Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE)

The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE) program promotes research excellence of strategic value to Ontario by supporting new leading-edge, transformative, and internationally significant research.

As a general rule, the minimum support provided by the ORF-RE to a project is $1 million. The maximum support provided is $4 million.
The ORF-RE focuses on scientific excellence and strong benefits to Ontarians. Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Research Excellence: Scientific merit, quality of research, and expertise of research team
  • Research Impact: Anticipated value to Ontarians in the following three categories:
  1. Commercialization
  2.  Economic Benefits
  3.  Societal Benefits
  • Research Translation: Strategy for achieving Research Impact
  • Project Management and Governance: Management of the project, including governance structure, sustainability, budget, and milestones

The program will contribute towards eligible operating costs of an approved research project to a maximum of 1/3 of the total project costs, with 1/3 of the remainder coming from the applicant institution(s) and 1/3 from the private sector.

ORF-RE Round 7 is a general funding round. While Round 7 is open to all disciplines, the Ministry particularly encourages applications in three focus areas:

  • Bio-economy and clean technologies
  • Advanced health technologies
  • Digital media and information & communications technologies

Interested applicants must submit a non-binding letter of intent to the Ministry of Research and Innovation, through their institution no later than February 12, 2014.  Since the letter of intent requires sign off by the University, faculty members  are asked to submit their letters of intent to the Office of Research Services by February 7, 2014.

For more information:  http://www.ontario.ca/business-and-economy/ontario-research-fund-research-excellence



CFI 2015 Innovation Fund: Internal Call for Expressions of Interest

Internal Planning Process for Upcoming CFI IF Call for Proposals

  • CFI IF Expressions of Interest are due to the ORS by January 31, 2014. 
  • To access the official CFI call (which includes the CFI's timelines), click here.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will soon be issuing a call for large research infrastructure projects under the 2015 Innovation Fund.  The objectives of the 2015 Innovation Fund (IF) are to enable institutions and their best researchers to:

• Strive for global leadership by conducting world-class transformative research and technology development in areas of institutional strategic priority;

• Forge and foster productive, value-added partnerships within and among institutions, sectors and disciplines that will nurture creativity and innovation resulting in an effective and sustainable use of the research infrastructure and facilities;

• Identify and develop plans and potential pathways to social, health, environmental and economic benefits for Canada, including better training and improved skills for highly qualified personnel.

The Office of Research Services in collaboration with the Faculty Deans would like to invite all faculty members and research centres to submit CFI IF Expressions of Interest with infrastructure project proposals that would be competitive under the IF.  At this time, the proposals will not be evaluated but will be used to seek opportunities for collaboration among researchers, other academic institutions and partners. Once the CFI issues a formal call for proposals (Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply), the VP (REDI) then will formally issue an internal call for NOIs. 


The CFI’s Challenge to Institutions

It is important to note that for this competition (to access the CFI call, click here), the CFI will be challenging institutions to propose transformative infrastructure projects that will underpin cutting-edge research and will have a structural effect on Canada’s research landscape. As well, the CFI expects that projects funded through the 2015 IF competition will support promising and innovative directions in research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage. The CFI has indicated that it will support initiatives that allow institutions and their researchers to build on and enhance an emerging strategic priority area, accelerate current research and technology development work or take established capabilities to a globally competitive level.

 Under the 2015 IF competition, the CFI is encouraging institutions to submit proposals for which there is a proven record of, or a strong potential for, excellence and commitment.  Institutions are also being encouraged to consider how their proposals can be made more competitive through collaboration with appropriate partners and to plan co-operatively to acquire, develop and maintain infrastructure.  Finally, in developing proposals, institutions are encouraged to engage with end-users of research or technology development to clearly define the potential benefits for Canadians. 


For purposes of the 2015 IF competition, the CFI has placed a limit on the total value of funding that an eligible institution can request from this fund.  Lakehead University’s institutional envelope is $2,150,000 (representing CFI’s 40% of project costs). No application that exceeds Lakehead’s CFI institutional envelope will be considered. As in previous competitions, CFI awards will be available to fund infrastructure and equipment (capital expenses only) and will provide up to 40% of the total project cost.  We also anticipate that the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Ontario Research Fund (ORF) will fund an additional 40% with the remaining 20% of the funding to be provided by eligible funding partners (for example, in-kind contributions in the form of special discounts from equipment suppliers on infrastructure items beyond the best educational price).


Submission Requirements

Expressions of Interest submitted should be no more than two pages, including the budget estimate, and must include the following information:

1. Name of Principal Applicant, Co-applicants (and their academic institutions) and potential external partners.

2. Project Title.

3. General Objectives – Describe how your proposed project meets the requirements and vision of the CFI 2015 IF call for proposals.

4.  A brief description of the proposed research project.

5.  A budget estimate and list of potential equipment.        

6.  How the proposed research project fits with the research priority areas outlined in the Lakehead University Academic/Research Plan.

Researchers are reminded that the proposed CFI IF project should meet the following CFI criteria:

•         Institutional track record and commitment: The proposal builds on existing capacity and key investments in people and infrastructure. Through tangible commitments, the institution supports the area of the proposal in order to maintain or gain a competitive advantage internationally.

•         Research or technology development: The proposed research or technology development activities enabled by the research infrastructure are timely, innovative and at the leading edge internationally. The activities have the potential to lead to breakthroughs and will enhance the international competitiveness of the institution and its researchers.

•         Team: The principal users of the infrastructure are established or emerging leaders in the relevant research or technology development domains. The team has the necessary expertise, ability and relevant collaborations and partnerships in place to successfully conduct the research or technology development activities.

•         Infrastructure: The infrastructure is necessary and appropriate to conduct the research or technology development activities. The use of the infrastructure will be maximized within and among institutions and sectors (private, public and non-profit).

•         Sustainability of the research infrastructure: The proposal presents a compelling plan for the management, operation and maintenance of the proposed infrastructure with tangible and appropriate commitments over its useful life.

•         Benefits to Canadians: The research or technology development activities are likely to lead to significant tangible benefits for society, health, the economy and/or the environment. Where appropriate, effective pathways have been identified and will be developed to transfer the results and outputs of the research or technology development to potential end-users in a timely manner.

Should you have any questions regarding the CFI IF competition or internal CFI planning process, please contact  Anne Klymenko at ext. 8223 or via email:  Anne.Klymenko@lakeheadu.ca.


Dr. Umed Panu,

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

NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program: 2015 Competition - Internal Call for Proposals

Goals of the CREATE Program

NSERC's CREATE Program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that:

•encourage collaborative and integrative approaches that address significant scientific challenges

•facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce

These innovative programs must include the acquisition and development of important professional skills among students and postdoctoral fellows that complement their qualifications and technical skills.

Internal Process/Quota
A yearly quota has been established for each university and only those researchers selected at their university can submit Letters of Intent.  Under its assigned quota, Lakehead University can submit up to two letters of intent to the CREATE  program.  Therefore, researchers are asked by March 3 to indicate to the Office of Research Services (e-mail to ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) if they plan to submit a letter of intent to NSERC. If more than two applicants indicate that they intend to submit a letter of intent, an internal competition will need to be held to determine which two LOIs are submitted by the NSERC deadline of May 1 competition.

For more information on the call, please click here.

Horizon 2020 calls for proposal released

The primary instrument for Canadian universities and researchers to engage with Europe is through Horizon 2020, (which is  European Union’s Eighth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation).

The European Commission recently issued its official Horizon 2020 Work Programs. These informatoin contained within these work programs outlines the anticipated topics for funding and also explains the connection of Horizon 2020 with the main EU policies that are relevant to research and innovation (for example the ‘Europe 2020 strategy,’ the ‘Innovation Union’ flagship initiative and the European Research Area). 

Please note that Canadian researchers will be particularly interested in the EU's "Blue Growth agenda" in which participation with Canada is prioritized in several calls. 

The Blue Growth agenda is part of the Horizon 2020 Work Program titled: Food security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy.

For more information, please click here.

Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute and Lakehead University Scientist developing a new method for breast imaging

Dr. Alla Reznik, an Associate Professor of Physics at Lakehead University and Senior Scientist with the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI), is developing a new cancer imaging technique with financial support from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).  For more details, click here.

SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program 2014

SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program 2014

The Office of Research Services at Lakehead University is pleased to announce the extension of the SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program. This program is designed to encourage and support researchers at Lakehead to begin preparation of their SSHRC applications well in advance of the internal deadline (2 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 February 2014, applicants will participate in a series of workshops devoted to the drafting of specific elements of a SSHRC application, common across disciplinary boundaries. Workshop topics may include a mock SSHRC peer review exercise, organizing a comprehensive description of the proposed research project, preparing an engaging summary, crafting a project budget, building effective research teams for successful grant applications, 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.

Over the summer of 2014, participants will submit their draft applications for a formal review by an expert in their field, receiving valuable feedback to further strengthen their applications. Participants will be given the results of their review six weeks prior to the internal deadline in order to revise and submit their application to the external SSHRC competition.

Participants in the program will be eligible for a research grant of up to $1000, 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, and gathering materials for the literature review. At the conclusion of the pilot, participants’ feedback will be sought to assist in the evaluation of the pilot program. The $1000 grant will be distributed in two separate allotments: 1) $500 at the completion of the workshops in which the participant had full attendance and 2) $500 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, Partnership Letter of Intent Grant, or Partnership Development Grant competition.

All researchers engaged in research in the area of social sciences and humanities are welcome to participate in the program. Participants of the 2012 or 2013 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.

In order to apply for the program, researchers should send to Dr. Andrew Friesen (SSHRC Research Facilitator) by December 30, 2013:

a) a brief 1-page description of their proposed research project, including title and abstract (250-500 words),

b) a short bio about the researcher (100-200 words),

c) a budget for the $1000 research grant, and

d) the name and email address of one non-Lakehead scholar who has 1) held a successful SSHRC grant and 2) agreed to review a draft SSHRC application that is a part of the program.

Please note that only 12 applicants will be selected to participate in this program, so please ensure your application contains all required components and is submitted by the deadline. Evaluation will be based on originality, relevance to SSHRC’s mandate, methodology, project description cohesiveness and background of the researcher. Please allow 2 weeks for the results to be announced. If you would like more information, please contact Andrew by email at afriesen@lakeheadu.ca  or phone 807-343-8290.

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.


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 


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.


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.