CIHR Research Excellence, Diversity, and Independence Early Career Transition Award (2022): Frequently Asked Questions
This funding opportunity is a step for CIHR to meet its strategic commitment to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the research ecosystem and to enhance training and career support. This list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) has been developed to provide additional information to support the application process.
Bookmark this page for future reference. Given this is a new type of funding opportunity, we will update this page, if needed, leading up to the application deadline.
Note: In case of a discrepancy between the information in this FAQ and the Funding Opportunity, defer to the Funding Opportunity and notify CIHR Contact Centre at email@example.com.
Where can I find more information about the Canadian government priorities to address systemic racism, sexism, and discrimination in Canadian institutions?
Additional information about the Canadian government priorities to address systematic racism, sexism, and discrimination in Canadian institutions can be found in the following resources:
- Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019–2022. Government of Canada.
- Speech from the Throne (2021). Government of Canada.
- Ministerial Mandate Letter to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (2021). Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau.
- Tri-Agency Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for 2018-2025.
- Inter-agency Equity, Diversity and Inclusion - Dimensions Pilot Program.
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grant (2021).
- CIHR Strategic Plan 2021-2031. Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
- Summary of the Accessible Canada Regulations - Canada.ca.
- Eliminating systemic racism in Canada's health research funding system. Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
- Federal Budget. Budget 2021 and Budget 2022. Government of Canada.
Why is the eligibility for the first launch of this funding opportunity only open to racialized women and Black people?
CIHR, the federal granting agencies (tri-agencies), and the Government of Canada, have collectively committed to addressing systemic racism, gender inequity, and discrimination in Canada’s institutions.Footnote 1Footnote 2Footnote 3Footnote 4Footnote 5Footnote 6Footnote 7Footnote 8Footnote 9 With this new funding opportunity, CIHR is addressing impacts of both racism and gender inequity on early career researchers.
Canada is a diverse country, but academic data shows its science and medicine faculties are less diverse than the students and trainees in these programs.Footnote 10Footnote 11Footnote 12 Underrepresentation is especially evident using an intersectional lens. Racialized women and Black people are among the most underrepresented in science and medicine faculties in Canadian academic institutions,Footnote 10Footnote 11Footnote 12 have the highest unemployment rates compared to non-racialized professors,Footnote 13Footnote 14and encounter systemic barriers, discrimination, and inequity within academia.Footnote 15Footnote 16Footnote 17Footnote 18Footnote 19 This funding opportunity uses an intersectional framework for race and gender that includes racialized women and Black people. It will provide new supports for communities marginalized by racism and is intended to increase the number of underrepresented early career health researchers in Canada.
Recognizing there are multiple groups that are underrepresented in faculty positions relevant to CIHR’s mandate, we intend to relaunch this program in future years and have it open to specific underrepresented groups. We will use the early learnings of the 2022 funding opportunity, community consultations, and the continued accrual of self-identification data from Canadian academic, health systems and research institutions to inform the design of future competitions.
What is the source of funding for the CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award?
The CIHR REDI award is supported by funding from CIHR and non-government partners. The CIHR portion of funding comes from a funding envelope that is separate from the funds reserved for investigator-initiated research funded through the Project Grant competition, and for Training and Career Support (e.g., CIHR fellowships). The funding envelope used for REDI consists of funds dedicated to “research in priority areas”; the majority of these funds are from CIHR institute budgets (often called “strategic funding”), with additional funds from CIHR corporate. See the budget overview of CIHR grants and awards expenditures.
Can I apply to more than one pool?
If you want to apply to multiple funding pools, you may select up to three (3) funding pools for your application and indicate in your relevance form (i) which of the selected funding pool should be considered as your first choice and; (ii) how your application directly aligns with the funding pool (s) selected (half-page for each selection).
Funding pools offer additional sources of funding for highly rated applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates. Contact CIHR Contact Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
How will the funding pools work in Phase 2?
