Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions

Before beginning

Applicants and their supervisor(s) must make sure they have the following:

Applicants and their supervisor(s) should each only have one ResearchNet account. If you have already accessed ResearchNet, do not register for a new account.

General Application Process

  • Applications must be prepared, finalized and submitted by applicants using ResearchNet.
  • Any information that exceeds the character limits, or is not required, will be removed from the application prior to peer review.
  • Applicants must preview all components of their application to ensure its completeness.
  • Applications must be submitted prior to the deadline posted on ResearchNet or the institution’s internal deadline, whichever comes first. CIHR cannot legally accept an application until the "Consent and Submit" task is completed on ResearchNet.
  • This document provides general instructions, but does not necessarily represent an exhaustive list of all information required to complete an application.
  • For this funding opportunity, applicants are not required to indicate their name, the project title, the section title (e.g., Research Project Summary) and the page number for each application section.

For technical help, contact us between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time:

support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
1-888-603-4178
613-954-1968

Applicants should consult the CIHR Doctoral Research Awards - Frequently Asked Questions. For information not addressed therein, email DRA@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

Tasks required for completing a Doctoral Research Award application

A. Complete the Common CV

CIHR Nominated Principal Applicants and their supervisor(s) must choose an Academic CV template. Common CVs (CCV) are required regardless of the citizenship of the applicant and supervisors. To produce a Common CV:

  1. Go to the Common CV website and "Login".
  2. Under "CV", select "Funding", then select CIHR from the dropdown and click "Next". Select the appropriate CV type (CIHR Academic) then click "Next".
  3. Enter all the relevant and necessary data and click on "Done". A validation will automatically be performed and errors, if any, will be displayed. The validation rules are specific to CIHR and the selected CV type.
  4. Review the CCV data online via a preview of the PDF.
  5. When satisfied, click on "Submit".
  6. Record the confirmation number that is displayed with the status message (which can also be found under the "History" tab and on the first page of the CCV PDF).
  7. Enter the recorded confirmation number under the "Identify Participants" section on ResearchNet. Note: Supervisors must provide their CCV confirmation number to the applicant so that it be recorded in ResearchNet.
  8. If changes are required to the CCV for a certain application, applicants and/or their supervisor(s) must repeat the steps above and record the new confirmation number.

Note: During peak periods, there can be a delay for the validation of the CCV confirmation number by ResearchNet. It is highly recommended that applicants enter their CCV confirmation number and that of their supervisor(s) in their application well in advance of the competition deadline.

Important Common CV information required for the Doctoral Research Award funding opportunity

In addition to the instructions in the CCV, here are additional instructions, specific to this funding opportunity, for sections that align with the adjudication criteria. It provides important information to reviewers for the adjudication of each application. Do not feel obligated to complete every CCV field. The numerous fields are simply meant to capture information from different fields of research and for various funding opportunities.

  1. Section entitled "Education", Sub-Section entitled "Degrees"
    • Every degree (Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate) must be recorded in the CCV whether they are complete or in progress. In addition, the following information must be entered in the applicant’s CCV for eligibility purposes:
      • Degree Type
      • Degree Name
      • Specialization
      • Organization
      • Degree Status
      • Degree Start Date (YYYY/MM)
      • Degree Received Date / Degree Expected Date (YYYY/MM) (if applicable)
      • Supervisor(s) (if applicable)

      Note: Applicants who have transferred to a doctoral program without completing their Master’s studies and/or are pursuing a combined doctoral program should still record their studies as per below:

    • Record the Master's and/or any combined studies distinctively by indicating "In Progress" as the degree status.
    • Record the doctoral studies distinctively by indicating "In Progress" as the degree status and by responding "Yes" to the question "Transferred to PhD without completing Masters?"
  2. Section entitled "Recognitions"
    • Indicate any recognition received, including honors, distinctions, prizes, awards (competitive or not, monetary or not, declined … etc.) and citations. For further details regarding recognitions, click on the "?" next to the Recognitions section title.
  3. Section entitled "Employment", Sub-Section entitled "Leaves of Absence and Impact on Research"
    • Applicants must describe any special considerations that have had an effect on their performance or productivity. They must include any considerations that may have resulted in delays in disseminating their research results, such as health problems, family responsibilities, disabilities or other circumstances (for example, the time necessary to complete a monograph, file a patent, or commercialize an industrial process or product). Applicants must explain any gaps in the chronology of their experience.
    • If there are none, leave this section blank.
  4. Section entitled "Research Funding History"
    • This list should only include research funding entries whereby the applicant was formally recorded as co-applicant, co-investigator, co-knowledge user, collaborator, decision maker, policy maker, principal applicant, principal investigator or principal knowledge user.
    • The information in this section should not duplicate information included elsewhere in the CCV (e.g. awards such as CGS Master’s awards and CIHR Doctoral awards or any other type of federal or non-federal awards should be listed in "Recognitions" and not in this section).
    • If there are none, leave this section blank
  5. Section entitled "Activities"
    • The activities and contributions defined in this section should include both academic and non-academic achievements, and their impacts.
    • Only entries with dates within the past 5 years may be submitted.
    • If there are none, leave this section blank.

    Note: The supervisor(s) should add to their CCV activities that will best serve the applicant's application.

  6. Section entitled "Contributions"
    • Presentations:
      • Conference poster presentations should be listed under "Presentations". If the abstract was published in a conference journal, it should be listed under the sub-section entitled "Conference Publications" found under the "Publications" section.
      • Only entries with dates within the past 5 years may be submitted.
      • If there are none, leave this section blank.
    • Publications:
      • Only entries with dates within the past 5 years may be submitted.
      • If there are none, leave this section blank.
    • Intellectual Property:
      • This section should include details for patents and intellectual property rights for technology transfer, products and services. Do not include publications in this section. Descriptions might include the title, patents or intellectual property rights number and date, country(ies) of issue, the name of the inventors, as well as relevance or impact of the stated item.
      • No entry limits.
      • If there are none, leave this section blank.

Note: The supervisor(s) should add to their CCV contributions that will best serve the applicant's application.

B. Complete the Doctoral Research Award ResearchNet application

1. Identify Participants

  1. Identify, at a minimum, a Nominated Principal Applicant and a Primary Supervisor. Consult the funding opportunity and the Individual Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR website for more information. Note: For the purpose of this funding opportunity, the Nominated Principal Applicant must not hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position, nor can they be on leave from such a position (generally "tenure or tenure-track" refers to an open-ended academic position in which the holder can form a research group, apply for externally funded research as a principal investigator, and also teach).
  2. It is the Nominated Principal Applicant's responsibility to obtain their supervisor(s)' CCV confirmation number and enter it in this section.
  3. This section collects information on:
    • The Nominated Principal Applicant:
      • CIHR PIN;
      • CCV confirmation number;
      • Contact information which will serve CIHR to communicate with the applicant if needed.
    • The Primary Supervisor (and Supervisor, if applicable):
      • CIHR PIN;
      • CCV confirmation number;
      • Contact information which will allow CIHR to communicate with the supervisor(s) if needed.
Subtask: Attachments

All attachments must adhere to the guidelines for attachments on the Acceptable Application Formats and Attachments. Before preparing the proposal, please carefully review these instructions.

Publications List
  • The supervisors must leave this section blank. To be completed by the applicant only.
  • The document must be uploaded in PDF format and the total size cannot exceed 30 MB.
  • Maximum 2 pages are permitted. Note: applicants are not required to indicate their name, the project title, the section title and the page number as a header.
  • The applicant can provide the following information as it cannot be captured in the CCV, that is:
    • Applicants must, for each multi-authored publication relevant to this application, define their role in the publication and indicate their percent contribution to the team effort.
    • Applicants are invited to comment on environmental factors that affected their capacity to publish and to add any other contributions/activities that cannot be captured in the CCV.
Proof of Citizenship or Permanent Residence

The applicant must attach his/her proof of Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident document. The document must be uploaded in PDF format and the total size cannot exceed 30 MB.

