Performance reporting and midterm review

Performance measurement plans
Performance reporting
Midterm review

Performance measurement plans

Each full proposal submitted to a Fund competition must include a performance measurement plan, which will be a basis for ongoing reporting, progress-monitoring and the evaluation of results during the midterm review. The plan must include performance targets to be achieved by the end of the award period. These targets should be ambitious, and must be relevant to the institution’s overall strategy for global excellence.

Performance targets may, as appropriate, be related to:

  • global research excellence;
  • the ability to attract and retain the best and brightest talent;
  • the ability to mobilize knowledge for the benefit of both society and the economy, and the impacts of these activities;
  • contributions to national or regional strategic priorities;
  • the extent to which career and training benefits derived from the opportunities associated with the initiative have been made available to designated groups (women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people and persons with disabilities); and/or
  • other areas relevant to the institution’s strategy.

For each area, the performance measurement plan should specify the indicators and metrics that will be used to assess progress in the short, mid- and longer term. The plan should also provide midterm milestone targets, to be met at the midpoint of the award (i.e., at the end of the fourth year of the award).

Baseline data for indicators tied to the key expected outcomes and impacts must be included in the proposal, to help reviewers assess the proposed initiative’s expected impact relative to the current state. More detailed baseline data on indicators and metrics included in the performance measurement plan could be required from recipient institutions at the start of the award, to ensure the completeness of the plan.

Performance reporting

Institutions awarded a Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant are required to provide annual progress reports, including financial information, to the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), which administers the Fund program. These annual reports should outline how the institution is progressing towards the objectives set out in the performance measurement plan it provided as part of its Fund grant application.

Annual reports must also address a small number of key questions and indicators, as requested by the Secretariat. Responses to these will be used for ongoing program monitoring, and to effectively support program evaluation needs.

Failure to submit an annual report will result in the suspension of future payments until the report is received.

To improve the Fund’s visibility, and to ensure accountability to researchers, industry, other partners, affiliates and the public, institutions are also required to report publicly, via their websites, on Fund-sponsored activities and successes, relative to the institution’s initiative-specific performance measurement plans.

Midterm review

At the midpoint of the seven-year funding period (i.e., at the end of the fourth year of the award), the progress of each funded initiative is assessed against the midterm milestones identified in the performance measurement plan included in the institution’s original Fund application. Recipient institutions must submit a midterm report. 

Failure to submit a midterm report will result in the suspension of future payments until the report is received.

Midterm reviews involve an in-depth assessment by a panel of experts assembled by the TIPS. The results of the in-depth assessment are reviewed by the program’s selection board, which, in turn, recommends a course of action to the program’s steering committee.

A midterm review may result in continuation of funding or the phasing out of funding for the initiative. The program steering committee may, at its absolute discretion, terminate the funding agreement and provide no further funding if the results of the midterm review are not to its satisfaction.