The University of Alberta Grant Assist Program was launched in May 2010 with the pilot CIHR Special Project. The goal of the pilot project was to improve the success of CIHR funding applications by enhancing the quality of submitted proposals.

In July 2013, following the success of the CIHR Special Project (now the Health Sciences Grant Assist Program), the Vice-President (Research) Office has expanded the program to include streams for the Natural Sciences and Engineering and Social Sciences and Humanities.