The following are the acceptable forms of proof:

  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship;
  • Birth Certificate/ copy of an act issued by the proper provincial government authority;
  • Valid Passport;
  • Permanent Resident Card;
  • Form IMM 1000;
  • Form IMM 5292;
  • Valid Indian Status Card.

2. Identify Sponsors

This section collects information on the three sponsors who will provide an assessment of the applicant. These assessments should come from people under whom the applicant has trained and/or who have had a good opportunity to assess their potential for research.

  • Applicants must enter the sponsors' names within their application and press on "Click and Send Sponsor Request". Sponsors will then receive two emails:
    • The first email is to notify them of a request to complete a sponsor assessment.
    • The second email provides the link that the sponsors need to access in order to complete and submit the electronic form.  The deadline for submission is indicated within the form.
  • The assessment form must be completed and submitted online by the sponsors 48 hours prior to the CIHR or the institution internal deadline (whichever comes first) and be written in English or French. Once an assessment is submitted, it will automatically be attached to the application.
  • It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with sponsors to ensure the assessments are submitted prior to the deadline date and therefore ensure the application completeness. Only after all three sponsors have submitted their assessments will this task be marked as complete in your ResearchNet Application Task List. Applicants do not have access to the content of the assessment submitted by sponsors. However, applicants may follow the status of the assessment directly under this section.

3. Enter Degree Information

This task collects information on any degrees, qualifications, certificates and/or licenses in progress as well as degrees for which support is being requested.

Indicate if there is a degree in progress. At least one degree for which support is being requested must be specified to complete this task.

4. Enter Proposal Information

This section collects information related to the research project of applicants.

Title

CIHR will identify the research project using the project title. For this reason applicants cannot edit their project title once the application is submitted.

Lay Title

Provide a title for the project that is in a language clear to the general public. Lay titles are used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds.

Lay Abstract

Describe the project in a way that is accessible to a lay audience. Indicate how the proposed research can improve personal health, the health of populations and/or the health delivery system. This information is used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds.

Institution

Indicate the institution that will administer the award funds. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR website for more information.

If the proposed research will be conducted in Canada, the application will be electronically directed to the Institution Paid for review and approval. This Institution Paid must be entered as early as possible in order to view the institutional internal deadline.

If the proposed research will be conducted outside of Canada, the award will be paid directly. As such, there is no Institution Paid and therefore, the name of the institution where the research will be located is to be entered manually in the field "Other".

Certification Requirements

If the application is selected for funding, the necessary certification requirements must be met in accordance with policies on ethical conduct of research. Relevant policies:

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?

Trainees are exempt and should answer "No".

Does this application propose research involving Aboriginal people?

Indicate if the application proposes research involving Aboriginal people. This information will be used for statistical purposes only. Any questions or comments may be sent to the Aboriginal Ethics Guidelines mailbox at aeg-lda@cihr-irsc.gc.ca. Applicants, whose proposed research will involve Aboriginal People, please consult Ethics of Health Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.

Are sex (biological) considerations taken into account in this study?

Indicate if sex (biological) considerations are taken into account in this study. For a guide to sex and gender based analysis, please consult the CIHR website.

Are gender (socio-cultural) considerations taken into account in this study?

Indicate if gender (socio-cultural) considerations are taken into account in this study. For a guide to sex and gender based analysis, please consult the CIHR website.

If yes, please describe how sex and/or gender considerations will be considered in your research design (limit of 2000 characters, including spaces).

If no, please explain why sex and/or gender are not applicable in your research design (limit of 2000 characters, including spaces).

Period of Support Requested

Indicate the period of support required. Note: Applicants should indicate the maximum of three (3) years, unless if federal funding was received in the past for the purpose of graduate studies.

Proposed Start Date

Please indicate the date the research project would begin (which cannot be earlier than the funding start date specified in the funding opportunity).

