Announcement of the Recipients of the Second Inaugural Competition of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund
University of Waterloo
September 6, 2016
WHAT IS THE CANADA FIRST RESEARCH EXCELLENCE FUND?
- The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (the Fund) was launched in December 2014 to support Canadian postsecondary institutions (PSIs) in their efforts to become global research leaders.
- The Fund totals $1.5 billion over 10 years and $200 million ongoing per year. Grants are awarded competitively, following an expert strategic review process that involves a prestigious, arm’s-length selection board.
- Successful applicants to the Fund will have significant scientific merit and a demonstrated capacity to lead on an international scale; strategic relevance to Canada; and a high-quality implementation plan that indicates, among other things, the institution’s willingness to commit internal resources toward supporting the proposed initiative.
WHY ARE THESE AWARDS SO BIG?
- All Canada First Research Excellence Fund awards are for a duration of up to seven years. There is no prescribed size for Fund awards.
- Some institutions submitted proposals for large awards, to support complex institutional initiatives demonstrating the potential for global leadership in focus areas of strategic relevance for Canada. Other institutions decided to submit proposals for smaller-scale initiatives that were more narrowly focused in scope, yet were still potentially world-leading and capable of resulting in partnerships with other global leaders.
- All proposals were held to the same standards of globally leading research excellence.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE FUND?
- The Fund has been designed to propel Canadian PSIs from world-class to world-leading.
- The Fund is positioning Canada’s PSIs to compete with the best in the world for talent and partnership opportunities leading to breakthrough discoveries.
WHY WAS THE INAUGURAL COMPETITION SPLIT INTO TWO PARTS?
- The first inaugural competition was in response to calls from the postsecondary education community for a quick-start competition that would enable PSIs with detailed plans already in place to make a start on initiatives that met the Fund’s ambitious objectives.
- The second inaugural competition provided a longer timeline to prepare proposals. The Fund’s selection criteria were the same for both inaugural competitions.
- The first competition awarded $350 million over seven years; the second competition, announced today, has awarded $900 million.
WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA AND PRIORITY AREAS OF RESEARCH FOR THE FUND?
- Grants are awarded on the basis of scientific merit, strategic relevance to Canada, and quality of the implementation plan. Institutions have the freedom to determine the scope and scale of their proposals.
- Proposals must align with the Government of Canada’s science, technology and innovation priority research areas: environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; natural resources and energy; information and communications technologies; and advanced manufacturing.
HOW IS THE FUND ADMINISTERED AND GOVERNED?
- The Fund is governed by a steering committee comprising the presidents of the three federal research granting agencies—Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research—and the deputy ministers of Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The Canada Foundation for Innovation holds observer status on the committee.
- The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, housed within SSHRC, is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Fund.
WHEN IS THE NEXT COMPETITION?
- The next competition is expected to be launched in 2021-22. All eligible Canadian PSIs, including those successful in either of the two inaugural competitions, will be entitled to apply.
For comprehensive information about the Fund, visit the Canada First Research Excellence website.
Media relations contact:
Canada First Research Excellence Fund
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council