CFI Update

Dear colleagues,

The following message provides a short update on the Draft Call for Proposals for the 2015 competition of the Innovation Fund. The CFI is not in a position at this time to issue a final Call for Proposals as we have yet to enter into a signed Funding Agreement with the Government of Canada. This may not occur until next January. So rather than waiting until then and jeopardizing our ability to complete this competition by March 2015, we felt that informing institutions of the planned changes to the Draft Call was a prudent course of action. We are hopeful that the final Call for Proposals will not change significantly. 

We have received considerable constructive feedback from the community and for which we are most appreciative. This feedback has come from several institutions – large and small – particularly as it relates to three topics:

1. Multi-institutional proposals that sit outside the institutional envelope;

2. High performance computing; and

3. Data management plans.

 

Let me address these in turn.

 

1.       Multi-institutional Projects: 

Our goal was to foster and strengthen collaboration between institutions on key strategic initiatives. The comments and suggestions indicate that the proposed approach (where an institution and its affiliated research hospitals could lead or participate in only one (1) project) was found to be too restrictive and somewhat inequitable.  Relaxing the constraints raised its own set of problems, i.e., the very real risk of reducing the funding rate of proposals that sit within the institutional envelopes to an unacceptably low level (<23%) – unless we significantly reduced the institutional allocations.  During our consultation last summer, we heard clearly that, given the level of effort that goes into the preparation of a CFI proposal, that it was important to keep the success rate above 30%.

Given the difficulty of reconciling these competing considerations, we have decided to:

a) Eliminate multi-institutional proposals that sit outside the institutional envelopes;

b) Continue to foster multi-institutional proposals within the institutional envelope; and

c) Increase the institutional envelopes by approximately 8% thereby giving each institution more and increasing the funding rate to approximate 32%.

Multi-institutional projects with three or more partners will continue to have the opportunity to request up to an additional five percent of the CFI award to cover, among others, administrative costs associated with the management and governance of those projects.

 

2.       Research Computing/High Performance Computing (HPC): 

We received many comments about the treatment of research computing/HPC infrastructure in this competition. Three questions were raised that need clarification in our view. These are:

·         What is an appropriate definition of HPC?;

·         What distinguishes this Innovation Fund competition from the forthcoming initiative on cyber-infrastructure?; and

·         What criteria will be used to determine whether HPC infrastructure elements will be housed and managed by Compute Canada?

On the question of the appropriate definition of HPC, several institutions deemed the definition used in the Call for Proposals to be overly broad. Clearly the use of the term HPC, for which there is no agreed upon definition, causes confusion. We will amend the relevant section to refer to research computing as this term better captures the scope and variety of computational resources we have in mind.

The 2015 IF competition offers institutions and their researchers an opportunity to request computing and related resources to carry out a research program in cases where these resources are not available at Compute Canada. As a matter of policy, the CFI continues to believe that investments in research computing infrastructure are maximized by promoting the sharing of resources.  The CFI, therefore, expects that new or additional computing resources funded through this competition will normally be housed, managed and operated by Compute Canada, in which case Compute Canada assumes the associated O&M costs.  Although this is the CFI’s preferred approach, it is not intended to be an iron-clad rule.  The CFI recognizes that there are instances where, for compelling reasons, computing resources are best housed, managed and operated by individual institutions.  In such instances however, it will be the institutions’ responsibility to assume the on-going operation and maintenance costs of the computing resource.

By comparison, the forthcoming cyber-infrastructure initiative will focus on collective resources – for data acquisition, storage, management and integration, data mining and visualization, computational and information processing services, etc. -- to enable Canadian researchers to remain globally competitive.

The CFI is currently consulting with Compute Canada, to establish an iterative and collaborative process to assist institutions intending to submit proposals containing significant computational resources.  This process will draw on the expertise of Compute Canada to help institutions to identify and define computational requirements for specific projects.  The objective is to maximize the overall effectiveness and efficiency of CFI investments in research computing.  The CFI, therefore, strongly encourages institutions to consult with Compute Canada prior to submission of their proposals. Compute Canada will provide advice on the computational services it can provide. Once the results of the competition are known, the CFI and Compute Canada will work with institutions to determine how best to house, manage and operate the computing resources.

