CIHR Project Grant - Fall 2020

Updated Information

Updated application deadlines:

  • Internal:  changed from October 6 to October 7, 2020
  • External: changed from October 14 to October 15, 2020

Applicant webinars for Fall 2020 Project Grant competition: English sessions

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • When: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET
  • When: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Please visit the CIHR website for more details.
  • We encourage you to reach out to the Contact Centre if you have any questions:


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the program's websites for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria
CIHR has made some changes to the Project Grant competition to reflect the context of COVID-19 and to make the competition work better for all. Find out what’s new.


The Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential for important advances in fundamental or applied health-related knowledge, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes by supporting projects or programs of research proposed and conducted by individual researchers or groups of researchers in all areas of health. The best ideas may stem from new, incremental, innovative, and/or high-risk lines of inquiry or knowledge translation approaches.

Research Areas

The Project Grant program is open to applicants in all areas of health research that are aligned with the CIHR mandate: "To excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system". More than ever before, the health of Canadians is deeply intertwined with the health of people around the world. Projects or programs that have a global health research focus, or include international collaborations, are eligible for support through the Project Grant program.  The onus is on the applicant to clearly demonstrate the alignment of the application with CIHR's mandate.

The Project Grant program is expected to:

  • Support a diverse portfolio of health-related research and knowledge translation proposals at any stage, from discovery to application, including commercialization;
  • Promote relevant collaborations across disciplines, professions, and sectors; and
  • Contribute to the creation and use of health-related knowledge.

In addition, funding is available for specific research areas. See Funding Opportunities in Specific Research Areas and refer to the Project Grants: Fall 2020 Priority Announcements (Specific Research Areas). See the Frequently Asked Questions.

CIHR has made some changes to the Project Grant competition to reflect the context of COVID-19 and to make the competition work better for all. Find out what’s new.


  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be

    a) an independent researcher or a knowledge user affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution and/or its affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other non-profit organizations with a mandate for health research and/or knowledge translation).

    If the Nominated Principal Applicant is a knowledge user, there must be at least one Principal Applicant who is an independent researcher.

    The Nominated Principal Applicant must have their substantive role in Canada for the duration of the requested grant term.

  2. Principal Applicants must be independent researchers or knowledge users (inclusion of one or more Principal Applicants is optional).

  3. Co-Applicants can be one of the following (inclusion of one or more is optional):

  4. An individual or an organization cannot submit more than two Project Grant applications per competition as a Nominated Principal Applicant. If the Nominated Principal Applicant submits more than two applications, CIHR will automatically withdraw the last application(s) submitted based on time-stamp of submission.

  5. Applicants must comply with CIHR’s Policy on Identical / Essentially Identical Applications (see Section 5.2 Application Administration Guide).

  6. Individuals who hold a Foundation Grant in the role of Program Leader and were originally funded as a mid-career or senior researcher are not eligible to apply to the Project Grant competition in the role of Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant until the grant expiry date allows them to do so. Please contact CIHR if you have questions about your eligibility. Foundation grantees originally funded as early career researchers (ECRs) are eligible to apply for Project Grants in the role of Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant.


Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

Inclusion within this cohort is based on the ECR eligibility status of the Nominated Principal Applicant, at the application deadline.

CIHR will be seeking advice and input about how to best respond to the needs of early career researchers (ECRs) who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to complete this consultation quickly and commit to providing details on our approach by August 31, 2020.

All time spent in full-time independent research appointments/positions will be taken into consideration when determining eligibility irrespective of time spent in a clinical component or other duties (i.e., administrative, academic, etc.). Should an applicant hold or have held a part-time appointment/position, CIHR will count that time as 50% (e.g., a one-year part-time appointment/position will count for 6 months towards the 84-month maximum).

Leaves of absence will be considered in the calculation of eligibility (i.e., will not count towards the 84-month maximum) and should be included in the Employment section under Leaves of Absence in the Common CV.

Funding Availability

The total amount available for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Project Grant competitions is $550M.

Maximum Project Value

Project Grant funding levels are proportionate to the requirements of the research proposed, which is expected to vary by research field, research approach, and scope of proposal activities.

  • $13.75M dedicated to large grants. Large grants are defined as those within the top 2% largest total grant amount requested by all applicants within the competition and will vary with each competition. Individual grant applications requesting a total of more than $13.75M from CIHR will be withdrawn.
  • $12.65M (4.6%) dedicated to supporting applications with an Indigenous health research focus.

Indirect Costs


Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


Applicants must adhere to the following formatting requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements will negatively impact the evaluation/rating of the applications and can lead to their withdrawal from the Project Grant competition.

  • Font: 12 point or larger. Do not use condensed/narrow font sizes or type density. Smaller text in tables, charts, figures, and graphs is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Line spacing: A minimum of single line spacing.
  • Text colour: Black type.
  • Margins: Not be less than 2 cm (3/4 inch) on all sides.
  • Observe page limitations, additional pages may NOT be added unless specified.
  • Use only letter size (21.25 X 27.5 cm / 8.5" X 11") white paper / background for all attachments.
  • Photo-reduce the supporting documents if the originals are larger than 21.25 X 27.5 cm /v8.5" X 11".
  • Attachments must be uploaded in PDF format (unprotected).
  • The size of the attached document(s) cannot exceed 30 MB per document.
  • For more information about converting documents to PDF, please refer to Help with Accessibility page.


Applicant webinars for Fall 2020 Project Grant competition: English sessions
Duration: 60 minutes
When: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET
When: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Please visit the CIHR website for more details.
We encourage you to reach out to the Contact Centre if you have any questions:


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.   Application form will open once registration has been submitted.  More information on this funding opportunity and Registration instructions can be found on the CIHR website.

Internal Deadline

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

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.

To complete your application, follow the instructions for this program along with any additional specific instructions and submission requirements list on the sponsore guidelines.


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
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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