New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)

New Frontiers in Research – Transformation

The Transformation stream is designed to support large-scale, Canadian-led interdisciplinary research projects that address a major challenge with the potential to realize real and lasting change (high-reward). The challenge may be fundamental, leading to a scientific breakthrough, or applied, with a social, economic, environmental or health impact. Projects are expected to be world-leading, drawing on global research expertise where relevant.

Value

  • Minimum $2,000,000 per year (including indirect costs of 25%)
  • Maximum $4,000,000 per year (including indirect costs of 25%)

Duration

Six years

Program Overview

What does the program support?

Transformation stream grants will support projects that:

  1. tackle a well-defined problem or challenge;
  2. propose a novel world-leading approach that is different from the current state-of-the-art approaches to the issue;
  3. are interdisciplinary, bringing different perspectives to the defined problem; and
  4. have the potential to be transformative, defined as the potential to create a significant and real change or impact—a noticeable leap or tangible breakthrough rather than an incremental advance.

What is “transformative” research?

In the NFRF program, the definition of “transformative” is linked to the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s proposed definition of convergence research (PDF, 726 KB), where “convergence research is increasingly seen as the way to solve pressing challenges.” It is aligned with the National Science Foundation’s definition of convergence research, focusing on research driven by a specific and compelling problem and deep integration across disciplines. It also has strong parallels to Horizon Europe in its reference to mission-oriented research and innovation with bold and concrete objectives to respond to societal challenges.

What is considered interdisciplinary research?

To meet the minimum requirement to be considered interdisciplinary, the proposed research project must include elements from at least two different disciplines (as defined by a group-level classification based on the Canadian Research and Development Classification codes. Projects that fall under the mandate of only one federal research funding agency are not eligible.

How can I apply?

All applications must submit a notice of intent to apply (NOI) and letter of intent to apply (LOI). Only successful LOIs are invited to submit a full application.

The University of Guelph application process, with internal deadlines, is outlined below.

Timeline and Requirements

Target date

Activity

Sept. 24, 2021

Information Session (10:00-11:00)

Oct. 25, 2021

NOI due to ailsakay@uoguelph.ca for “fit to program” check and strategic review*

Nov. 2, 2021

NOI EXTERNAL DEADLINE

Nov. 9, 2021

Convergence Portal opens for LOI

Nov. 22, 2021

LOI Sections A-F (online modules) due for EDI review and completion/COI check

Dec. 06, 2021

LOI DRAFT Research Proposal due to ailsakay@uoguelph.ca for strategic review

Jan. 6, 2022
9:00 AM

LOI FINAL INTERNAL due to ailsakay@uoguelph.ca

Jan. 11, 2022

LOI EXTERNAL DEADLINE

May 4, 2022

Convergence Portal opens for full applications

Sept. 20, 2022

Full application (by invitation only) EXTERNAL DEADLINE

February 2023

Award results released

March 2023

Start date of awards

*Fit to program:

To meet the minimum requirement to be considered interdisciplinary, the proposed research project must include elements from at least two different disciplines (as defined by a group-level classification based on the Canadian Research and Development Classification codes. Projects that fall under the mandate of only one federal research funding agency are not eligible.

Internal Resources

  • Reviewer Conflict-of-Interest Check 
    • Conflict of Interest guidelines state that reviewers cannot be from the same institution as any of the participants on the project.  To help you and your team keep track of conflict of interest, you may wish to use the attached spreadsheet.
  • LOI Components Checklist
    • This checklist is designed to help teams and ORS ensure that the LOI submission is complete, meets program eligibility requirements, as well as institutional requirements.   It can also serve as a communication tool between ORS and teams.  It does not address selection criteria.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • This document contains the most common FAQs regarding eligibility, team composition, use of funds, and the application process.

External Resources