|Letters of intent to apply deadline
April 5, 2022, 9:00 p.m. (eastern)
|Full application deadline
August 31, 2022, 9:00 p.m. (eastern) updated
Up to $200 million per year
There is no maximum or minimum limit
Approximately $1.4 billion over seven years
|Number of grants
Number of awards depends on the amounts requested in successful applications
|Grant start date
|How to apply
All applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply (LOI) and, if invited, submit a full application. All applicants must use the online portal for all stages of this competition.
See the Letter of intent and Full application sections, as well as the letter of intent instructions and the application instructions, for more information. Refer to the Regulations, policies and related information section for useful resources on how to complete the application process.
|Who can apply?
Eligible Canadian institutions
|For more information
On this page
The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) is a unique institutional program to support large-scale research programs focusing on an existing institutional thematic area aligned with the Government of Canada’s science, technology and innovation (ST&I) priorities for the CFREF and Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) programs.
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.
Incremental and small-step evolution of research objectives will not meet the objectives of the program.
Changes to the design elements of the CFREF program
To ensure the CFREF program meets its objectives, improves on its delivery, and is aligned with the policies of the federal research funding agencies and the ST&I priorities of the Government of Canada for the CFREF and CERC programs, modifications to the design and delivery of the program have been implemented for this competition.
This CFREF funding opportunity takes into consideration the valuable feedback on its design and objectives received from the postsecondary research community and national and international reviewers. It also includes input from the first CFREF program evaluation report as well as the management response and action plan, with several action items related to program administration and design. For this third competition, the updated requirements include:
- establishing significant partnerships with key stakeholders in the chosen thematic area at the national and international level;
- increasing the focus on knowledge mobilization with institutional support to better translate CFREF-funded research into increased benefits for Canadians;
- demonstrating strong institutional support for the governance structures and advisory bodies comprising experts from diverse backgrounds and experience to provide oversight on the use of funds and how best to leverage resources to support sustainable initiatives;
- ensuring all research programs include an interdisciplinary approach to the funded research activities through the integration of all applicable research disciplines;
- strengthening equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) by ensuring institutions have an EDI action plan specific to their proposed CFREF initiative that supports institutional and program expectations. This includes planning for the active participation of early career researchers (ECRs) throughout the CFREF initiative and developing innovative training plans for the highly qualified personnel necessary to support the diversification of skills among research teams;
- setting new directions to support Indigenous research and research training that align CFREF projects with the latest Government of Canada policies. This includes research co-created and co-led by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples; and
- emphasizing the importance of the sustainability of the research program and the ongoing support for the thematic area beyond the grant period.
Additional program considerations
This competition includes additional objectives aligning the program with new or updated priorities and policies of the Government of Canada, such as:
Equity, diversity and inclusion excellence
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are committed to excellence in research and research training, and achieving an equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise. EDI is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and respond to global challenges.
Equity, diversity and inclusion in research design
CFREF-funded initiatives are expected to demonstrate exceptional leadership in contributing to transforming their research discipline and Canada’s research ecosystem to help it become equitable, diverse and inclusive.
Institutions are required to take active and rigorous measures to prevent the systemic barriers that may result in individuals from underrepresented groups receiving unequal access to, or being excluded from participating in, the opportunities provided by the grant. This includes the composition of the initiative’s governance committees, evaluation processes used to provide funding within the initiative, and recruitment and selection processes.
Refer to the following for additional information:
Equity, diversity and inclusion and early career researchers in research teams
EDI is embedded as a foundational principle in CFREF’s objectives, expected outcomes, and application and reporting requirements. For the program to achieve its objectives and outcomes based on research excellence, the participation and contributions of students, trainees, personnel and researchers from underrepresented groups is required. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and individuals from LGBTQ2+ communities.
Supporting ECRs is a tri-agency priority, as it enhances Canada’s position as a world leader in building talent and strengthening the research ecosystem. It is expected that CFREF initiatives will implement measures to specifically support ECRs.
The proposed research program should include Indigenous research components and Indigenous ways of knowing to extend research knowledge in the field, which is significant for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities, as appropriate. This research should be co-created and co-led with Indigenous Peoples—as leaders, investigators, trainees, partners and collaborators— using a distinction-based approach. A rationale must be provided in cases where the application considers that no aspect of the research may benefit from the inclusion of Indigenous research components.
SSHRC’s Indigenous Research Statement of Principles and Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research should be used as references by institutions when preparing applications that include Indigenous research components.
Interdisciplinarity and intersectorality
Proposals must include an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach, encompassing all research disciplines, including the social sciences and humanities, throughout the period of the grant. This approach should be both novel and ambitious in addressing the challenges of the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs. Proposals must explain how disciplinary and sectoral perspectives, methodologies and techniques will be integrated, and must demonstrate that the team has the required expertise to execute the interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach. The proposal must also demonstrate how the interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach provides added value in addressing the research challenge, with a focus on knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization.
Initiatives are expected to establish a limited number of significant and meaningful partnerships and collaborations with Canadian and international entities (academic, public, private, not-for-profit). These partnerships should seek to expand the capability of the institution, leverage expertise and skills, and increase the capacity for knowledge mobilization in order to support social and economic growth.
Institutions should only partner on initiatives if it will result in strengthening the proposal or contributing to the overall leadership. They should ensure that the strategic importance of the partnership and partner contribution are well defined by a concrete role in the implementation of the CFREF initiative.
Applications that do not propose any partnerships will need to provide a justification.
Although the CFREF program does not require institutions applying in a similar field of research to submit a single LOI or full proposal, strategic partnership and collaboration are strongly encouraged at every stage of the application.
Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization
Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization help foster a culture of social and commercial innovation.
Institutions and CFREF initiatives are expected to promote and facilitate mobilization, translation and commercialization of their research to support economic growth and social innovation. There should be an effort to promote co-creation with partners of all sectors (academic, public, private, not-for-profit) in order to increase the uptake of research results for the benefit of Canadians. CFREF initiatives should strive to fully meet their objectives and maximize the impact of their work within the funding period of the grant. It is expected that the initiatives will create enriched opportunities for research trainees (undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows) and faculty to develop relevant research skills, as well as professional skills such as leadership, communication, collaboration and entrepreneurship.
To ensure the CFREF initiative can fully meet its objectives, and to ensure sustainability of the initiative, it is expected that institutions will provide additional support, leverage other sources of funding, and promote knowledge mobilization and translation, through partnerships with:
- the private sector;
- international research institutions; and/or
- public sector, academic, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations, both in Canada and abroad.
Institutions will be required to develop a rigorous sustainability plan that will use leveraged and supporting funds to ensure the momentum of the research program is maintained.
It is the shared responsibility of institutions and their respective teams to ensure that all possible steps are taken to address the risks involved with research and innovation, including theft, interference, or unauthorized transfer of knowledge and results in ways that individuals and teams do not intend. The Government of Canada reserves the right to exclude a partner or refuse to issue an award agreement on the basis of identified security concerns. The Government of Canada also reserve the right to implement additional security-related requirements, as appropriate, over the life of these awards. Applicants should refer to the guidance provided on the government’s safeguarding your research website for further information on the identification and mitigation of security risks.
Science, technology and innovation priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs
Only initiatives that are aligned with the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs can be funded.
This competition will use a challenge-driven approach to priority areas. This approach reinforces the expectations for CFREF initiatives to:
- use an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach inclusive of all research disciplines, including the social sciences and humanities;
- establish significant and meaningful partnerships and collaborations with Canadian and international entities (academic, public, private, not-for-profit, philanthropic); and
- promote knowledge translation, mobilization and commercialization.
Each proposal must focus on one area of institutional research excellence and align with one or more of the Government of Canada priority challenge areas:
- Healthy Canadians: Enhancing the health and wellness of Canadians across all life stages.
- Innovative and Resilient Communities: Building thriving communities that are inclusive, livable, smart and safe.
- Sustainable Food Systems: Maximizing Canada’s agri-food potential to support economic growth and secure, equitable access to food.
- Clean and Resource-Rich Canada: Fighting climate change and protecting Canada’s environment while harnessing the potential of our natural resources to support a resilient, sustainable economy, and high quality of life.
- Technologically Advanced Canada: Advancing transformative and enabling technologies that will support a technologically advanced economy and society.
Areas of focus have been identified under each challenge area. Proposals that could achieve the goals of a challenge area, but do not directly align with the areas of focus listed, would also be considered. The challenge areas, areas of focus, and expected outcomes are provided in more detail in the following table: ST&I priorities for the CERC and CFREF programs.
The institution must make the case in its proposal for the choice of area of institutional research excellence, and must describe how advancing it would serve the institution’s overall strategy for global excellence, as well as contribute to achieving the goals of the challenge. Submitting a scientific strategy with multiple initiatives of uneven quality will weaken the overall competitiveness of the proposal, and could raise doubts within the evaluation process about the institution’s ability to self-assess its strengths and make the difficult choices required to successfully implement a CFREF grant.
Value and duration
The program invests up to $200 million a year annually. CFREF grants have seven-year terms and are non-renewable. There is no maximum or minimum limit for the grant value.
Institutions may submit funding requests for:
- a large single- or multi-institution grant to support complex institutional initiatives demonstrating global leadership and of strategic relevance for Canada; or
- smaller-scale initiatives, more narrowly focused in scope, but representing a unique opportunity and world-leading in priority areas and strategic relevance for Canada, and capable of resulting in partnerships with other global research leaders.
All proposals will be held to the same standards of world-leading research excellence.
Funding amount requests
The application must clearly demonstrate how the funding amount requested supports a broad, ambitious, institutional strategy that focuses on the thematic area in which the institution can realistically achieve global leadership. The peer review process will consider the degree of originality and ambition of the proposal relative to the existing research capacity of the institution and, where applicable, its partners. Institutions awarded a CFREF grant are expected to invest their own resources and leverage those of partners to support the initiative.
CFREF grants are awarded for a period of seven years, with funds disbursed over the duration of the grant based on a payment schedule established by the program.
CFREF grants will not be included in the calculation of credits to institutions for the tri-agency programs that allocate funding based on the percentage of funding received from the federal research funding agencies (e.g., the Research Support Fund or Canada Research Chairs Program and other Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS)-administered programs). The indirect costs of research are integrated into the CFREF program design. It allows institutions to use up to 25% of the total grant to support eligible indirect costs of research.
Only Canadian postsecondary institutions that meet the eligibility requirements of one of the three federal research funding agencies—CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC—may apply for and hold a CFREF grant.
To be deemed eligible to apply to the CFREF program, a Canadian postsecondary institution must:
- be authorized by a provincial or territorial government to grant university degrees, applied degrees or postsecondary diplomas;
- offer its own degrees or diplomas, and not simply certify that a student is qualified to receive a degree or diploma from another institution;
- have awarded degrees or diplomas over the past two years, or have students registered in the current calendar year or the three subsequent years;
- in the case of a public institution, receive operating funds directly from a provincial or federal government, and not through another institution;
- in the case of a private institution, hold formal not-for-profit status, and not receive its funding through another institution; and
- meet the eligibility requirements—whether for university or college programs—of one of the three federal research funding agencies—CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.
Previously funded CFREF initiatives
CFREF grants are nonrenewable. Successful applicants from previous competitions may submit initiatives in a new or the same/similar thematic area. For the latter, the initiative will need to set a bold, new vision that differentiates the new initiative from the previous one. The initiative must propose new objectives and directions, address new challenges, and take into consideration the evolution of the scientific and social context since the previous competitions. It is required to demonstrate that continued investment in the thematic area is necessary. Current CFREF grant holders applying in the same or similar field and/or a new field of research in this competition or a subsequent competition will need to:
- demonstrate how they successfully implemented the recommendations from the results of the midterm review for their current grant, as evidence of progress and success;
- demonstrate the success and impact of their previous initiative, and demonstrate how it achieved its international leadership position; and
- demonstrate that the current application addresses a new challenge that is not the direct continuation of the previous CFREF, setting transformative goals that are in line with the ambitious program objectives at the heart of CFREF.
While there is no limit to the number of proposals in which an institution can be listed as a partner institution, it can be identified as the lead institution for only one proposal within a given competition. For example, an institution can identify itself as the lead institution in its own proposal, while simultaneously being identified as a partner institution in one or more proposals led by other institutions.
Peer review and selection process
In keeping with the program’s goals of targeting global excellence and leadership, proposals must, in order to be considered for funding, receive high scores across all selection criteria. However, proposals will ultimately be differentiated during the full application stage based on the potential of a proposed initiative to achieve world-leading research outcomes in areas of long-term economic advantage for Canada.
