2022 Transformation: Full Application Guide


This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the 2022 Transformation Competition overview. For descriptions of the criteria that will be assessed by reviewers, please consult the Merit Indicators for the Review of Applications: 2022 Transformation Competition.

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

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

You must complete the application using the Convergence Portal. The portal is supported only on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. The portal may appear to function in other browsers, but can malfunction: for example, the information entered may not be properly captured in the system without your being aware. Use of an unsupported browser is strongly discouraged.

Follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal to complete the application. The information required is outlined below.

The NPI must complete all sections of the full application and submit it via their institution’s research administrator. Any new team members (co-PIs and co-applicants) must each complete their own profile in the Convergence Portal before the NPI submits the application. Team members will be able to see all sections of the application, but will not have edit access.

The NPI must verify the page lengths and formatting of any uploaded attachments to the application. 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contain one or more attachments that do not comply with the page length or formatting standard, the application may be withdrawn from the competition.

All relevant information from the letter of intent (LOI) will be prepopulated into the full application. Additional team members may be added at this stage and information updated for existing members, if needed.

  1. Completed profiles for any additional members of the research team

    Complete profiles include:

    • eligibility profile
      • information about participation in another Transformation application, affiliation, early career researcher status;
    • fields of research and keywords
      • fields of research and keywords that relate to your area(s) of expertise/research; and
    • equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) self-identification.

After co-PIs and co-applicants have completed their profiles, they will be listed as “Complete” in the Participants screen. 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.

While additional members may be added, those identified at the Notice of Intent (NOI) and LOI stages are expected to remain part of the project team.

  1. Any changes to the list of collaborators (additions or deletions)

    Collaborators do not need to create an account in the Convergence Portal.

  2. Socio-economic objectives

    Select socio-economic objectives related to the potential outcomes of the research from the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) codes. This selection is for information purposes only and will not be used in the review process.

  3. Suggested reviewers (minimum of 20, can be updated)

    Provide a list of suggested reviewers who may be contacted to review your proposal at the full application stage. These individuals should have the required expertise to review and comment on the proposal and should 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 reviewers must be from outside Canada.

  4. Reviewer exclusions (can be updated)

    Provide the names of any individuals who should not be asked to review the proposal.

  5. Proposed budget

    Enter the planned amount of funds to be spent in each category (direct and indirect costs) for each year of the project. Contact your research administrator for direction regarding how much to request for indirect costs if any changes are made after the LOI stage.

Supporting documents

  1. Proposal (maximum 18 pages if written in English; maximum 21.6 pages if written in French)

    The following sections must be included in one document and uploaded following the instructions for attachments. The page limits indicated for each section are suggestions, but the maximum limit of 18 pages for proposals written in English or 21.6 pages for proposals written in French is firm.

    The order of the sections must be followed, and the use of headings is highly encouraged. Use language that can be understood by a multidisciplinary review panel.

    • Introduction/overview (maximum 2 pages if written in English; maximum 2.4 pages if written in French)
      • Describe the problem or challenge and why it needs to be addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective.
      • Explain who or what the problem affects and how.
      • Explain the approach to addressing the challenge and its potential to have real and lasting change.
      • Describe how the approach is different from other approaches (its novelty) and how it incorporates different disciplinary perspectives on addressing the challenge.
    • Biographical information about team members (maximum 4 pages if written in English; maximum 4.8 pages if written in French)

      Applicants must protect the privacy and confidentiality of all team members. Do not provide information about the composition of the research team in a way that can reveal any member’s personal information (i.e., race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age). Refer to the Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Guide for guidelines on privacy and confidentiality.

      • Provide an overview of the research team, demonstrating that it has the required knowledge, background and expertise to execute an interdisciplinary approach.
      • Identify the anticipated contributions of each team member (NPI, co-PI, co-applicants and collaborators, as applicable) and explain how their contributions will be coordinated and integrated.
    • Research proposal (maximum 5 pages if written in English; maximum 6 pages if written in French, including diagrams and illustrations)
      • Describe the proposed research project, outlining the major short-, medium- and long-term changes that are expected, the likelihood of their achievement, and who (or what) will be affected by the changes.
      • Describe the research methodology and design, including:
        • how interdisciplinary perspectives will be applied and integrated; and
        • how they relate to current and relevant research, prior art or knowledge.
      • Provide a work plan with a timeline.
      • Discuss approaches to Indigenous research (if appropriate) and how First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities will be engaged in the project (see the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC’s) Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research); and
      • Explain how the methodological design was informed by GBA+ (if appropriate).
    • Anticipated transformation/change, with concrete objectives and other potential benefits (maximum 2 pages, if written in English; maximum 2.4 pages if written in French)
      • Describe the anticipated impact of the project.
      • Explain the anticipated benefit and significance for Canada, Canadians and beyond.
      • Explain how likely it is that the objectives will be achieved.
      • Describe what other benefits will result from the project if anticipated changes or outcomes are not achieved.
    • Management plans (maximum 3 pages if written in English; maximum 3.6 pages if written in French)
      • Describe how various aspects of the project will be managed, including:
        • governance/management approach (how the project will be managed and the grant administered);
        • performance measurement plan, including risk assessment and management and results frameworks (how achievement of short-, medium- and long-term anticipated outcomes will be monitored and assessed according to established indicators and timelines; mitigation plans);
        • data management (how research data from the project will be managed and safeguarded; for guidance on research data management [RDM] considerations to include in the research proposal, refer to the NFRF Research Data Management page); and
        • training (the training, development and mentoring plan for students and other highly qualified personnel).

      Plans for data management should align with the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management and not conflict with any terms and conditions, policies or other requirements of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and SSHRC.

    • Budget justification (maximum 2 pages, if written in English; maximum 2.4 pages if written in French)
      • Provide a breakdown and explanation of the direct costs of the project. 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 also contribute to the project.
  2. Budget table
    • Use the budget table template provided in the Supporting Documents section. You must upload your completed table separately from the proposal. Enter all planned expenditures of NFRF funding for each category (direct costs only) for each year of the project, including those for:
      • research team compensation;
      • student salaries and benefits;
      • non-student salaries and benefits;
      • equipment;
      • travel; and
      • all other costs.
  3. Literature references (unlimited)
    • Provide a list of literature cited in the application. This document will be uploaded separately from the proposal.
  4. Certifications, licences and permits

    Answer questions about certifications, licences and permits specifically for the proposed research project. Consult Requirements for Certain Types of Research for more information or clarification. For research to be undertaken outdoors, you may need to submit an Environmental Information Form at the time of application (follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal).

    If you are awarded a grant, the certification requirements must be met, in accordance with the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions and the Impact Assessment Act (2019). If your research project could have environmental impacts, your proposal may need to be posted for public consultation before funds are released. No other forms or certifications are required at the time of 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.

Please note that the following sections in the Convergence Portal are locked and cannot be modified at the full application stage:

  • Application Details
    • Application Title
    • Language of Application
    • Indigenous Research
  • Fields of Research
  • Keywords
  • Project Description
  • GBA+
  • EDI
  • Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

Review your application to ensure that it is complete. From the “Finalize Application” section, follow the prompts to submit your application. 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 administrator return the application 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 point and your application will not be returned to you.

When you receive an application submitted by an 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 the eligibility requirements.

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.

By submitting 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-PIs, co-applicants or collaborators.

If you have questions:

Date modified: