Complete a Project Grant application
Task 2: Enter proposal information
- Start your application
- Task 1: Identify participants
- Task 2: Enter proposal information
- Task 3: Complete summary
- Task 4: Identify application partners (optional)
- Task 5: Enter budget information
- Task 6: Complete Peer Review administration information
- Task 7: Attach other application material
- Task 8: Apply to Priority Announcements/Funding Pools (optional)
- Task 9: Preview
- Task 10: Manage access (optional)
- Task 11: Consent and submit
Note: Most information entered at registration will be pre-populated in the application.
Project Title: The title you submitted at registration is automatically transferred over to the application stage. You can change the project title at the application stage.
Lay Title: The lay title you submitted at registration is automatically transferred over to the application stage. Lay titles are used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. You can change the lay title at the application stage.
Lay Abstract: The abstract you provided at registration is automatically transferred over to the application stage. The character limit is approximately 2000 characters. This information is used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. You can change the lay abstract at the application stage.
Institution Paid: The Institution Paid will administer the funds for your project. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for more information.
Note: Most information in this subtask has been pre-populated from your Registration and can be edited at the Application stage. Please ensure you check your responses for accuracy.
Does the proposal involve one or more partner organizations from the private sector?
As of Fall 2023, this is a new mandatory application question and the information collected will be used by CIHR to examine the requirements to implement the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships.
Does your application include a partner and/or a knowledge user?
This information has been pre-populated from Registration and is editable at application.
This question pertains to Partnered/Integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT) Projects. Please note that the inclusion of a knowledge user on the application does not automatically make it an iKT-focused application. If yours is not an iKT proposal, then answer “No” to the above question.
Answer “yes” if your application consists of a knowledge translation or commercialization project and includes a partner and/or a knowledge user. If you answer "yes" to this question, please also indicate which of the following are included in your application:
- A partner and knowledge user; or
- A partner only; or
- A knowledge user only.
If your project includes "a partner and a knowledge user" or "a partner only," you must identify at least one of them as an Applicant Partner.
If you select “a partner and a knowledge user” or “a knowledge user only,” you must identify at least one Principal Applicant who is a knowledge user.
Applications that are identified as iKT projects may be assessed by both researcher and knowledge-user reviewers.
What is the primary location where research will be conducted?
Indicate the primary location where the proposed research will be conducted.
Is this a resubmission of an unsuccessful application to the same Funding Opportunity?
Effective February 10th, 2023, this question will appear in the application and your response from your registration will display as read-only and will not be editable.
If you are awarded a grant, you must meet the necessary certification requirements in accordance with policies on the ethical conduct of research:
- Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions
- CIHR Funding Policies
For further information on research involving human participants and human biological materials, refer to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
Containment Level: Definitions of Levels may be found in the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines.
Environmental Impact: Proposals will be reviewed for potential impacts on the environment in accordance with the Impact Assessment Act.
CIHR must review proposed projects against the requirements of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). To this end please indicate whether any phase of the proposed research will take place on "federal lands" as defined under IAA, which includes land owned by the Government of Canada, including reserves created under the Indian Act or outside of Canada?
Answer “yes” if any phase of the proposed research will take place on “federal lands” as defined under the IAA.
Does this application contain a clinical trial?
Indicate if this application includes a clinical trial.
Note: CIHR is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Joint Statement on Public Disclosure of Results from Clinical Trials (“WHO Joint Statement”) requiring all clinical trials to be registered and the results disclosed publicly in a timely manner.
For more information regarding clinical trials, please consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans – TCPS 2 (2018) – Chapter 11: Clinical Trials, as well as CIHR Policy Guide – Requirements for Registration and Disclosure of Results from Clinical Trials.
Does this application contain a randomized controlled trial?
While not all RCTs are clinical trials, if an RCT is also a clinical trial indicate “yes” to the question “Does this application contain a clinical trial?” in the Details subtask of the Enter Proposal Information section on ResearchNet
In order to carry out the proposed research in this application, is an exemption from Health Canada under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act required?
Consult the Health Canada website for details regarding obtaining an exemption under Section 56 of the CDSA.
Does this application propose research involving Indigenous Peoples?
Indicate if your application proposes research involving Indigenous Peoples.
