Canadian Tri-agency Addendum: Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative

Table of contents


Please see the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) website for more information on how to apply to the Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative, including the Call Specification and Je-S Guidance for Applicants. This addendum contains supplementary information for candidates applying for Canadian funding.

Note: "Tri-agency" and “Canadian agencies” refers to the three federal research funding agencies—Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

The following information is for applicants based in Canada only.

In total, approximately C$14 million in funding will be made available for this joint research call. Canada and the UK intend to use these available funds to support up to approximately 10 collaborative teams, subject to peer review assessment of the quality of the proposal. Each grant will require a principal investigator (PI) based in Canada and a PI based in the UK. The PIs will share leadership and project management for each project.

When a proposal is selected for funding, the applicants in the UK will be funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the applicants in Canada will be funded by the Canadian agencies. The PI based in Canada will be funded based on the funding request outlined in the Tri-agency National Financial Form, which must be submitted as an attachment to the application (see How to apply below). The form must contain an itemized budget in Canadian dollars, and expenses must adhere to the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide.

Canadian funding:

  • The total amount available for the Canadian component of the team from the Canadian funding agencies is C$5.2 million, enough to fund up to approximately 10 projects.
  • The maximum amount per project is C$173,333 per year for three years for a total of C$520,000 per project.

Note: Financial contributions from the Canadian agencies for this initiative are subject to availability of funds. Should the Canadian agencies’ funding levels not be available or decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, the agencies reserve the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants in this funding opportunity. Funds are available for one PI based in Canada per grant for the direct costs of research. Applicants based in Canada should review the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide for a complete listing and description of allowable costs and activities. It is the responsibility of both PIs to ensure the conditions of their respective agencies are respected.

Eligibility and requirements

Subject matter

Proposals may involve any disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas relevant to the objectives of this initiative and eligible for CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC funding. As an interdisciplinary call, applicants must clearly demonstrate that their proposals are genuinely interdisciplinary and cutting across at least two of the research domains outlined in the Call Specification.

The composition of the international team must reflect interdisciplinarity and, at a minimum, include a PI in the UK and a PI in Canada from different research domains. The funding partners will conduct a relevance review of the applications received to determine whether the overall proposed international collaborative research reflects this interdisciplinarity (see Objective 1 in the Call Specifications). Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate in the proposal the extent to which the research of the applicants based in Canada will cross over the mandates of the Canadian agencies. Applications that are not deemed to be relevant to the call will be withdrawn from the competition.

Participant roles

The following chart outlines the categories of participants used by the UKRI in the main application to be submitted, including equivalent categories and eligibility details for applicants based in Canada.

Note: The UKRI can pay salaries to some researchers. However, salaries for participants based in Canada (i.e., PI, co-investigators [Co-Is] and collaborators) are not eligible to be paid by the Canadian agencies. The focus of this call is to foster collaboration between researchers in the UK and Canada to advance research in the area of artificial intelligence. The funders will not fund PIs, co-investigators and researchers outside of the UK and Canada through this initiative.

UK Canada
Principal investigator: an individual who takes responsibility for the intellectual leadership of the research project and for the overall management of the research. For this call, there must be one PI based in the UK and one based in Canada, from different research domains as outlined above. The PI based in the UK submits the application on behalf of the team. Principal investigator: The PI based in Canada must hold an eligible position and must be affiliated with a fully eligible Canadian postsecondary institution at the time of application. See lists of CIHR Eligible Institutions, NSERC Eligible Institutions and SSHRC Eligible Institutions.
Co-investigator: assists the PIs in the management and leadership of the research project. There may be a number of Co-Is supporting the PIs. Co-investigator: For the Canadian agencies, Co-Is must hold an eligible position and must be affiliated with a fully eligible Canadian postsecondary institution (see lists above).
Researcher: someone who makes intellectual contribution to the formulation and development of the project but is not eligible to be either PI or Co-I in their own right. A Researcher is equivalent to a Collaborator for the Canadian agencies. Collaborators do not need to be affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution (i.e., international faculty members and researchers from public, private and not-for-profit organizations are eligible as collaborators). Note that collaborators do not have access to grant funds.
Project partners: an organization or individual should only be named as a project partner if they provide specific contributions (either direct or indirect) to the research project. A partner is a Canadian or international organization from any sector. Individuals from partner organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors may also be involved as collaborators.


