Early Researcher Award Round 17: Internal Call for Proposals

In the past, Lakehead University has been successful in securing awards through the previous rounds of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Early Researcher Award (ERA) program.  The funds are to be used over a period of five years to fund eligible expenses for a research team of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians.

Eligible Applicants
Lakehead University invites early career researchers who meet the ERA program criteria, to apply to the 2022 internal ERA competition.  You are eligible to apply for this award if you:
  • are full-time faculty or principal investigator (PI) who, at the application deadline, is based at an eligible institution (adjunct positions don't qualify)
  • have started your independent academic research career on or after January 1, 2016; and
  • have completed your first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2011 (anywhere world-wide).
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award, and 
  • not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair.  
To be competitive, researchers are encouraged to be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding and to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors.

Available Amount/Number of Lakehead University Applications
Under this program, an ERA award to a leading researcher is worth a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000. For this competition, Lakehead University will provide the required matching contribution of $50,000 ($10,000 per year over 5 years) towards five applications. If researchers, however, are able to access funds from other sources to meet the matching requirement, Lakehead will consider submitting more than five meritorious ERA applications. Please note that awards administered by the federal granting councils (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) are not eligible partner contributions.

Internal ERA Deadlines
1.  September 9, 2022:  Potential applicants are required to e-mail the Office of Research (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) by September 9 to a) indicate their intention to apply to the ERA program, and b) to provide our office with a list of three external individuals (who are not in a conflict of interest with the ERA applicant) who our office can approach to write a letter of reference for the applicant's ERA application.  Please contact your three ERA referees to confirm their willingness to write a letter of support for your ERA application - please ensure that you follow the ERA guidelines when selecting referees.  Once they have agreed, please inform the Office of Research.
Please note the ERA program's guidelines for reference letters:
  • One letter must come from a non-arm's length relationship. Non-arm’s length letters are letters written by a referee who knows the candidate personally (e.g., through mentoring relationships, co-employment relationships in the same school or institute, joint publications, or joint grants).
    Examples of non-arm’s length relationships:
    •Present or past colleague, student, post-doctoral fellow, faculty member, co-practitioner, etc.
    •Past mentor
    •Collaborator (joint publications, grants, etc.)
  • Two letters must come from arm's length recommendations. Arm's length letters are defined as those from external referees who are not the candidate's dissertation or thesis chair or mentor, the candidate's co-author or
    collaborator, a family member of the candidate, or a friend of the candidate. External referees may not have a significant relationship with the candidate and must have the ability to write a non-biased letter that speaks to the
    candidate's background, work and standing in the field. However, it is acceptable for an external referee to be a professional acquaintance. A "professional acquaintance" is defined by circumstances where the candidate and
    the external referee know each other from a professional society or association or from participating together on a panel, chairing meetings or sharing a similar research interest. The external referee cannot have a personal
    friendship or family relationship with the candidate or have had a mentoring relationship, co-employment, a former professor, co-author or collaborator, joint publications or joint grants
It is recommended that the arm’s length letters be from researchers of international stature familiar with the researcher’s (PI) work, where possible.
2.  September 26, 2022:  ERA applicants are required to submit their ERA research proposals and CVs to the Office of Research (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) by September 26 so that our office can forward the information to the external reference letter writers.

3.  October 19, 2022:  Full Applications,using the ERA form, are due in the Office of Research Services no later than October 19 and will be reviewed by the Lakehead University Senate Research Committee (SRC) to determine which application(s) will be submitted to the ERA program.
For More Information
The official call for this program can be found on the   Ministry of Colleges and Universities  website.  The website includes the ERA application form, complete program guidelines and instructions including a list of ineligible partner contributions, eligible expenses, evaluation criteria, application forms, letter of reference requirements, etc.