There are no funding pools in Phase 2. To transition to Phase 2 you will need to submit a Transition Package to CIHR, which will include an updated project summary, research plan and budget to reflect updated plans for Phase 2. Your research plans for Phase 2 should align with your expertise and be relevant to the mandates of the partners funding your REDI award. Additional information for Phase 2 and Transition Package requirements can be found on the Supplementary Information for Phase 2 of the CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award (2022).
What happens if I can transition to Phase 2 after 2 years?
With a maximum term of 6 years across the two phases, we anticipate that Phase 1 will last 2–3 years, and Phase 2 will last 3–4 years. However, to consider the diversity of experiences Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) may have because of different life stages, situations, and disciplines, NPAs will have flexibility in the number of years of support for each Phase. Requests to transfer to Phase 2 either before the 2-year mark or after the 3-year mark of Phase 1, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Additional information for Phase 2 and Transition Package requirements can be found on the Supplementary Information for Phase 2 of the CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award (2022).
What happens if I cannot transition to Phase 2 after 3 years?
If you are unable to transition to Phase 2 after 3 years, you can request additional time to stay in Phase 1. Requests for additional time in Phase 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Remember, the maximum amount of time to hold a CIHR REDI award is 6 years for a total maximum of $660,000 per award, regardless of how long the NPA spends in each Phase.
Can I move to a different institution between phases?
Yes. You can hold Phase 1 and Phase 2 funding at different institutions. However, requests to change institutions within either Phase must be submitted to CIHR and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Where can I find more information about the 1:1 host institution matching funds requirements for Phase 2?
While the Phase 2 host institution must provide contributions to match the total annual CIHR contribution at a minimum 1:1 ratio, multiple matching funds scenarios are possible. Remember that in Phase 2:
- The maximum CIHR contribution towards the Nominated Principal Applicant’s (NPA’s) salary is $60,000 per year (50%) and the minimum CIHR contribution towards the research allowance is $60,000 per year (50%); and
- Eligible host institution matching contributions include funds for:
- the NPA’s salary;
- the NPA’s research; and
- stipends/salaries for trainees or laboratory/research program personnel dedicated to the NPA’s research program.
- The institution’s offer should be in line with institutional policies and comparable to what has been given for other recently hired equivalent faculty positions.
- The CIHR Phase 2 operational funds (research allowance) should be in addition to the institution’s typical offer for research start-up funds for new hires.
- Eligible positions for Phase 2 are research-intensive faculty positions.
Therefore, matching scenarios and the amount of salary and research allowance requested from CIHR may vary depending on the NPA’s employment offer, their entry position, and whether the host institution is an academic, health system or research institution. Example scenarios are shown below:
Research Allowance/ Funds for NPA’s Research NPA’s Salary Stipends/Salaries for Trainees/ Research Personnel Total Amount per Year Example A Phase 2 Host Institution Amount in Offer Letter per Year $20,000 $110,000 $0 $130,000 Amount Requested from CIHR per Year $120,000 $0 Not applicable $120,000 Total CIHR + Host Institution per Year $140,000 $110,000 $0 $250,000 Example B Phase 2 Host Institution Amount in Offer Letter per Year $50,000 $70,000 $0 $120,000 Amount Requested from CIHR per Year $60,000 $60,000 Not applicable $120,000 Total CIHR + Host Institution per Year $110,000 $130,000 $0 $240,000 Example C Phase 2 Host Institution Amount in Offer Letter per Year $0 $97,000 $27,000/year for PhD studentFootnote * $124,000 Amount Requested from CIHR per Year $120,000 $0 Not applicable $120,000 Total CIHR + Host Institution per Year $120,000 $97,000 $27,000 $244,000 Example D Phase 2 Host Institution Amount in Offer Letter per Year $0 $164,000 $0 $164,000 Amount Requested from CIHR per Year $60,000 $60,000 Not applicable $120,000 Total CIHR + Host Institution per Year $60,000 $224,000 $0 $284,000
For additional information on Phase 2, see the Supplementary Information for Phase 2 of the CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award (2022).
Eligibility and Self-identification
Why am I asked to complete the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire to be considered for this competition?
