Canada Biomedical Research Fund—Notice of Intent Instructions

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It is administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), which is housed within SSHRC.


While there is no limit to the number of proposals in which an institution can be listed as a partner, it can be identified as the lead institution for only one Hub proposal.

To be eligible to apply, institutions must submit their notice of intent to apply (NOI), using the Convergence Portal, by 9:00 p.m. (eastern) on May 24, 2022. No deadline extensions will be permitted.

All NOIs must be submitted electronically, using the Convergence Portal, by the deadline. NOIs that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will be withdrawn from the competition. No extensions to the deadlines will be provided. Instructions on how to access and use the Convergence Portal are provided below.

At each stage (NOI or full application), applicants may choose one of the official languages (English or French) in which to submit documents and information.

These instructions are intended to be used in conjunction with the information in the Canada Biomedical Research Fund overview.

On this page

Using the Convergence Portal to create and submit your NOI

You must complete the NOI using the Convergence Portal. The Convergence Portal supports only the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. The portal may appear to function in other browsers, but technical problems can occur, such as information being improperly captured in the system without the user being aware. Use of an unsupported browser is strongly discouraged.

Follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal to complete and submit your NOI. When you are ready to submit, review your NOI to ensure it is complete. From the “Finalize” section in the Convergence Portal, follow the prompts to submit your NOI. After you accept the terms and conditions, the status of your submission will change to “Received by Agency”. No changes can be made at that point.

Roles and invitations

Different people may take part in preparing the application in the Convergence Portal. The CBRF Senior Official (SO) is the designated institutional representative (for example, the provost or the vice-president, Research, depending on the institution) who has the authority to sign off on the application. Only one CBRF SO can be named. The CBRF SO has both read and write privileges in the Convergence Portal.

The CBRF SO assigns the role of CBRF Delegate(s) to designated employees at the institution who have a role in the CBRF application process. You can name as many delegates as you need. Delegates have both read and write privileges in the Convergence Portal.

Please contact to request CBRF SO and Delegate(s) access.

Required information

The following information is required to complete an NOI:

  1. Application details
  2. Keywords
  3. Fields of research
  4. Summary of proposal
  5. Partner organizations
  6. Suggested reviewers
  7. Reviewer exclusions

Note: All sections may be updated at the CBRF Stage 1 application stage.

  1. 1. Application details

    Application title: Provide a short and descriptive title for the proposed research hub, which may be used for publication purposes. You can use common abbreviations (e.g., DNA), but avoid uncommon or discipline-specific abbreviations, and company and trade names.

    Application language: Indicate which official language will be used for the CBRF application.

  2. 2. Keywords

    List between five and 15 keywords to describe the proposed research hub.

  3. 3. Fields of research

    Select the fields of research from the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) codes that relate to the proposed research hub. You must provide at least two primary fields of research from different groups (disciplines). You may add up to a maximum of five secondary fields of research directly related to the project (for a maximum total of seven fields of research).

  4. 4. Summary of proposal

    Provide a summary (maximum 2,500 characters), written in lay language, describing the objective(s) and vision of the research hub and its alignment with CBRF’s strategic objectives and Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy.

    As part of the application process, SSHRC will publish on its website the content of NOIs received, to facilitate opportunities for potential collaboration or multi-institutional initiatives. By submitting your NOI, you consent to the posting of the research hub title, lead institution, keywords and fields of research, and the summary of the proposal.

    Note: You may not copy more than 2,500 characters from another document to the Convergence Portal.

  5. 5. Partner organizations

    Research hubs must involve partners who contribute to executing the hub’s program of research and mobilize a diverse research community to pursue a program of research in alignment with Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy and the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity. Participants in a hub’s governance structure must consider conflict of interest.

    A partner refers to any kind of institution or organization, based in Canada, that contributes to executing the hub’s program of research. Partners may include:

    • Academic institutions, including universities, colleges, polytechnics and institutes
    • Other research organizations (including research hospitals)
    • Private sector
    • Public sector
    • Philanthropic / not-for-profit

    Provide the list of anticipated Partner Organizations and their type (Major or Other). A partner is one that has committed to contribute to the initiative, which does not imply that either a formal agreement or memorandum of understanding need to be in place by the time of submission of the NOI.

  6. 6. Suggested reviewers

    Provide a list of five to 15 suggested reviewers who may eventually be contacted to review your Stage 1 hub application. Applicants are encouraged to suggest a diverse list of potential reviewers with appropriate expertise to review and comment on the proposal. Suggested reviewers should be a mix of Canadian and international experts from academic and research institutions, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations, private sector enterprises, and the public sector; and should include individuals from the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and members of racialized minority groups). These individuals should have the required expertise to review and comment on the proposal, and should not be in a conflict of interest with any member of the research hub, as defined by the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations. At least two must be from outside Canada. At least one must be from the private sector.

    You must include reviewers who:

    • are not from your own institution or the partner institutions;
    • are not in a conflict of interest with the core personnel from your own or partner institutions;
    • can provide an independent assessment of your application; and
    • are capable of reviewing your application in the language in which it is written.

    Note: You must not contact suggested reviewers in advance.

  7. 7. Reviewer exclusions

    You may provide the names of individuals whom you think cannot provide an objective review of your application. TIPS reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers. The Reviewer Exclusions section for each stage of the application is accessible under the Privacy Act.

Contact information

If you have questions:

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