Does your proposal address the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 (TCPS 2) Chapter 9 on Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada and Indigenous partnering community/organizational ethical guidelines?
If yes, please explain how you are engaging with the Indigenous community in relation to the research proposal, so the reviewers can assess the level of engagement as required by Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (limit of 2000 characters).
Applications with a central focus on carrying out meaningful and culturally safe research involving Indigenous Peoples, with the intent to promote health through research that is in keeping with Indigenous values and traditions, may be reviewed by the Indigenous Health Research (IHR) Committee. The IHR Committee may deem an application eligible for the Iterative Peer Review Process. See the Peer Review Manual – Project for additional information on the iterative review process.
For an application to be considered for review by the IHR committee and for the IHR peer review members to assess the level of engagement as required by Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, you had to complete the following steps at registration:
- Answer ‘yes’ to the question regarding the TCPS 2 – Chapter 9;
- Provide a detailed justification in the text field to indicate how the project addresses the principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement – Chapter 9 (limit of 2000 characters);
- Select the Indigenous Health Research (IHR) Committee as the first suggested committee.
Please note that if you completed the above steps for your registration, when you submit your application, your research proposal must also explicitly describe how you will engage with the Indigenous community in relation to the research. The IHR committee will take specific considerations into account when evaluating applications submitted to it (see IHR Committee considerations under each Adjudication Sub-criterion below). Applications that do not fit with the IHR committee mandate will be reviewed by another committee.
Is sex as a biological variable taken into account in the research design, methods, analysis and interpretation, and/or dissemination of findings?
Please consult these resources on how to integrate sex as a biological variable.
Is gender as a socio-cultural factor taken into account in the research design, methods, analysis and interpretation, and/or dissemination of findings?
If yes, please describe how you will integrate sex and/or gender considerations into your research proposal (limit of 2000 characters).
If no, please explain why sex and/or gender are not applicable to your research proposal (limit of 2000 characters).
Accounting for sex and gender has the potential to make health research more rigorous, reproducible and applicable to everyone. CIHR expects that all applicants will integrate sex and gender into their research designs when appropriate.
Reviewers will be explicitly assessing whether the integration of sex (as a biological variable) and/or gender (as a socio-cultural factor) is a strength, a weakness or not applicable to the proposal. Reviewers will also be prompted to comment on their assessment and asked to provide recommendations to the applicants on how they might improve the strength of their applications with respect to the integration of sex and/or gender. As such, in addition to the answers you provide for the sex- and/or gender-specific questions as noted above, you are asked to include details about how you have integrated sex as a biological variable and/or gender as a socio-cultural factor in your research design, methods, analysis and interpretation, and/or dissemination of findings within your research proposal, if applicable.
If sex and/or gender considerations are applicable to the research you are proposing, they must be integrated into your research proposal and not just discussed solely in this sex and/or gender textbox.
Note: The following six elements will provide CIHR with information on the type of expertise required to review your application. This information has been pre-populated from the Registration stage and can be edited at Application.
- Descriptors: Please provide keywords that describe your research project. These keywords should provide CIHR with the necessary information for assigning reviewers with the appropriate expertise to your application.
- Themes: Select a primary theme classification. You may choose up to four theme classifications if the topic of your grant application significantly overlaps more than one theme. Consult the definition of the four CIHR Themes for more information.
- Suggested Institutes: Select a primary CIHR Institute whose research mandate is related to your application's research area(s) and objective(s). Additional Institutes should only be selected if the topic of your grant application significantly overlaps with the research mandate of more than one Institute.
- Areas of Science: Select a primary area of science from the drop-down menu that reflects the research area and objectives in your grant application. Two additional areas may be selected if the topic of your application significantly overlaps with more than one area of science. If you select more than one area of science, please rank them in order of relevance to your application. If the additional area(s) of science of your application is (are) not listed, please select 'Other' and indicate the area(s) of science. Consult the Areas of Science reference document for a complete searchable list.
- Methods/Approaches: Select a primary method/approach from the drop-down menu that you will use in the work being proposed. You may select two additional methods/approaches if your grant application will use multiple methods/approaches. If you select more than one method/approach, please rank them in order of relevance to your application. If the additional method(s)/approach(es) you will be using is (are) not listed, please select 'Other' and indicate the method(s)/approach(es). Consult the Methods/Approaches reference document for a complete searchable list.