CFREF grants are made following a rigorous, competitive and international peer review process. Proposals undergo a multilevel peer review process that includes evaluation by expert external reviewers, assessment by review panels, and strategic review by the selection board, before being sent for final approval to the program’s steering committee.
The program will undertake an internal review of all materials at the LOI and full application stages in order to verify that applications and submissions meet the program's eligibility requirements and application guidelines. Applications that do not meet requirements will be withdrawn from the competition.
International external reviewers who are not in conflict of interest will be recruited to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each Part B, in relation to criterion 1: scientific merit and demonstrated capacity to lead on an international scale; and criterion 2: strategic relevance to Canada. Part A will also be provided as context. External review evaluations will be provided to the review panels.
For the LOI stage, external reviews will only be sought to supplement the expertise of the expert review panel, as required. Expert external reviews will be sought for all full applications.
Review panels evaluate in detail the relative strengths and weaknesses of groups of applications, based on the selection criteria. At the full application stage, they will use the external reviews as part of the assessment process.
The selection board provides recommendations to the tri-agency steering committee (see below), on the most strategic way to award the available budget for the competition among the proposals demonstrating the greatest potential to achieve globally leading research outcomes in ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs that promise long-term economic advantages for Canada.
The selection board will benefit from having received reports from all previous review stages of the competition in making its final recommendations to the steering committee.
The steering committee is composed of the presidents of CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and the CFI (as an observer), and the deputy ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Health Canada.
The committee will ratify the funding recommendations of the selection board, ensuring that the evaluation process was rigorous, objective, and transparent, in keeping with the standards of peer review excellence and consistent with the program’s objectives. Based on the selection board’s recommendations, the steering committee provides final approval for all CFREF grants.
Applications will be assessed against the following three selection criteria:
1. Scientific merit and demonstrated capacity to lead on an international scale
- potential for the lead and partner institutions to demonstrate global research leadership in the proposed thematic area;
- originality and positioning of the proposed research vis à vis existing national and international capacity, the interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach of the proposed research, and the potential for the research to provide breakthrough impact on a global scale;
- level of excellence of the existing research underpinning the proposed initiative;
- the institutions’ interdisciplinary research strength in the proposed area, and, where applicable, how strategic and meaningful partnerships with other eligible institutions in shared areas of excellence will promote collaboration in the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs;
- quality of the partnerships among Canadian institutions;
- quality of the research facilities of the lead and partner institutions, as well as of the opportunities and environment for research training;
- quality of the lead and partner institutions’ knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization strategies and plans addressing program expectations and potential for outcomes;
- quality of the training plans and strategies that will establish CFREF-supported institutions as top global destinations to conduct research and to receive training;
- quality of the research proposal in considering and implementing EDI (i.e., GBA+/ SGBA+) within (as relevant) the research questions, design, methodology, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of results;
- quality of the proposed research in its inclusion of Indigenous research that is co-created and co-led by and with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples—as investigators, students, trainees, partners and collaborators—and in its recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing, and how it will extend research knowledge in the field that is significant for Indigenous Peoples and communities; and
- in the case of an institution that was previously awarded a CFREF grant, evidence that the institution has achieved world-class recognition and proposes a new and innovative initiative that furthers its global leadership in the supported thematic area.
2. Strategic relevance to Canada
- potential for the proposed research to create long-term economic advantages for Canada;
- alignment of the proposed initiative with the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs;
- ability of the proposed initiative to leverage additional research capacity and resources, and to promote knowledge mobilization, through partnerships with:
- Canadian academic institutions;
- the private sector;
- international research institutions;
- public sector, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations, both in Canada and abroad; and
- translation of the research results to foster innovation, including the capacity to create or build upon commercial endeavours; the level of technology readiness and patents to support technological transfers; and the potential to advance public policy or otherwise mobilize research discoveries.
3. Quality of implementation plans
- quality of the institution’s vision, and the institution’s willingness to commit internal resources toward supporting the proposed initiative;
- quality of the implementation and risk management plans (including governance and stewardship plans);
- overview of systemic barriers to equitable access for individuals from underrepresented groups that persist in the proposed research area, and examples of bold and innovative strategies to address them within the initiative;
- strategy for establishing and maintaining a diverse research team, including ECRs, and for providing an inclusive and safe environment;
- quality of the strategy that will be used in the first year of the initiative to develop a comprehensive and innovative EDI action plan;
- suitability of the institution’s performance measurement plan as a basis for monitoring progress, assessing outcomes and impacts, and course-correcting as needed; and
- quality of sustainability plan addressing how momentum created by the grant will support research teams and activities after the grant’s tenure.
