Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund—Stage 2

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Stage 2: Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) Competition launch March 2, 2023
Notice of intent deadline June 8, 2023
Application deadline September 7, 2023
Results announced Spring 2024

CBRF: $500,000 to $5 million per year

Each proposal may include up to 25% of the total award value for indirect costs of research.

BRIF: Total cost of an infrastructure component must be greater than $1 million. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will fund up to 60% of eligible infrastructure costs.

Competition budget

CBRF: $215 million over four years, allocated as follows:

  • Year 1: $34 million
  • Year 2: $71 million
  • Year 3: $71 million
  • Year 4: $39 million

BRIF: up to $360 million (maximum of $277 million for infrastructure and $83 million for associated operating costs)

Number of grants CBRF and BRIF: based on number of approved proposals within total competition budget
Grant start date

CBRF: March 2024

BRIF: Eligible costs must have been incurred on, or after, April 1, 2023. Payments will be issued by the CFI following the award finalization process—see section 6.2 of the CFI’s Policy and Program Guide.


CBRF: maximum four years

BRIF: infrastructure component end dates determined through the usual mechanisms—see section 6.2 of the CFI’s Policy and Program Guide

How to apply

Use the Convergence Portal for both CBRF and BRIF, for all stages of the application process.

All applicants must complete a notice of intent to apply, followed by a full application.

See Regulations, policies and other information for other useful resources.

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 requests under the BRIF, institutions must also be eligible for CFI funding.

All applications at Stage 2 must be endorsed by one of the hubs funded under Stage 1 of the CBRF-BRIF competition.

See Eligibility for more information.

More information

Consult the CBRF-BRIF frequently asked questions or email: or

Convergence Portal

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. 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.

1. Description

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), Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF), and Clinical Trials Fund.

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. To maximize impact and ensure investments complement and reinforce each other, the programs feature a two-stage, integrated competitive process, co-led by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) housed at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC):

2. Strategic objectives

Proposals should be aligned with the Strategy, proposing demonstrable contributions toward pandemic preparedness and the following goals:

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 on pathogens with the greatest pandemic potential, especially respiratory and zoonotic diseases. Priority pathogens include those identified by the World Health Organization, Norway’s 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 GLP- and GMP-grade laboratories, through collaborations with postsecondary institutions and research hospitals.

3. Proposals

Proposals should present innovative initiatives on a larger scale and higher risk than typically supported via individual research funding agency programs.

Each proposal can include one or more of the following components:

Note: Each research infrastructure or talent development component must directly support one or more proposals that include a research component.

While research infrastructure should support training through research, research infrastructure requests exclusively supporting talent development proposals will not be accepted (e.g., mock training facilities).

Activities relying on research infrastructure should take into consideration its availability, including the time necessary to acquire and commission new infrastructure, and consider its impact on the proposed activities.

Proposals must include the expertise and partners required to ensure goals are achieved and results are mobilized to obtain desired impacts. Each partner organization must play an active role in the proposal and support it through financial and/or in-kind contributions. Partners can be from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors across Canada.

To grow Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing and life sciences sectors and ensure the country’s readiness for future pandemics or other health emergencies, private sector partners must be incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada and must be doing business in Canada. International partnerships are permitted if they have commercial activities that take place in Canada, such as research and development or manufacturing related to the proposed research, and if the funded activity will result in significant economic benefit to Canada.

Research components should:

Talent development components should:

Research infrastructure components should:

4. Eligibility

All administering organizations must:

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.

For proposals to be considered for CBRF-BRIF funding, they must:

Note: Proposals requesting funds to conduct clinical trials are not eligible for CBRF-BRIF support.

5. Role of hubs

Hubs funded at Stage 1 bring together and mobilize a diverse research community and various actors from all sectors to pursue a program of research that supports the hub’s vision and priorities in alignment with the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity and the Strategy’s priorities. At Stage 2, prior to and beyond the submission of proposals by institutions, hubs are expected to continue to play a fundamental role in strengthening research systems and the biomanufacturing talent pipeline.

In support of proposals at Stage 2, hubs:

Further to the selection of proposals, hubs:

6. CBRF budget allocation and BRIF infrastructure envelopes

CBRF budget allocation

The competition budget for CBRF is allocated over four years, with a larger proportion of the total budget allocated in years 2 and 3 than years 1 and 4. This allocation aligns funds with the expected ramping up and down of research and talent development activities.

Year Yearly allocation ($ million) Proportion of total budget (%)
1 34 16
2 71 33
3 71 33
4 39 18

For successful research and talent development proposals, grant amounts will be adjusted to reflect the proportions represented above. Applicants should consider these annual distributions of funds when drafting their proposals and establishing their budgets.

There is no annual allocation for BRIF infrastructure funding.

BRIF infrastructure envelopes

As per CFI practices for large infrastructure competitions, infrastructure envelopes have been established to help manage application volume and encourage the submission of strategic, high-quality research infrastructure components. Each hub can endorse up to $138.5 million in CFI funding for research infrastructure components.

