Launch of the Human Frontier Science Program Research Grants Program

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) are pleased to announce a funding opportunity for the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Research Grants.

The Human Frontier Science Program is an international program of research support implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization. The HFSP promotes international collaboration in basic research focused on the elucidation of the sophisticated and complex mechanisms of living organisms.

In July 2019, Canada – through CIHR and NSERC – renewed its commitment to the prestigious HFSP research grants and fellowship programs. Canada is contributing over $6.5 million over three fiscal years beginning in 2020-2021. Canada’s contribution, along with those of fellow HFSPO members, enable the program to maintain its support for innovative research, while promoting international collaboration in the spirit of science without borders.

HFSP Research Grants

HFSP Research Grants support innovative basic research into fundamental biological problems with emphasis placed on novel and interdisciplinary approaches that involve scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries.

Projects are expected to be at the frontiers of knowledge and therefore entail risk. Participation of scientists from disciplines outside the traditional life sciences such as biophysics, chemistry, computational biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, nanoscience or physics is recommended because their contributions have made biological research increasingly quantitative and because such collaborations have opened up new approaches for understanding the complex structures and regulatory networks that characterize living organisms, their evolution and interactions. It is important to note that HFSP only funds basic life science research.

Research Grants are provided to teams of scientists from different countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches to questions that could not be answered by individual laboratories. Preliminary results are not required and applicants are expected to develop new lines of research through the research collaboration.

Applied applications, including medical research typically funded by national medical research bodies, such as CIHR, will be deemed ineligible.

Two types of Research Grants are available:

  • Young Investigators' Grants: Awarded to teams of researchers, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory (e.g. Assistant Professor, Lecturer or equivalent). Applications for Young Investigators’ Grants will be reviewed in competition with each other, independent of applications for Program Grants.
  • Program Grants: Awarded to teams of independent researchers at any stage of their careers. Applications including independent investigators early in their careers are encouraged.

Eligibility to Apply

CIHR and NSERC encourage Canadian researchers to consider applying to the HFSP Research Grants program. Complete this questionnaire to see if you are eligible to apply.

Important dates:
Research Grant Initiation Deadline Submission Deadline Funding Start Date
Young Investigators' Grants March 18, 2021* March 30, 2021* 2022
Program Grants March 18, 2021* March 30, 2021* 2022

*It is important to note that registration and submission via HFSP Extranet will be possible as of February 2021. Please view the HFSP website for the specific dates.

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