Percentage of Time Spent on Different Activities

Indicate the percentage of time to be spent on different activities. Applicants are expected to spend at least 75% of their time in the proposed research training (Research + Course work) throughout the duration of the graduate studies.

Descriptors

Provide keywords that describe the research project, the techniques and the methodologies it will employ, as well as the areas of interest.

Areas of Research

Select the areas of research that best describe the proposal from the list provided.

Classification

Select the classifications that best describe the proposal from the list provided.

Themes

Select a primary theme classification. Indicate additional theme classifications only if the substance of the application significantly overlaps more than one theme. Consult the definition of the four CIHR Themes on the CIHR website for more information.

Note: The theme will be used, along with other elements of the application, to assign the application to the most appropriate Peer Review committee. For more information, please refer to the Peer Review Committees and Mandates - Doctoral Research Award.

Categories (Suggested Institutes)

Select a primary CIHR Institute whose research mandate is related to the application's research area(s) and objective(s). Additional Institutes should only be selected if the substance of the application significantly overlaps with the research mandate of more than one Institute.

Attachments

All attachments must adhere to the guidelines for attachments on the Acceptable Application Formats and Attachments.

Note: Applicants are not required to indicate their name, the project title, the section title (e.g., Research Project Summary) and the page number as a header for each application section.

Training Expectations

Applicants are to:

  • Describe how the training they expect to acquire will contribute to their productivity and to the research goals they hope to achieve.
  • Indicate why they decided upon the proposed training location and what they expect to learn from the training experience.
  • If registered in a joint doctoral program (e.g. MD/PhD, DVM/PhD) or a clinically-oriented doctoral program, they must provide a description of how their program contains a significant research component.
  • Maximum 7000 characters (including spaces).
Research Project Summary
  • The research project summary should be completed in collaboration with the proposed supervisor(s).
  • The research project summary should be written in general scientific language, which is an important skill to acquire for future success in the research environment as applications are being reviewed by multi-disciplinary committees.
  • Include the specific hypothesis of the research and describe the applicant's role on the project.
  • The research project summary is among the most important parts of the application. Applicants and their supervisor(s) should make sure that it provides a concise account of the subject matter, an overview of each part of the research plan, specific project aims and the methodology. The summary should reflect the significance of the project.
  • Maximum 3500 characters (including spaces), including references (references can be in a smaller legible font). Figures and tables are not accepted.

5. Enter Space, Facilities and Personnel Support

In addition to the supervisor's CCV, this section describes the space, facilities and personnel support that is available to the applicant.

  • It should demonstrate the commitment of the proposed supervisor(s) and their institution to support the development of the applicant's research project (funding, facilities, equipment, etc.) and professional development.
  • Maximum 2000 characters (including spaces).

6. Attach Other Application Materials

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts of the applicant's complete academic record to date are required (this includes all undergraduate and graduate studies, and any studies that may be ongoing).

An official letter or a certificate of registration from the institution (Registrar's office or equivalent) is also required in the following instances:

  • an official transcript does not display the official start date of the doctoral program in the instance where the applicant has transferred (i.e. fast-track) to the doctoral program without previous degree completion;
  • an official transcript does not indicate the time completed in the doctoral portion of a combined doctoral program of study;
  • an official transcript is not available for a degree that is in progress or that has been completed;
  • an official transcript is not the most up-to-date version available (i.e. does not demonstrate that the applicant is currently enrolled as a student or has obtained the degree);
  • an official transcript does not display all of the sessions in which the applicant was enrolled in graduate studies (i.e. the applicant undertook graduate work in a certain session, but the session does not show up on the transcripts).

CIHR considers transcripts issued by the Registrar's Office to the student to be official transcripts. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for CIHR's purposes. Note: Transcripts printed from the applicant's personal university account are not accepted.