Envelopes fix the upper limit of infrastructure funding a hub can endorse. They apply at both the notice of intent (NOI) and full application stages. To provide flexibility to hubs and applicants, a hub may exceed its envelope by up to 10% at the NOI stage.

There are no submission envelopes for research and talent development components of proposals.

Infrastructure envelope sharing amongst hubs

Certain projects may benefit multiple hubs, but they can only be endorsed by a single hub. To support such projects, research hubs can allocate a portion of their envelope towards a project endorsed by another hub. Hubs must report to the CFI any reallocation of their envelopes. This approach encourages interhub collaboration, and funding of projects with the greatest potential impacts in advancing research hubs’ visions and, ultimately, benefitting Canadians.

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.

8. Selection process

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.

Funding decisions are made following a rigorous competitive review process ensuring both the scientific and strategic excellence of the proposals. Scientific and Technical Review Committees (STRCs) first evaluate the merit of the proposals. Following this review, the Strategic Review Committee (SRC) will assess proposals’ alignment with the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity and with the priorities of the Strategy. The SRC will ultimately recommend a portfolio of proposals that will best support the Strategy and benefit Canada.

The recommendations from the SRC are shared with the Deputy Heads Steering Committee for review and submitted for approval to the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) Steering Committee, which includes representatives from the three funding agencies, the CFI, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Health Canada. The TIPS Steering Committee approves the final award decisions for the research and talent development components and the CFI’s Board of Directors approves the final award decisions for research infrastructure components.

9. Selection criteria

Eligible institutions must submit proposals for research, talent development, and infrastructure funding aligned with the hub’s vision, priorities, and program of research and with the strategic objectives of the funding opportunity. In addition to individual proposals, each hub’s endorsement report presenting a cohesive suite of proposals will further support the merit and strategic review processes. The review process will be managed by TIPS and the CFI using the selection criteria identified below. The elements under each criterion are further outlined in the detailed selection criteria.

Scientific and Technical Criteria
For research and talent development components
Criterion Definition
Relevance The extent to which the component’s objectives and design meet the hub’s vision, priorities and program of research.
Effectiveness The extent to which the component is expected to achieve its objectives.
Efficiency The extent to which the component is likely to deliver results in an efficient and timely manner.
Impact The extent to which the component is expected to generate significant benefits.
Contribution of partners The extent to which partners concretely contribute to the component.
Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and early career researchers (ECRs) The extent to which commitment to EDI and ECRs is demonstrated in the component.
Scientific and Technical Criteria
For proposals including a research infrastructure component
Criterion Definition
Need The extent to which the infrastructure component efficiently supports research component(s) submitted by institutions.
Building capacity The extent to which the infrastructure component enhances the research capacity of institutions to support the hub's vision, priorities and program of research.
Sustainability The extent to which the infrastructure component will be optimally used and maintained over its useful life.

The Strategic Review Committee will assess the following criteria to recommend a portfolio of proposals that will support the Strategy and benefit Canada.

Strategic Criteria
(all proposals)
Criterion Definition
Relevance The extent to which the proposal’s objectives and design respond to the strategic objectives and the Strategy.
Impact The extent to which the proposal is expected to generate significant benefits for Canada.
Coherence The extent to which the proposal complements other proposals within and across hubs.

10. Reporting requirements

Financial reporting:

All recipients of CBRF funding must report yearly on their use of funds and submit a final report to SSHRC 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.

All recipients of BRIF funding will be subject to CFI’s policies and guidelines relative to the Administration of CFI awards and Performance reporting requirements as described in the CFI’s policy and program guide.

Performance reporting:

Qualitative and quantitative information will be collected from CBRF grant recipients by SSHRC at specific times during the funding. A mid-term and final report will be collected and used by SSHRC, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Health Canada to assess the ongoing performance and overall success of the program.

Recipients of BRIF infrastructure grants will be subject to the CFI’s oversight mechanisms as described in the CFI’s policy and program guide.

11. Updates and information

Consult this section regularly for updates on the integrated CBRF-BRIF competition, including information about workshops. Read all current competition material prior to submission, to ensure your application is complete.

Outreach opportunities

Institutional representatives, partner organizations and research administrators are encouraged to attend the workshops and webinars to learn more about Stage 2 of the CBRF-BRIF competition. Check this section regularly for updates and new events.

These events may be recorded, and the presentations made available following each session.

Stage 2 workshops and webinars

Full application webinar
Date Time (eastern) Language
June 20, 2023 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. French

Register for the webinar

June 22, 2023 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. English

Register for the webinar

Safeguarding Science webinar
Date Time (eastern) Language
May 24, 2023 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. English/French

Webinar has ended

Notice of intent webinar
Date Time (eastern) Language
April 12, 2023 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. English

Webinar has ended

April 13, 2023 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. French

Webinar has ended

Email for more information.

12. Regulations, policies and other information

Institutions must manage and conduct research in accordance with specific standards and guidelines (e.g., equity, diversity and inclusion, 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 proposals. This list is not exhaustive and may be updated periodically.

Contact information

For more information about the CBRF:

For more information about the BRIF:

Jointly administered by

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