CIHR Fellowship – Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ page for the open competition of the CIHR Fellowship award program. Please bookmark this page for future reference.

The information below is intended to supplement the information provided within the most recent version of the open competition CIHR Fellowship funding opportunity.

For all other fellowship award funding opportunities, please consult the individual funding opportunity announcements, as these opportunities may have different requirements.


Application Questions

  1. Where can I find information about the current CIHR Fellowship competition funding opportunity?
  2. Where can I find instructions on how to complete an application for the CIHR Fellowship Award competition?
  3. I am trying to determine under which funding agency's mandate my research proposal applies?
  4. Can I apply to the Fellowship funding opportunity even though I'm not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada?
  5. What are the specific assessment criteria for this program?
  6. Does my supervisor(s) need to submit a Canadian Common CV?
  7. Do I need to submit my official transcripts?
  8. I do not yet meet the educational requirements; am I still eligible to apply?
  9. How are applications assigned to a specific Peer Review Committee?
  10. I'm an Allied Health Professional (AHP) or Health Professional (HP), but not registered in a graduate program. Am I eligible?
  11. I am currently licensed in Canada; however, my license does not have an expiry date and ResearchNet does not allow me to continue without putting in an expiry date. How do I proceed?
  12. How do I verify that my application has been successfully submitted to CIHR?
  13. Who can I choose as a sponsor?
  14. How do the Sponsorship Assessments work in ResearchNet and where can I find a sample form?
  15. I have obtained my doctorate degree more than 3 years prior to competition deadline, am I still eligible to apply?
  16. How long should the "Research Project Summary", "Training Expectations" and "Research Training Environment" sections be?
  17. What are Priority Announcements?
  18. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?
  19. Can I update my application after the deadline?
  20. Can I submit more than one application?
  21. How can the Funding Start Date be earlier than the anticipated Notice of Decision date?

Award Administration Questions

  1. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?
  2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?
  3. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?
  4. What should I do if there are any changes in my eligibility to hold my award and/or if I have to interrupt my award?
  5. What happens if the required paperwork is not received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?
  6. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?
  7. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?

For more information or for technical help related to ResearchNet, email support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

Application Answers

  1. Where can I find information about the current CIHR Fellowship competition funding opportunity?

    Up until the application deadline, candidates may access ResearchNet to view the CIHR Fellowship Award details from the list of current opportunities. Once the competition deadline has passed, the information will eventually be accessible only from the list of archived opportunities section of ResearchNet.

  2. Where can I find instructions on how to complete an application for the CIHR Fellowship Award competition?

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Fellowship Awards – Application instructions.

  3. I am trying to determine under which funding agency's mandate my research proposal applies?

    Applicants are encouraged to read more about selecting the appropriate federal granting agency and to review the mandates of CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC. Specifically, CIHR accepts applications in all areas of health research; biomedical research, clinical research, health services research, and social, cultural, environmental and population health research. Definitions of these four research themes can be found in the Guidelines for the Eligibility of Applications Related to Health.

  4. Can I apply to the Fellowship funding opportunity even though I'm not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada?

    Yes, the Fellowship Funding Opportunity is open to international students currently studying or proposing to study in Canada.

  5. What are the specific assessment criteria for this program?

    Read through the CIHR Reviewers’ Guide for Fellowship Awards to learn more about how your application will be assessed.

  6. Does my supervisor(s) need to submit a Canadian Common CV?

    The applicant and all supervisors, regardless of their citizenship, must submit an Academic CV (validated for CIHR) using the Canadian Common CV (CCV) website. For details about how to complete the CCV, please consult the Fellowship Awards – Application Instructions.

    Once the Academic CV is submitted, the system generates a confirmation number. The CCV data is sent directly to CIHR on the condition that, on ResearchNet, the Nominated Principal Applicant/Candidate enters the confirmation number for each required CV associated with the application.

  7. Do I need to submit my official transcripts?

    Official transcript(s) are not required for this specific funding opportunity. CIHR will assess eligibility based on the information entered in the "Degree" field of the applicant’s CCV (YYYY/MM). Please consult the Fellowship Awards – Application Instructions on how to complete this field.

  8. I do not yet meet the educational requirements; am I still eligible to apply?

    Yes. Applicants that do not yet meet the educational requirements may still apply to the funding opportunity; however, they must meet these requirements by the latest possible start date on which their award can start.

  9. How are applications assigned to a specific Peer Review Committee?

    Fellowships Award applications are reviewed by one of five peer review committees according to the scientific area indicated within the application. Candidates are encouraged to consult the CIHR four research themes and to consult with their supervisor/mentor about their research project in order to determine the most appropriate scientific area.

  10. I'm an Allied Health Professional (AHP) or Health Professional (HP), but not registered in a graduate program. Am I eligible?

    Applicants with a health professional degree (including Allied Health Professionals) may propose a program of research leading to a graduate degree; however, registration in a graduate degree program is not a requirement at the time of application.

  11. I am currently licensed in Canada; however, my license does not have an expiry date and ResearchNet does not allow me to continue without putting in an expiry date. How do I proceed?

    In the "Identify participants" task on ResearchNet, applicants are to enter the renewal date of the license in the space provided. A copy of the license will need to be attached to the application for verification purposes.

  12. How do I verify that my application has been successfully submitted to CIHR?

    It is highly recommended that applicants submit their application well ahead of the CIHR deadline. If the applicant’s institution is part of eApproval, their institution’s research office may return the application to the applicant with comments or questions. Many institutions have internal deadlines for receipt of applications ahead of the CIHR deadline, and applicants are to confirm with their institution what the internal deadline is.

