Early Researcher Award Round 18

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

Eligible Applicants
Lakehead University invites early career researchers who meet the ERA program criteria, to apply to the 2024 internal ERA competition.  You are eligible to apply for this award if you:
  • are full-time, faculty or principal investigator (PI) based at an eligible institution in Ontario (adjunct positions do not qualify)
  • have started your independent academic research career on or after January 1, 2018; and
  • have completed your first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2013 (anywhere world-wide)
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award, and 
  • not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair.  
To be competitive, researchers are encouraged to be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding and to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors.

Available Amount/Number of Lakehead University Applications
Under this program, an ERA award to a leading researcher is worth a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000. For this competition, Lakehead University will provide the required matching contribution of $50,000 ($10,000 per year over 5 years) towards five applications.  If more than five qualified applications are received a special review committee will be established to rank the applicants to determine which application(s) will be submitted to the ERA program. Please note that awards administered by the federal granting councils (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) are not eligible partner contributions.

Internal ERA Deadlines
1.  May 15, 2024:  Potential applicants are required to e-mail the Office of Research (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) by May 15 to a) indicate their intention to apply to the ERA program, and b) to provide our office with a list of three external individuals (who are not in a conflict of interest with the ERA applicant) who our office can approach to write a letter of reference for the applicant's ERA application.  Please contact your three ERA referees to confirm their willingness to write a letter of support for your ERA application - please ensure that you follow the ERA guidelines when selecting referees.  Once they have agreed, please inform the Office of Research.
Please note the ERA program's guidelines for reference letters:
  •   One letter must come from a non-arm's length relationship. Non-arm’s length letters are letters written by a referee who knows the candidate personally (e.g., through mentoring relationships, co-employment relationships in the same school or institute, joint publications, or joint grants). Examples of non-arm’s length relationships: 
                  • Present or past colleague, student, post-doctoral fellow, faculty member, co-practitioner, etc. 
                 • Past mentor 
                 • Collaborator (joint publications, grants, etc.) 
  • Two letters must come from arm's length recommendations. Arm's length letters are defined as those from external referees who are not the candidate's dissertation or thesis chair or mentor, the candidate's co-author or collaborator, a family member of the candidate, or a friend of the candidate. External referees may not have a significant relationship with the candidate and must have the ability to write a non-biased letter that speaks to the candidate's background, work and standing in the field. However, it is acceptable for an external referee to be a professional acquaintance. A "professional acquaintance" is defined by circumstances where the candidate and the external referee know each other from a professional society or association or from participating together on a panel, chairing meetings or sharing a similar research interest. The external referee cannot have a personal friendship or family relationship with the candidate or have had a mentoring relationship, co-employment, a former professor, co-author or collaborator, joint publications or joint grants (see exceptions below). 
              Examples of acceptable levels of acquaintance: 
                  • Served on an association committee together 
                  • Met at a conference or chaired a conference or sections of a conference 
                  • Served on a panel together; or 
                  • Has been 5 years or more since the applicant: 
                      • has had a mentoring relationship with the individual 
                      • has had co-employment with the individual 
                      • was taught by the professor 
                      • co-authored or collaborated with the individual 
                      • jointly published with the individual; or 
                     • received a joint grant with the individual  It is recommended that the arm’s length letters be from researchers of international stature familiar with the researcher’s (PI) work, where possible.
2.  June 3, 2024:  ERA applicants are required to submit their ERA research proposals and CVs to the Office of Research (ahacquo1@lakeheadu.ca) by June 3 so that our office can forward the information to the external reference letter writers.

3.  June 24, 2024:  Full Applications,using the ERA form, are due in the Office of Research Services no later than June 24, 2024. 
For More Information
The official call for this program can be found on the  Ministry of Colleges and Universities  website.  The website includes the ERA application form, complete program guidelines and instructions including a list of ineligible partner contributions, eligible expenses, evaluation criteria, application forms, letter of reference requirements, etc.  There is also a list of upcoming information sessions on the site.
External Deadline: 
Thursday, July 25, 2024
Funding Source: 
Funding Level: