Acceptable Application Formats and PDF Attachments

Important note:

  • This document provides general guidelines regarding what are considered to be acceptable application formats and attachments for a CIHR application. Please refer to the relevant funding opportunity for specific submission requirements.
  • When preparing your application, CIHR expects that you will adhere to all applicable instructions and requirements. This includes formatting. In cases of non-compliance that results in extra pages being added by applicants, CIHR reserves the right to withdraw your application.

Research proposals written in French will be allowed to submit additional pages, in support of evidence demonstrating that French documents require approximately 20% more space than similar English documents. Therefore, the allowable length of all Research Proposal or equivalent attachments for French language application material will be increased by at least 20% and a standardized number of pages will be implemented for the Research Proposal section to ensure a cohesive approach across all CIHR funding programs. To simplify FO design and the application process, the increased page limit will be rounded to the closest half or full page.


All of CIHR's programs are now submitted electronically through ResearchNet unless otherwise stated in the funding opportunity. Applicants may be required to upload PDF fillable forms found on CIHR's website, or upload their own attachments, as part of their ResearchNet application. To determine the application format and PDF attachment requirements, please consult the How to Apply section of the funding opportunity. All inquiries should be directed to the CIHR Contact Centre.

Under no circumstances will hand-written applications be accepted.

Requirements for PDF attachments

File attachments created by the applicant may be prepared with the word processing software package of your choice, but they must be uploaded in PDF format. ResearchNet will not accept supplementary audio or video material. Documents must be in one of the official languages (English or French) and must be typed and formatted following the instructions for formatting attachments listed below. The reason for these formatting requirements is to ensure that all applicants have exactly the same amount of space to write their proposals. CIHR indicates, under each section, the total number of pages permitted. This also facilitates the work of peer reviewers who must review multiple applications.

Instructions for preparing and formatting attachment documents

CIHR has simplified its attachment formatting requirements. The following apply to all applicant-prepared attachments and must be followed to ensure readability and fairness.

  • Use a 12 point, Times New Roman font in black type. Do not use condensed fonts.
  • You may use other fonts and font sizes for text in tables, charts, figures, graphs and legends only, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Use a minimum of single line spacingFootnote 1. Do not use narrow line spacing.
  • Use normal/standard character spacing. Do not use condensed character spacing.
  • Insert a margin of 2 cm (0.79 inch) – minimum – around all pages.
  • Observe page limitations. Additional pages may NOT be added unless specified.
  • Use only letter size (21.59 X 27.94 cm / 8.5" X 11"), white paper/background for all attachments.
  • Photo-reduce the supporting documents if the originals are larger than 21.59 X 27.94 cm / 8.5" X 11".
  • Attachments must be uploaded in PDF format (unprotected). It is important to confirm that the final PDF document complies with the formatting requirements.
  • The size of the attached document(s) cannot exceed 30 MB per document.

CIHR reserves the right to withdraw your application if it does not meet these requirements.

For all documents that need to be attached, please follow the instructions provided within ResearchNet on how to upload your document.

If you have any questions, contact us Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

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