Updates and information
Consult this section regularly for updates on the 2022 CFREF competition, including information about webinars. Read all current competition material prior to submission to ensure your application is complete.
January 31, 2022 LOI Instructions: The maximum number of pages for the research program proposal (supporting document “a”) has been increased to 12 pages in English and 14.4 pages in French
Applicants are encouraged to attend webinars to learn more about this competition and the overall application process using the Convergence platform.
The presentations will be made available following the sessions.
|Wednesday, June 8, 2022
||1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (eastern)
|Friday, June 10, 2022
||1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (eastern)
email@example.com for more information or to register.Please send an email to
All applications must be submitted electronically through the program’s online portal by the deadlines indicated below. Letters of intent and full applications received after the deadlines or that are incomplete will be withdrawn from the competition. No deadline extensions will be permitted. Details on how to access the online portal will be provided to eligible institutions by email.
- Letters of intent: April 5, 2022, 9:00 p.m. (eastern)
- Full application: August 31, 2022, 9:00 p.m. (eastern)
Each eligible Canadian postsecondary institution can apply as the lead for only one grant application per CFREF competition (see Eligibility above for more details).
Stage 1—Letter of intent
All applicants must first submit an LOI to apply. Consult the LOI instructions for details on how to do so. LOIs will be adjudicated through peer review against the following subcriteria within the criteria:
Criterion 1. Scientific merit and demonstrated capacity to lead on an international scale:
- level of excellence of the existing research underpinning the proposed initiative;
- the institutions’ interdisciplinary research strength in the proposed thematic area, and, where applicable, how strategic and meaningful partnerships with other eligible institutions in shared areas of excellence will promote collaboration and networking in the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs;
- quality of the relevant research facilities of the lead and partner institutions, as well as of the opportunities and environment for research training;
- quality of the partnerships among Canadian institutions; and
- in the case of an institution previously awarded a CFREF grant, evidence that the institution has achieved world-class recognition and proposes a new and innovative initiative that furthers its global leadership in the research area supported by the grant.
Criterion 2. Strategic relevance to Canada:
Criterion 3. Quality of implementation plan:
- overview of systemic barriers to equitable access for individuals from underrepresented groups that persist in the proposed research area, and examples of bold and innovative strategies to address them within the initiative; and
- strategy for establishing and maintaining a diverse research team, including ECRs, and for providing an inclusive and safe environment.
Reviewers will assess all LOIs against the Definition of Ratings, which describes the expectations and characteristics of each possible rating.
The adjudicated LOI stage will enable the selection board to identify those institutions and proposals that demonstrate the greatest potential to meet CFREF’s ambitious goals, based on the criteria noted above. This preliminary selection process will reduce the application burden on institutions.
The LOI must include:
- a high-level summary of the initiative, including:
- level of excellence of the existing research underpinning the proposed initiative;
- approximate amount of funding to be requested in the full proposal;
- description of the role and added value of each partner institution;
- description of the institutions’ existing capacity in the area (people, training environment and opportunities, infrastructure); and
- information for administrative purposes only (e.g., keywords related to the research thematic area, list of secured and potential partners);
- description of how the proposal will contribute to advancing the Government of Canada’s ST&I priorities for the CFREF and CERC programs to generate benefits for Canadians (innovation, commercialization, contribution to public policy, etc.) and create long-term economic advantages for Canada;
- outline of the approach to develop an EDI plan for the initiative, including an analysis of the systemic barriers faced by individuals from underrepresented groups in the proposed research area, and strategies for establishing a diverse team, including ECRs; and
- in the case of an institution previously awarded a CFREF grant, evidence of what has been accomplished, and evidence the institution has achieved world-class recognition and continues to be a global leader in the supported research area.
Stage 2—Full application
Institutions with successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full application. The full application requirements will be shared with those institutions by email.
Each application must include the following:
Part A—Implementation plan
In Part A, institutions must describe in detail how the grant will achieve the institution’s stated strategy and objectives, in line with the ambitious goals of CFREF.
Part A will be used to assess elements of criterion 3 of the full application review. The intended audience for Part A is generalists.
Part A must include:
- a description of the institution’s vision, and a statement of its willingness to commit dedicated internal resources to support the initiative;
- a strategy to develop a comprehensive and innovative EDI action plan in the first year of the initiative;
- an implementation plan outlining:
- the planned governance;
- how the institution will use the grant and why;
- a planned high-level budget;
- how the institution will make decisions regarding the allocation of the grant;
- proposed measures to specifically support ECRs; and
- the respective roles to be played by senior management, management committees, partners, etc.;
- a risk assessment and mitigation plan;
- a detailed sustainability plan demonstrating how leveraged and supporting funds will ensure the momentum of the research program is maintained; and
- a performance measurement plan, for reporting, monitoring progress, and assessing results.
Part B—Scientific strategy
Institutions must address CFREF’s selection criteria on scientific merit and capacity for global excellence (criterion 1), and those on strategic relevance for Canada (criterion 2). A scientific strategy must comprise one research thematic area and can include multiple research subthemes.
Part B must include:
- a high-level research program that sets out ambitious and new milestones for the proposed research area, covering the duration of the grant;
- a description of how the proposed initiative will leverage additional research capacity and resources, and promote knowledge mobilization, through partnerships with:
- Canadian academic institutions;
- the private sector;
- international research institutions; and
- public sector, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations, both in Canada and abroad;
- a high-level description of how the institution will use funds allocated to this area of research strength;
- comprehensive knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization strategies, and plans for the lead and partner institutions, if applicable, addressing program expectations and potential outcomes;
- a description of the potential for the research area to generate benefits for Canadians and to create long-term economic advantages for Canada;
- a description of the institution’s global research leadership in the proposed area with the support of strategic and meaningful partnerships with other Canadian institutions;
- a description of the originality and positioning of the proposed research vis à vis existing national and international capacity, and the potential for the research to provide breakthrough impact on a global scale;
- a description of the training plans and strategies, within academia, as well as externally, that will establish CFREF-supported institutions as top global destinations to conduct research and to receive training;
- a detailed description of how the institutions will consider and implement EDI (i.e., GBA+/SGBA+) within (as relevant) the research questions, design, methodology, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of results;
- a description of how the inclusion of Indigenous research that is co-created and co-led by and with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples—as lead investigators, students, trainees, partners and collaborators—and recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing will be part of the initiative, and how the research will extend knowledge in the field that is significant for Indigenous Peoples and communities; and
- a description of the strategy to translate research results to foster innovation, including the capacity to create or build upon commercial endeavours, the level of technology readiness and patents to support technological transfers, and the potential to advance public policy or otherwise mobilize research discoveries.
Peer reviewers will assess all applications against the Definition of Ratings, which describes the expectations and characteristics of each possible rating.
Continued funding during the term of the grant will be subject to the submission of a comprehensive EDI action plan within one year of the start date of the grant. The plan will be assessed to ensure that it meets requirements.
At the midterm of the seven-year funding period, the progress of each initiative will be assessed against the milestones identified in the institution’s application, including the performance measurement and EDI action plan. Recipient institutions must submit a midterm report. The midterm review process involves an in-depth assessment by a panel of experts assembled by TIPS. The results of the in-depth assessment are reviewed by a midterm board, which in turn recommends a course of action to the program’s steering committee. The midterm review could result in either continued funding for the initiative or phasing out of funding. The steering committee could terminate the award and provide no further funding if the results of the midterm review are not satisfactory.
CFREF grantees will be required to meet additional annual reporting requirements, including an end-of-grant report and public accountability and transparency requirements.
Responsible stewardship, public accountability, fairness and transparency
CFREF grantees are required to manage all program funds using robust financial management practices and open and transparent processes. The principles of responsible stewardship of public funds, public accountability and fairness must be respected at all stages of the initiative.
Regulations, policies and other information
The following sources are referenced in this funding opportunity description:
Institutions are strongly encouraged to consult and consider the additional sources and references below in preparing their applications for this competition. This list is not exhaustive, but will be updated periodically.
Consult the Policies and Guidelines page provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for more information.
For more information, contact: