Zehbe Research Group Steps Up Work into HPV-Associated Cancers and Treatments

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe      

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe is a cancer biologist and researcher in the field of cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV). photo credit: Zehbe Research Group; Dr. Guillem Dayer, a post-doctoral fellow, is investigating the use of antibodies against cervical cancer; Graduate student Mehran Masoom assisted on a project identifying proteins in HPV-infected cells.

By Julio Heleno Gomes

 A team of scientists and students affiliated with Lakehead University, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has been conducting research related to certain types of cancers springing from a common infection. The efforts of members of the Zehbe Research Group has earned them a sterling reputation.

“My collaborations with other scientists has carved out a research niche that is unique in Canada and that has been well-rewarded with success and awards in the very competitive research landscape,” says Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, a cancer biologist and head of the Zehbe Research Group.

Zehbe is a Lakehead University Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute Research Chair and an associate professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The Zehbe Research Group focuses on cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can linger in men and women, potentially leading to cancers such as head and neck, cervical and anal. In Northwestern Ontario, for example, there is a significantly higher incidence of cervical cancer, particularly in First Nations communities.

“Indigenous women have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer,” Zehbe says, noting rates can be two to 20 times the national average. The reasons for that discrepancy are due to geographical barriers, limited access to care, and cultural sensitivities.

“There are many logistical issues, but also historical trauma and lack of awareness,” Zehbe says. “It’s really three things — logistics, education and history — that leads to the fact that Indigenous women in our area aren’t screened as much.”

To that end, in 2012 Zehbe and a multi-disciplinary team launched the Anishnaabek Cervical Cancer Screening Study (accssfn.com), which encouraged screening among women from 10 First Nations in the region. By working with women and health-care providers in these communities, the team developed a culturally safe self-testing method, increasing cervical cancer screening for Indigenous women.

Zehbe joined the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute in 2009, having completed post-doctoral research in Germany on HPV as a cancer-causing agent. Her work on HPV screening and prevention involves experts in fields such as physics, engineering and chemistry, focusing on early detection, treatment and follow-up.

“The key is our interdisciplinary approaches,” Zehbe says of those efforts.

The current complement at the Zehbe Research Group consists of graduate students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral fellows. One of them is Dr. Guillem Dayer, who grew up in Africa and became interested in the interaction of different parasites that cause infectious diseases such as malaria and giardiasis. Since arriving in Thunder Bay two years ago he’s been investigating the use of small antibodies to target a specific viral protein that is a main contributor to the development of cervical cancer.

“Understanding protein interactions and functions is essential to target them for the development of therapeutics,” Dayer says. “For my post-doctoral fellowship, I wanted to apply my knowledge in protein interactions to work more specifically on targeting them using antibodies. Dr. Zehbe gave me the opportunity to perform such research in her lab.”

Mehran Masoom, who recently obtained his Master’s degree in Biology, assisted on this project. His role was to develop a method to isolate certain proteins through mass spectrometry analysis.

“This took quite some time but I did succeed in making a protocol that worked and I was able to identify numerous proteins,” Masoom explains.

He’s currently working on confirming the presence of each identified interacting protein within the HPV-infected cells.

“If these pathways or mechanisms are able to be targeted, it can open a new possibility to develop potential therapeutics,” he adds.

Recent members of the Zehbe Research Group are: Robert Jackson and Melissa Togtema (PhDs in biotechnology); Jordan Lukacs (researcher); Statton Eade (research assistant); Alejandro Ortigas Vásquez (bioinformatics researcher); and fourth-year student Simran Bedi.

Zehbe has mentored more than 50 students at all levels and secured more than $2-million in funding, from, among others, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and the Northern Cancer Research Foundation.

published in the Chronicle Journal August 31, 2020

Zehbe Research Group Steps Up Work into HPV-Associated Cancers and Treatments

INTERNSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT: Mitacs Business Strategy Internships (BSI)

In collaboration with Mitacs, Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration is pleased to offer six Business Strategy Internships to returning Lakehead students, for Fall-Winter 2020-21.  Awards are in the amount of $10,000 for students to undertake a strategic project with a small or medium-sized company (SME) or not-for-profit organization. The partner organization and the Faculty of Business Administration will each contribute $2,500 toward the award.

Interns will undertake a strategic analysis of the SME to help them restore or modify their business operations in a new business environment disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects should be for 4 months (full-time) up to 6 months (part-time, total of 480 hours) in duration. Projects may begin as soon as approved by Mitacs, but must begin no later than August 31, 2020. 

Application and selection guidelines

Student Eligibility.  Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Business who are returning to studies in Fall 2020 are eligible (including international students). Students must be registered during the award period. Students who are actively working on another Mitacs-funded project are not eligible.

Faculty and Partner Organization Supervisors. The student will have two supervisors, one at Lakehead and one at the partner organization. A Lakehead Faculty member (must be Tri-Council eligible) must agree to supervise the student research project. The participating organization will also appoint a supervisor. Both supervisors are expected to meet with the student at least once a week – meetings can be virtual.

Partner Organization.  Small-to-medium sized businesses (fewer than 500 employees) are eligible, as are not-for-profit organizations. Partner organizations will contribute $2,500 toward the award.

Projects.  Projects will be designed to address one or more business strategy components (i.e., marketing strategy, operations strategy, finance strategy, etc.) dependent on the need of the partner organization.

Because of safety measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, students should propose projects that can be conducted remotely.  If the campus re-opens while the project is underway, the project can continue on campus, provided it can be safely conducted under the guidelines in place at that time. 

Program Coordinator:  Maryann Kleynendorst, Experiential Learning Navigator, Faculty of Business Administration, Tel: 807-628-4166, Email: mkleynen@lakeheadu.ca.

If you would like to participate and have a research project idea:

  1. Download and review the Primer and the Toolkit.
  2. Contact a Faculty member who might be your supervisor, and discuss your project idea.
  3. FOR STUDENTS:  Complete the preliminary application online at https://forms.gle/Yms7zqJDKcS15wjz8 and submit it by Monday, July 6, 2020.  If you have questions about completing the application, you can contact the Program Coordinator. 
  4. For EMPLOYERS (SME / Not-for-Profit): The Faculty of Business at Lakehead will be accepting project applications until July 17, 2020. 
  5. The Faculty of Business will work to match student applicants with available projects. 
  6. If selected, you will then work with the Program Coordinator to complete and submit your application to Mitacs. Mitacs will give a decision on your application within 1-2 weeks.
  7. At the end of the project, you will be required to participate in an exit survey and prepare and deliver a final report and a presentation to the supervisor during the last week of the award period.


For Student Applicants:Deadline:  Monday, July 6, 2020.

 For interested SMEs / Partner Organizations: Deadline:  July 17, 2020  



Maryann Kleynendorst

Experiential Learning Navigator

Faculty of Business Administration

Tel: 807-628-4166

Email: mkleynen@lakeheadu.ca


SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program

The Office of the Vice President (Research and Innovation) at Lakehead University is pleased to announce the continuation of the SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program. This program is designed to encourage and support researchers at Lakehead University to begin preparation of their SSHRC applications well in advance of the internal deadline (two weeks before the SSHRC deadline), with the ultimate goal of increasing overall success rates. The workshops will be designed to develop skills to write each application type, with common and specific references made during the sessions.

Beginning in April each year and spanning a five week period, applicants will participate in a series of four workshops devoted to the drafting of specific elements of a SSHRC application, common across disciplinary boundaries. Workshop topics may include participating in a mock SSHRC peer review exercise, organizing a comprehensive description of the proposed research project, preparing an engaging summary, crafting a project budget, and creating a feasible knowledge mobilization plan. The topics and schedule of these workshops will be finalized in consultation with participants who are accepted in this program. At the conclusion of the workshops, participants’ feedback will be sought to assist in the evaluation of the program.

Participants in the program will be eligible for a research grant of up to $1500, distributed in two installments to aid in the development of their SSHRC applications. Researchers may use this grant for costs associated with research, including but not limited to hiring research assistants and grant writers/editors, collecting preliminary data, meeting with research partners, and gathering materials for the literature review. The $1500 grant will be distributed in two separate allotments: 1) $750 at the completion of the workshops in which the participant had full attendance and 2) $750 after a SSHRC application has been submitted. Applications from the completion of the workshops must be submitted to the next immediately available Insight Grant, Insight Development Grant competition.

All researchers engaged in research in the area of social sciences and humanities are welcome to participate in the program. Participants from previous programs are welcome to apply to re-enroll in the program on an “audit” basis, which means that they will not be eligible for the financial incentive. 
The number of applicants selected to participate in this program will be capped depending on financial resources available and will total no more than 10 participants. Evaluation of applicants will be based on originality, relevance to SSHRC’s mandate, project description cohesiveness, and background of the researcher.

If you would like more information, please contact the Research and Knowledge Mobilization Facilitator at sshrc.research@lakeheadu.ca.

eHealth app for Northern maternal health care being developed

Lakehead University researchers — from left, Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Dr. Jennifer Chisholm, Abigale Kent, Dr. Helle Moeller and Dr. Manal Alzghou — have been working on a research project focusing on maternal health care for Indigenous and immigrant women in Northwestern Ontario.

A program for mobile devices may provide access to the health care and education that mothers-to-be in Northwestern Ontario feel they often don’t receive. Supported by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, an eHealth app is being adapted by researchers at Lakehead University to fit the needs of women in this region, particularly Indigenous and immigrant women. This will hopefully help close this gap in maternal care and education.

“We know from interviewing women in this area that there is a need for mental health care and services in our region,” says Dr. Helle Moeller, an associate professor in Lakehead’s department of Health Sciences. “We also know few women, compared to the rest of Ontario and nationally, access pre-natal education. So we would like to offer an alternative tool for mental health education care, and support for women in their pregnancy and post-partum period.”

Moeller, who is also associate director of the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, has a long-standing interest in equity in access to health and health care as well as Northern, Indigenous and women’s health.

A project started in 2013 looked at the birthing experience of women in Thunder Bay. Interviews with diverse women, including Indigenous women and women from refugee and immigrant backgrounds, reported being less well-treated in the health-care system, and provided with less information about the pre-natal education and care options available to them than the broader community. Many perceived birth to be inherently risky and Indigenous women felt the primary care providers reinforced this perception. They felt providers considered them “high risk,” and were often not informed about the option of midwifery care.

In 2017 the project was expanded to focus on pre-natal education. It involved interviews with another 40 women from varied backgrounds. The results revealed vast differences in access to pre-natal care and education.

“Women in Northern communities and women that come from diverse backgrounds do not have access to the same level of pre- and post-natal care and education as other women,” Moeller says. That is primarily due to: socioeconomic, linguistic and cultural differences, and the perception of racism and discrimination. Also, being on one or the other end of the age spectrum and not living close to where the programs are offered poses challenges.

“That issue of travel really prohibits women in northern communities from participating” in pre-natal programs, says Moeller.

Importantly, nearly half the participants indicated there was not enough mental health support services, in outlying communities as well as in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and Kenora.

“Fifty per cent of women that we interviewed stressed that they had mental health needs they felt were not met during pregnancy and post-partum,” Moeller says.

A team in Alberta has successfully piloted a software application that provides educational mental health modules, online screening for depression and anxiety, and access to counselling and support during pregnancy and post-partum. The Thunder Bay team hopes to customize the app for women in this region to use.

“Social service and care providers see that the app has great potential,” Moeller states. “But there will need to be some adaptation in terms of language, culture, how the curriculum is put together.”

Abigale Kent, a master of Health Sciences student, has been the research co-ordinator on the project. In addition to supporting the efforts of the team generally, her thesis has focused on one leg of the project, interviewing providers servicing predominantly Euro-Canadian women and their perceptions on the suitability of an eHealth app for maternal mental health in the Northwest.

“I work with a fantastic and supportive team in building community connections, setting up interviews and putting together the building blocks that are going to ensure this app and the project succeeds,” Kent says.

When she graduates in August, Kent hopes to enroll in medical school having just been interviewed at NOSM.

Along with Moeller and Kent, the current team consists of: Dr. Manal Alzghoul, assistant professor in Nursing; Dr. Jennifer Chisholm, assistant professor in the department of Women’s Studies; and Dr. Pauline Sameshima, professor in Graduate Studies & Research in Education and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies. The team has been funded by Women’s Xchange of Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, and the SSHRC Explore Research Development Fund.

Written by Julio Heleno Gomes

Story originally appeared in The Chronicle Journal on June 12, 2020

CFI - Exceptional Opportunities Fund – COVID-19: Internal Call for Expressions of Interest

CFI - Exceptional Opportunities Fund – COVID-19:  Internal Call for Expressions of Interest

Through the Exceptional Opportunities Fund – COVID-19 competition, the CFI will invest up to $25 million with the objective of supporting urgent needs for equipment for ongoing research related to COVID-19.  Full-time faculty members (affiliated with Lakehead University, TBRHRI, and NOSM West Campus are eligible to apply).

As an exception to their usual competitions, the CFI will cover up to 100 percent of the eligible costs of a project. Final applications are due at the CFI by July 6, 2020.

As per the CFI call document, to qualify for this funding opportunity, a project must meet the following requirements:

• The infrastructure component must be an indispensable element of an ongoing research project related to COVID-19.
• The infrastructure component must be acquired at the latest by March 31, 2021.

Under this special call, the CFI has indicated that Lakehead University can submit applications for equipment seeking a maximum of $200,000 from the fund.

Due to the short turnaround time for this call, Lakehead University invites submissions under the following process and timelines.  


Stage 1: Expressions of Interest due to ORS by June 10 @ 4:30 (mandatory)

  • COVID-19 Project Title
  • Anticipated Amount To Be Requested
  • Names of Principal Investigator and Co-applicants


Stage 2:  Internal Letter of Intent due to ORS by June 15 @ 12 noon (6 pages maximum)

- Project Title*

- Project Summary (50 words) and abbreviated proposal outlining how the project addresses each of the CFI program criteria*

- CV for members of research team (CFI CV, CCV, or standard CV will be accepted)#

- Budget justification*

- 1 quote for each piece of equipment requested#

* - Included in the six page LOI.

# - In addition to the six page LOI

An internal review committee will meet and review/rank the applications in relation to the CFI program criteria.  The Internal Peer Review Committee will provide their recommendations to the VPRI by June 19 and the successful applicants will be invited to prepare their full proposals using  CFI Awards Management System (CAMS)  and submit to the ORS by June 29.

For questions, please contact Andrew Hacquoil, Research Grants Officer (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca).

Updated: NEW - Mitacs Research Training Awards - Summer 2020

UPDATE (May 27, 2020):  Because of unexpected changes by Mitacs, the RTA quota at Lakehead has been reduced from a total of 30 awards to 8 awards (confirmed) for a first tranche, with the possibility of a second tranche (to be confirmed in mid-June).  We regret any inconvenience this may cause for applicants, however, these circumstances are outside of Lakehead's control.  Another update will be posted in mid-June regarding the possible second tranche.

Dear Lakehead Students,

In collaboration with Mitacs, Lakehead is pleased to offer 30 Research Training Awards (RTA) to returning Lakehead students, for the summer of 2020.  Awards are in the amount of CAD 6,000 for student-driven research projects of 12-16 weeks in duration (projects must be completed within that time frame).  Projects may begin as soon as approved by Mitacs, but must begin no later than August 31, 2020. 

Application and selection guidelines

Student Eligibility.  Full-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible (including international students), in any discipline.  Students must be registered during the award period (previous winter for undergraduates, spring/summer for graduate students) and Fall 2020. Undergraduates who have recently graduated but have committed to a graduate program in the fall at Lakehead are also eligible. Students who are actively working on another Mitacs-funded project are not eligible.

Faculty Supervisor. A Lakehead Faculty member (must be Tri-Council eligible) must agree to supervise the student research project, and is expected to meet with the student at least once a week – meetings can be virtual.

Projects.  Because of safety measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, students should propose projects that can be conducted remotely.  If the campus re-opens while the project is underway, the project can continue on campus, provided it can be safely conducted under the guidelines in place at that time.  Twelve weeks is the minimum project length, 16 weeks is the maximum.

Program Coordinator:  Jill Sherman, Office of Research Services, intl.research@lakeheadu.ca.

If you would like to participate and have a research project idea:

  1. Download and review the Toolkit and the Application template.
  2. Contact a Faculty member who might be your supervisor, and discuss your project idea.
  3. Complete the application in Word (do not change any of the document settings) and submit it to the Dean of your Faculty by May 25, 2020.  If you have questions about completing the application, you can contact the Program Coordinator.
  4. Each Faculty will have a limited number of awards. Your Faculty Dean will oversee the selection process and make recommendations of selected candidates to the Vice President (Research and Innovation) by June 1.
  5. If selected, you will then work with the Program Coordinator to submit your application to Mitacs. Mitacs will give a decision on your application within 1-2 weeks.
  6. At the end of the project, you will be required to prepare and deliver a final report and a presentation to the supervisor during the last week of the award period.

To apply, you can download the following documents (use your Lakehead email address):


If you have any questions about the application requirements, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jill E. Sherman
International Research Facilitator

Tel: 807-343-8014

Internal Call for Proposals: 2020-2021 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Competition

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is a very prestigious fellowship program that provides funding to the very best of postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally.  The program expects that these postdocs will positively contribute to Canada's "economic, social and research-based growth."
The specific objectives of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program are to:
  • attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally
  • develop their leadership potential
  • position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow
Because of the fact that the Banting program expects universities to submit applications for the best candidates, in order to select the most meritorious applicants for endorsement, the following deadlines/procedure will be followed for this year's competition:
1.  Banting submissions from potential candidates are due in the Office of Research Services no later than July 31, 2020.  Banting applications received after this date will not be considered.
2.  Submissions received by the internal deadline will be reviewed by the Senate Research Committee and feedback provided to the candidate by August 21, 2020.
3.  Final Banting submissions will be due internally September 4.  
4.  The required University letter of support will be provided to candidates by September 25. 
University Support
Please note that for the purposes of submission, Lakehead University is willing to make the following contributions to Bantings that are submitted through our internal process:
For Banting applications ultimately successful in the national competition,  the VP Research and Innovation (VPRI) will contribute a minimum of $5,000.  In addition, the VPRI will contribute an additional $2,500 if matched by an additional $2,500 from the respective Faculty dean for a potential institutional contribution of $10,000.  The match from the Dean must be requested by the proposed postdoctoral fellow supervisors and confirmed in writing.

COVID19 Research Call for Proposals - Strategic Research Development Fund, Senate Research Committee - Deadline May 1

This targeted funding is for short-term projects. Successful applicants are expected to begin their projects within one month from the awarding of funding and complete them within 9 months. Proposals from all disciplines are encouraged. It is anticipated that this call will fund a maximum of 5 projects with a maximum budget of $10,000 each. Proposals which have received, or have been submitted for COVID-19 related funding from other sources are eligible. 

Eligibility: Faculty members with tenure-track, tenured and 3-year limited term appointments are eligible to apply; Faculty with limited term appointments must provide evidence to demonstrate that they can complete the project prior to the end date of their appointment. Eligible faculty members can apply once to this special competition as principal investigator. There are no restrictions on how many times an eligible faculty member can apply as co-investigator on a research team. 


Application Process:

Requests for funds must be made using the on-line Romeo Research Portal via MyInfo (myinfo.lakeheadu.ca)

As part of the Romeo application, the following should be included:
  • A research plan (maximum 3 pages);
  • Detailed budget and budget justification (maximum 2 pages);
  • Curriculum Vitae—CCV (preferred)—for all faculty members; and
  • Letters of support from research partners (if applicable)


Selection Process and Criteria:

The Senate Research Committee will review all eligible applications based on their degree of innovation, feasibility, training of HQP and impact.
Compliance with Lakehead University’s COVID19 Directives
All projects must adhere to the Lakehead University’s COVID19 directives and relevant research guidelines which can be found at the following link: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/coronavirus. For example, projects involving human subjects must adhere to the directives for research involving human participants during the publicly declared emergency by the Research Ethics Board.


Required Reporting and Deliverables:

A final report must be submitted to the Senate Research Committee through the Romeo Research Portal within 30 days of completing the project.
Applicants should be aware that the Senate Research Committee operates under Senate approved guidelines. All funding for internal research competitions is limited and designated for specific uses. Due to the competitive nature of the internal competition for most funding opportunities, the Senate Research Committee does not provide applicants with feedback or justification for its decisions. All decisions are made internally through a peer review process and all decisions are final.

For additional information regarding the application process, please contact ea.vpri@lakeheadu.ca



Senate Research Committee

Special One-time Call for COVID19—Strategic Research Development Fund Proposals


Romeo Application Form Questions:

9 Month Research Plan

1.            Briefly state the objectives to be achieved within the project’s time frame (9 months)

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

2.            Criteria: Innovation

Situate the proposal in the existing literature, context, and clearly explain how the research proposed is original, innovative and of high quality.

3.            Criteria: Feasibility

Please describe the key milestones, including methodology you propose to use and the project’s feasibility to produce impactful results in a short-time frame. NOTE: All proposed research activities must firmly adhere to the government’s and the University’s directives to observe social distancing and safety protocols.

4.            Criteria: Training of HQP

Please describe how the proposed research has the potential to develop research capacity among HQP.

5.            Criteria: Impact on COVID19

Please describe how the proposed project addresses COVID19 research questions. Please describe the anticipated impacts and deliverables.

 Overlap with Other Funding

Please explain how this proposal builds upon current research grants or proposals (if applicable) or how it is unique.

Detailed Budget and Budget Justification

Please provide a detailed budget itemizing all eligible expenditures and a budget justification.

Research Track-Record

Attach a copy of a CCV for all faculty members involved in the proposed research.


Please attach letters of support from partners (if applicable)

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

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

  • Research Internships:  Three Positions Available

The intent of the Northern Ontario Internship Program is to strengthen Northern Ontario’s competitive advantage and build economic development capacity by attracting and retaining graduates in the North. The program provides recent graduates who are interested in launching and building their careers in Northern Ontario access to internships.

Under this program, Lakehead University has a quota of five research-related placements available.  Of these five, one is currently open, two will be open in the fall of 2020.

The internal deadline for the submission of internship applications to the Office of Research Services is April 30, 2020. If more than three internship applications are received, an internal competition will need to be held (applications will be reviewed by the Senate Research Committee).

Eligibility Criteria for the Intern Candidate
  • University and college graduates who have graduated within the last three years from an accredited college or university. Candidates must be graduates of post-secondary degree or diploma programs.
  • The position must provide the intern with first time employment in their field of study. 
  • Candidates are only eligible to participate in the internship program one time.   
  • Candidates must be legally entitled to work in Canada. 
Review Criteria
Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:
  • The opportunity for the placement to result in a full time permanent job.
  • The quality of the skill development opportunity.
  • The type of training being proposed by the employer.
  • The work plan/supervision method. Direct supervision must be provided daily by an onsite supervisor.    
NOHFC Funding
Eligible not-for-profit and public sector organizations located in Northern Ontario are potentially eligible to receive a conditional contribution of up to 90 percent of a recent graduate’s salary to a maximum contribution of $31,500.  As well, NOHFC funding under this program, when combined with other provincial and federal government sources, will generally not exceed 90 percent of eligible costs for public sector employers. 

Required Funding Confirmation/RPAF
It is important to note that the applicant must provide the remaining 10% of an intern's salary plus 14% benefit costs.  Therefore, when submitting your internship application to the Office of Research Services, a Research Proposal Approval Form (RPAF) must be included in the package.    
  • A specific statement of where the required matching funds (plus benefit costs) will come from must be included in, or attached to the signed and completed RPAF.  
  • Applications submitted by the April 30, 2020 internal deadline without an RPAF will be considered ineligible in the internal competition
An Important Note on Research Internships
Please note that for a proposal to be considered as being a research internship, the application must be written so as to meet the NOHFC's definition of research:  

Q:  What is a research intern under the Internship Program?

A: An employer applying for a research intern must engage in research activities as part of their mandate. NOHFC considers both pure (scientific) and applied research positions.


Pure (scientific) research internships must contribute to the development of documents that are generated for public consumption and peer review.


Applied research internships involve conducting studies and research that seeks to solve practical problems and find solutions to everyday problems. This often involves original investigation into the development of new technology, products, and services.


For the purpose of defining an applied research internship the following criteria must be met:

a)   The applicant must be involved in research aimed at developing a new technology and or products (i.e. a solution to everyday problem)

b)  The internship duties will focus on assisting the applicant organization in development and research of a new technology, products, or service.

Applications that are not deemed to be research-related (i.e., the duties of the intern will be more administrative in nature instead of involving a research activity) will be considered ineligible in the internal competition. 

For more information about the NOHFC program, please go to: https://nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/northern-ontario-internship-program  

As well, researchers are reminded when working with the NOHFC online system to complete the application, but not submit it to NOHFC.  Upon completion, researchers would download a PDF copy of the application, and email it to the Office of Research (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) for internal review.

2020 NSERC Enhancement Program

If you are planning to apply for an NSERC Discovery Grant this fall, you may be interested in participating in this years NSERC Enhancement Program. 

The program consists of four, two-hour workshops spread out over a four week period (specific date and times will be determined in collaboration with participants). In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Enhancement Program will be delivered via Zoom. 

Each workshop covers a specific element of the Discovery grant application and is aimed at familiarizing participants with how applications are reviewed, and how best to address the adjudication criteria. Within 30 days of program completion, participants will be required to submit a draft application to the Facilitator, who will provide feedback intended to assist with further grant development. 

Program Start: Week of May 11th - May 15th, 2020

Program End: Week of June 1st – June 5st, 2020
Draft of Discovery Grant due on or before July 6th, 2020    

Participants of the program will be eligible for a $1500 grant, distributed in two installments, which can be used to support activities related to grant development (hiring research assistants, grant writers/editors, collecting preliminary data, etc). The first half of the grant will be awarded following completion of the program, while the second will be awarded following submission of your Discovery Grant to NSERC in November 2020. 
To be considered for participation, researchers will need to submit an application through ROMEO (click on Apply New - Tri-Agency Grant Enhancement Programs). Applications will include a brief project summary, a summary of the applicant’s experience with tri-agency grants, and a budget for the $1,500 research grant.  
The deadline for applications to this program is April 24th, 2020.    
While the program is designed to support early career researchers or first time applicants in obtaining NSERC Discovery funding, application to the program is open to all faculty. 
Additional details can be found in this document.
For more information, please contact Lexi Haslehurst, Research Facilitator (Natural Sciences, Engineering and Health) at ahaslehu@lakeheadu.ca