All applicants to funding opportunities are required to complete the self-identification questionnaire, with the option in each question to select “I prefer not to answer”. Your responses to the questionnaire will enable CIHR to confirm your eligibility to apply to this funding opportunity. Given that this funding opportunity is only open to specific populations, selecting “I prefer not to answer” to one or more of the questions relating to these criteria will prevent your candidacy from being considered. A reminder that only individuals who self-identify as a racialized woman or a Black person (any gender) are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity.
For more information about the self-identification questionnaire, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions about the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire.
Where can I find more information about the Self-identification Questionnaire?
For more information, please visit the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire.
How is the term “woman” used for eligibility in this funding opportunity?
This question is addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions about the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire, see Question 12.
How is the term “racialized” used for eligibility in this funding opportunity?
In this funding opportunity, we use the term “racialized” as an alternative to “visible minorities”.Footnote 21 Note that the term “visible minorities” is the term used in the Employment Equity Act and the Self-identification Questionnaire.
How is the term “Black” used for eligibility in this funding opportunity?
The term “Black” refers to people of Black African descent, which includes those who identify as Black Africans, and those found worldwide who identify as descendants of Black African peoples.Footnote 22
If I identify as a racialized woman how should I respond to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire?
Your responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire will enable CIHR to confirm your eligibility for this funding opportunity. When completing the questionnaire, select the response options for gender identity and members of a visible minority that best describes how you self-identify.
If I identify as a Black person, how should I respond to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire?
Your responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire will enable CIHR to confirm your eligibility for this funding opportunity. When completing the questionnaire, select the response options for gender identity, members of a visible minority, and population group(s) that best describes how you self-identify.
Are individuals who self-identify with more than one population group eligible to apply?
Yes, if individuals self-identify with more than one population group they are eligible to apply, as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria (e.g., they also self-identify as a racialized woman or Black).
If I’m not comfortable responding to the self-identification questions, what should I do?
If you do not want to provide information about one or more aspects of your identity, you can complete the survey by choosing the option “I prefer not to answer”. However, if you chose this response option for questions that relate to gender and race, you will not be considered eligible.
How will the responses provided in the new the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire be handled by CIHR?
This question is addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions about the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire, see Questions 19 and 21.
Will responses from the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-identification Questionnaire be used to determine if my application is relevant to this funding opportunity?
No. Your responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire will only be used to determine your eligibility for this funding opportunity. CIHR and partners determine the relevance of your application, which relates to whether an application aligns with the strategic objectives, the general pool, and any specific funding pools selected by the applicant, using the Summary and Relevance Form submitted as part of your application.
Will my responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire be shared with the peer review committee or partners?
No. Access to these data is strictly limited to a small number of CIHR staff with the appropriate training and security clearance and on a need-to-know basis. Self-identification information is not part of your application and will be neither accessible to, nor shared with, peer reviewers or partners.
Will my responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire be tied to the funding decisions?
Responses to the Self-identification Questionnaire will be used to determine eligibility, but once an applicant is deemed eligible, the responses won’t be tied to funding decisions.
What are the requirements to be a Primary Mentor?
The Primary Mentor must hold an independent research appointment with a status that permits the supervision of trainees (Masters, PhD, Postdoc) in areas of investigation related to the applicant’s proposed Phase 1 research in their REDI application. The role of the Primary Mentor is described in the Information letter on the role of the Primary Mentor (REDI 2022). The Primary Mentor could, for example, be the applicant’s current post-doctoral supervisor, the principal investigator to whom a research associate reports, or a clinician with an academic research appointment who will function as a clinical fellow’s Primary Mentor for their research in Phase 1.
Are applicants expected to stay in the same research environment or laboratory they were in at the time of application, or can they propose to start Phase 1 of the award in a different environment/laboratory?
We anticipate applicants will start Phase 1 in the same research environment they are in at the time of application and will be ready to transition to Phase 2 within 2-3 years.
However, if you are proposing to start Phase 1 with a different supervisor/principal investigator or in a new research laboratory/program, or if you are a clinician not currently conducting research, we encourage you to contact the CIHR Contact Centre at email@example.com prior to preparing your application to confirm your eligibility.
