How to submit a Letter of Intent to Apply: 2020 Transformation Competition

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This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the 2020 Transformation Competition overview.

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

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

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 LOI.

You must have submitted a Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) by the deadline to be eligible to create and submit an LOI.

You must complete the LOI using the Convergence Portal. The Convergence Portal is only supported on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. It may appear to function in other browsers but can result in unexpected behaviour, such as the information entered not being properly captured in the system without the user being aware. Use of an unsupported browser is strongly discouraged. Follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal to complete and submit your LOI. The information required to complete the LOI is outlined below.

The NPI must complete all sections of the LOI and submit it. Other team members (co-principal investigators and co-applicants) must complete their profile, as applicable. They are able to see the other sections of the LOI 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contain one or more attachments that do not comply with the page length or formatting standard, the application may be withdrawn from the competition.

The following information is required to complete an LOI:

  1. Profiles for any additional members of the research team

    Complete profiles include (see the NOI guide for more detail):

    1. completed eligibility profile
    2. fields of research and keywords
    3. equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) self-identification

    After co-principal investigators and co-applicants have completed their profile, they will be listed in the Participants screen with a status of “Eligible”. While a participant’s status may show as “Accepted” in the List of Invitations, a status of “Pending eligibility” in the Participants screen indicates that they have not completed their profile.

    Note: While additional members may be added, those identified at the NOI stage are expected to remain part of the project team.

  2. LOI content

    This includes all information submitted in the NOI (updated as necessary), as well as:

    1. any changes to the list of collaborators (additions or deletions); collaborators do not need to create an account in the Convergence Portal;
    2. suggested reviewers (minimum of 20) 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 as defined by the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations. At least 10 must be from outside Canada.

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

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. EDI

      The research team must demonstrate a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, as demonstrated by the meaningful engagement of members of the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities). The meaningful inclusion of early career researchers throughout the project is also required. Do not provide personal information about any individual. Consult the NFRF Guide: Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research for further information about privacy and confidentiality.

      Complete the fields and explain:

      • the team’s specific challenges related to EDI
      • the best practice(s) that will be used for the following elements, including details on how it will be implemented and the expected impact(s):
        • team composition and recruitment processes
        • training and development opportunities
        • inclusion
    6. Support of early career researchers (ECRs)

      Explain how ECRs will be included in the team and integrated in a meaningful way, including plans to support their leadership and development throughout the project.

    7. supporting documents—each of these documents is uploaded as a separate attachment following the instructions for attachments, with page limits as noted:
      1. research proposal (10 pages, including diagrams and illustrations)

        The research proposal should address the points noted below. Ensure you use language that can be understood by a multidisciplinary committee. The allocation of space and the order are not prescribed; the use of headings is highly encouraged.

        • novelty of approach

          Explain the approach and how it differs from other approaches taken to address the challenge. Rationalize why this approach is likely to succeed.

        • interdisciplinarity

          Describe the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed approach.

          Explain who will bring the different disciplinary perspectives to the project and how they will be integrated.

        • feasibility

          Provide a brief overview of the methodological plan. Indicate how gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) considerations impacted the proposed plan (or provide a justification of why they were not considered).

          Indicate where or how the team will access any needed infrastructure (if applicable).

          Present a synopsis of the strength of the research team, demonstrating the expertise available on the team.

        • anticipated transformation/change/impact

          Describe the anticipated impact of the proposed work and the significance of the change.

          Specify the likelihood that the impact will be realized and provide an explanation.

          Detail the short-term and long-term benefits that will be realized.

      2. references (unlimited)

        Applicants are strongly encouraged to include only the main references required to support the proposal.

Review your LOI 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 that your research grants office (RGO or research administrator) return it to you.

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

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

  • 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 again be certifying that the NPI:

  • is (or will be) 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.

If you have questions:

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