New Frontiers in Research Fund—Exploration: Submission Guide for the Notice of Intent to Apply


Table of Contents

This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the information provided in the Funding Opportunity.

Your Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) must be received by 8:00 p.m. (eastern) on the deadline date.

Your institution may have earlier internal deadlines. Check with your research administrator regarding internal deadlines for your institution. The research administrator at your institution is responsible for submitting your application.

All team members, including nominated principal investigators (NPI), co-principal investigators and co-applicants should inform the research administrator at their institution (if applicable) of their involvement in the application.

  1. Read the Funding Opportunity to ensure that the project you will propose fits with the program.
  2. Consult the eligibility section to ensure that you are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity as an NPI, co-principal investigator or co-applicant. Participants who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be removed from the application. In the event that the NPI is considered ineligible, the application will be removed from the competition. If removal of ineligible participants from the application results in research teams with fewer than two members, the application will also be removed from the competition.
  3. If you are the NPI, consult your research administrator or research grants office (RGO) regarding internal deadlines. The research administrator at your institution is responsible for submitting your NOI by 8:00 p.m. (eastern) on the deadline date. Late NOIs will not be accepted. An NOI cannot be changed after the research administrator has submitted it.

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. If you do not have a profile, you will be prompted to create one the first time you access the Portal.

Follow the instructions provided within the Convergence Portal to proceed through completion of the NOI. The information required to complete the NOI is outlined below. All sections of the NOI are completed within the Portal. No attachments are required or accepted at this stage.

The NPI must complete all sections of the NOI and submit it. Other team members (co-principal investigators and co-applicants) must complete their profile. They are able to see the other sections of the NOI but do not have edit access.

The following information is required for a complete NOI:

  1. Completed profiles for the research team. The research team must include at least two participants: the NPI and a co-principal investigator and/or a co-applicant. Additional team members may be added at the letter of intent to apply (LOI) stage.

    Complete profiles include:

    1. completed eligibility profile

      This requires information about participation on another Exploration application or award, affiliation, early career researcher status and eligibility of the institution.

    2. fields of research and keywords

      The fields of research and keywords in the profile section relate to your area(s) of expertise/research.

    3. completed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) self-identification questionnaire

      This section must be completed for each participant. It needs only be completed once (when setting up the profile).

    Note: Once an NOI has been submitted by the research administrator, the NPI, co-principal investigator and/or co-applicants may not remove themselves from the project to join a different project within the Exploration stream.

  2. NOI content:
    1. application title

      Provide a short and descriptive title that may be used for publications purposes. Common abbreviations (e.g., DNA) can be used; uncommon or discipline-specific abbreviations, company and trade names should be avoided.

    2. language of the application

      Indicate which official language will be used for the NOI, LOI and application. All documents must be submitted in the same language.

    3. Indigenous research

      Indicate whether your project involves Indigenous research, as defined by SSHRC.

    4. keywords

      Give between five and 10 keywords to describe the proposed research.

    5. up to five fields of research

      Select fields of research from the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) codes. At least two different disciplines must be included as primary fields of research (as defined by a group-level classification based on the CRDC codes).

    6. summary of the proposal (maximum of 2,500 characters)

      The summary should include the objectives of the proposed research project and a summary of the research approach. Highlight the novelty and expected significance of the work.

      If your application is successful, 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 the NFRF program.

    7. collaborators

      Provide a list of collaborators. Collaborators do not need to create an account in the Convergence Portal.

    8. suggested reviewers (minimum of five) and reviewer exclusions (if applicable)

      Provide a list of suggested reviewers who may be contacted to review your proposal at the application stage. These individuals should have the required expertise to review and comment on the proposal and not be in a conflict of interest with any member of the team.

      Indicate any individuals who should not be asked to review the proposal.

    Note: Only the lists of collaborators, suggested reviewers and reviewer exclusions can be updated at the LOI stage.

Review your NOI to ensure that it is complete. From the Finalize Application section, follow the prompts to submit the NOI. After you accept the Terms and Conditions, the status of your submission will change to Received by Administrator.

If you want to make any changes at this point, you may request your RGO (research administrator) to return it to you.

Once your research administrator has approved and submitted your application, the application status will be changed to Received by Agency. No changes can be made at that time.

When you receive an NOI submitted by a NPI at your institution, you will be asked to approve the application and submit it. Before being able to forward the application, the research administrator, on behalf of the institution, will be required to confirm that:

  • the NPI meets the definition of early career researcher, if applicable (see the FAQs for more details);
  • the co-principal investigator meets the definition of early career researcher, if applicable (see the FAQs for more details);
  • the participants meet the eligibility requirements; and
  • the proposed research project meets eligibility requirements.

Note: If the NPI’s primary affiliation is not on SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions, the institution may be required to sign the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with SSHRC, for this program only, prior to receiving agency funds. Agency staff will contact the institutions of successful applicants after the notices of decision have been released to initiate this process, as appropriate.

By forwarding the application, the research administrator, on behalf of the institution, will also be certifying that the NPI:

  • is affiliated with the institution or organization;
  • has the necessary time and resources to carry out the activity; and
  • will email NFRF-FNFR@chairs-chaires.gc.ca of any changes during the tenure of the grant, including changes in the composition of the partnership, such as the addition of new co-principal investigators, co-applicants, collaborators, etc.

If you have questions:

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