Early Researcher Awards (ERA)

The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build a research team. To be competitive, researchers are encouraged to be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding and to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors.

Applicants must have the approval of their ADR to apply to this program.

Program Overview


  • are a full-time faculty member or principal investigator based at an eligible research institution
  • have started your academic career on or after January 1, 2018
  • have completed your first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2013
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award
  • are not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Eligible leaves (e.g. parental) can extend the window of eligibility and should be clearly indicated on the CV. 

Project Value and Duration

Each award to a leading researcher is a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000 from the researcher’s institution.  The government will provide the University with up to $40,000 (40%) in indirect costs.  Project duration is five years.

Program Website

Ontario Research Fund – Early Researcher Award

Program Information Sessions

Information Session 1

Information Session 2

Information Session 3

Information Slides

University of Guelph Workshop

Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 2:00PM to 3:00PM

How to Apply




Inform your College Research Manager (CRM) of your interest in the program.

May 15, 16, 21

Attend an MCU program information session

May 22

2:00 - 3:30pm

Attend the U of G program information session. Register for UofG information session.

May 22

Colleges submit nomination recommendations to stratprg@uoguelph.ca:

  1. Email confirming eligibility
  2. Confirmation of $50K institutional (or partner) contributions
  3. CV (in any form)
  4. Referee List template (RSO will request letters of reference; we encourage applicants to contact referees informally ahead of time

Your college may coordinate a scientific review of your proposal. Please work with your CRM to establish a timeline.

Jun 17

Submit to stratprg@uoguelph.ca:

  1. Draft Proposal (Appendix B). Please use the template
  2. Complete Application Form including Appendix A (budget)
  3. ERA CV (Appendix C). Please use this template.

The materials will be reviewed by RSO, and then the proposal and CV will be shared with referees. (RSO may request revisions before sharing.)

Jun 24

Submit to stratprg@uoguelph:

  1. Mitigating Economic and Geopolitical Risk Checklist Form and associated attestations

Jul 15

Letters of reference due to RSO

Jul 22

Submit to stratprg@uoguelph.ca and research.services@uoguelph.ca:

  1. OR-5 confirming source(s) of $50K contributions
  2. Application Form
  3. Mitigating Economic and Geopolitical Risk Checklist Form and Application Attestation Form if needed
  4. Proposal (Appendix B)
  5. ERA CV (Appendix C)

Jul 25

External deadline

Internal Resources

External Resources

Early Researcher Awards Round 18