Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee – Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review committee differ from the New Frontiers in Research Fund?

    The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) was created in response to the Fundamental Science Review's recommendations, to fund high-risk/high-reward, interdisciplinary, international, and fast-breaking research. The Exploration stream supports research that proposes novel interdisciplinary approaches bringing together disciplines that do not traditionally work together, with the potential for high reward. Please see the New Frontiers in Research Fund website for more details.

    The Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee provides a shared peer review process for investigator-initiated interdisciplinary research projects submitted to one of the core agencies' programs. (In contrast to the NFRF’s Exploration stream, they do not have to be considered high-risk/high-reward projects.) The proposed research must reach across disciplines and subject areas pertaining to two or more of the (1) social sciences and humanities, (2) natural sciences and engineering, and (3) health and wellness, and clearly articulate interdisciplinary approaches, including existing interdisciplinary approaches. This tri-agency committee will assess projects that are aligned with core funding programs at each of the three major funding agencies.

  • Will applications submitted through the three participating funding opportunities be adjudicated by the same peer review committee?

    Yes. SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR are recruiting a shared interdisciplinary peer review committee made up of experts with broad interdisciplinary expertise. This shared committee will review all eligible and relevant applications submitted to the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee through the three participating funding opportunities.

  • How will the agencies select members of the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review committee? How will external assessors be selected?

    SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR will work together to recruit interdisciplinary researchers with broad expertise to participate in the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee. Agency staff will recruit external assessors based on the content of each application. The agencies will endeavour to obtain at least two external assessor reports per application. Applicants will be able to suggest reviewers in their application.

  • Does the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee replace any existing committees or evaluation groups in the three funding opportunities?

    No, the pilot committee complements, rather than replaces, existing committees.

  • How do I determine which funding opportunity to apply to in order to have my application reviewed by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee?

    Applicants should apply to the agency funding opportunity that supports the dominant research area of the proposal. Please consult the Guidelines for Selecting the Appropriate Federal Funding Agency for more details.

  • Will interdisciplinary applications that fall entirely within the research areas of one agency be considered by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee?

    No, applications that fall entirely within the research areas of one agency should be directed toward existing committees or evaluation groups, based on the practice and criteria of each agency. Please note that eligible applications submitted to the SSHRC Insight Grants or CIHR Project Grant funding opportunity that are deemed to not meet the relevance criteria for the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee may be redirected to existing committees within the funding opportunity to which they were submitted. Letters of Intent submitted to Discovery Horizons that are deemed to not to meet the relevance criteria will not be invited to submit a full proposal.

  • Will applications that involve disciplines, approaches, and/or methods, etc, from all three agencies’ areas be prioritized over those that only involve two disciplines?

    No. Applications will be evaluated based on the merit of the proposal and it is only necessary to include at least two research areas in your application.

  • How will applicants select the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee? Will they be required to provide a justification to be considered for interdisciplinary review?

    The process for selecting the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee will depend on the funding opportunity to which you apply. Applicants will also provide a justification for why their application should be considered by this committee. Please consult the funding opportunity webpages for full details.

  • Applicants are directed to submit their proposals to the agency that supports their dominant research area, but the three funding opportunities will use the same committee. Will applications from the different funding opportunities be competing against each other?

    No. Applications will remain within the funding opportunity to which they were submitted, so CIHR applications only "compete" against other CIHR applications; SSHRC vs SSHRC; NSERC vs NSERC. However, the applications will be reviewed using a harmonized review process by the same committee of interdisciplinary experts.

  • How will the applications reviewed by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee be funded? Will they be funded by the agency to which they were submitted, or co-funded by combinations of the three agencies as applicable to each project?

    Successful applications will be fully funded by the agency to which they were submitted. Please note that applicants are required to submit their project to the agency that funds the dominant research direction of the project and applicants must meet all eligibility requirements of the funding opportunity they apply to.

  • Can I submit the same application to more than one of the participating funding opportunities?

    No, applicants may not submit identical or essentially identical applications to more than one funding opportunity participating in the pilot of the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee. In addition, all applications must meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines of the funding opportunity to which they apply, including those related to multiple applications. Please consult the funding opportunity’s webpage for details.

  • The three agencies have different evaluation criteria. Which set of criteria will be used by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee?

    The Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee will use a harmonized review process, including harmonized evaluation criteria, which contain elements from each of the three agencies. Details about each agency’s sub-criteria will be available in the Peer Review Guide.

  • How will Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion be considered in the applications?

    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is part of a number of evaluation criteria, including in the "Methods and Approaches" and the "Training Plan" sub-criteria. More details regarding these sub-criteria can be found in the Peer Review Guide.

  • Will the eligibility of applications be determined by the research area of the project or the primary expertise of the applicant?

    The agencies will follow their existing eligibility guidelines for each of the three funding opportunities participating in the pilot of the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee. Please consult the relevant funding opportunity’s webpage for details.

  • Can co-applicants be from disciplines outside of the areas primarily supported by the funding agency to which I apply?

    Yes, co-applicants from outside the area supported by the funding opportunity to which you apply can be included in your application so long as they meet the eligibility criteria for all project participants, including co-applicants, set out in the funding opportunity’s program literature. Please consult the funding opportunity’s webpage for more details.

  • Is there an advantage to submit an application as a team (i.e. with co-applicants and collaborators) or as an individual?

    No. Applications will be evaluated based on the merit of the proposal and there is no advantage for teams over individuals.

  • What are considered eligible expenses? How are they determined.

    Eligible expenses are governed by the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. Please note that the participating funding opportunities may have additional guidelines regarding ineligible expenses. Please review the relevant funding opportunity webpage.

  • How will the agencies fund applications reviewed by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee?

    The tri-agencies will use their existing grant and scholarship budgets to fund applications submitted to the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee.

  • How many applications will be funded by the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review Committee? Will there be a common success rate?

    Applications remain within the funding opportunity to which they are submitted. As a result, the funding of applications will be determined by each agency following its existing practices. Success rates will likely differ between each agency.

  • What kind of feedback will I receive on my application? How will it differ from what I usually receive from my funding agency?

    Each agency will provide feedback to its applicants through its existing procedures, and the comments provided to applicants may vary between the agencies. The feedback package may be different from that provided through existing committees and evaluation groups to reflect the harmonized evaluation process.

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