About us

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) aims to boost the strengths of Canadian postsecondary institutions so that they can achieve global success in research areas that create long-term social and economic advantages for Canada.

CFREF invests approximately $200 million per year through a highly competitive peer review process to support the selected Canadian postsecondary institutions in turning their key strengths into world-leading capabilities.

CFREF objectives are to support the full range of research—from fundamental to applied—and to give institutions the ability to:

  • pursue the best in the world for talent and partnership opportunities to enable breakthrough discoveries;
  • seize emerging opportunities and strategically advance their greatest strengths on the global stage; and
  • implement large-scale, transformational and forward-thinking institutional strategies.

The 2022 CFREF competition funding opportunity is open. The two inaugural CFREF competitions were held in 2015 and 2016.

A tri-agency initiative

CFREF is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. It is administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, which is housed within SSHRC.

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