Can I apply to this funding opportunity if I’m not a Canadian citizen or a Permanent resident?
Yes, but you must hold both Phases 1 and 2 in Canada. Proof of an appropriate entry visa (e.g., study, work, etc.) into Canada is required.
Can I hold this award outside of Canada?
You can only hold Phase 1 outside of Canada if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Your primary place of employment or primary appointment for Phase 2 must be within Canada.
Review Process and Evaluation
Are there any additional resources/guidelines that may be useful to address the evaluation criteria in this funding opportunity?
Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the CIHR learning materials that are available at Health Research Training at CIHR: Training Tools, which includes information on mentorship and training, access to learning modules on Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis and Health Research, and other useful links. Additional resources are provided in the “Additional Resources” within the “Additional Information” section of this funding opportunity.
Applicants are also encouraged to read through the Review guidelines – Priority driven initiatives to learn more about how your application will be assessed.
How will funding decisions be made?
During the application review process, the peer review committee gives applications a score. This rating is then used to generate a rank ordered list of applications which CIHR uses to make funding decisions. Applications relevant to each pool and which receive a score of 3.50 or higher are funded top down in rank order until all available funding is exhausted or there are no more additional fundable applications.
The names of successfully funded applicants will be published on the CIHR website and via partner’s communication channels.
What happens if I’m not funded in the first-choice pool? Can I still be considered for the other pools that I selected or for the general pool?
If your application was scored as fundable (received a score of 3.50 or higher) but was below the threshold for funding based on its rank order number in your first-choice funding pool, your application will be considered for funding for the other chosen funding pools (specific pools and/or for the general pool). Relevancy and rank order are used to determine all recommendations for funding.
To transition to Phase 2, do I need to submit another application to ResearchNet that will undergo peer review?
No, there is no external peer review at this stage. As indicated in the funding opportunity, successful Nominated Principal Applicants will submit a Transition Report and additional documentation to CIHR at least two months before the planned Phase 2 start date. CIHR will conduct an internal administrative review on this documentation. For additional information on how the transition to Phase 2 will be adjudicated and which documents need to be submitted to CIHR, please consult Supplementary Information for Phase 2 of the CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award (2022).
How to Apply
What information should be included in the “Experience, Contributions and Career Development” section?
Describing your experience, training and contributions gives peer reviewers the context needed for them to effectively evaluate your career goals, mentorship and research plans. You should articulate your potential to transition to an independent research position within the timeline proposed in your application.
Previous contributions can include those related to research, training, and mentoring, and to the broader research and non-research communities, as appropriate. CIHR has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), a statement that "recognizes the need to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated", and encourages applicants to highlight a range of contributions beyond journal articles. The contributions you include should demonstrate your potential to successfully transition to an independent research faculty position within your proposed timeline. Contributions may include but are not limited to:
- publications, presentations, datasets, code, tools, standards, guidelines, intellectual property;
- clinical practice, policy development, societal outcomes and impacts;
- other types of contributions to scientific progress and innovation, which may include roles in productive teams, mentoring, training, and other contributions that impact the field and scientific community;
- knowledge sharing and communication activities, which may include public awareness events, development of educational materials, mentorship talks, educational sessions, community support, participation in committees or collaboratives aimed at building capacity in the field; and
- specialized training, strategic employment positions.
More examples can be found on the Guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research, training and mentoring webpage.
Your proposal must respond to the objectives of the funding opportunity. Work with your Primary/Additional Mentors to develop your career goals and development plan with timelines and milestones. The timeline for transition to an independent research position should be appropriate for your current career stage and proposed Mentorship and Career Development Plans. Clearly define your short- and long-term goals and identify what gaps you have in your research or professional training that support from REDI can help address. Your Career Development Plan should tackle these gaps, be tailored to your career goals and research area/pillar, and effectively enhance research training, professional development, and your potential to transition to an independent research position and establish a successful research program. Be sure to identify which goals and milestones fall within each phase of REDI (i.e., Phase 1 or Phase 2).
Resources to support the writing of your career development plan are found in the “Additional Resources” section under the “Additional Information” section of the funding opportunity, and include CIHR’s Health Research Training at CIHR: Training Tools, Tri-agency Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Resources, National Institutes of Health Resources - Career Guidance, and iBiology Careers – Professional Development Resources.
What happens if my contributions have been achieved through collaboration with other researchers or members of the community?
If your contributions are achieved through collaboration (e.g., with other members of the research community, members of local communities [including Indigenous, Black or racialized communities], research participants or partnering organizations), describe your role in contributing to the work.
How much detail should I include for Phases 1 and 2 in the “Proposed Research” section of the Proposal?
The “Proposed Research” section should be written for a broad scientific audience and not experts in your specific research area. Your research question must be separate from your Primary Mentor’s research program and your research plan must address both Phase 1 and Phase 2 and build on your previous research and expertise. Identify which specific aims you will tackle in each phase of the award – the Phase 1 workplan may be more detailed than the plan for Phase 2, however enough detail must be provided for Phase 2 for reviewers to evaluate this part of your application.
Demonstrate you have a long-term vision for your independent research program and articulate how the research proposed for Phase 1 will build a foundation for this program. We recognize your plans for Phase 2 may change prior to securing your independent research position, so write your Phase 2 plans as you see them at the time of application. You will also need to include a knowledge mobilization plan.
The research proposed should align with your Career Development and Mentorship Plans. Plans related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) will be addressed in the EDI section of your Proposal.
What information should be included in the “Mentorship Plan”?
Mentorship is a critical aspect of this award. You must work with your Primary Mentor/Additional Mentors to develop this section. Additional Mentors can provide guidance on scientific, professional and career development consistent with your career goals and research area/pillar. For example, these individuals may have unique perspectives, skill sets or experiences that will broaden the mentorship experience and foster a more effective plan.
Resources to support the development of a mentorship plan that reflects culturally aware mentorship, and an intersectional understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion considerations, principles and practices are provided in the Additional Resources section of the funding opportunity. These include The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM, Dr. Angela Byars-Winston’s talk on Effective, Culturally Responsive Mentorship on the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) website, Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) Culturally Aware Mentoring Resources, CIMER’s Resources – Including Materials for Mentors and Mentees, iBiology Mentor Training to Improve Diversity in Science and Project Implicit. Applicants are also encouraged to visit CIHR’s Health Research Training at CIHR: Training Tools (which includes Individual Development Plans), National Institutes of Health Resources - Career Guidance, and iBiology Careers – Professional Development Resources.
Refer to the Information Letter on the Primary Mentor Role (REDI 2022) and the How to Apply section of the funding opportunity for guidance on what mentors need to know to support your application. Note that the requirements for the Letters of Support from the Primary and Additional Mentors differs. Refer to the “Attach Other Application Materials” within the “How to Apply” section of the funding opportunity for details.
What information should be included in the “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” section?
In your plan to incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in your proposed research, identify what biological (e.g., sex, age) and/or sociocultural (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, language) identity factors and/or EDI best practices are relevant to your proposed research and explain how they have been integrated into the proposed research design. If you believe there are no relevant biological and/or sociocultural identify factors, provide a rationale for this.
In your plan to incorporate EDI considerations into your research program once you become an independent researcher, describe your planned approach and any best practices you will apply as you begin to build a diverse and inclusive research team and environment. Include specific examples where possible.
In addition to the EDI section of your proposal, reviewers will also evaluate the Phase 1 Host Institution’s commitment to EDI, as articulated in the Letter of Support from the Primary Mentor and the Letter from the Host Institution (which will be part of your Primary Mentor’s Letter of Support).
Refer to the “Additional Resources” within the “Additional Information” section of the funding opportunity, including Tri-agency EDI Resources such as CIHR’s Gender-based Analysis Plus, Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and “How to integrate sex and gender in research”, “Quantitative intersectional study design and primary data collection” and “Why Sex and Gender Need to be Considered in COVID-19 Research”.
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