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Canada First Research Excellence Fund - Inaugural Competition 2

Grants to Canada Postsecondary Institutions
for Research Initiatives of Strategic Importance

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Government of Canada

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Grants to Canada postsecondary institutions to support large, complex institutional research initiatives demonstrating the potential for global leadership in focus areas of strategic relevance for the country at-large. LOIs are due by November 9. Institutions are also welcome to to submit proposals for smaller-scale initiatives, more narrowly-focused in scope, yet still potentially world-leading and capable of resulting in partnerships with other global leaders.

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.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162727

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

All awards are for up to seven years and are non-renewable. Successful applicants, however, may submit an application in a subsequent Fund competition, to support the evolution of initiatives previously supported through the Fund, new initiatives, or a combination of the two.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Only Canadian postsecondary institutions that meet the eligibility requirements of one of the three federal research granting agencies may apply for and hold a Canada First Research Excellence Fund (Fund) grant.

To be deemed an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution for the purposes of Fund competitions, an 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 of one of the three federal research granting agencies; institutions may be eligible to apply to university or college programs within a particular agency (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); or Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)).

-While there is no limit to the number of proposals in which it can be listed as a partner, an institution can be identified as the lead institution for only one proposal within any given competition. For example, an institution can identify itself as the lead institution in its own proposal while simultaneously being identified as a partner in one or more proposals led by other institutions.

Please Note:
-Researchers cannot apply to the Fund directly.
-An institution can apply as the lead institution for only one award within a given competition.

Review a list of eligible and ineligible expenses here:

Pre-Application Information:

The letter of intent deadline is November 9, 2015, and the application deadline is March 29, 2016.

Institutions intending to submit a proposal in a Fund competition must first submit a notice of intent to apply. Notices of intent are used for administrative purposes only, and allow the Chairs Secretariat, which administers the Fund program, to start identifying potential experts for the proposal’s adjudication.

Each notice of intent must include:

-A high-level summary of the initiative, including the approximate amount of funding to be requested in the full proposal; and

-For each research area of focus, an outline that includes:

--A high-level description of the main elements of the proposal, including the proposed research and activities to be funded;

--Keywords related to that area of research; and

--A list of secured and potential partners.

Institutions that do not submit a notice of intent cannot submit a full proposal.

More information regarding the application process may be found here:

The 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. It is expected that institutions awarded a Fund grant will extensively invest their own resources and those of partners to support the proposed initiative.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

General Inquiries:

Michele Boutin, Executive Director

Melanie Paradis, Assistant to the Executive Director

Denis Leclerc, Special Adviser

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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