Grant holders will be expected to report on the use of grant funds, on funded activities undertaken during the grant period, and on outcomes. Successful applicants will be informed of reporting requirements upon receiving their award.

How to apply

Intention to submit

The applicants must submit a compulsory short Intention to Submit (ItS) by 11:00 p.m. British summer time (BST) and 6:00 p.m. (eastern) on August 19, 2019.

The ItS must be completed online using the electronic form.

Note: The ItS must be submitted by the PI based in the UK (on behalf of both the UK and Canadian applicants). The PI based in Canada is not required to submit an ItS to the Canadian agencies. The PIs cannot change between ItS and full application, but additional participants can be added and/or removed at full application.

Failure to submit a valid ItS will invalidate any submitted full application. Please refer to the Call Specification for more information.

Full application

The applicants must jointly develop a common research plan and jointly prepare the full application. The complete application must be submitted through the ESRC’s Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system by the PI based in the UK by the application deadline of 4:00 p.m. (BST) and 11:00 a.m. (eastern) on September 12, 2019.

Note: Je-S system is in English only. Applicants who wish to apply in French must contact SSHRC in advance for more details (see Contact information below).

The PIs must jointly prepare the full application. See the Je-S Guidance for Applicants on ESRC’s website for full details on application sections and requirements. Among other requirements, note that CVs will be required for PIs and Co-Is. Separate national financial forms in respective currencies will also be required for UK and Canadian research expenses and will be justified in the “Justification of resources” section.

In addition to the requirements for the application submitted through the Je-S system, the PI based in Canada must:

Reminder to applicants: Please ensure that your application is complete (includes all required signatures) and is submitted on time to the Je-S online application system and that the additional requirements outlined in this addendum are also fulfilled by the deadline. Failure to submit a valid application to the ESRC by the deadline will invalidate the submission.

Creating a Je-S account and application

Note that only the PI based in the UK creates the Je-S application. The PI and Co-Is based in Canada must register for Je-S. Canadian higher education institutions are not required to register for Je-S. It is strongly recommended that a Je-S account be created as soon as possible, well before the call closing date. You must allow at least five business days for processing the registration of PIs and co-investigators as the registration requests are handled manually by Je-S staff during their normal working hours (Mondays to Thursdays 8.30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. BST).

New Je-S users: To gain access to the Je-S System, create an account.

Should you have difficulty creating your Je-S account, contact the Je-S Helpdesk at or call +44 0 1793 44 4164.

Regulations, policies and related information

Successful applicants funded through this funding opportunity and other people working on the project must fully comply with the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide.

The Canadian agencies reserve the right to determine the eligibility of applications, based on the information therein. The agencies also reserve the right to interpret the regulations and policies governing their funding opportunities.

Allowable costs

Applicants should review the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide for a complete listing and description of allowable costs and activities.


All applications must be submitted to the ESRC Je-S online application system and are subject to the privacy policies governing the ESRC. The ESRC will share application information with the Canadian agencies for the purpose of grant administration and program evaluation. The personal information contained in the application will be disclosed to, and may be viewed by, any or all of the participating agencies.

Once shared with any or all of the agencies, the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of your personal information are in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Your information will be managed in accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat policies, directives and guidelines on information management and protection of personal information, and with the agencies’ retention and disposition schedules. For more information, please see the privacy notice statement in Terms and Conditions for Applying for Canadian Tri-agency Funds.

Research data stewardship and open access policy on publications

As publicly funded organizations, Canada’s federal research granting agencies have a fundamental interest in promoting the availability of findings that result from the research they fund. This includes research publications and data to the widest possible audience and at the earliest possible opportunity.

The agencies believe that research data collected with the use of public funds belong, to the fullest extent possible, in the public domain and should be available for reuse by others.

Accordingly, applicants based in Canada are required to co-develop a data management plan (DMP) with the UK applicants, following the guidelines provided in ESRC’s Je-S system. The DMP 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 CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Researchers funded by the Canadian agencies are required to comply with the Tri-agency Open Access Policy on Publications.


For this funding opportunity, appeals policies of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC will not be applicable due to the international nature of the initiative.

Contact information

For more information, please contact:

Lauren Mathieson
Tel.: 613-947-9656

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