Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award Round 11 Launched


Ministry of Research and Innovation


Early Researcher Award

For More Information

Round 11 Program Guidelines

Application Forms

Matching Letter
Notice of Intent
Application Form


The Ontario Early Researcher Awards (ERA) Program is to help promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers to build their research teams, and to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent.  The ERA program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program, which is highly competitive.


Researchers must be no more than five years into their independent academic research career and no more than 10 years (excluding eligible periods of interruption) from completion of their first Doctorate as of July 1, 2015.   Researchers who are, or have been, Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are NOT eligible.

Funding Availability

Awards are up to $100,000 to fund eligible expenses for a research team, and must be matched by an additional $50,000 cash from the researcher’s institution and/or partner organization. The University (central) will provide $40,000 in match, the remaining $10,000 must come from the applicant's department, college or a partner organization.

Maximum Project Value

The $100,000 from the ERA and the $50,000 matching contribution will cover the following expenses for students (undergraduates, graduate students) and other research support staff (post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians) based at the University of Guelph:

  • Salary & benefits (salaries must be commensurate with institutional remuneration scales)
  • Essential & reasonable travel expenses for research personnel related directly to conferences, workshops or seminars
  • Essential and reasonable travel and expenses for research personnel related directly to offsite research activities

Special Notes

The complete application package will include three original signed letters of reference in sealed, signed envelopes. One of the reference letters must be from a former supervisor, mentor, collaborator or corporate sponsor familiar with the researcher. Two of the reference letters must be from arm’s length sources; it is recommended that these be researchers of international stature familiar with the researcher’s work.  Applicants will be required to provide contact information for 4-5 potential referees (indicating which are arm’s length sources) to the Office of Research, who will solicit the letters on their behalf. Contact information for referees must be submitted with the completed NOI on June 22.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Excellence of the Researcher (40%)
  • Quality of Research (30%)
  • Development of Research Talent (20%)
  • Strategic Value for Ontario (10%) (i.e., demonstrates potential for strategic value for Ontario based on the Ontario Innovation Agenda)

Information Workshop

June 19, 2015                     ERA Information Workshop with MRI personnel and past review panel members (UC103: 9-11 am)

For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Carolyn Osborn, Director, Grants & Contracts
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52935

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