CIHR Foundation Grant 2018-2019

Updated Information


Canadian Institute of Health Research


The Foundation Grant program is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of 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 health-related disciplines 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.


Foundation grants are designed to support research leaders to build and conduct programs of health research across CIHR's mandate. Eligible applicants include 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:

  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. knowledge user.
  3. Program Experts must be one of the following:
    1. An independent researcher;
    2. knowledge user;
    3. trainee;
    4. Other.
  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), or a Canada 150 Research Chair, and a Foundation Grant. Chairholders are eligible to apply for a Foundation Grant in year 6 of their chair.
  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.

While individuals can apply to the 2018-2019 Foundation Grant and overlapping Project Grant competitions, the same application cannot be submitted to both competitions, as per section 1-E of the CIHR Grants and Awards Guide. If the same application is found to have been submitted to overlapping Foundation Grant and Project Grant competitions, the applicant will be asked to withdraw one of his/her applications. CIHR will not consider inclusion of components of a proposal into a second proposal as the same application.

Individuals applying to both programs will not be allowed to change their role (Nominated Principal Applicant or Program Leader) on either application.

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

New/Early Career Investigators are not eligible to apply to the Foundation Grant competition as a Program Leader. For the purpose of the Foundation Grant competition, CIHR defines a New/Early Career Investigators as someone who, at the registration deadline, has held a full-time appointment as an independent researcher (e.g., faculty appointment providing eligibility to apply for grants and/or supervise trainees) for a period of 0 to 60 months.

Funding Availability

  • The total amount available for CIHR’s 2018-19 Investigator-Initiated Research Programs competitions (Foundation Grant and Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Project Grants) is approximately $655M. The allocation of this investment between the Foundation and Project Grant programs is under review.
  • 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.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The duration of a Foundation grant will be 7-years.

Special Notes

CIHR’s new Equity and Diversity Questionnaire: As of May 15, 2018, all CIHR application participants must complete the questionnaire before an application can be submitted. To explain further, this means that principal investigators and co-applicants need to complete the questionnaire—and, of course, so does the nominated principal investigator (NPI) prior to submitting their application. “Collaborators” are the only exception to this rule. To avoid additional pressure around application deadlines this fall, CIHR is encouraging all potential applicants to complete the questionnaire during the summer break. To guide you through the process, CIHR has posted instructions and FAQs on their website. If you have any additional questions, you can also get in touch with the Contact Centre at

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 6 (for 7-year grants) or Year 4 (for 5-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 directly to sponsor via online application system ResearchNet.  Registrations will be accepted between July 9 and August 15, 2018. Individuals will have access to the Stage 1 application once their registration is submitted.  More information on this funding opportunity can be found on the CIHR website.


Internal Deadline

Stage 1 Application: PI to submit a copy of application, routing slip and signed Participant Signature pages (if applicable) along with a complete OR5 form to:

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

External Deadline

Stage 1 Application: This funding opportunity follows the eApproval process. This means that when the applicant submits an application, it will be directed electronically to the Research Institution which the applicant has identified as the Institution Paid. The Research Institution will review the application and submit their approval electronically to CIHR on behalf of the applicant.

For more information on this funding opportunity, application and specific instructions, please see the sponsor website.

**Only successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to apply to Stage 2**

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
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x52832

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