    If the applicant has performed this task correctly they will receive the following confirmation email(s):

    With eApproval

    If the applicant’s institution participates in the eApproval process, the applicant will receive two confirmation emails:

    • The first when the Institution Paid (participating in the eApproval process) receives the application, and
    • A second once the application has been submitted by the Institution Paid to CIHR.

    Without eApproval

    If the applicant’s institution does not participate in the eApproval process (i.e. institutions outside Canada), the applicant will receive a confirmation email once the application has been submitted to CIHR.

  13. Who can I choose as a sponsor?

    CIHR recommends that you choose 3 sponsors under whom you have trained and who have had a good opportunity to assess your potential for research. Be aware of the importance accorded to your choice as sponsorship assessments provided are considered by the Peer Review Committee.

  14. How do the Sponsorship Assessments work in ResearchNet and where can I find a sample form?

    For details about how the Sponsorship Assessments work in ResearchNet, please consult the Fellowship Awards – Application Instructions.

    A sample of the "Sponsor's Assessment of a candidate for a Fellowships" form can be found in the Index of Funding Related Forms and is available for information purposes only.

  15. I have obtained my doctorate degree more than 3 years prior to competition deadline, am I still eligible to apply?

    Yes, candidates who have obtained their doctorate degree more than three years prior to the competition deadline are eligible to apply. This approach reduces eligibility barriers for some disciplines and fosters the mobility of talent across sectors, so as to enhance the diversity and excellence of Canada's cadre of trainees.

  16. How long should the "Research Project Summary", "Training Expectations" and "Research Training Environment" sections be?

    The "Research Project Summary" section is limited to a maximum of 3500 characters. The "Training Expectations" section is limited to a maximum of 7000 characters. As for the "Research Training Environment" section, it is limited to 1750 characters. These character limits include spaces and references.

  17. What are priority announcements?

    Priority announcements offer additional sources of funding for highly rated applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates. Each priority announcement has its own specific objectives and requirements; however, applications must still meet the eligibility criteria and requirements for the open competition to which the application is submitted.

  18. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?

    Yes, your application is still first and foremost submitted to the open competition to which you are applying. However, if your application is withdrawn from the open competition for any reason, you will not be considered for any priority announcements.

  19. Can I update my application after the deadline?

    In order to ensure fairness in the evaluation of applications, equivalent time must be guaranteed for the assessment of each complete application. As a result, CIHR will not accept updates to applications after the application deadline.

  20. Can I submit more than one application?

    Applicants may submit only one application per year (September 1 to August 31) for funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). However, individuals eligible to apply to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program or the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program may also submit an application to the CIHR Fellowship program (other exceptions may apply depending on the program’s objectives, but would be indicated in the specific funding opportunities).

  21. How can the Funding Start Date be earlier than the anticipated Notice of Decision date?

    Payments can be made retroactively as of the first possible funding start date when the recipient has met all the eligibility requirements.

Award Administration Answers

  1. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?

    Successful applicants have 15 business days to accept or decline an award as of the date on the funding decision letter.

  2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?

    In addition to the specific documents listed in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award, there are two mandatory documents that need to be provided:

    • Response to an Offer of Award: if you are successful in receiving an award, a pdf version of this form will become available to you in your ResearchNet account after you answer a few questions online regarding when you wish to start the award and the person and/or institution that will be administering the funds. Both you and the authorized official at the Primary Location of Research must sign the printed form. This form must be returned to us within 15 business days of it becoming available to you online.
    • Confirmation of Commencement: this form will become available to you in your ResearchNet account 2 months prior to the start date you indicated on the Response to an Offer of Award form (for example, if you chose a start date of September 1st, it will appear on July 1st). If your start date is within 2 months of the current date then the form will appear within a few hours of completing your Response to an Offer of Award. If it does not, it is because the information you filled in your Response to an Offer of Award form (Institution, Faculty and/or Department) does not match the information provided on your original application. In this case, please email CIHR for further information. The printed version of this form needs to be signed by both you and a Scholarship Liaison Officer (SLO) or equivalent official in the faculty of graduate studies or its equivalent and returned to CIHR before we can process your award.

    All required documents must be sent to CIHR by email or by mail at:

    support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    160 Elgin Street, 9th Floor
    Address Locator 4809A
    Ottawa ON K1A 0W9
    Canada

  3. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?

    Yes. As we need to know that you are declining the award please send us, within 15 business days of receiving your offer, a signed copy of the Response to an Offer of Award form stating that you are declining the award and letting us know why.

  4. What should I do if there are any changes in my eligibility to hold my award and/or if I have to interrupt my award?

    You must consult the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide for information about policies and guidelines related to Changes to the award and/or Interruptions of award. It is important to note that a change of status may render you ineligible to hold your award, in which case the Termination of award policy must be followed. It is also important to consult the eligibility criteria noted in the original funding opportunity, as eligibility requirements must be maintained throughout the tenure of the award.

  5. What happens if the required paperwork is not received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?

    As long as the delays fall within the allowable start dates stated in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award document, the only effect is that your payments will be delayed until we are able to process your paperwork. Payments can be made retroactively as of your indicated start date provided that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

  6. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?

    Awards recipients must devote at least 75 per cent of their time to research training in order to maintain their eligibility.

  7. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?

    Recipients may receive unlimited funding from any other sources, with the exception of other Canadian federal sources as stated in the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide under Other sources of income. Recipients are expected to respect the eligibility requirements and funding conditions throughout the tenure of the CIHR award.

Note: CIHR has received numerous questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect various policies, programs, and operations. If necessary, relevant information will be shared with the community as it becomes available. In the meantime, please visit CIHR’s COVID-19 webpage, which will be updated regularly. You may also continue to contact CIHR at support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

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