Grants – Application Guidelines

Important Notes

  • This document provides general application guidelines and does not necessarily contain all information required to complete an application. Please ensure that you also read the details specific to your funding opportunity in ResearchNet and refer to the CIHR funding policies.
  • The tasks that appear in ResearchNet for the funding opportunity to which you are applying are the only tasks required for that funding opportunity. Some tasks presented in these guidelines may not be required for all applications.

Before You Begin

Make sure you have the following or click the links to register:

General Application Process

  1. Applications must be submitted by applicants using ResearchNet.
  2. All attachments must be in PDF format and must adhere to the Acceptable Application Formats and PDF Attachments guidelines.
  3. Any documents/attachments that exceed the application limits will be removed from the application prior to peer review.
  4. It is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that their applications are complete prior to submission.
  5. If you experience technical difficulties, or if you have any questions regarding the CIHR specific content on ResearchNet, contact us Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

    CIHR Contact Centre
    Telephone: 613-954-1968
    Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178
    Email: support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Tasks for Completing an Application:

  1. Complete a Canadian Common CV
  2. Complete the ResearchNet Application

A. Complete a Canadian Common CV

The Canadian Common CV (CCV) is a web-based application that provides researchers with a single, common approach to gathering CV information.

The roles you select when identifying participants as part of the “Identify Participants” task of your application in ResearchNet will determine the type of CV required for each participant. See the “How to Apply” section of the specific funding opportunity to determine the CV requirements for each participant.

To complete a Canadian Common CV:

  1. Log in to the Canadian Common CV (CCV) system.
  2. Go to the CV menu on the top left of the page, and select "Funding".
  3. Select “CIHR” from the dropdown menu in the Funding Source field, select the appropriate CV type based on your role and click “Load.”
  4. Enter data in each of the required sections, and click "Done." Validation is performed automatically, and if there are any errors, they will be displayed in each relevant section.
  5. The CV data entered in the CCV can be viewed in PDF format by selecting "Preview" on the top right of the page. Read through the document to identify any changes that need to be made in the CCV before submitting your CV to CIHR.
  6. Once satisfied with the information and output of your CV, click "Submit." A CCV confirmation number will be generated in the status message, and will also be located at the top of the CV PDF document. Record this confirmation number as it will be needed to link the CV to your application in ResearchNet under the “Identify Participants” task.
  7. If you wish to make changes to your CCV after it has been linked to ResearchNet, you must repeat the steps described above. This will generate a new CCV confirmation number, which will need to be updated in ResearchNet.
  8. You can preview your CCV in ResearchNet by selecting "Preview" on the Tasks page.

Note: During peak periods, there can be a delay between the time that you submit your CV and when ResearchNet is able to validate it. It is highly recommended that you complete and submit your CV well in advance of the competition deadline.

For additional information please refer to the CCV Frequently Asked Questions for CIHR Applicants and CIHR’s CCV Information web page.

B. Complete the ResearchNet Application

Task 1: Identify Participants

This task collects information on all participants involved in your application. For more information, consult the eligibility criteria of the specific funding opportunity you are interested in and the Eligibility Requirements in the CIHR Grants and Awards Guide.

The Nominated Principal Applicant (NPA) must remain unchanged between different phases of the competition process (ie. Registration, Expression of Interest, Letter of intent, etc.). Other participants can be added or removed unless otherwise specified in the funding opportunity.

1.1 Participant Information
  • The NPA can add participants to the application in ResearchNet by clicking “Add Participants”.
    • Note: If the participant's PIN has not been validated, the participant must login to their ResearchNet account, select their name in the top right banner, and select “Validate your CIHR PIN”.
1.2 Attachments
Most Significant Contributions

This sub-task captures information on the Nominated Principal Applicant and all other participants except Collaborators. Please insert information regarding your most significant contributions (maximum of 5) as they relate to the application.

Contributions can take the form of:

  • Publications, presentations, intellectual property, etc.
  • Awards, degrees, credentials, etc.
  • Knowledge translation, policy development, etc.
  • Specialized training, strategic employment positions, etc.

The contributions that you choose to share should be directly relevant to the grant application, and should demonstrate how you will contribute to the application at hand.

Task 2: Enter Proposal Information

This task collects information related to your research project.

2.1 Overview
  • Title: Provide a title for your proposal. Your title is the way that CIHR identifies your research proposal. For this reason you cannot edit your title once submitted.
  • Lay Title: Provide a title for your project that is in a language clear to members of 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: Using language accessible to a lay audience, describe your proposed project, indicating how your 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.
2.2 Details
  • Institution Paid: The institution that will administer the funds for your project. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR web site for more information.
  • Certification Requirements: Check all that apply. For more information consult the following policies:
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA): CIHR must review proposals for potential impacts on the environment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).
  • Is this a clinical trial? Indicate if this application includes a clinical trial. For a definition and more information regarding clinical trials, consult the Policy on trials.
  • Does this Application Contain a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)? Indicate if this application includes a randomized controlled trial.
  • 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? Applicants must self-declare if their proposed research will involve the use of controlled substances during application submission and must agree to obtain the appropriate exemption certificates from Health Canada, as required. This information will be used by CIHR for reporting purposes only. For more information on obtaining an exemption under Section 56 of the CDSA, consult the Health Canada website.
  • For statistical purposes, does this application propose research involving Indigenous peoples? For more information, consult the Ethics of Health Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.
  • Are sex (biological) and gender (socio-cultural) considerations taken into account in this proposal? Select yes or no for each set of questions. You must also describe how sex and/or gender will be considered in your research design, or why it is not applicable (limit of 2000 characters). For more information, consult the guide to sex and gender based analysis.
2.3 Descriptors
  • Descriptors: Provide keywords to describe your research project, the techniques and methodologies it will employ, and the areas of interest.
  • Areas of Research:  Select the areas of research that best describe your proposal from the list provided.
  • Classification: Select the classifications that best describe your proposal from the list provided.
  • Themes: Select a primary theme classification. Indicate additional theme classifications only if the substance of your grant application significantly overlaps more than one theme. For more information, consult the definition of the four CIHR Themes on the CIHR website
  • Suggested Institutes: Select a primary CIHR Institute whose research mandate is related to your application's research area(s) and objective(s). Additional Institutes can be selected if the substance of your grant application significantly overlaps with the research mandate of more than one Institute.
2.4 Attachments

The following attachments can/must be appended to your application:

  • Research Proposal

    Provide a clear, concise description of your research proposal. Consult the funding opportunity for specific requirements to include in your research proposal and for the number of pages allowed. You should respond to the evaluation criteria in the “Review Process and Evaluation” section as well as consult the “How to Apply” section of the funding opportunity.

    Title pages and table of contents will count towards the total pages allowed if attached under this task. Attach any references, tables, charts, figures and photographs in the “Research Proposal Appendix” task.

    Note: Reviewers are under no obligation to read the Research Proposal Appendix other than to read references, tables, charts, figures and photographs. Therefore, the research proposal should be standalone and contain all the information required to support your research plan (i.e., it should contain a complete description of your project).

  • Research Proposal Appendix

    Appendices may include items such as, references, tables, charts, figures, photographs, questionnaires, RCT methods, and consent forms.

  • Summary of Progress

    In some funding opportunities, extra pages are allowed in order to summarize the progress made in your research.

  • Response to Previous Reviews

    In some funding opportunities, extra pages are allowed in order to respond to previous reviewers’ comments. Your response should not require reference to any other form of documentation as reviewers will not have access to previous application information.  Furthermore, your application will not necessarily be reviewed by the same reviewers as before.

Task 3: Complete Summary of Research Proposal

Summarize your research proposal. Please note that this document may be used for relevance review. Additionally, the summary is used for reviewers to assess their level of expertise.

Task 4: Enter Budget Information

This task collects information on the budget for your research project.

Note: In order to trigger the task “Add Financial Assistance Requested” (for each year), the number of years of support requested must be identified in the “Enter Proposal Information” Task under “Details – Period of Support Requested”.

4.1 Add Financial Assistance Requested (for each year)

In the "No."column, provide an estimate of the number of human resources required for a full year, for each human resources type listed. For part-time and/or shared resources, indicate fractions (e.g., 0.5). In the "Salary" and "Stipend" columns, provide the pro-rated salary/stipend amount for each human resources type.

  • The “Salary” and “Benefits” columns must equal the “CIHR”, “Cash” and “In-Kind” columns.
  • Amounts must be identified in Canadian dollars.
  • If the operating baseline costs change significantly for subsequent years, provide estimates for each year.
  • Equipment refers to nonexpendable tangible property, having a useful life of more than one year.
  • Each budget item must include the applicable provincial and federal taxes and should be calculated using the after-rebate tax rates. For more information on after rebate tax rates consult the Canada Revenue Agency website.
  • For more information on eligibility of expenses and employment under grants, consult the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide, Use of Grant Funds.

For programs involving applicant partners: Include the costs, both cash and/or in-kind/cash-equivalent contributions, to be covered by the applicant partners. These must be listed in the "Other Funding" column of the “Financial Assistance Requested” section and must total the contributions listed in the Partner Details Forms. The budget requested from CIHR must be listed under the "CIHR" column.

4.2 Human Resources

Estimate the number of hours per week each applicant will be working on the research project.

4.3 Employment History

Excluding all roles already mentioned on the application (e.g., Nominated Principal Applicant, Principal Applicant, Co-Applicant, etc.), if applicable, list the positions for personnel who will be paid from the grant (e.g., research assistants, technicians, etc.) at the time of application, their current salary rate ($/annum, excluding benefits), and their current source of funding.

