ISSW Fund

The International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) is a biennial avalanche conference that brings together snow researchers and avalanche practitioners to promote the exchange of techniques, theories, information and ideas. First started in Banff, Canada in 1976, today the ISSW is the most established avalanche conference in the world, The ACF's ISSW fund was established in 2002 and is financed using surplus funds generated from Canadian ISSW conferences, which occur in Canada every six years.

Mandate of the Fund

The ISSW Fund supports projects and people who are professionally engaged in avalanche safety, forecasting and research in Canada. The fund promotes the ISSW motto of "A Merging of Theory and Practice", and aims to develop crossover between the practice of avalanche forecasting and the science of avalanche research.

Proposals must be aligned with one or more of the following themes:

  • Snow safety research or innovation in avalanche forecasting;
  • The education and professional development of avalanche professionals in Canada;
  • Avalanche conferences in Canada including future ISSW conferences; and
  • Encouraging avalanche professionals and practitioners to undertake research and present papers at such conferences.

Applicants must clearly describe which of these themes their proposal is aligned with, and how their proposal combines practical avalanche forecasting with the theoretical, or scientific aspects of avalanche safety. For proposals to attend the ISSW, funding will be considered only for presenting authors.

Scope of Funding

Funding may vary each year depending on applications, but generally will range from small grants for travel to conferences, up to approximately $15,000/year. Awards may go to a single recipient, or to multiple recipients. Projects that extend over multiple years will also be considered. Recipients must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons working on the proposed topic in Canada.

Timelines and Funding Cycle

  • For 2023, applications shall be received at the ACF by May 31 and September 30 at: grants@avalanche.ca
  • Decisions on the awards will be made by June 30 and October 31.
  • Funding is provided for expenditures incurred for the one-year following the application deadline.
  • For proposals under $5,000, funds will be advanced following the completion of the project in the year following the application deadline.
  • For multi-year proposals, or proposals exceeding $10,000, funds will be advanced quarterly in the year following the application deadline.
  • Recipients must submit project expenses and receipts in order to be reimbursed.

Application Process

1. Complete the ACF application form. Download the form here.
2. Prepare a written proposal (maximum 3 pages) explaining the following:

  • Name of the proposed project or initiative
  • Names and affiliations of all project team members
  • Description of the project or initiative
  • Describe how this project or initiative meets the ISSW fund's mandate described above, in particular demonstrating how theory and practice will be combined
  • If this is a career development initiative, include a copy of your resume, describe your professional goals and how this initiative will help to advance those
  • Include a proposed budget and timeline for your initiative

Remember the purpose of your application is to showcase your skills and suitability for your chosen grant. To make sure your application is as effective as possible, consider ensuring your work is presented in a professional style and has been checked for spelling, grammar and punctuation. You can use a free tool, such as Grammarly if you’d like extra support with this.

3. Submit both the application form and the written proposal to the ACF no later than September 30 at: grants@avalanche.ca