- Study Populations/Experimental Systems: Select a primary study population or experimental system from the drop-down menu that reflects the target study population or experimental system in your grant application. You may select two additional study populations or experimental systems if applicable to your application. If you select more than one study population or experimental system, please rank them in order of relevance to your application. If the additional study population(s) or experimental system(s) you will be using is (are) not listed, please select ‘Other’ and indicate the study population(s) or experimental system(s). Consult the Study Populations/Experimental Systems reference document for a complete searchable list.
Information provided in your application package must be self-contained. Links to documents hosted on a Google drive (or other similar drive) should not be included in your application. Reviewers will not be accessing any content hosted on such drives.
Attach Research Proposal
Your research proposal should stand-alone (i.e., it should contain all the information required to support your research plan and should contain a complete description of your project). Reviewers are under no obligation to read ‘Other Application Materials’ (see Task 7).
Evidence shows that documents written in French require approximately 20% more space than similar documents in English. Therefore, if you submit an application fully written in French you will be allowed two additional pages for your research proposal. The page limits for a research proposal are:
- Research proposals submitted in English – 10 pages;
- Research proposals submitted in French – 12 pages.
In ResearchNet, the capping of the length of the research proposal is set at 12 pages. For research proposals submitted in English, any pages over the 10-page limit will be removed with no further notification to the Nominated Principal Applicant.
You should attach references as a separate document; references do not count towards the 10- (or 12) page limit for the research proposal (please see section below entitled Other Attachments – Project References).
Provide a clear, concise description of your proposed research, using the adjudication criteria outlined below.
- If you submit an application that includes a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) as a major component, there are specific requirements you must follow with respect to formatting. Furthermore, reviewers will take into account specific considerations when reviewing all applications including an RCT as a major component. Please consult RCT Evaluation Criteria and Headings for more information.
- Reviewers will take into account specific considerations when reviewing applications in the Indigenous Health Research (IHR) committee, as indicated below.
- Reviewers will use specific criteria to evaluate the mandatory Research/Technical Plan and Commercialization Plan when reviewing applications in the Commercialization committee.
- If you intend to submit your application to the Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary Peer Review committee, please note that reviewers will take into account specific considerations when reviewing applications submitted to it. Applications reviewed in this committee will undergo a unique peer review process, and be evaluated against specific evaluation criteria (please see Section 5. Description of Evaluation Criteria of peer review guide) within the context of the Project Grant Adjudication Criteria and Interpretation Guidelines. For additional details, please consult the Committee Peer Review Guide.
- CIHR recognizes the need to develop guidance on the use of generative artificial intelligence (such as ChatGPT) and will work towards the development of grant administration policies as technology evolves. In the interim, we recommend applicants to CIHR programs use caution when using such tools in the preparation of grant applications.
Within the allotted page limits, your research proposal may include text, tables, charts, figures and photographs and should be attached as a PDF document.
In order to ensure that all applicants have exactly the same amount of space to write their research proposals, you must adhere to the following formatting requirements:
- Font: 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 the content is legible when the page is viewed at 100%;
- Line spacing: A minimum of single line spacingFootnote 1. Do not use narrow line spacing.
- Character spacing: Use normal/standard character spacing. Do not use condensed character spacing;
- Margins: Insert a margin of 2 cm (3/4 inch) – minimum – around all pages;
- Observe page limitations. Additional pages may NOT be added unless specified;
- Use only 8.5” X 11” (21.25 X 27.5 cm) letter size, white paper/background for all attachments;
- Photo-reduce the supporting documents if the originals are larger than 8.5” X 11” (21.25 X 27.5 cm);
- 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.
Attach Summary of Progress
All Nominated Principal Applicants must attach the Summary of Progress along with their application. The Summary of Progress can be a maximum of two (2) pages.
This document gives you a chance to describe how your application fits within your overarching program of research. Write a short narrative that explains your overall research progress to date. Do not use this section as an extension to your research proposal; it is not additional space to support the specific aims or hypotheses of your current proposed project. Figures and tables are not to be included and formatting requirements as noted above must be respected.
The Summary of Progress should include:
- Progress/Productivity/Impact: Outline and contextualize any activities, contributions, and impacts that support your current application;
- ECRs: Write a narrative about your intended program of research, relevant research undertaken as a trainee and independent investigator, other sources of funds held (e.g., awards, start-up funding) and how the requested funds will advance your research activities. If this is a new application, provide a narrative explaining how you came to submit this application, or where this current proposal stems from. If you have held a Foundation Grant, contextualize your Foundation Grant;
- Impacts on progress of research: At your discretion and where relevant, outline the impact of specific factors (e.g., leave history, career stage, family responsibilities, pandemic impact or other circumstances) on your research progress;
- Budget requested in relation to overall funding held currently or pending: Contextualize the current application and proposed budget in relation to your overall program of research and funding history. Include all relevant funding currently held and pending. You should illustrate clearly to reviewers why you need the requested funds, how they are distinct from any funds you currently hold, and how they will advance your research.
CIHR is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of research are evaluated. Reviewers are instructed to consider a range of contributions (e.g., research publications, reports, books, guidelines, datasets, code, tools, training and mentorship, volunteerism, community engagement, standards, software and commercialized products) and impacts (e.g., influence on policy and practice, health outcomes, societal outcomes, and distinctions-based, meaningful and culturally safe health research) in their assessments. Reviewers are also instructed to consider the context of the applicant (e.g., leave history, career stage, area(s) of research, experiential knowledge, diverse career paths, family responsibilities, pandemic impact) and how it may have affected their progress.
Based on the criteria below, each application will be rated by three reviewers on a scale of 0.0 to 4.9, with 4.9 being the highest possible rating.
When interpreting the adjudication criteria, keep in mind that while your research proposal may envision a basic/mechanistic impact (as opposed to translational impact), this sort of discovery science is just as important as applied research. When making the case for how your proposal will significantly advance your area of research, remember that impact does not only mean near-future clinical relevance.
Criterion 1 - Concept
Sub-criterion 1.1: Significance and Impact of Research
This criterion is intended to assess the quality of what you are proposing, the value of the anticipated project contributions, and any advances in health-related knowledge, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes.
- Is the project idea creative?
- The project idea is among the best formulated ideas in its field, stemming from new, incremental, innovative, and/or high-risk lines of inquiry; new or adapted research in basic science, or health care, or health systems or health outcomes. When applicable, knowledge translation/commercialization approaches/methodologies should be considered, as well as opportunities to apply research findings nationally and internationally.
- Is the rationale of the project idea sound?
- The project rationale is based on a logical integration of concepts.
- Are the overall goals and objectives of the project well-defined?
- The goal states the purpose of the project, and what the project is ultimately expected to achieve.
- The objectives clearly define the proposed lines of inquiry and/or activities required to meet the goal.
- The proposed project outputs (i.e., the anticipated results of the project) are clearly described and aligned to the objectives.
- Are the anticipated project contributions likely to advance basic health-related knowledge, or health care, or health systems or health outcomes?
- The context and needs (issues and/or gaps) of the project are clearly described.
- The anticipated contribution(s) are clearly described, and should be substantive and relevant in relation to the context of the issues or gaps.
- The anticipated contribution(s) are realistic, i.e., directly stemming from the project outputs, as opposed to marginally related.
Indigenous Health Research (IHR) committee considerations: The proposed research must be relevant to First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis priorities and have the potential to produce valued outcomes from the perspective of First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis participants and Indigenous Peoples more broadly.
Criterion 2 – Assessment of Feasibility
Sub-criterion 2.1: Approaches and Methods
This sub-criterion is intended to assess the quality of your project's design and plan, including how and when the project will be completed.
- Are the approaches and methods appropriate for delivering the proposed output(s) and achieve the proposed contribution(s) to advancing health-related knowledge, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes?
- The research and/or knowledge translation/commercialization approaches, methods, and/or strategies should be well-defined and justified in terms of being appropriate to accomplish the objectives of the project.
- Is sex (as a biological variable) and/or gender (as a socio-cultural factor) taken into account in the research design, methods, analysis and interpretation, and/or dissemination of findings?
- Opportunities to maximize project contributions to advance health-related knowledge, health care, health systems and/or health outcomes should be proactively sought and planned for, but may also arise unexpectedly.
- Are the timelines and related deliverables of the project realistic?
- Timelines for the project should be appropriate in relation to the proposed project activities. Key milestones and deliverables should be aligned with the objectives of the project, and be feasible given the duration of the project.