Certified true copies of official transcripts will only be accepted for studies undertaken at institutions outside of North America. A certified true copy is defined as a copy of the original document (or of the original translated document if official transcript is not in either English or French) that has been certified to be a true copy of the original document by a commissioner of oath such as a notary or lawyer. The copy must bear the original signature and stamp of the official authority. Note: Certified true copies of official transcripts from the university are accepted.

The required official transcripts must be provided by scanning both sides of each page (ensuring that the transcript text is horizontal) and uploading them in order from least recent to most recent as a single .pdf document not to exceed 30 MB under "Transcripts" in the "Attach Other Application Materials" task. After scanning and uploading the transcript(s), the original, paper copy must be retained since they may be requested by CIHR for verification purposes at any point in the process.

7. Apply to Priority Announcements / Funding Pools (Optional)

Priority Announcements/Funding Pools on CIHR's core competitions offer additional sources of funding for highly rated applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates.

They are listed on the CIHR website together with CIHR's other current funding opportunities. For requirements on individual Priority Announcements/Funding Pools, applicants must verify the "How to Apply" section of each of these on the Funding Opportunities page. This section will indicate if relevance information is required at the application stage.

To apply for funding through a Priority Announcements/Funding Pool, applicants must select the Priority Announcement/Funding Pool title from the list and the Relevant Research Area(s) addressed by the proposal, then press save. If a relevance form is required, a text box should appear.

8. Print/Upload Signature Pages

Note: all 3 pages of the document must be uploaded as part of the application prior to submission.

If proposing research in Canada:

  1. Print the signature page PDF file which is found on ResearchNet.
  2. Verify the requirements for original signatures by consulting: Required Signatures on Application Forms and Meaning of Signatures on Application Forms in the CIHR Grants and Awards Guide.
  3. Only supervisor(s) signatures are required. Printed names should always accompany signatures.
  4. No institutional signatures are required on the pages at the time of application.
  5. Scan and upload the signed signature pages, including the routing slip, as one PDF (not exceeding 30 MB), in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting the application.
  6. All necessary signatures must be obtained and uploaded on ResearchNet prior to the Research Institution's (Institution Paid) deadline date.
  7. The Research Office at the institution will electronically approve and forward the application to CIHR.

If proposing research outside of Canada:

  1. Print the signature page PDF file which is found on ResearchNet.
  2. Verify the requirements for original signatures by consulting Required Signatures on Application Forms and Meaning of Signatures on Application Forms in the CIHR Grants and Awards Guide.
  3. Only supervisor(s) signatures are required. Printed names should always accompany signatures.
  4. No institutional signatures are required at the time of application.
  5. Scan and upload the signed signatures pages, including the routing slip, as one PDF (not exceeding 30 MB), in the Print/Upload Signature Pages section in ResearchNet prior to submitting the application.

9. Preview

Applicants must review all components of the application. If a section is incomplete, the missing information must be provided to successfully submit the application.

The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the information provided is complete and that it conforms to the application requirements. ResearchNet does not validate the content of the uploaded document(s).

Note: Applicants cannot preview their CCV information through ResearchNet. They must verify the information directly on the CCV portal.

10. Consent and Submit

Applicants must review the terms listed and respond to the questions regarding consent in order to submit their application.

Applicants must click Submit to send the application.

It is highly recommended that applicants submit their application well ahead of the CIHR deadline. If the applicant’s institution is part of eApproval, their institution’s research office may return the application to the applicant with comments or questions. Many institutions have internal deadlines for receipt of applications ahead of the CIHR deadline, and applicants are to confirm with their institution what the internal deadline is.

If the applicant has performed this task correctly they will receive the following confirmation email(s):

With eApproval

If the applicant’s institution participates in the eApproval process, the applicant will receive two confirmation emails:

  • The first when the Institution Paid (participating in the eApproval process) receives the application, and
  • A second once the application has been submitted by the Institution Paid to CIHR.

Without eApproval

If the applicant’s institution does not participate in the eApproval process (i.e. institutions outside Canada), the applicant will receive one confirmation email once the application has been submitted to CIHR.