Program details


Awards
Selection criteria
Eligible activities
Performance measurement and midterm review


Awards

All Canada First Research Excellence Fund (Fund) awards are for up to seven years. There is no prescribed size for Fund awards.

It is expected that some institutions will submit 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 may decide to submit proposals for smaller-scale initiatives that are more narrowly focused in scope, yet still potentially world-leading and capable of resulting in partnerships with other global leaders. All proposals will be held to the same standards of globally-leading research excellence.

The amount of funding requested in a Fund application should be established keeping in mind that each award is expected to support a broad, ambitious, institutional strategy that focuses on the areas in which the institution can realistically achieve global leadership.

All funding is awarded following a competitive, peer review adjudication process, involving prominent experts from around the world. Only initiatives that align with the Government of Canada’s science, technology and innovation priority research areas will be funded. The Fund’s inaugural competitions will take place in 2014-15 and 2015-16.


Selection criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate Fund applications:

  • scientific merit and demonstrated capacity to lead on an international scale;
  • strategic relevance to Canada; and
  • quality of implementation plan.

For further details and for information on subcriteria, see Selection criteria under Application process.


Eligible activities

The Fund aims to support the establishment of institutional visions and long-term plans to achieve far-reaching, ambitious objectives that will lead to international recognition. The Fund helps eligible Canadian postsecondary institutions exercise global leadership through a wide range of activities, including by:

  • fostering institutions’ ability to attract and retain top scientists/researchers, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and research technicians;
  • supporting the direct and indirect costs of research (indirect costs at up to 25 per cent of grant amount);
  • providing limited support for infrastructure and equipment upgrades;
  • supporting international partnership activities; and
  • supporting knowledge mobilization and commercialization efforts, where appropriate.

Applicant institutions’ ability to leverage their key strengths—as well as their commitment to compete with the best in the world—is critical to the program’s success.


Performance measurement and midterm review

All awards will be subject to initiative-specific performance metrics, to be established based on the institution’s performance measurement plan. Each funded initiative’s progress will be assessed regularly throughout the duration of the funding. The Secretariat will also perform a midterm assessment of each initiative, to ensure continued funding is warranted.