Compute Canada will soon publish on its website details on the process to be used to facilitate collaboration with institutions.

  

3.       Data Management Plans:

The draft Call for Proposals indicated that proposals anticipating to generate significant data, typically supported by HPC infrastructure, would be required to include a data management plan. Based on the comments and suggestions received, we have concluded that this requirement is both premature and best dealt with by the granting agencies. It will not appear in the Call for proposals. 

Other changes:

In addition to these changes, the CFI will also allow institutions to exceed their institutional envelopes at the NOI stage by as much as 20% in recognition of the fact that budgets at that stage are very preliminary. This approach is also more consistent with the purpose of the NOI which is to enable CFI staff to begin identifying potential experts and to gain an understanding of the magnitude and complexity of the projects.

The CFI will also endeavour to give institutions appropriate forewarning about whether institutions will be invited to meet with the expert committees in a face-to-face meeting. This will allow institutions to plan for the project leaders and senior administrators to be available for these meetings.

Resources:

A number of resources, as listed below, will be available to guide institutions and project leaders in preparing, managing and submitting NOIs and full proposals to the 2015 Innovation Fund competition.  These documents will be posted on the CFI’s website shortly after the formal Call for Proposals has been announced. 

-          Getting started with the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) – An overview document for researchers (currently available)

-          Getting started with the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) – An overview document for institutional research services personnel (currently available) 

-          Technical instructions (CAMS) for researchers and institutional research services personnel

-          NOI and Proposal Forms (PDF format) 

-          Guidelines for completing a notice of intent and a proposal 

Webinars:

In an effort to provide information and answer any questions regarding this competition, we will be holding webinars (English and French) for project leaders, research administrators and other interested parties as soon as the CFI has officially launched the Call for Proposals for the 2015 Innovation Fund competition. Provincial government representatives will be invited to participate in these sessions. The webinars will focus on the goals of the 2015 IF competition, changes from the previous competition, along with the application and the merit review process.

In the interim, if you have any questions relating to the 2015 Innovation Fund competition, please contact your CFI Senior Programs Officer. Please note that the CFI will be attending the upcoming regional CAURA meetings (East, Ontario and West) as well as the ADARUQ meeting.

Thanks!

Guy Levesque

Director, Programs | Directeur, Programmes

Canada Foundation for Innovation | Fondation canadienne pour l'innovation

450-230 rue Queen St., Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5E4

T : (613) 996-3110 | F : (613) 943-0923 | innovation.ca

Canada Research Chair Positions

The following Canada Research Chair positions are currently available at Lakehead University:

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Applied Anthropology

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

 

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Ecotoxicology/Fish Behaviour

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

 

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Green Mineral Processing

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

 

Tier II Canada Research Chair - Aboriginal Mental Health and Addictions

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

 

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food Systems Studies

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

 

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Road Safety

Application Deadline: October 31, 2013

 

Call for Applications: Director of Biorefining Research Institute (BRI)

Internal candidates are encouraged to apply for the BRI Director position. The successful internal candidate would have the opportunity to receive a director stipend or a course release in lieu of the stipend. For more information on this opportunity, please click here.

 

Dr. Umed Panu

Associate Vice-President (Research, Economic Development and Innovation)

Call for Proposals – SSHRC Aid to Small Universities Grant - Internal Deadline: October 14, 2013

In response to the December 1, 2013 external deadline for the SSHRC ASU Grant application notice recently posted by SSHRC; all Lakehead faculty members in the social sciences and humanities are invited to submit proposals for consideration and submission towards the SSHRC Aid to Small Universities institutional program.  Eligible proposals must strengthen research capacity in the social sciences and humanities (SSHRC) eligible research priority areas identified in Lakehead University’s Academic Research Plan.