- Does the proposal identify potential challenges and appropriate mitigation strategies?
- Critical scientific, technical, or organizational challenges should be identified, and a realistic plan to tackle these potential risks should be described. An exhaustive list is not expected.
Indigenous Health Research (IHR) committee considerations: In addition to demonstrating scientific excellence (Western, Indigenous, or both), the proposed research approaches and methods must respect Indigenous values and ways of knowing and sharing, and abide by the Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada and/or Indigenous partnering community/organizational ethical guidelines, or else clearly explain why and which other guidelines have been developed and agreed upon with the study governance body.
Sub-criterion 2.2: Expertise, Experience and Resources
You should provide an estimate of the number of hours per week (contribution) for each applicant working on the project.
This sub-criterion is intended to assess the appropriateness of the complement of expertise, experience, and resources among the applicants (Nominated Principal Applicant, Principal Applicant(s) and Co-Applicant(s)), and their institutions/organizations, as it relates to the ability to collectively deliver on the objectives of the project.
It is the responsibility of the Nominated Principal Applicant to ensure the proposed project is poised for success.
- Does the applicant(s) bring the appropriate expertise and experience to lead and deliver the proposed outputs and achieve the proposed contribution(s)?
- The applicant(s) should demonstrate the combined expertise and experience needed to execute the project (i.e., deliver the proposed outputs as well as achieve the proposed contribution(s)). The roles and responsibilities of each applicant should be clearly described, and linked to the objectives of the project.
- Is there an appropriate level of engagement and/or commitment from the applicant(s)?
- The level of engagement (e.g., time and other commitments) of each applicant should be appropriate for the roles and responsibilities described.
- Is the environment (academic institution and/or other organization) appropriate to enable the conduct and success of the project?
- Project applicants should have access to the appropriate infrastructure, facilities, support personnel, equipment, and/or supplies to:
- Carry out their respective roles; and,
- As a collective, manage and deliver the proposed output(s), and achieve the proposed contribution(s).
- Project applicants should have access to the appropriate infrastructure, facilities, support personnel, equipment, and/or supplies to:
- Does the applicant adequately demonstrate productivity, progress and impact of their research program?
- In their Summary of Progress, the applicant should:
- Outline and contextualize the most relevant activities, contributions and impacts; and
- Demonstrate their productivity as it relates to the ability to deliver on the objectives of the project.
- In their Summary of Progress, the applicant should:
Indigenous Health Research (IHR) Committee considerations: Appropriateness of the team based on their overall scientific experience (Western, Indigenous, or both) and skills as well as their Indigenous community-based research experience, track record, and relevance of past experience, including expertise related to Indigenous health research.
- Is the project idea creative?
Upload the list of references cited within your application (e.g., bibliographic information) in a PDF format. A standard reference style is required.
Response to Previous Reviews
If you are resubmitting an unsuccessful application, you may provide a response (maximum of 2 pages) to previous reviewers’ comments from a previous competition(s) (either Project or another priority-driven initiative), regardless of how you answered the question “Is this a resubmission of an unsuccessful application to the same Funding Opportunity?” in the Details subtask of the Enter Proposal Information task at registration.)
If you choose to upload a response to previous reviews, you must include all the reviews and Scientific Officer Notes (if available) received in that round of submission (the reviews do not count toward the 2-page response limit). You do not have to respond to all the comments in the reviews—only those that are relevant to your revised application. Please see Project Grant Competition FAQs for further explanation on what reviews must be included when responding to previous reviews. If you exceed the two-page limit, CIHR may remove any additional pages without notifying you further.
To include the previous reviews, log into your ResearchNet account:
- Go to Check Application Status and click on View Results/Reviews.
- Choose the link View/Print All Review Documents for Application [application name].
- Download and save the SO Notes (if available) and Reviewer’s Report [Committee member].
- Include these download(s) with your 2-page response in your PDF.
Do NOT include the Notice of Recommendation (NOR) or the Notice of Decision (NOD) or the results letter. Your response should not reference any other documents as reviewers will not have access to them. Of note, your application may not be reviewed by reviewers who reviewed it previously.
Reviewers are not obligated to read your response if you do not include all the previous reviews, nor are they obligated to read any pages over the two-page limit.
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