CIHR Guidelines on Determining Eligibility of Nominated Principal Applicant Individuals on Grants

1. Scope

The following are general guidelines to support the vetting of eligible individuals in the nominated principal applicant role on CIHR grant applications.

These guidelines are intended to be read in conjunction with the CIHR Application Administration Guide, particularly Part 3: CIHR Applicant Eligibility, section 3.1, Nominated Principal Applicant.

2. Context

Part 3: CIHR Applicant Eligibility defines eligibility of the nominated principal applicant in general terms, according to specific types of individuals (i.e. researchers, scholars, and health professionals) with acceptable institutional affiliations (e.g. Canadian post-secondary institutions or affiliates), as a means to ensure the funds will be used appropriately. However, funding opportunities may narrow  these eligibility requirements in order to achieve their objectives. In most cases, this means that nominated principal applicants are required to meet the CIHR definition of independent researcher or knowledge user. In certain cases, eligibility may be restricted even further to specific groups within the independent researcher or knowledge user categories.

3. Eligibility Considerations

3.1. CIHR's Independent Researcher Definition

Administering institutions are to consider the following guidance during their vetting process to affirm the eligibility of nominated principal applicants in the context of CIHR's independent researcher definition:

3.2 Interpretation of Substantive Role

A key eligibility criterion to apply for grant funding as a nominated principal applicant  is having a substantive role in Canada. As agency funds are an investment by Canadians, the rationale behind this requirement is to ensure the funds remain based in Canada and primarily benefit Canadians without hindering international collaborations and those who conduct their research/activities abroad.

In this context, "substantive role" refers to the applicant's primary place of employment or primary appointment. As such, applicants who hold their primary place of employment/primary appointment outside of Canada are not eligible to apply for CIHR grant funds as a nominated principal applicant, unless otherwise stated in the funding opportunity.

Note that CIHR is not prescriptive regarding the duration of time that a nominated principal applicant must physically reside in Canada, as this falls under the purview of applicable policies of the administering institution, employment terms and conditions, and/or collective agreements.

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