above.