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Canada Biomedical Research Fund
The Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) is an institutional program administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) housed at Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and SSHRC. The CBRF is based on an ecosystem approach and is designed to build on existing assets, infrastructure, partnerships, and strengths of institutions and to support targeted investments for maximum impact. The total budget for CBRF is $250 million over four years starting in 2022-2023.
At the same time, the BRIF will support the bioscience infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and research hospitals by investing $500 million over four years, starting in 2021-2022. On September 21, 2021, the CFI released a Call for proposals for the first phase of the BRIF competition — a $150 million investment to support containment levels 3 and 4 (CL3 and CL4) facilities capable of working with human pathogens.
Consistent with the coordinated approach taken to investments under the Strategy, the CBRF and the remaining BRIF funding ($350 million) will be delivered collaboratively by TIPS and the CFI through an integrated competition to maximize impact and ensure that investments under the two programs complement and reinforce each other. A key element of the CBRF is the selection at Stage 1 of a limited number of research hubs (3 to 5). It is through these hubs that the research and infrastructure proposals will be submitted when the open national calls for CBRF and BRIF will be launched at Stage 2.
A Research Hub is a coalition of research actors that integrates research organizations, including institutional, not-for-profit, private and/or public organizations. One eligible institution will be designated to serve as a "lead" for each Hub. Building on existing capacity and a track record of investment in people, research and infrastructure, each Hub pursues a research program for high-risk, applied biomedical research, training development, and associated infrastructure to support the end-to-end biomanufacturing pipeline, in alignment with the Strategy.
The joint CBRF and BRIF competitions will be delivered in two stages, which will both include peer review and strategic review processes:
Selection of research hubs (co-led by CFI and TIPS, and administered by TIPS)
May 19, 2022: Notice of intent deadline July 21, 2022: Application deadline
Results Announced: March 2, 2023
The Government of Canada made an announcement on March 2, 2023, for $10 million in Stage 1 funding over the next 4 years through the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) for the establishment of five research hubs that will continue to grow a strong and competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector in Canada and ensure preparedness for future pandemics.
This has opened Stage 2 of the competition, which is an open national call for partnered proposals for high-risk, applied research, talent development and research infrastructure. The competition budget for Stage 2 across all five hubs is:
CBRF: up to $215 million over four years
BRIF: up to $360 million (maximum of $277 million for infrastructure and $83 million for associated operating costs)
SFU is a key partner in Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub (CIEBH), led by UBC. You can find more detail about each hub here. Information about the Stage 2 funding process can be found here. All Stage 2 proposals will be institutional, with SFU's process managed by Institutional Strategic Awards. We will be circulating more detailed information about the Stage 2 process and SFU’s involvement in it to those who have indicated interest.
Process update: SFU’s internal EOI process to vet and approve Stage 2 applications is currently underway. EOI forms can be downloaded here, and are due by March 31, 2023 (official signatures not required). EOI forms will be used to determine the level of demand and line up appropriate support, to flag infrastructure needs requiring further consultation with Faculties and Facilities, and to assemble teams by identifying synergies and overlap in proposed research/infrastructure. If you have any questions about the internal process, please contact Amber Sarna-Conway, Research Project Manager in the Institutional Strategic Awards Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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