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New Frontiers in Research Fund Transformation Competition (NFRFT)
The objective of the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Transformation stream is to support large-scale, Canadian-led interdisciplinary research projects that address a major challenge with the potential to realize real and lasting change. The challenge may be fundamental, leading to a scientific breakthrough, or applied, with a social, economic, environmental or health impact. Projects are expected to be world-leading, drawing on global research expertise, when relevant.
Transformation stream grants will support projects that:
1. Tackle a well-defined problem or challenge;
2. Propose a novel world-leading approach that is different from the current state-of-the-art approaches to the issue;
3. Are interdisciplinary, bringing different perspectives to the defined problem; and
4. Have the potential to be transformative, defined as the potential to create a significant and real change or impact—a noticeable leap or tangible breakthrough rather than an incremental advance.
In the NFRF program, the definition of “transformative” is linked to the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s proposed definition of convergence research (PDF, 726 KB), where “convergence research is increasingly seen as the way to solve pressing challenges.” It is aligned with the National Science Foundation’s definition of convergence research, focusing on research driven by a specific and compelling problem and deep integration across disciplines. It also has strong parallels to Horizon Europe in its reference to mission-oriented research and innovation with bold and concrete objectives to respond to societal challenges.
To better promote ground-breaking and interdisciplinary research, the NFRF program has a mandate to explore innovative merit review processes and the flexibility for competition parameters and processes to evolve from one competition to the next. The 2022 Transformation competition merit review processes include elements that are distinct from those used in flagship tri-agency programs. It is important to read all material related to the competition to ensure that submissions at each stage are complete.
Value and duration
Transformation grants are valued at between $2,000,000 and $4,000,000 per year (including indirect costs) for six years.
The minimum budget for the direct costs of the research project is $1,600,000 per year, and the maximum budget is $3,200,000. Applicants must request a budget (value and duration) in line with the objectives of the project. Applicants may, in addition, request up to 25% of the value of the direct costs of research to cover indirect costs and include this in their total funding request. Funds requested for indirect costs must be used only to pay for eligible expenses, as outlined on the Research Support Fund website. The indirect costs component of each NFRF award is included in the award value; it is not in addition to it.
Internal proposal development support:
Interested SFU teams are asked to submit an internal Notice of Intent form by noon on October 1, 2021, to register their request for central support and/or interest in participating in a pitch-your-proposal-style event. For more information, please see the ISA webpage, New Frontiers in Research Fund - Transformation (NFRF-T).
Please monitor the Events Page for information on upcoming sessions and recordings of previous ones.
Three-stage application process:
(internal deadlines for LOI and full application stages TBC)
Notice of Intent (NOI) (mandatory)
- Aug 25, 2021: competition launch
- Nov 2, 2021: NOI due to agency (5 p.m. PST)
Letter of Intent (LOI)
- Jan 11, 2022: LOI due to agency (5 p.m. PST)
- May 3, 2022: LOI results released
Full Application (by invitation only)
- Sep 20, 2022: full application due to agency, if invited (5 p.m. PST)
- Feb 2023: results release
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