2024 Transformation Competition: How to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply

This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the 2024 Transformation Competition overview.

Your notice of intent to apply (NOI) must be received by 8:00 p.m. (eastern) on the deadline date.

The research administrator at your institution is responsible for submitting your NOI to the agencies. Your institution may have earlier internal deadlines. Check with your research administrator regarding your institution’s internal deadlines.

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

  • Read the 2024 Transformation Competition overview to ensure that your proposed project fits with the objectives of the competition.
  • See the eligibility section to ensure that you are eligible to apply as an NPIco-PI or co-applicant. Participants who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be removed from the application. If an NPI is considered ineligible, the application will be withdrawn from the competition. If removal of ineligible participants from the application results in research teams with fewer than five members, the application will also be removed from the competition.
  • If you are the NPI, consult your research administrator at your institution’s 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 supported only on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. If you do not have a Convergence Portal profile, you will be prompted to create one the first time you access the portal.

Follow the instructions provided in the portal to complete and submit the NOI. The information needed to complete an NOI is outlined below. The NPI must complete all sections of the NOI in the portal (no attachments are required or accepted at this stage) and submit it via their institution’s research administrator.

The NPI must complete all sections of the NOI. Other team members (co-PIs 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 to complete an NOI:

  1. Completed profiles for research team members

    The research team must include at least five participants: the NPI and any combination of co-PIs and co-applicants. Additional team members may be added at the letter of intent to apply (LOI) and full application stages.

    Each team member must complete the following sections in their profile:

    1. Eligibility profile

      Include information about your affiliations, early career researcher status and the eligibility of the institution.

    2. Fields of research and keywords

      The fields of research and keywords here relate to your area of expertise and do not need to be directly related to the project. Select a minimum of two fields of research (maximum of five), of which at least one must be a primary area of research.

    3. Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) self-identification

      Each team member must complete the questionnaire.

    After co-PIs and co-applicants have completed their profile, they will be listed on 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: The research team (NPI, co-PIs and co-applicants) identified at the NOI stage should reflect the expertise required to deliver on the project and will be used to help the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) program team identify requirements for the composition of the review panel. While additional members may be added at the LOI and application stages, those identified at the NOI stage are expected to remain part of the project team.

  2. Notice of intent content
    1. Application title

      Provide a short and descriptive title that can be used for publication purposes. You can use common abbreviations (e.g., DNA), but avoid uncommon or discipline-specific abbreviations, company and trade names.

    2. Language of the application

      Indicate which official language will be used for the NOI, LOI and application.

    3. Indigenous research

      Indicate whether the project involves Indigenous research, as defined by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

    4. Keywords

      List between five and 15 keywords to describe the proposed research.

    5. Up to 10 fields of research

      Select the fields of research from the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) codes that relate to the proposed research. You must include at least two different disciplines as primary fields of research (as defined by a group-level classification based on the CRDC codes).

    6. Outline of challenge (maximum of 3,500 characters)

      Provide a plain-language overview of the challenge(s) or issue(s) to be addressed and the goals or objectives of the project.

      If your application is successful, this summary will be used for promotional purposes and to inform the government, the media and members of the public who request information about research funded by the NFRF program.

    7. Overview of approach and potential changes (maximum of 3,500 characters)

      Briefly describe the approach to be taken and the anticipated changes or impacts that are likely to result from the project.

      If your application is successful, this summary will be used for promotional purposes and to inform the government, the media and members of the public who request information about research funded by the NFRF program.

    8. Collaborators

      List collaborators on the project. Collaborators do not need to create an account in the Convergence Portal.

    9. Suggested reviewers (optional at NOI stage; minimum of 20 at LOI stage) and reviewer exclusions (if applicable)

      Provide a list of suggested reviewers who may be contacted to review the proposal at the full application stage. Teams are encouraged to suggest a diverse cross-section of potential reviewers with appropriate expertise (Canadian and international, established and early-career, women and those from other underrepresented groups, from academic and non-academic institutions) to review and comment on the proposal. 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.

      Note: NOI content (section 2) may be updated at the LOI stage.

Review your NOI to ensure that it is complete. From the Finalize Application section in the Convergence Portal, 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 that your research administrator return the application to you.

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

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

  • the participants meet the eligibility requirements (see the FAQs for more details); 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 submitting the application, the research administrator, on behalf of the institution, will also 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 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, collaborators, etc.

If you have questions:

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