New Frontiers in Research Fund–Exploration: Submission Guide for the Application

Table of contents

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

Your application 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 (NPIs), co-principal investigators and co-applicants should inform the research administrator at their institution (if applicable) of their involvement in the application.

You must have been successful in the letter of intent to apply (LOI) process and invited to submit an application to be eligible to create and submit one.

You must complete the application using the Convergence Portal. The Convergence Portal is only supported on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. Follow the instructions provided within the Convergence Portal to proceed through completion of the application. The information required to complete the application is outlined below.

The NPI must complete all sections of the application and submit it through the research administrator at their institution. They are able to see the other sections of the application but do not have edit access.

It is the responsibility of the NPI to verify the page lengths and formatting of any uploaded attachments. Should a submitted application contain one or more attachments that do not comply with the page length or formatting standard, the application may be withdrawn from the competition.


At the application stage, external reviewers will conduct a double-blind review. To ensure anonymity, the NPI must ensure that no self-identifying information of the team members is included in the following:

  • Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+);
  • Research proposal; and
  • Budget justification.

You may include your own articles in the literature references. When referring to prior research, use non-identifying nouns in statements (e.g., article was published; research was conducted on, etc.). Do not provide links to your personal sites (websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Information about you, your lab group, your institution, as well as the team members, their lab groups and institutions can be included in the biographical information about the research team attachment.

Self-identifying/self-identity in the context of the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) section – which must be avoided – is anything that might identify the personal information (e.g. age, gender, Indigenous identity, disability, or racial background) of anyone participating in the proposed research project. Therefore, in the EDI section, you may include information that reveals the affiliation of team members (including departments, lab groups, etc.), but not that reveals their personal information (including their name).

Information Required to Complete an Application

Note: All relevant information from the LOI will be pre-populated into the full application. No new team members can be added at this stage. The attachments uploaded at the LOI stage (Description of the proposed research project, Explanation of High Risk, Potential for High Reward, Interdisciplinarity/Fit to Program and Literature References) form part of the application and will be seen by reviewers at this stage. No changes can be made to these sections.

The following content is required for a complete application. This includes all information submitted in the notification of intent (NOI) and LOI, as well as the following.

  1. Budget table
    Enter the planned amount of funds to be spent in each category (direct and indirect costs) for each year of the project. Please contact your research administrator for direction regarding how much to request for indirect costs.
  2. Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
    Indicate if GBA+/SGBA considerations are appropriate and if they have been integrated into the proposed research. Note that they must be integrated if considered appropriate or you will be unable to submit your application. Provide an explanation if GBA+/SGBA considerations are not deemed appropriate for the proposed research.
  3. Certifications, licences and permits
    Complete this section by answering the questions as they relate to the proposed research project. Consult the Requirements for Certain Types of Research for more information or clarification about this section, if needed. With the exception of research taking place outdoors, which may require submission of an Environmental Information Form at the time of application (follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal), no forms or certifications are required at the time of application. If you are awarded a grant, the necessary certification requirements must be met in accordance with the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.
  4. Equity, diversity and inclusion
    The research project must meaningfully engage members of the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities). Consult the Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Guide.

    This section requires the following information:

    • Information about the team’s specific challenges related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI);
    • Identification of the best practice(s) that will be applied in relation to each of the following elements and a brief explanation of how it applies to the team’s specific context, how it will be implemented, the expected impact(s), as well as how the impact(s) will be measured:
      • Team composition and recruitment processes
      • Training and development opportunities
      • Inclusion

    The EDI section must be completed in the Convergence Portal to submit the application according to EDI criterion.

  5. Supporting documents—each of these documents is uploaded as a separate attachment following the instructions for attachments, with page limits as noted:
    1. Biographical information about the research team (maximum three pages)

      Provide a brief overview of the research team’s knowledge, background and expertise, from the perspective of how they will contribute to the project. Identify the anticipated contributions of each team member (NPI, co-principal investigator, co-applicants and collaborators, as applicable) and explain how their contributions will be coordinated and integrated.

    2. Research proposal (maximum four pages)

      Describe the proposed research project, including short- and longer-term objectives. Relate the proposal to current and relevant research, prior art or knowledge. Describe the research methodology and design. Provide a workplan with a timeline. Discuss approaches to Indigenous research, if appropriate, (see SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research) and explain how the methodological design was informed by GBA+/SGBA (if appropriate).

    3. Budget justification (maximum one page)

      Provide a breakdown and explanation of the direct costs of project research. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess the appropriateness of the requested resources. If needed, this section can also describe other resources, including funding, materials or equipment, that will contribute to the project. Co-funding is not expected for this funding opportunity. A breakdown of the indirect costs of research is not required and should not be included.

    4. Literature references (maximum three pages)

      Provide a list of literature references cited in the application.

To view PDF documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable free of charge). If you already have the latest version of Adobe Reader and still cannot view the contents, download a copy of the PDF and open it in your Adobe software.

Review your application to ensure that it is complete. From the Finalize Application section, follow the prompts to submit it. 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 research grants office (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 application submitted by a NPI at your institution, you will be asked to approve the application and submit it. By submitting it, you are confirming that:

  • the participants meet the eligibility requirements; and
  • the proposed research project meets eligibility requirements.

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 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.

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, before 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.

If you have questions:

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