Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP) – ResearchNet “Application” Phase Instructions
How to Apply
To make sure you have access and permissions to the research application tools you'll need to apply with, refer to "Before you begin" below.
To understand the general application process for the Open Operating Grants program, refer to "General Application Process" below.
To list the components that make up a complete application that are specific to this program, refer to "A complete application consists of the following" below.
To get ResearchNet-specific information on a task-by-task basis, refer to "Task Tips" below.
Before you begin
You must have gone through the Registration stage before preparing the submission of your application.
Make sure you have read the specific Funding Opportunity Details.
Make sure you have the following or click the links to register:
You should only have one ResearchNet account. If you have already accessed ResearchNet, do not register for a new account.
General Application Process
- In ResearchNet, complete all tasks listed for your funding opportunity following the on-screen instructions in one of the official languages.
- Determine what signatures are needed for each part of your application. See the funding opportunity, and the Meaning of Signatures in the Grants and Awards Guide.
- Print the Signature pages, found in ResearchNet needed for the funding opportunity.
- Offline, obtain signatures for all signature pages, and for any other material needing signatures.
- Scan the signature pages.
- Upload the signed signature pages to ResearchNet as part of your submission before the application deadline date.
- Review the funding opportunity How to Apply section under the subsection entitled "Specific Instructions" and provide the additional information requested.
- Preview all components of your application in ResearchNet using the "Preview Application Materials" task to ensure that your application is complete.
Indicate that you have verified the application for completeness on ResearchNet.
- Submit the completed electronic application to the Research Office of your Institution for e-Approval through ResearchNet by completing the "Consent and Submit Application" task on ResearchNet.
Note: CIHR cannot legally accept your application until you complete this task.
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your ResearchNet account, or if you have any questions or difficulties in completing the CIHR specific content on ResearchNet, contact us between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time:
A complete application consists of the following
- Submitted ResearchNet Application
- Task 1. Identify Participants
- Task 2. Attach Participant Documents
- Task 3. Enter Project Information and Supporting Documents
- Task 4. Complete Summary of Research Proposal
- Task 5. Enter Budget Information and Supporting Documents
- Task 6. Attach Other Application Materials
- Task 7. Peer Review Administration
- Task 8. Apply to Priority Announcements / Funding Pools (if applicable)
- Task 9. Print/Upload Signature Pages
- Task 10. Preview Application Materials
- Task 11. Consent and Submit Application
- Additional Information as stated in the How to Apply section under the subsection entitled "Specific Instructions."
These Task Tips are not a comprehensive list of information required to ensure completeness. You should also read the Funding Opportunity Details and should also be familiar with CIHR funding policies.
Task 1: Identify Participants
This task collects information on all participants involved in your research application and the institution or organization that will receive funds if your application is successful. Consult the Individual Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR website for more information. The name of the Nominated Principal Applicant must remain unchanged between registration and application.
New: Applicants will now be required to enter a Common CV (CCV) confirmation number in ResearchNet as opposed to uploading a CCV .pdf file. This process is described below.
See the "Eligibility" and the "How to Apply" sections of this funding opportunity to determine the CV requirements for each participant. In general, Researchers and Trainees should select "Academic CV", and those who are considered Knowledge Users in the context of their role in the grant application (i.e. practitioner, policy maker, educator, decision maker, health care administrator, community leader, or an individual in a health charity, patient group, private sector organization, or media outlet) should select "Knowledge User CV". To produce an Academic CV or a Knowledge User CV, please follow the instructions described below:
- Log in to the Common CV (CCV) system, then go to the CV menu on the top left of the page, and select "Funding".
- In the Funding Source field, select "CIHR" from the dropdown and click next. Select the appropriate CV type (i.e. Academic or Knowledge User), and click next.
- Enter data in each of the required sections, and click "Done" when finished each section. Validation is performed automatically, and if there are any errors, they will be displayed in each section. The validation rules follow the requirements set specifically by CIHR.
- The CV data entered in CCV can be viewed in PDF format by selecting "Preview". Read through the document to identify any changes that need to be made in CCV before submitting the CV to CIHR.
- Once satisfied with the information and output of the CV, click "Submit". A CCV confirmation number will be generated in the status message, and will also be located at the top of the CV PDF document. Record this confirmation number as it will be needed to link the CV to any research applications in ResearchNet.
- Return to ResearchNet and enter the CCV confirmation number under the "Identify Participants Task" (click "Edit" under the participant in question and input the CCV Confirmation Number where requested).
- If you wish to make changes to your Common CV after it has been linked to an application, you must repeat the steps described above. After the desired changes are made on the CCV website, the new CV will need to be submitted to CIHR, and this will generate a NEW CCV confirmation number, which will need to be updated in ResearchNet.
Please note that you can preview your CCV in ResearchNet by clicking on “Preview Registration Materials” on the Tasks page.
Note: During peak periods, there can be a delay between the time that you submit the CV and when ResearchNet is able to validate it. It is highly recommended that you submit your CV well in advance of the competition deadline.
A CV is required for all participants, with the exception of collaborators.
Task 2: Attach Participant Documents
All attachments must adhere to the guidelines for attachments on the Acceptable Application Formats and Attachments. Before preparing your proposal, please carefully review these instructions.
All documents must be in PDF format. The total size of the attached document(s) cannot exceed 30 MB.
Documents to attach in this section involve applicant Contribution Details and include:
- Most Significant Contributions
- Activities and Contributions
- Patents and Intellectual Property Rights
- Publication List
- Three of the four attachments allowed in this section can now be filled out in CCV. Only the "Most Significant Contributions" section will need to be submitted as an attachment for the foreseeable future, as the CCV is not currently able to capture this information.
- Each attachment has specific page limitations, which are described below.
- CIHR is taking a phased-in approach to the submission of Contribution Details in that applicants are encouraged to use the CCV to enter their contribution data, but that they may, for the time-being, continue to use attachments to capture Contribution Details.
- It is the hope of CIHR that the phasing-in process will provide sufficient time for the completion of some of the more labor-intensive fields (i.e. Publications).
- Career Interruption and Delays MUST be submitted through the CCV in the "Leaves of Absence" section.
1) Most Significant Contributions (Academic CV: 1 page max; Knowledge User CV: 6 pages max)
Note: This section is not required for trainees.
- Identify a maximum of five (5) contributions that best highlight your contribution to (or activities in) your field of research, defining the impact and relevance of each contribution. A contribution could be defined as a publication, literary or artistic work, conference, patent or intellectual property right, contract or creative activity, commission, etc.
- Please make sure to include the following information in your description of each contribution:
- Position/activity type and description
- Dates (start and end dates)
- Why the contribution is significant (i.e. relevance, target community, and impact)
2) Activities and Contributions (1 page max)
Note: For comparative purposes, this attachment applies to the "Activities" section and the "Presentations" sub-section of the "Contributions" section in the CCV.
The activities and contributions defined in this section should include descriptions of both academic and non-academic achievements, as well as their impacts, that have occurred in the past five (5) years. Examples of Activities/Contributions are included below. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but is merely intended to provide guidance as to what may constitute activities/contributions.
- Thesis examination committees (indicate the author, title of thesis, and university)
- Consulting/contract activities
- Research development
- Supervisory experience (e.g. training of students)
- Mentorship experience
- International Collaborations
- Technology transfers (specify the nature of the activity and the target audience)
- Involvement in public, private, or non-profit sector activities
- Policy papers
- Presentations as guest speaker (public or invited lectures)
- Knowledge translation/Dissemination activities
- Trainees might mention development of a graduate seminar program, journal club, or similar activity
If some of the activities/contributions that you include do not seem to support the research theme of the team or centre to which you belong, please provide the necessary explanations for the discrepancy.
3) Patents and Intellectual Property Rights (1 page max)
Note: For comparative purposes, this attachment applies to the "Intellectual Property" sub-section of the "Contributions" section in the CCV.
This section should include details for patents and intellectual property rights for technology transfer, products, and services. Do not include publications in this section.
Where appropriate, please include information regarding the title, patents, or intellectual property rights number and date, country(ies) of issue, the name of the inventors and assignee(s), as well as the relevance or impact of the stated item.
4) Publications List (no page limit)
Note: For comparative purposes, this attachment applies to the "Publications" sub-section of the "Contributions" section in the CCV.
List your publications over the past five (5) years according to the categories described below. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but is merely intended to provide guidance as to what constitutes a publication. Categories can be added as needed. Use only items pertinent to the application. There is no limit to the number of pages you can use.
