Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund
|Stage 1: Research hubs selection||Notice of intent deadline||May 24, 2022|
|Application deadline||August 11, 2022|
|Results announced||Fall 2022|
|Stage 2: Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) research projects and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) infrastructure requests for the selected hubs||Competition launch||Summer 2022|
|Notice of intent deadline||TBD|
Stage 1: $500,000 per year
CBRF Stage 2: $500,000 to $5 million per year
Each stage may include up to 25% of the total award value for indirect costs of research
BRIF Stage 2: total competition budget of up to $338 million for infrastructure and associated operating costs
CBRF: maximum four years
BRIF: infrastructure project end dates determined through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) usual mechanisms
CBRF: up to $225 million over four years
BRIF Stage 2: up to $338 million
|Number of grants||
Stage 1: three to five hubs
Stage 2: based on number of approved applications (projects and infrastructure requests) within total competition budget
|Grant start date||
Stage 1: TBD
Stage 2 CBRF and BRIF: TBD
|How to apply||
Use the Convergence Portal for all stages of application.
See Regulations, policies and related information for other useful resources.
Stage 2: All applicants must complete a notice of intent to apply to Stage 2, followed by a full application. Further details on Stage 2 of the integrated CBRF-BRIF (for research projects and research infrastructure) will be shared as available.
|Who can apply||
Institutions currently holding full institutional eligibility with one of the three federal research funding agencies are eligible to apply to the CBRF.
For research infrastructure applications under the BRIF, institutions must also be eligible to the CFI.
If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the online application system will remain open until 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) the next business day.
On this page
- Integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund
- Value and duration
- Additional program considerations
- Selection criteria
- Scientific and strategic reviews and selection process
- Application requirements for Stage 1
- Reporting requirements
- Responsible stewardship, public accountability, fairness and transparency
- Intellectual property
- Regulations, policies and other information
- Contact information
Integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund
Through Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy (“the Strategy”), the Government of Canada is investing more than $2.2 billion over seven years to continue growing a strong, competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, and to ensure Canada is prepared for future pandemics by increasing domestic capacity through investments and partnerships to produce life-saving vaccines and therapeutics. The Strategy includes the following foundational investments to help build Canada’s talent pipeline and research systems, as well as foster the growth of Canadian life sciences firms:
- Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF): An investment of $250 million to create a tri-agency program administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies (“the agencies”): SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), to support high-risk, applied research, training and talent development partnership projects.
- Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF): An investment of $500 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support the bioscience infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and research hospitals.
- Clinical Trials Fund: A future investment of $250 million for CIHR to support research teams and infrastructure across the country to conduct clinical trials that test vaccines and therapies, treatments and interventions to prevent, detect, treat or manage various diseases or medical conditions.
The CBRF and BRIF are based on an ecosystem approach, designed to build on existing assets and infrastructure, and to forge partnerships across multiple sectors, including industry and government research facilities. This is consistent with the holistic approach to investments under the Strategy. To maximize impact and ensure investments complement and reinforce each other, the programs feature a two-stage, integrated competitive process:
- Stage 1: selection of three to five research hubs
- Stage 2: open, national call for partnered applied research, research-training, and infrastructure projects associated with the selected research hubs
Only research hub applications aligned with the Strategy and proposing demonstrable contributions toward pandemic preparedness and the following goals will be considered for funding:
- Increase specialized infrastructure, and capacity for multidisciplinary, applied research. Address priority pandemic pathogens and emerging health threats through development of novel vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Focus on areas in which Canadian research is cutting-edge, while addressing critical gaps that limit biomanufacturing.
- Support training and development, to expand the pipeline of skilled research and talent. Attract and develop highly qualified personnel, such as students, postdoctoral researchers and early career researchers, across all disciplines; and technicians with industry-relevant skills and training in research, engineering and biomanufacturing, including good laboratory practice (GLP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP) laboratories and facilities training.
- Accelerate the translation of promising research into commercially viable products and processes. Build on receptor capacity among public and private developers of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics; support the generation of intellectual property in Canada; and increase the capacity of institutions to work collaboratively with companies, including those supported through the Strategic Innovation Fund.
The aim is to improve pandemic readiness and sector growth by strengthening research and talent capacity in Canada, and contributing to and leveraging collaborations across the entire biomanufacturing ecosystem and various sectors. The focus is pathogens with the greatest pandemic potential, especially respiratory and zoonotic diseases. Priority pathogens include those identified by the World Health Organization, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Being ready for future pandemics requires targeting research, infrastructure and talent investments toward developing emerging vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic technologies (e.g., mRNA, viral vector, protein subunit, small molecules, antivirals, monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulators) that can be produced at scale in Canada, and that have the potential to address a range of pandemic pathogens.
This targeted investment strategy will provide companies in Canada with a pipeline of relevant research and talent, as well as access to GMP-grade laboratories, through collaborations with postsecondary institutions and research hospitals. To further support pandemic readiness, the Strategic Innovation Fund is investing in private sector drug development and biomanufacturing. Research hubs are encouraged to consider these complementary investments, as applicable.
Research hub applicants have flexibility to design their programs of research guided by the strategic objectives above, based on the potential hub’s collective strengths and existing areas of partnership with industry and government.
In Stage 1, applications for research hubs must clearly indicate how the funding requested would support the research hub’s ability to significantly advance the Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity. Potential hubs must also demonstrate how their collaborations would draw on key capabilities at institutions across Canada, and on partnerships with government and industry.
In Stage 2, research project applications and infrastructure requests associated with selected research hubs must demonstrate how the requested funds would contribute to the hub’s program of research, and significantly advance the Strategy’s goals and the funding opportunity’s strategic objectives.
In alignment with the Strategy, the CBRF contributes to the pipeline of highly qualified personnel and new technologies, and supports the translation of academic research into applications and commercial products. It supports initiatives on a larger scale than typically available via individual research funding agency programs, and advances academic collaboration with industry, not-for-profit organizations and public sector partners.
In alignment with the Strategy, the BRIF addresses the bioscience research infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and affiliated research hospitals, and strengthens their capacity to support pandemic preparedness and responses to emerging health threats. Projects must complement existing infrastructure and government research facilities, encouraging collaboration and reducing duplication.
Together, the programs help advance promising discoveries and support researchers working in academic and health research institutions in developing strong links with industry; the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; and users of research results in all sectors. The programs will create environments to attract and train highly qualified research and technical personnel needed to drive innovation and growth in Canada’s biomanufacturing industry, and to accelerate translating promising life sciences discoveries into innovative products and processes. Clinical trials are not the focus of the CBRF-BRIF competition.
A first BRIF phase was launched as a stand-alone competition, with a call for proposals released September 21, 2021. The $150 million investment responds to critical infrastructure needs by supporting containment levels 3 and 4 (CL 3 and 4) facilities capable of working with human pathogens. The funding helps institutions keep their facilities at the cutting edge, strengthen their capacity to work with industry and government to advance promising discoveries, and promote training and talent development in the biosciences.
The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) and the CFI deliver the CBRF and remaining BRIF funding through an integrated competition. This is a separate competition from the CFI’s stand-alone BRIF competition for biocontainment laboratories and large-animal facilities. It is not necessary to have CL 3 or 4 facilities to be eligible to apply to the CBRF-BRIF.
Stage 1 of the CBRF-BRIF’s integrated, two-stage competitive process (selection of three to five research hubs) is co-led by the CFI and TIPS, and administered by TIPS. Stage 2 (open, national call for proposed partnered research and infrastructure projects associated with the selected research hubs) is co-led by the CFI and TIPS.
In alignment with the Strategy and with the funding opportunity’s strategic objectives, the hubs and their partners will lead and mobilize the resources and actors to support critical pandemic- and bio-innovation-related research across disciplines, and connect these efforts to partners to enhance key bio-innovation capabilities. The expected outcomes of delivering on this large-scale vision include:
- increased capacity to accelerate the translation of research into product/service development;
- accelerated translation of promising discoveries into innovative products (e.g., vaccines and therapeutics) and processes;
- increase of skills and training needed to take greater risks and drive innovation and growth in Canada’s biomanufacturing sector; and
- enhanced academic collaboration with industry, not-for-profit organizations, and public sector partners.
What is a research hub?
A research hub is a coalition of research and research-training actors, coordinated by an eligible postsecondary or health research institution that serves as an anchor for the hub. Building on existing capacity, each hub pursues a program of research including associated applied translational research, training development and infrastructure projects. The hub’s program of research must articulate a clear and ambitious vision in support of the Strategy. Hubs are expected to be multidisciplinary to promote research projects that span the mandates of the agencies, and to have multiple partners (institutional, not-for-profit, industry, private and/or public sector) working towards common objectives. To ensure coherence and alignment with the Strategy, research hubs support collaboration within and across hubs and are expected to collaborate with existing and future Government of Canada entities to advance pandemic readiness and response initiatives.
To further support collaboration between hubs, leads from selected hubs will be invited to participate in collaboration workshops and webinars.
Research hubs leverage existing partnerships and collaborations, and expand to include new ones. They are expected to be ambitious and bring together a comprehensive and diverse group of partners and collaborators, including from industry and the biomanufacturing sector, and to build on existing research facilities operated by government and/or non-governmental organizations. A single institution cannot be considered a hub.
A hub’s configuration must include:
- organizations from all appropriate sectors (organizations can include, but are not limited to, postsecondary institutions such as universities and colleges, health research institutions, industrial partners, capital risk investors, government research facilities, and/or not-for-profit organizations);
- a multidisciplinary approach to meeting the objectives of the Strategy and responding to the priorities;
- demonstrated biomanufacturing research and training capacity, in line with the strategic objectives;
- regional and/or national assets;
- complementarity of strengths and capabilities between hub partners;
- an environment with demonstrated capacity to administer and deliver large-scale initiatives for the hub partners and lead institution;
- a diverse and inclusive governance structure, with sound administrative capacity; and
- a diverse and inclusive scientific team that reflects the strategic vision of the hub.
Research hub lead institution
The research hub lead institution:
- mobilizes a diverse research community to pursue a program of research in alignment with the Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity;
- promotes and facilitates translating research results into various forms (including vaccines and therapeutics) for the benefit of Canadians;
- is responsible for coordination of the hub, including planning, convening and coordinating research and infrastructure projects associated with the hub;
- completes the research hub application form in the Convergence Portal;
- submits a program of research for the hub;
- receives and administers funding for Stage 1 for the hub;
- assumes administrative and reporting responsibility for the hub; and
- receives all related correspondence from the CBRF-BRIF programs.
An institution can be the lead institution for only one hub proposal.
Recognizing that various strengths, capabilities and infrastructure may be necessary across hubs, there is no limit on the number of hubs an institution can associate with. Lead institutions must, nevertheless, justify their participation in multiple hubs, and provide information about their institutional structure, infrastructure or component included in each hub in which they are participating.
Lead institutions must identify a senior-level official as the research hub lead authority representative, or “CBRF senior official,” who will attest that the program requirements will be followed in managing, distributing and reporting on funding. Lead institutions can also appoint “CBRF delegates” to support the CBRF senior official in the application process. CBRF senior officials and delegates, if applicable, can access applications via the Convergence Portal. Only CBRF senior officials can submit applications via the Convergence Portal.
Research hubs must involve partners who contribute to executing the hub’s program of research. National and cross-sector (industry, private, public and other) partnerships are required, to ensure the organizations involved are appropriately diverse. Hubs should work only with trusted partners who reflect the highest standards of security and integrity in their activities, operations and equipment. As the Strategy puts forward a pan-Canadian approach to growing the domestic life sciences sector and ensuring Canada’s readiness for future pandemics or other health emergencies, private sector partners in hubs and related projects must be incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada and must be doing business in Canada.
There are two types of partners:
- Major partners put capabilities and strengths at the service of the hub, provide a significant contribution, and participate in the governance of the hub. They are jointly responsible for delivery of the hub’s program of research, and actively participate in the hub’s governance. Major partners could also be invited to contribute to other aspects of the Strategy, including associated governance and planning activities, as relevant.
