New Frontiers in Research Fund – Exploration: Instructions for Completing the Notice of Intent to Apply

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The nominated principal investigator must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) by the deadline to be eligible to create and submit an application.

You must complete the NOI using the Convergence Portal.

Information Required to Complete a Notice of Intent to Apply

The following information is required to submit an NOI:

  1. Nominated principal investigator’s completed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ( EDI) Self-Identification Questionnaire
  2. Nominated principal investigator’s completed Eligibility Profile
  3. Application title
  4. Language of the application
  5. Indication of whether the project includes Indigenous research (yes/no)
  6. Five to 10 keywords
  7. At least two fields of research
  8. Invitations sent to the co-principal investigator  and co-applicants (if applicable)
    1. No actions are required from these individuals at the NOI stage
  9. The names of collaborators
  10. Summary of proposal (maximum of 2,500 characters)

General Information

About the program

Read the funding opportunity description before completing the notice of intent to apply (NOI).

Am I eligible to apply?

Consult the Eligibility section of the funding opportunity description to ensure that you can participate in this grant program as a nominated principal investigator, co-principal investigator or co-applicant. The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) verifies the eligibility of researchers only at the full application stage; however, it is important that you consult the eligibility criteria now and discuss any concerns with your institution’s Research Grants Office (RGO).

Application deadlines

TIPS must receive your NOI by 8 p.m. (eastern) on the deadline. A late or incomplete NOI will not be accepted. Updates to a submitted NOI before or after the deadline date will not be accepted.

Collection and use of personal information

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act and stored in a series of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) data banks described in Information about programs and information holdings. Details on the use and disclosure of this information are described in Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information in the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) program literature and in the instructions. The information is used in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Completing the NOI

You must complete the NOI using the Convergence Portal. The Convergence Portal is only supported on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. Please note that only the nominated principal investigator needs to complete the NOI on behalf of the research team.

TIPS will be creating a series of training videos to help walk you through the process of creating a NOI.

  1. Create a profile:
    1. Access the Convergence Portal.
    2. If you already have an account on the Convergence Portal or on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)/(SSHRC)’s Research Portal, click on Sign In and use the same credentials to login. After logging in, skip to step two.
    3. If you do not already have an account, click on Create account.
    4. Enter your email address and click Save.
    5. Go to your inbox and click on the Complete Registration link in the email.
    6. Enter a password, confirm it and click Register.
    7. Enter your first name, family name, middle name and language of correspondence. Click Update.
  2. Complete the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Self-Identification Questionnaire (if you haven’t done so previously):
    1. In the top right-hand corner of the screen, click on the down arrow beside your name and select Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
    2. After reading the Privacy Notice, complete the questionnaire and click on Save Profile. Please note that nominated principal investigators must not select the “This does not apply to me” checkbox.
  3. Create an application:
    1. If you are not already on the home page, click the Home symbol in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
    2. Scroll down to the Funding Opportunities section.
    3. Beside the New Frontiers in Research Fund – Exploration funding opportunity, click on Create Application.
    4. Complete the Eligibility Profile, which will help determine whether you can apply for this grant and click on Create Application.
    5. Complete the different sections listed below.

Eligibility Profile

At the NOI stage, only the nominated principal investigator can complete his or her eligibility profile. Co-principal investigators and co-applicants will be required to complete theirs at the application stage. However, it is best to read through the Eligibility section of the funding opportunity description as soon as possible to confirm that you are eligible to participate.

Participant in another application: Please note that individuals can participate in only one application as a nominated principal investigator, co-principal investigator or co-applicant in this competition.

Independent research appointment: You must either currently hold an independent research appointment or hold one by the start date of the grant.

Affiliation: As a nominated principal investigator, you must select your primary affiliation. At your primary affiliation, you must be considered an independent researcher. Additionally, your primary affiliation must be one that holds full eligibility as of the NOI deadline at one of the three agencies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), NSERC or SSHRC. If awarded, your primary affiliation will administer the grant.

If you haven’t previously created an affiliation, you may do so by first clicking on the magnifying glass and then on the New button in the bottom left-hand corner of the pop-up. If the affiliation you create either does not have an end date or the end date has not yet passed, it will automatically be set as the primary affiliation.

Early Career Researcher (ECR): Indicate whether you meet the NFRF’s definition of an ECR displayed in the Eligibility Profile as of the January 1, 2019. Nominated principal investigators must be ECRs. Co-principal investigators who are affiliated with an academic institution must also be ECRs.

Application Details

Application title: This must be short and descriptive. It may be used for publication purposes. Restrict use of abbreviated forms that would not be understood by a layperson (e.g., DNA, NATO, etc. would be acceptable, but others likely are not), and avoid company or trade names.

Language of the application: Indicate the language in which the NOI and full application will be submitted. All elements of both the NOI and full application must be in this language.

Indigenous research: Indicate whether your project involves Indigenous research, as defined by SSHRC. If “Yes” is selected, the Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research will be applied.


Provide five to 10 keywords that best describe the proposal. These will be used to help identify reviewers for your application.

Fields of Research

Provide at least two fields of research. Of all the fields of research you provide, at least two of them must be from different disciplines (as defined by a group-level classification based on the Canadian Research and Development Classification).


To find a specific field, use the search button in the top right-hand corner of the look-up screen. Wildcards, such as asterisks (*), can also be used.


If applicable, invite the co-principal investigator and co-applicants to participate in the project. For the definition of a co-principal investigator or co-applicant, please refer to the funding opportunity description. Adding participants to this screen will send them an email allowing them to accept your invitation to participate in the project.

These participants do not need to accept the invitation or complete any information prior to the NOI being submitted; however, they will need to accept and provide information at the application stage.

Please note that the funding opportunity has specific restrictions on nominated principal investigators, co-principal investigators and co-applicants.

  • Email addresses entered by the nominated principal investigator in their invitations to co-principal investigators and co-applicants to participate in an application are not verified, and bounce backs are not registered. Therefore, it is good practice to follow up with invitees through some other means if an individual has not accepted your invitation, to confirm that they received it.
  • Once the nominated principal investigator has submitted the NOI, co-principal investigators and co-applicants (if applicable) will be able to accept their invitations to participate only after January 14, 2019, when the Convergence Portal will be open for applications.


List the collaborators who will be participating in the project. For the definition of a collaborator, please refer to the funding opportunity description.

Summary of Proposal

The summary of proposal must not exceed 2,500 characters, including spaces. It should:

  • state the objectives of the proposed research program;
  • summarize the research approach; and
  • highlight the novelty and expected significance of the work.

If your proposal is funded, this summary will be used for promotional purposes outside the research community to inform the government, the media and members of the public who request information about research funded by TIPS.

Reviewer Exclusions

You may request that some individuals not be involved in the review of your application. Note that this request may be accessible under the Privacy Act.

Submitting the NOI

Review your NOI before submitting it as you will not be able to make any changes after it has been submitted, regardless of whether the deadline has passed or not.

Submit the NOI from the Finalize Application section. The Submit button will be displayed once you have completed all the required sections of your application. Upon clicking Submit, you will be asked to review the Terms and Conditions. Clicking on I Accept will submit your NOI.

Return to the home page to view the status of your submission; the status will be “Received by Agency”. Please note that your NOI does not go to your RGO first, but your application will. Check with your RGO to confirm if there are any internal deadlines for your application.

Whom should I contact for help?

If you have questions:

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