Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund—Stage 2: 7. Additional program considerations

7. Additional program considerations

Similar to Stage 1, Stage 2 of the joint CBRF-BRIF competition includes the following program considerations in alignment with the priorities of the Government of Canada, and the policies of the agencies and the CFI.

Indirect 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., the Research Support Fund or the Canada Research Chairs Program).

Eligible expenses

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 the objectives of the CBRF. 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.

CBRF funds will be transferred from SSHRC to eligible institutions. Institutions may then transfer funds to organizations within Canada, except for-profit companies or federal, provincial or municipal governments. BRIF funds can only be transferred to CFI-eligible institutions.

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, inclusive, and anti-racist 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 leadership to help transform their research discipline and Canada’s research ecosystem to be equitable, diverse, inclusive and anti-racist.

Institutions must take active and rigorous measures to eliminate and prevent systemic barriers that may result in excellent scholars, students and trainees from underrepresented groups having unequal access to, or being excluded from participating in, the opportunities provided by the awarded funding. For programs to achieve their research excellence objectives and outcomes, they require the participation and contributions of individuals from underrepresented groups. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and individuals from 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

For more information, see Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research (New Frontiers in Research Fund); NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research; Women and Gender Equality Canada information on gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus); and the sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA) section of CIHR’s website.

Proposals that include Indigenous research are encouraged to consult SSHRC’s Indigenous Research resources; CIHR’s Defining Indigenous Health Research and the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 (2018) – Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.

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, institutions are expected to implement measures to specifically support ECRs and include opportunities for trainees at all levels, as appropriate, 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. Institutions should consider a multidisciplinary approach, including disciplines within the social sciences and humanities at Stage 2, as appropriate, to strengthen the biomedical research and talent pipelines. 

Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization

Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization help foster a culture of social and commercial innovation.

Institutions are expected to promote and facilitate translating research into various forms and should consider developing commercialization plans, including how intellectual property (IP) will be safeguarded, in accordance with their institution’s policies. They 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 Canadians. Institutions should strive to fully meet their objectives and maximize the impact of their work within the funding period. Knowledge mobilization, translation and commercialization initiatives are expected to create opportunities for all highly qualified personnel with a focus on skills applicable to the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector.

Intellectual property

Recipients must take appropriate steps to safeguard the IP resulting from a grant. The funding agencies do not retain or claim any ownership of, or exploitation rights to IP developed with funding from the CBRF. These rights are owned by the institution and/or the researchers in accordance with institutional policies.

The CFI does not keep or claim any ownership of or exploitation rights to any IP resulting 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.

As the funding agencies and CFI promote the use of knowledge to improve the quality of life of Canadians, every effort should be made for results stemming from CBRF-BRIF funding to be exploited in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians. Appropriate steps should be taken to maximize innovation benefits to Canada. For more information on protecting IP, see the Government of Canada’s Intellectual Property and Copyright page.

Research security

Grant recipients must ensure the security and integrity of all funded projects.

To ensure the Canadian research ecosystem is as open as possible and as safeguarded as necessary, the Government of Canada has introduced the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships to integrate national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of research partnerships. These guidelines provide a framework through which researchers, research institutions and Canada’s funding agencies can undertake consistent, risk-targeted due diligence to identify and mitigate potential national security risks linked to research partnerships.

The National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships apply to CBRF-BRIF Stage 2 applications involving one or more private-sector partner organizations, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors. For such partnerships, applicant institutions are required to complete and submit a risk assessment form as an integral part of their CBRF-BRIF application.

TIPS and the CFI reserve the right to:

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 at all stages of the initiative.

Jointly administered by

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