By excellence, academic research funding in Canada has been supported by the Tri-Agency. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) provide a variety of awards that is continuously evolving.
Currently, CUE is eligible to hold NSERC and SSHRC grant funds, and we are working towards the eligibility for CIHR.
Important deadlines for External Research Funding applications
CUE publishes and maintains a list of important deadlines on the research website. In addition, you will need to consider internal deadlines set to comply with internal requirements (External Grant Institutional Signature Page).
Eligibility to submit applications for Tri-Agency funding
As a general rule, applicants and co-applicants in submissions of requests for external funding must meet eligibility criteria and be able to hold funds at the host institution.
Only continuing, full-time faculty members may apply for external funding related to research as Principal Investigator (Applicant) or Co-Applicants. CUE Sessional Instructors, Adjunct Academic Colleagues and other CUE Staff may not participate in these roles as a member of CUE.
If you are a collaborator, knowledge user or other participant in an application, there are no internal requirements or eligibility restrictions for your involvement, as long as funding is not expected to be administered at CUE. If funding will come to CUE for Post-Award administration, CUE will consider you as a Co-Applicant and full internal requirements will apply to the submission.
If you have questions about eligibility to submit an application, contact the Office of Research Services.
Internal requirements to submit applications for external research grants
All applications for research-related external funding must be registered at the Office of Research Services via the External Grant Institutional Signature Page, a minimum of seven working days before the sponsor deadline. Submission of applications without this important approval is not allowed, and may result in administrative and/or disciplinary actions. For information on these important internal requirements, consult this page.
Many calls for applications to Tri-Agency programs require final sign-off by the Office of Research Services. If an application is submitted without having received approval via the External Grant Institutional Signature Page, it will be considered to be in violation of internal requirements, and the Office of Research Services may withhold final submission, rendering the application void.
Research activities that involve Industry-Academia Agreements, Government contracts, Advancement or International funding
Partner funding is a requirement for some of the Tri-Agency programs. CUE members are asked to contact the BMO-CIAR as early as possible, if considering to participate in an application as applicant or co-applicant.
Indirect Costs of Research
The Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) separately provides ICR under the Research Support Fund, calculated based on the levels of funding received by an institution in a fiscal year. For information on this important program, consult this webpage.
Submission of Applications to CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC
Below is a list of the most common research grants under NSERC and SSHRC. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list, as streams emerge and are phased out continuously. CUE Research publishes research funding opportunities via Inside CUE on a regular basis. Please contact the Office of Research Services for the latest updates in funding opportunities.
Funding Streams – NSERC
One of the most important awards for faculty members in Natural Sciences and Engineering is the NSERC Discovery Program. Every year, researchers across Canada compete for these five-year awards. For information about this important program, consult this website. After receiving CUE’s first NSERC Discovery Grant in 2019, we continued the success in 2020. We encourage our faculty members to apply to this important program, and expand our impact in this important field.
NSERC recently released the Alliance Grants Program, which substitutes all previous partnership programs. In most cases, matched cash funds from eligible partners are required for a successful application. Contact the BMO-CIAR for assistance in finding an eligible and interested partner.
CUE Research created the CUE-NSE grant to assist faculty members in preparing applications for NSERC Discovery and Alliance grants.
Funding is also available for trainees under NSERC. There are a number of Undergraduate Student Research Awards available each year to CUE students being supervised by NSERC award recipient faculty members. This important program, along with other opportunities for students, are administered by Financial Aids & Awards.
Funding Streams – SSHRC
SSHRC is a the most important supporter of academic research in the Social Sciences and Humanities in Canada. SSHRC programs fund a variety of activities that align with its subject matter eligibility:
“General Guidelines for the Eligibility of Subject Matter at SSHRC
Applications to SSHRC as the primary source of research or research training support must meet the following two criteria:
- The proposed research or related activities must be primarily in the social sciences and humanities (i.e., aligned with SSHRC’s legislated mandate).
- The intended outcome of the research must primarily be to add to our understanding and knowledge of individuals, groups and societies—what we think, how we live, and how we interact with each other and the world around us.
Applicants to any of SSHRC’s grant or scholarship funding opportunities who wish to collaborate with researchers working in fields other than the social sciences and humanities should explore options for Multi-agency Research Funding Collaboration.”
SSHRC provides personal awards for research projects under the Insight Program, which is divided into Insight Development Grants and Insight Grants. Insight Development Grants (IDG) are 1-2-year awards designed to support research in its early stages, while Insight Grants (IG) can be from two to five years in length and are mostly aimed at existing research programs. Typically, faculty members apply for an IDG while they are emerging scholars, to assist them in kickstarting their research, and move on to IG once their research has been established. However, when new lines of research are being created, a researcher who has successfully obtained funding under the Insight Program may indeed apply for an IDG with the new idea, but may only do it as an established scholar. If a research program is strong enough, it may be used to directly apply for an IG.
Besides personal awards, SSHRC also promotes collaborative projects under the Partnership Engage program, as well as knowledge exchange activities, via Connection Grants. Contact the Office of Research Services to learn more about these sources of funding. Partnership Engage Grants may require an eligible partner. If you are planning to submit an application for a Partnership Engage Grant, contact the BMO-CIAR for assistance in identifying eligible partners.
Research Data Management
The Tri-Agency has created the Tri‑Agency Research Data Management Policy, which will soon become in effect. The policy implies substantial and important changes to the way is conducted at Tri-Agency-eligible institutions, by requesting that all data generated by the funded research be stored in an accessible database.
For important information on this new initiative and associated available resources, consult this webpage.