CIHR Foundation Grant 2017-2018


Canadian Institute of Health Research


The Foundation Grant program is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of new and established health research leaders, by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative and high-impact research programs.

The Foundation Grant program is expected to:

  • Support a broad base of health research leaders across all career stages, areas, and health-related disciplines including basic, biomedical research with a demonstrable track record of excellence and impact in their field of study;
  • Develop and maintain Canadian capacity in health research and other related fields;
  • Provide research leaders with the flexibility to pursue novel and innovative lines of inquiry;
  • Contribute to the creation and application of health-related knowledge through a wide range of research and/or knowledge translation activities, including relevant collaborations.

New/Early Career Investigators: Special Consideration

New/Early Career Investigators are eligible to apply to the Foundation Grant competition as Program Leaders. To support the objective of the program – a sustainable foundation of health research leaders – a minimum annual intake of New/Early Career Investigators into the Foundation Grant portfolio will be maintained.


Foundation grants are designed to support research leaders at any career stage to build and conduct programs of health research across CIHR's mandate. Eligible applicants will include New/Early Career Investigators, and Mid Career/Senior researchers who are independent researchers with a demonstrable track record of excellence and impact in their field of study.

For your application to be eligible:

Note: Individuals who are not located within the Canadian academic or research environment at a CIHR eligible institution, (e.g., knowledge-users, researchers who are not located in Canada), may apply as a Program Leader. These individuals must apply jointly with a Program Leader who is eligible to assume the role of Administrative Coordinator.

  1. The Program Leader who assumes the role of Administrative Coordinator must be an independent researcher with an academic or research appointment at an eligible institution at the registration deadline (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements).
  2. Single applications from multiple Program Leaders will be eligible in the Foundation Grant program. Such joint applicants will need to convincingly demonstrate synergy and a history of co-managing programs of research. Other Program Leaders must be one of the following: 
    1. An independent researcher;
    2. A knowledge user.
  3. Program Experts must be one of the following:
    1. An independent researcher;
    2. A knowledge user
    3. A trainee.
  4. All Program Leaders must be included as participants at the time of Registration. Program Experts may be added as participants as part of the Stage 2 application.
  5. Individuals cannot simultaneously hold a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) and Foundation Grant. CERC holders are eligible to apply for a Foundation Grant in year 6 of their CERC.
  6. An individual may only submit one application in the role of Program Leader per competition.
  7. An individual may hold only one Foundation Grant in the role of Program Leader at any one time, and may not apply for, or hold funds as a Principal Applicant from the Project Grant program or any other CIHR Open Grant program.
  8. CIHR strongly encourages potential applicants to consider the objectives of the Foundation Grant Program when making their decision to submit an application to this competition.

For additional eligibility requirements for individuals, refer to the Individual Eligibility Requirements

Funding Availability

  • The combined total amount available for CIHR's 2017-18 Investigator Initiated Research Programs (which will include the Project Grant: Spring 2017, Project Grant: Fall 2017, and Foundation Grant: 2017-18 competitions) is approximately $575M. The proportion of investment between the Project Grant and Foundation Grant programs is currently under review. All funding opportunities will be updated once the new funding allocation for each competition is determined.
  • The number of grants funded will depend on the requested budgets and peer review recommendations. 
  • Foundation grant levels will be commensurate with need, which is expected to vary by research field, research approach, and scope of program activities. 
  • For existing CIHR grantees, the budget request should be consistent with the applicant's previous CIHR Open Funding history as a Nominated Principal Investigator. CIHR will provide a calculated baseline budget to all Stage 2 applicants. Stage 2 applicants must provide robust justification for requests that are significantly higher than their historical grant levels.
  • A minimum of 15% of funded grants will be allocated to New/Early Career Investigators.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Mid Career/Senior Investigators will be awarded seven-year grants. New/Early Career Investigators will be awarded five-year grants.

Special Notes

Note for Foundation Grant Holders:

Foundation grantees interested in continuing their program of research beyond the duration of the Foundation grant may submit a new application in Year six (for seven-year grants) or Year four (for five-year grants) to the regular Foundation Grant competition.

In exceptional circumstances, Foundation grantees may choose to submit a new application in an earlier year with the goal of obtaining a higher level of grant support. If a new application is submitted to this competition and is unsuccessful, the currently-held Foundation grant will be terminated early. The end date of the currently held grant will be revised to one year following the funding start date for this competition.


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

External Deadline

REGISTRATION:  PI to submit registration using ResearchNet

Note: Registration to the 2017 Foundation Grant funding opportunity will be accepted between May 8, 2017 and August 08, 2017. Once the registration has been submitted, applicants will have the ability to complete the full application.

Internal Deadline

STAGE 1: PI to submit application including routing slip and signed Participant Signature pages (if applicable) along with a completed OR5 form to:

PI must also hit 'submit' on ResearchNet on or before the internal deadline.  The application will then be accessible by the Grants Officer to review.


External Deadline

STAGE 1: This funding opportunity follows the eApproval process. This means that when the applicant submits the application on ResearchNet, it will be directed electronically to the Office of Research Services. The Grants Officer will review the application and submit the application and institutional approval electronically to CIHR on behalf of the applicant.

More information on this funding opportunity and how to apply, visit the sponsor website.

Information For Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For Questions, please contact

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52832

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