- Other partners (i.e., collaborators) are other organizations that complement the hub’s expertise, training capability, infrastructure, etc.
Federal government research facilities—including, but not limited to, those operated by the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency—may provide research, scientific and technical expertise to hubs selected. They may also be partners. A descriptive inventory of federal government research facilities, and further guidance on opportunities for collaboration, will be available to applicants via information webinars prior to the Stage 1 full application deadline.
Participants in a hub’s governance structure must consider conflict of interest.
In accordance with the Tri-agency policy on the use of funds for federal government employees applying to granting agency programs, grant funds may not be used to fund Government of Canada operations.
To be eligible for hub funding (Stage 1) or research project / research infrastructure funding associated with selected hubs (Stage 2), institutions must:
- have met the eligibility requirements for any one of the three federal research funding agencies (see the CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC list of eligible institutions);
- in the case of a public institution, receive the funds for its operating budget directly from a provincial or the federal government, and not through another institution;
- in the case of a private institution, be not-for-profit and not receive its funding through another institution; and
- be eligible to the CFI to be considered for research infrastructure funding.
Note: If an institution is not on SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions, it may, for this program only, be required to sign the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with SSHRC before receiving funds. Agency staff will contact the successful applicants to initiate this process, as needed.
Value and duration
At Stage 1, hubs may receive CBRF funding of $500,000 per year per hub, for a maximum of four years. Grants are institutional grants. Limited, reasonable expenses associated with planning, convening and coordinating research projects associated with the hubs, and ensuring coherence and alignment with the Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity, are considered eligible.
At Stage 2, successful research and training project applications supported by the selected hubs may receive CBRF funding of between $500,000 and $5 million per year, commensurate with the hub’s duration. The BRIF will invest up to $260 million in research infrastructure funding, and fund up to 60% of a project’s eligible infrastructure costs. In addition, the CFI will provide up to $78 million for associated operating costs, through its Infrastructure Operating Fund. Infrastructure grants under the BRIF will be disbursed over the course of the grant based on a predetermined payment schedule. For infrastructure grants under the BRIF, end dates and payment schedules will be determined as per the CFI’s Policy and Program Guide.
CBRF funds will be transferred from SSHRC to eligible institutions. Institutions may then transfer funds to any organization within Canada, except for-profit companies or federal, provincial or municipal governments. BRIF funds can only be transferred to CFI-eligible institutions.
For the CBRF, expenses are considered eligible in accordance with the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. Each grant is considered as a separate project that furthers meeting CBRF’s objectives. The grant can be used to cover 100% of the total project costs (including indirect costs). Institutions awarded a CBRF grant are expected to invest their own resources, and to leverage those of partners, to support the initiative.
For the BRIF, the CFI will fund up to 60% of a project’s eligible infrastructure costs. The CFI will also contribute to the operating and maintenance costs of funded infrastructure (equivalent to 30% of the CFI contribution for funded infrastructure) through its Infrastructure Operating Fund.
All costs normally considered by the CFI as eligible for an infrastructure project per section 4.6 of its Policy and Program Guide are eligible. In addition, the CFI accepts costs related to physical security and cybersecurity as eligible for this competition. See section 4.7 of the CFI Policy and Program Guide for eligible operating and maintenance expenses.
Indirect and operating costs
For the CBRF, the indirect costs of research are integrated into the program design, allowing institutions to use up to 25% of the total grant to support eligible indirect costs of research. Eligible indirect costs include those specified in the five eligible expense categories for the tri-agency Research Support Fund. CBRF grants are excluded in the calculation of credits to institutions for those tri-agency programs that allocate funding based on percentage of funding received from the agencies (e.g., Research Support Fund or Canada Research Chairs Program).
For the BRIF, the CFI will provide up to $78 million for associated operating costs through its Infrastructure Operating Fund.
Additional program considerations
Stages 1 and 2 of the CBRF-BRIF competition include additional objectives that align with the priorities of the Government of Canada, and the following policies of the agencies and the CFI.
Equity, diversity and inclusion excellence
CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC (“the agencies”) and the CFI are committed to excellence in research and research training, and to an equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise. Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and respond to global challenges.
EDI is embedded as a foundational principle in the CBRF-BRIF program objectives, application and review processes, and reporting requirements. Recipients of CBRF-BRIF funds are expected to demonstrate exceptional leadership to help transform their research discipline and Canada’s research ecosystem to be equitable, diverse and inclusive.
Hub lead institutions must take active and rigorous measures to eliminate and prevent systemic barriers that may result in individuals from underrepresented groups having unequal access to, or being excluded from participating in, the opportunities provided by the awarded funding. This includes, but is not limited to, the composition of its governance committees, processes used to identify projects endorsed by the hub, and recruitment and selection processes. For the programs to achieve their research excellence objectives and outcomes, they require the participation and contributions of students, trainees, and researchers from underrepresented groups. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and individuals from LGBTQ2+ communities.
For more information, see Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research (SSHRC); EDI considerations at each stage of the research process (NSERC); Women and Gender Equality Canada information on gender-based analysis plus (GBA+); and the sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA) section of CIHR’s website.
Applications that include an Indigenous research component must follow SSHRC’s Indigenous Research Statement of Principles and Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research.
Early career researchers and training highly qualified personnel
Supporting early career researchers (ECRs) is a priority of the federal research funding agencies and the CFI, as it strengthens Canada’s position as a world leader in research talent. To meet the CBRF-BRIF’s objective to enhance Canada’s pipeline of bio-innovation talent, hubs and associated projects are expected to implement measures to specifically support ECRs and include training opportunities for students at all levels and for postdoctoral researchers, with a focus on skills applicable to the biomanufacturing sector.
Varied expertise is necessary to support the foundation of a healthy life sciences ecosystem, and bring a novel perspective to the knowledge translation challenge. Research hubs must consider a multidisciplinary approach that strengthens the biomedical research and talent pipelines. Proposals must explain how various disciplinary perspectives will be included; demonstrate that the hub has the required expertise to deliver on its proposed program of research and training; and describe the added value the approach brings.
Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization
Funded hubs and their related projects are expected to promote and facilitate translating research into various forms. Hubs should promote co-creation with partners from all sectors (academic, public, private, industry and not-for-profit) to increase uptake of research results for the benefit of all Canadians. Hubs and their related projects should strive to fully meet their objectives and maximize the impact of their work within the funding period. Initiatives are expected to create opportunities for trainees, researchers and faculty, with a focus on skills applicable to the biomanufacturing sector.
Grant recipients must ensure the security and integrity of all funded projects. This includes:
- conducting due diligence to identify potential security risks to the project, including risks to physical security, personnel, cybersecurity, data, intellectual property, and partnerships; and
- identifying and implementing measures to mitigate any identified risks, reflecting best practices in risk management and operations.
Stage 1 applications for research hubs selection must identify the proposed coalition of research actors in the hub, and potential partnerships.
As part of this identification at Stage 1, applicants should conduct a due diligence review of potential security risks associated with research partnerships. Applicants are encouraged to refer to the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships and consider whether potential partners adhere to the highest standards of security and integrity in their activities, operations and equipment.
Applicants are also encouraged to access existing tools available through the Safeguarding Your Research portal and Safeguarding Science workshops. Research security workshops will be offered to Stage 1 applicants to help them identify potential security risks.
The Government of Canada reserves the right to:
- review any proposed applications on national security grounds and share summary information with security agencies as warranted;
- request additional information, as needed, to ensure that any national security risks related to partnerships are identified and addressed before SSHRC makes a final funding decision;
- decline the participation of any proposed partner organization or recipient of funds on the grounds of unacceptable national security risk;
- implement additional requirements for proposed hubs, on a case-by-case basis, as appropriate.
For Stage 2 applications for research and infrastructure projects associated with the selected research hubs, applicants may be asked to identify potential security risks to the project, as well as measures to mitigate identified risks, at the institution or project level, as applicable. The Government of Canada also reserves the right to implement additional security-related requirements, as appropriate, over the life of the funding.
More specific guidance on due diligence for research and infrastructure projects will be provided at launch of Stage 2.
Stage 1: Research hubs selection
Hub lead institutions are expected to put forward a comprehensive program of research that includes an overview of anticipated applied research, training, and infrastructure projects that align with the Strategy’s priorities and the funding opportunity’s strategic objectives.
Hubs are selected through a two-step competitive review process that assesses the scientific merit and strategic alignment of the hub proposals, based on the following criteria:
Capacity: hub’s response to the Strategy’s priorities and emerging public health threats
||Scientific and strategic|
Existing critical mass: opportunity to leverage existing and planned expertise, training capacity, infrastructure and investments
Cooperation: degree of existing and potential collaborations among partners within the hub
Receptor capacity: ability of the hub to support public and private vaccine, therapeutics, and diagnostic developers, and develop commercially viable vaccines and therapeutics
Multidisciplinarity: value of a multidisciplinary approach to the program of research and how the disciplinary expertise will be included
||Scientific and strategic|
EDI and ECRs: degree to which the hub and its partners demonstrate their commitment to EDI and support to ECRs
Stage 2—Research projects and infrastructure requests for the selected hubs
(further details, including selection criteria, provided at launch of Stage 2)
Eligible institutions aligned with the hub’s program of research will be invited to submit proposals for research, training and infrastructure funding. All proposals must be endorsed by the hub, to ensure they focus on applied research aligned with the hub’s identified priorities, vision and program of research; with the Strategy’s priorities; and with the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity. In addition to infrastructure requests related to research and training project proposals, integrated requests for cross-cutting infrastructure in support of multiple projects will also be considered through the BRIF.
To drive innovation, and mobilize and integrate expertise across disciplines, hubs are expected to support a variety of research and training projects across funding agency mandates.
As in Stage 1, grants are awarded through a two-step competitive review process managed by TIPS and the CFI, based on scientific merit and the projects’ and related infrastructure requests’ alignment with the Strategy and its priorities.
Scientific and strategic reviews and selection process
Funding decisions are made following a rigorous competitive process that includes scientific and technical merit review assessment, followed by a strategic review of alignment with the Strategy’s priorities and the objectives of the funding opportunity. Final award decisions for the CBRF are approved by the TIPS Steering Committee, which includes representatives from the three agencies; the CFI; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; and Health Canada. The CFI’s Board of Directors approves the final award decisions for research infrastructure proposals.
Reviewers assess both the research hub applications at Stage 1 and the associated research projects and infrastructure requests submitted at Stage 2 against the selection criteria for the stage. Those deemed meritorious are then reviewed by the Strategic Review Committee (SRC) to determine which applications are best aligned with and directly support the priorities of the Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity.
Based on this review, the SRC makes its recommendations to the Deputy Heads Steering Committee (DHSC), which is responsible for selecting the hubs. The TIPS Steering Committee approves the funding for hubs and associated research projects.
Stages of review
The review steps listed below apply to stages 1 and 2 of the integrated CBRF-BRIF competition.
The program undertakes an administrative review of all materials at all application stages to verify eligibility requirements and application guidelines have been met. Applications that do not meet the requirements are withdrawn from the competition. Applications may be cross-referenced within the same funding opportunity and across other funding opportunities within the scope of the Strategy, to ensure there is no duplication of funding requests or overlap in proposed activities.
Multidisciplinary and/or multisectoral merit review
Reviewers with relevant subject matter expertise and who are not in conflict of interest are recruited to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of the research projects and requests for research infrastructure.
Strategic Review Committee
The SRC ensures that funding decisions on research and research infrastructure are well aligned with and directly support the priorities of the Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity. The SRC informs decision-making with respect to funding delivered through the CBRF, as well as through the BRIF and CIHR’s Clinical Trials Fund. Committee chairs and members are named by the three agencies and the CFI, subject to approval by the minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the minister of Health.
Deputy Heads Steering Committee
The DHSC includes a core group co-chaired by the deputy ministers of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Health as co-chairs, with the deputy heads of the Public Health Agency of Canada, CIHR and the National Research Council Canada as members. The DHSC is supported by other officials, including through a corresponding Assistant Deputy Ministers Committee.