4.4 Budget Attachments
Financial Assistance Requested Details

Provide a full justification for all budget items relative to the proposed research.

If you include a need for research personnel and trainees, state their roles and explain why you require the level (i.e., qualifications and salary) that you are requesting.

  • For Research Trainees who are compensated with a stipend, benefits are not permitted.
  • For Trainees who are paid as Research Assistants (usually hourly rate plus benefit imposed by the Institution), benefits are permitted.

Itemize the expendables and services (e.g., number and cost of animals, nature and amounts of reagents, number of subjects, number and cost of printing survey instruments, etc.). For travel requests, indicate the purpose of the trip(s), the names of the individuals that will be traveling, as well as their destination(s).

For maintenance and/or equipment items included in your operating budget, indicate:

  • the availability and status of similar equipment;
  • the anticipated extent of utilization;
  • reasons for choice of specific type, model or service contract, in relation to alternatives; and
  • the necessity for upgrading existing equipment or service contract, as applicable.

If you are requesting or hold start-up funds to equip a new laboratory, detail any funds you have received or have applied for from other sources for this purpose (e.g. institutional sources) and how you intend to use these funds.

  • Cost Quotations: For single items of equipment or service contracts costing more than $10,000 and up to $25,000, attach at least one cost quotation.
  • Quotations Support Letters: For single items costing more than $25,000, attach to the quote a letter from the Authorized Official at the Institution Paid attesting that the equipment is not currently available, plus at least two competitive quotes.

Task 5: Attach Other Application Materials

This task collects material to support your application such as support letters or participant tables. Consult the “How to Apply” section of the funding opportunity for program specific information.  

Task 6: Identify Application Partners

This task collects partner information when it is a requirement of the competition. The nature of the contribution(s) will vary based on the requirements of the funding opportunity and the research projects.

6.1 Partnership Details
  1. Click "Add a Partner" to add partners.
  2. Enter the names and information details for each Partner participating in your project and click “save.”
  3. Print the "Partnership Details" PDF by clicking "View" for each Partner.
  4. Obtain signatures from each Partner.
  5. Attach the signed "Partnership Details" in PDF format by clicking on the "Manage Attachments" link on the right.
6.2 Partner Letter

A Partner Letter from every Partner must be provided at the time of application for all cash and/or in-kind/cash-equivalent contributions. The letter should include specific incremental cash or in-kind/cash-equivalent contributions being provided in support of the proposed research. For more information, see the "Eligibility and "How to Apply" sections of the relevant funding opportunity.

Prior to scanning and attaching the Partner Letter, the document must be approved and signed by the Partner.

  1. From the “Identify Application Partners” task root menu, select "Manage Attachments" and upload the PDF document.
  2. Repeat these steps for each partner.

Task 7: Complete Peer Review Administration Information

This task collects information used for the purpose of peer review administration and aids CIHR in recruiting appropriate expertise.

  • Suggested Reviewers for this Application

    Suggest Canadian and/or international reviewers that you think have the expertise to review your application. CIHR reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers. You should not suggest reviewers in conflict of interest. Consult the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Peer Reviewers and Peer Review Observers on the CIHR website for more information.

  • Reviewers to Exclude for this Application

    Provide the names of individuals that you think cannot provide an objective review of your application and add comments specifying the reason for their exclusion. CIHR reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers.

Task 8: Apply to Priority Announcements / Funding Pools

Funding pools consist of funds that are earmarked for applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas and/or mandates. For more information on funding pools, verify the “Funds Available” and “How to Apply” sections of the funding opportunity.

To apply to a specific funding pool, applicants must select the funding pool title from the “Priority Announcements/Funding Pool Title” list and the Relevant Research Area addressed by the proposal, then press “Save.”

If a relevance form is required, a text box will appear. Describe how the research proposed will address the relevant research area.

Task 9: Print/Upload Signature Pages

  1. Print the signature page PDF file from ResearchNet.
  2. Obtain all required signatures.
  3. For applications that require partner signatures, signatures are captured in the “Partnership Details” PDF and should be uploaded in the Identify Application Partners task (Manage Attachments).
  4. Scan and upload the signed signature pages including the routing slip in the “Print/Upload Signature Pages” task in ResearchNet prior to submitting your application.

Task 10: Preview

Preview all components of your application. If a task is marked as incomplete, you must provide the missing information in order to successfully submit your application.

Task 11: Consent and Submit

You must review the terms listed, and respond to the questions regarding consent in order to submit your application.

Click “Submit to CIHR” to send your application. The CIHR deadline for receipt of all applications is 8 p.m. ET.

For all inquiries please contact:

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Fee: 1-888-603-4178
Email: support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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