CIFAR Global Call for New Ideas

Updated Information
  • LOI Deadline
  • Webinar Information
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Contact Information


Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) 


Global Call for Ideas

For More Information

Join CIFAR for an interactive webinar to learn more about CIFAR and the Global Call. This is an excellent opportunity to have your questions answered about the proposal process. Please register for the session most convenient for you.
Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 8:00 a.m. (ET)
Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 4:00 p.m. (ET)

For more information including the Criteria for Selection, please visit CIFAR's Global Call for Ideas website.


The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) invites the global research community to submit proposals for new programs that address complex, fundamental questions of importance to the world. Ideas must be novel, bold and potentially transformative to warrant the creation of a long-term, multi-disciplinary and collaborative research program. Proposals will be accepted from all areas of research.

  • Call for Letters of Intent opens: November 15, 2017 
  • LOI deadline: January 21, 2018 
  • Announcement of short-listed proposals: Spring 2018 
  • Final proposal deadline: Fall 2018 
  • Announcement of competition results: Spring 2019


  • LOIs should be submitted by a small core group of researchers, up to 7 in total, who will participate fully as the research leaders for the proposed effort. Applicants invited to the full proposal stage will be able to identify up to 15 research members.
  • The proponents of the LOI should include at least one researcher currently living and working in Canada.
  • Postdoctoral fellows cannot be part of the core group of researchers listed on the LOI. To be a core CIFAR Fellow, a researcher must be best suited to support the interdisciplinary research program (i.e. researchers at the top of their respective fields, full-time permanent researchers), and must have the capacity to contribute in unique ways to the proposed research program.

Funding Availability

CIFAR expects to approve 3 to 6 new programs under this call. 

Maximum Project Value

CIFAR is not requesting budgets in the LOIs, or expecting applicants to provide budget details. CIFAR's practice is to provide the necessary funding for the given team, based on the size of the team and the planned interactions. CIFAR develops the necessary budget once a program has been approved.

Project Duration

No maximum time limit has been set for programs, however, CIFAR reviews each program at the end of five years. Programs are only renewed if deemed to be transforming fields of study and if it has charted out an ambitious collaborative research question for the next five years. 


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

LOIs are due January 21, 2018 at 11:59 PST (2:59am EST on January 22, 2018)

Applicants invited to submit full proposals are required to submit their proposal along with an OR-5 Form to two weeks in advance of CIFAR's external deadline. 

How to Apply

Instructions for completing the LOIs are available here. Please follow these instructions to ensure that the necessary information is provided.

LOIs must be submitted electronically through an online portal that applicants can access on November 15

For Questions, please contact

For questions about the Global Call for Ideas, please email

Office of Research

Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56943

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