The DHSC identifies priorities and targets; monitors performance; and ensures investments, policies and actions achieve strategic outcomes and results. For Stage 1, the DHSC approves the selection of the hubs, following the recommendations of the SRC.
Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat Steering Committee
The TIPS Steering Committee comprises the presidents of CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and the CFI; and the deputy ministers of Innovation, Science and Industry; and Health.
The committee ratifies funding recommendations, ensuring the evaluation process was rigorous, objective and transparent, in keeping with the agencies’ standards of merit review excellence, and consistent with the program objectives. The committee provides final approval of all CBRF grants.
Canada Foundation for Innovation Board of Directors
Based on the SRC’s recommendations, the CFI’s Board of Directors provides final approval of all BRIF grants.
Application requirements for Stage 1
Updates and information
Consult this section regularly for updates on the integrated 2022 CBRF-BRIF competition, including information about webinars. Read all current competition material prior to submission, to ensure your application is complete.
Institutional representatives, partner organizations and research administrators are encouraged to attend the webinars to learn more about the CBRF and the Stage 1 research hubs selection process.
Webinars will be recorded, and the presentations made available following each session.
|April 5, 2022||1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (eastern)||English|
|April 7, 2022||1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (eastern)||French|
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
All applications and required forms must be submitted electronically through the Convergence Portal by the posted deadlines or the application will be deemed ineligible. Notices of intent and full applications received after the deadlines, or that are incomplete, will be withdrawn from the competition. No extensions to the deadlines will be provided. Details on how to access the Convergence Portal will be sent to eligible institutions by email.
All funding recipients must report on their use of funds and submit a final report upon completion of funding.
In accordance with the Treasury Board’s Policy on Transfer Payments, recipients of grants from the three agencies are not subject to audit by the agencies. The framework for financial monitoring of administering institutions, and the requirements for reporting grant expenditures, are described in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration.
Qualitative and quantitative information is collected from grant recipients at specific times during the funding. Annual reports and a final report will be collected and used by SSHRC; the CFI; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; and others to assess the ongoing performance and overall success of the program.
For Stage 2, recipients of BRIF infrastructure grants will be subject to the CFI’s oversight mechanisms as described in the CFI’s policy and program guide.
Responsible stewardship, public accountability, fairness and transparency
Institutions must manage all program funds using robust financial management practices and open and transparent processes. The principles of responsible stewardship of public funds, public accountability and fairness must be respected within all stages of the initiative.
The funding agencies do not retain or claim any ownership of, or exploitation rights to, intellectual property developed with funding from the CBRF. These rights are owned by the institution and/or the researchers in accordance with the policies of the grant holders’ institutions. The CFI does not keep or claim any ownership of or exploitation rights to any intellectual property arising from CFI-funded infrastructure projects. The CFI expects the recipient institution to determine the exploitation rights of each partner in accordance with its institutional policies.
Regulations, policies and other information
Institutions must manage and conduct research in accordance with specific standards and guidelines (e.g., environmental protection, animal care, research involving human subjects, controlled goods legislation, research security, etc.) and in accordance with their commitments to administer grants and awards according to agency guidelines.
Institutions are strongly encouraged to consult and consider the following additional resources and references in preparing their CBRF and BRIF applications. This list is not exhaustive, but will be updated periodically.
- Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application (NSERC)
- Women and Gender Equality Canada’s information on GBA+
- SGBA section of the CIHR website
- Canada First Research Excellence Fund program evaluation and management response and action plan (2021)
- Roadmap for Open Science
- Research Security Policy Statement—Spring 2021
- Safeguarding Your Research portal
- Safeguarding Science workshops
- National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships
- Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration
- Tri-Agency EDI Action Plan for 2018-2025
- Self-identification data collection in support of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research (New Frontiers in Research Fund)
- Tri-agency policy on the use of funds for federal government employees applying to granting agency programs
- Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy
- Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications
- Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management
- Canadian Research and Development Classification 2019
- Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund
For more information about the CBRF:
For more information about the BRIF:
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