 The objective of the ASU program is to enable small universities to develop and strengthen focused research capacity in the social sciences and humanities.  SSHRC ASU applications are submitted by the University because it is an institutional grant and grants are awarded to universities on a competitive basis for a three-year period.  The maximum value of a grant is $30,000 per year for three years.  Each university must justify its grant request, and the amount requested is subject to review.  Examples of activities that the ASU program supports are:

  • start-up costs/partial funding of research centres;
  • seed funding for collaborative research or the development of partnerships;
  • stipends to doctoral students, provided the program of studies is related to the ASU grant;
  • agenda-setting seminars;
  • visiting scholars (travel and stipend);
  • organization of colloquia or symposia.

Note: The ASU is not intended to provide sustaining support to institutions, nor is it intended as an alternative to SSHRC's national grants programs.  Therefore, SSHRC limits support of research infrastructure, such as centres and institutes, to six years.  For research centres who have received three-years of funding from the previous ASU, a detailed performance report (outlining achievements against the original research plan objectives) must accompany the proposal for consideration of renewal. 

Lakehead University will give priority to proposals that support the start-up costs/development of interdisciplinary research centres or collaborative research groups.  Such proposals must provide a detailed plan for ensuring sustainability within six years.  Centres funded previously with SSHRC ASU funds are encouraged to reapply as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and must provide a performance activity report outlining results and outcomes achieved with the previous three year grant.  It is our expectation that the ASU program will have a positive impact on Lakehead University's ability to compete at the national level in external SSHRC competitions.

Proposals submitted should be no more than three pages, including the budget, and must include the following information:

 

1.         Name of Principal Applicant, Co-applicants and community partners

 

2.            Program or project Title

 

3.            Capacity Development Strategies – Describe what strategies should be undertaken by Lakehead University to increase focused research capacity in the social sciences and humanities.  Provide a review and assessment of the most promising areas of concentration and/or new areas of concentration that fit the priorities outlined in the Academic/Research Plan.

 

4.            General Objectives – Describe how your proposal supports the strategies outlined for increasing research capacity in the social sciences and humanities over the next three years. 

 

5.            Please address the following program criteria:

a)    Research Concentration – a review and assessment of:

-       the most promising areas of concentration;

-       options for new areas of concentration;

-       areas already selected and supported with ASU funds;

-       the continuing needs of these areas; and

-       the expected time frame for autonomy from ASU support.

 

6.    Description of strategies for enhancing collaborative research capacity in the social sciences and humanities at Lakehead University, including planned projects/activities.  Researchers are also encouraged to address how the research collaboration is to be sustained including plans for applications to external SSHRC research programs. 

7.    Anticipated impact of the Project's activities (i.e. success in external SSHRC competitions, # of trained students; # of peer-reviewed publications to be produced; development of sustainable research partnerships). 

8.   Budget – Using the required budget format (contact the Office of Research for the template), explain how you will use the funds in each budget category to achieve the stated objectives.  For example, under the Student and Non-student salaries categories, explain why these people need to be hired in order to meet the objectives of the research.  Applicants are reminded of SSHRC’s mandate to provide research opportunities for students.  Note that budget costs for research assistants or associates who are not students must be fully justified in terms of the needs of the research.  Include an additional category entitled, “Communication of Research Results” and give a breakdown of the total communication costs.  Also please note that Release Time Stipends (RTS) are not an eligible expenditure.

In addition to the three page proposal, applicants and co-applicants are asked to include a SSHRC Common CV.  Interested researchers, collaborative research groups and Centres are asked to forward their completed proposals to the Office of Research Services by October 14, 2013.   The Senate Research Committee will peer review all internal applications and make a recommendation to the Vice-President Research, Economic Development and Innovation on the proposal(s) to be included in the SSHRC ASU institutional application. Should you have any questions, please contact Anne Klymenko, Director, Office of Research Services, at ext. 8223.

Internal Call for NSERC RTI Applications

Dear NSERC-Eligible Faculty Member:


NSERC recently announced that it has decided to maintain a national competition for the RTI Grants Program . The new application system will involve each institution being assigned a quota of applications that they can submit to NSERC's national competition (October 25 deadline). Under this new system, Lakehead University has been assigned a quota of three applications. Therefore, in preparation for the fall RTI competition, Lakehead University faculty members are invited to submit complete RTI grant application packages (Form 101, Form 100 for the applicant and co-applicants) no later than September 24, 2013 to the Office of Research Services. Applicants must either be an NSERC grant holder, or must have applied for NSERC funding (i.e., submission of an NSERC Form 180, Intend to Apply for a Discovery Grant).


If more than three applications are received, all of the submissions will be ranked by a Senate Research equipment and infrastructure sub-committee according to NSERC's RTI evaluation criteria. Subject to final approval by the Vice-President (Research, Economic Development and Innovation), the THREE applications receiving the highest ranking will be submitted to NSERC by the October 25, 2013 deadline.

 

NSERC Pre-Submission Peer Review Program 2013 for Discovery Grant Applications

Frequently in academia, research proposals are peer reviewed by other scientists/researchers with appropriate knowledge in an effort to obtain impartial evaluations on the applications. Having others appraise and comment on these proposals provides researchers with the opportunity to improve the quality of their applications thus increasing the chance of funding success.

To ensure that researchers at Lakehead University have an advantage in the competitive research funding arena, the Office of Research Services (ORS) has a program that would enable NSERC Discovery Grant applications to be peer reviewed prior to submission. This program is voluntary but highly recommended for new investigators and previously unsuccessful NSERC grant applicants.

For more information, please click here.

Internal Call for Applications: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – Youth Internship Program Research Internships: Two Positions Available

Internal Call for Applications: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – Youth Internship Program

 Research Internships: Two Positions Available

Lakehead University has two NOHFC research-related internships (out of its quota of five research-related placements) available through the NOHFC Youth Internship Program. The internal deadline for the submission of internship applications to the Office of Research Services is August 1, 2013. If more than two applications are received, an internal competition will need to be held.

 

Review Process

As part of the internal review process, applications will be reviewed and ranked by the Senate Research Committee.  Following this internal review and ranking, applications will be sent to the local Ministry of Northern Development and Mines staff for review prior to submission to the NOHFC to ensure internships meet the definition of research as defined by the NOHFC.  Once MNDM has deemed internships meet their research criteria, internship applications will be submitted to the NOHFC by the University.

Please note that for a proposal to be considered as being a research internship, the application must be written so as to meet the definition of research shown below.  Researchers seeking administrative support for a research project will not be considered by the NOHFC as a research internship:

 Research involves a critical or scientific inquiry aimed at the discovery of new facts, new knowledge, or the development of new interpretations or applications.

Research internship applications that are deemed by the NOHFC to not be research-related in nature will be rejected by the NOHFC.

Please note that this call for applications refers only to the NOHFC's Youth Internship Program, and not to the Co-op Program.  A separate call for proposals has been made under the Co-op Program soon. For more information about the program and to access the required forms, please go to the following address: http://www.mndmf.gov.on.ca/nohfc/programs/youth_internship_and_co-op_e.asp

________________________________

 General Information on NOHFC Youth Internship Program

Under the internship program, funding is available for eligible employers located in Northern Ontario to provide first-time employment in a related field to recent university and college graduates from Northern Ontario. Through this program, eligible Northern Ontario employers are provided with a conditional contribution of up to 90 per cent of a recent Northern Ontario graduate's salary to a maximum of $27,500 annually (for public sector employers). Please note that the NOHFC contribution does not include benefits costs. Benefits costs are the responsibility of the grantee.

It is important to note that NOHFC funding under this program, when combined with other provincial and federal government sources will generally not exceed 90 per cent of eligible costs for public sector employers.

 Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

· The opportunity for the internship to result in a full-time permanent job

· The quality of the skill development opportunity

· The type of training being proposed by the employer, and

· The work plan/supervision method. 

Under this program, the NOHFC identifies eligible internship candidates as being Northern Ontario secondary school graduates 29 years of age or under recently graduated from an accredited college or university. Candidates who have graduated from a high school outside of Northern Ontario but have been residing in Northern Ontario for a minimum of one year would be eligible. As well, an internship period will not normally exceed one year.

Completing your NSERC CCV: Start Early; Don't Delay!

NSERC Common CV - Complete it Early


This is an urgent reminder to faculty members applying for an NSERC Discovery Grant this year:  The Common CV (CCV)  and NSERC's new Research Portal are now part of the submission process of the Notification of Intent to Apply

The NSERC Funding CV (the NSERC version of the CCV) will require a major time commitment on your part  to complete the first time.  Therefore, researchers are strongly encouraged to begin working on their NSERC CCVs far in advance of the August 1 deadline.  Completing the NSERC CCV just prior to the August 1 deadline could jeopardize the submission of your Notification of Intent to Apply.  Don't delay!


Resources

For support with the Research Portal and the NSERC CCV, please contact the NSERC On-line Services Helpdesk by e-mail at webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or by telephone at 613-995-4273. 


Workshops/Information Sessions

There will be an NSERC CCV workshop on June 10 (organized by the Office of Research Services) and an information session on June 26 (organized by NSERC).  For more information, please go to:  https://www.lakeheadu.ca/research-and-innovation


Important Information

To link your completed NSERC CCV to your NOI, you must save a copy of your NSERC CCV on your computer as an XML file and then attach it to your NOI using the NSERC Research Portal.

Call for Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – Co-ops: Five Positions Available

General Information on NOHFC Co-op Program:
Under this Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC) program, funding is available for eligible employers located in Northern Ontario to provide employment for Northern Ontario secondary school graduates 29 years of age or under currently attending an accredited college or university.

Through this program, eligible Northern Ontario employers may receive a conditional contribution of up to 50 per cent of a wage subsidy to a maximum of $6.00 per hour to hire post-secondary students from Northern Ontario for work placements.. Please note that the NOHFC contribution does not include benefits costs. Benefits costs are the responsibility of the grantee.

As part of this program, Lakehead University has been assigned a quota of seven co-ops that applications can be submitted for.  Currently five co-ops are available. The internal deadline for the submission of internship applications to the Office of Research Services is June 24, 2013. If more than five applications are received, an internal competition will need to be held to determine which applications will be submitted to the NOHFC. Please note that this call for applications refers only to the NOHFC's Co-op Program, and not to the Youth Internship Program. For more information about the Co-op program and to access the required forms, please go to the following address: http://nohfc.ca/en/programs/youth-internship-and-co-op

It is important to note that NOHFC funding under this program, when combined with other provincial and federal government sources will generally not exceed 90 per cent of eligible costs for public sector employers.

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:
*The opportunity for the co-op to result in a full-time permanent job
*The quality of the skill development opportunity
*The type of training being proposed by the employer, and
*The work plan/supervision method.

Under this program, the NOHFC identifies eligible internship candidates as being Northern Ontario secondary school graduates 29 years of age or under currently attending an accredited college or university.  Please note that a co-op placement will normally not exceed one semester.  It is expected that awards would begin during the Winter Term.  As well, please note that For co-op placements, NOHFC payment will be made on a cost-incurred basis with one payment being made at the end of the co-op placement.  Finally, under this program, the candidate selected must be part of a co-op program at Lakehead.

CFI gets into consultation mode

Through the 2012 Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has provided the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) with $ 500 million in support of its core activities. In addition, the 2013 Economic Action Plan announced that $225 million of unallocated interest income generated by the CFI will be committed to “advanced research infrastructure priorities and sustaining the long-term operations of the Foundation”. More specifically, these funds are to be used to enrich the next major CFI open competition, sustain CFI’s operations, support cyber-infrastructure and respond to evolving priorities approved by the Minister of Industry.

As in the past, the CFI is consulting with Canada’s academic, government and industry sectors to explore current and emerging issues facing the research community, determine the value and appropriateness of the present program parameters, and identify any program adjustments that would help the CFI meet its overall objectives.

The CFI requests that its various stakeholders consider what adjustments, if any, are necessary to its funding mechanisms in order that they can better meet the needs of the research community and achieve the objectives set out in the CFI mandate and funding agreements with the Government of Canada.

You are invited to submit your comments in writing by July 15, 2013.

For more information: 

http://www.innovation.ca/en/Media/News/CFI%E2%80%99sCoreActivities%E2%80...

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