Please organize this section using each of the Categories as separate "Headings", and maintaining the headings in the same order as presented below. In all instances, use the reference format for complete bibliographical notes of each original publication. Indicate the source of funding, if applicable.
- Published refereed papers (original articles published in journals with editorial review)
- Accepted or in press refereed papers (attach acceptance letters)
- Submitted refereed papers
- Published books and monographs (as author or editor)
- Accepted or in press books and monographs
- Submitted books and monographs
- Published contributions to a collective work and book chapters (including chapters written on invitation or collective works derived from conferences or symposiums)
- Accepted or in press contributions to a collective work and book chapters (including chapters written on invitation or collective works derived from conferences or symposiums)
- Presentations as guest speaker (including conferences, presentations, demonstrations, workshops intended for a non-academic audience, according to the type of audience)
- Published abstracts/number of notes (including name of journal, title of article, and date submitted)
- Accepted or in press abstracts/number of notes (including name of journal, title of article, and date submitted)
- Submitted abstracts (including name of journal, title of article, and date submitted)
- Research reports or reports produced for the government
- Articles in professional or cultural journals without review committee (including popularized texts)
- Research or technical reports
Task 3: Enter Project Information and Supporting Documents
This task collects information related to your research project.
Your Project Title is the way that CIHR identifies your research project. For this reason you cannot edit your Project Title.
Provide a title for your project that is in a language clear to members of the general public. Lay titles are used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds.
Describe your project in a way that is accessible to a lay audience. Be sure to indicate how your proposed research can improve personal health, the health of populations and/or the health delivery system. This information is used by CIHR to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds.
Institution that will administer the funds for your project. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR website for more information.
If you are awarded a grant, the necessary certification requirements must be met in accordance with policies on ethical conduct of research. Relevant policies:
- Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions
- CIHR Funding Policies
Note: Not all funding opportunities include or allow trials. The Clinical Trial and Randomized Controlled Trial questions below may or may not appear on your application - consult the funding opportunity for information regarding these questions. For further information on the trials policy, refer to the TCPS 2—2nd edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
Does this Application Contain a Randomized Controlled Trial?
Indicate if this application includes a randomized controlled trial. Refer to the funding opportunity on specific requirements for randomized controlled trials for the program to which you are applying.
In order to carry out the proposed research in this application, is an exemption from Health Canada under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act required? (Trainees are exempt and should answer No)
Indicate if your proposed research is such that an exemption from Health Canada under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) will be required. Consult the Department of Justice website for details regarding Section 56 of the CDSA and the Health Canada website for details regarding obtaining an exemption under Section 56 of the CDSA.
Does this application propose research involving Aboriginal people?
Indicate if your application proposes research involving Aboriginal people. This information will be used for statistical purposes only. Any questions or comments may be sent to the Aboriginal Ethics Guidelines mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are sex (biological) considerations taken into account in this study?
Indicate if sex (biological) considerations are taken into account in this study. For a guide to sex and gender based analysis, please consult the CIHR website.
Are gender (socio-cultural) considerations taken into account in this study?
Indicate if gender (socio-cultural) considerations are taken into account in this study. For a guide to sex and gender based analysis, please consult the CIHR website.
If YES, please describe how sex and/or gender considerations will be considered in your research design (limit of 2000 characters).
If NO, please explain why sex and/or gender are not applicable in your research design (limit of 2000 characters).
Applicants whose proposed research will involve Aboriginal People, please consult Ethics of Health Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.
Definitions of Levels may be found in the PHAC laboratory biosafety guidelines.
CIHR must review proposals for potential impacts on the environment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Provide keywords to describe your research project, the techniques and the methodologies it will employ, and the areas of interest.
Areas of Research
Select the areas of research that best describe your proposal from the list provided.
Select the classifications that best describe your proposal from the list provided.
Select a primary theme classification. Indicate additional theme classifications only if the substance of the grant application significantly overlaps more than one theme. Consult the definition of the four CIHR Themes on the CIHR website for more information.
Select a primary CIHR Institute whose research mandate is related to this application's research area(s) and objective(s). Additional Institutes should only be selected if the substance of this grant application significantly overlaps with the research mandate of more than one Institute.
All attachments must adhere to the guidelines for attachments on the Acceptable Application Formats and Attachments.
Research Proposal (attachment)
Provide a clear, concise description of your proposed activities in the Research Proposal attachment. A maximum of 11 pages may be attached in the case of one or two applicants. A maximum of 13 pages may be attached if there are three or more applicants. Page limits do not include appendices.
The Research Proposal attachment should stand alone (i.e., it should contain all the information required to support your research plan and should contain a self-contained complete description of your project).
The Research Proposal attachment should be text only and is limited to the number of pages as outlined above. Title pages and table of contents, at the beginning or elsewhere in the document, will count towards the total pages allowed. If figures, tables, etc. are nevertheless embedded in the Research Proposal document, they will also count toward the page limit. Any pages beyond the limit will be removed by CIHR staff before the application is peer reviewed.
Please combine any references, tables, charts, figures and photographs together in the Research Proposal Appendix (separate attachment - see below). Be sure to label your figures.
In the Research Proposal you should explain:
- What you want to do (central hypothesis, research question, specific objectives)
- Why this is a reasonable thing to do (review of previous work done on the subject matter, rationale)
- Why this is important (new knowledge to be obtained, improvements to health which will result)
- How you are going to do it (work plan, timelines, detailed descriptions of methods, analysis and discussion/interpretation of results, pitfalls, ways around the pitfalls, alternatives)
- Why you should do it (relevant prior experience and skills, collaborators for technical gaps, preliminary data showing feasibility)
- What you and any other Principal Applicant(s) and/or Co-Applicant(s) will do (description of roles)
Legends should be succinct and should not contain detailed information pertaining to methods.
Randomized Controlled Trials
For applications for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs): (1) researchers may suggest the most relevant discipline-based peer review committee or the RC peer review committee if the budget requested is less than $250,000 in every project year and in all cases CIHR will decide on the most appropriate peer review committee based on committee mandate and expertise required for the review; and (2) the application will be sent to the RC committee for review if the overall budget requested is greater than or equal to $250,000 in any project year. In all cases CIHR will decide on the most appropriate peer review committee based on expertise required for the review.
All applications reviewed by the RC committee, regardless of the level of funding requested, must follow the RCT headings provided under RCT Evaluation Criteria and Headings. If these headings are not used in the Research Proposal, the application will be withdrawn.
All applications for RCTs that are reviewed by discipline based committees are encouraged to use or adapt the RCT headings as appropriate to the proposal but are not required to do so. Use of the RCT headings can help better organize the information required and facilitate the RCT review.
Research Proposal Appendix
Appendices may include items such as, references, tables, charts, figures, photographs, questionnaires, RCT methods, and consent forms.
Note: For the purpose of peer review, the research proposal should not depend on information in the Research Proposal appendix, other than references, tables, charts, figures and photographs, that are not included in the page limit of the research proposal. Reviewers are under no obligation to read the Research Proposal appendix other than to read references, tables, charts, figures and photographs.
Summary of Progress
The Summary of Progress should be text only and is limited to one page.
For renewal applicants, summarize progress under the current grant and, if applicable, identify the term of your current CIHR grant. New applicants are encouraged to summarize previous work relevant to this application.
New Investigator and Clinician Scientist candidates should describe the research undertaken as a trainee, and, if applicable, as an independent investigator. In addition, these candidates should address their research relationship with previous supervisor(s). For Industry-partnered Research Chair candidates describe the research you have been engaged in over the last five years and the results obtained.
Response to Previous Reviews
If you are resubmitting an application, you may respond to previous reviewer's comments. Your response should not require reference to any other document, because reviewers will not have access to previous application information. Maximum two pages.
Task 4: Complete Summary of Research Proposal
Summarize your research proposal. Note that your summary cannot exceed one page.
Task 5: Enter Budget Information and Supporting Documents
This task collects information on the budget for your research project.
Financial Assistance Requested
In the column entitled "No.", provide an estimate of the number of human resources (full-time equivalents) required for a full year for each human resources type listed. For part-time and/or shared resources, indicate fractions (e.g., 0.5). In the "Salary" and "Stipend" columns, provide the pro-rated salary/stipend amount for each human resources type.
- The Salary + Benefits columns must equal the CIHR + Cash + In-Kind columns.
- Amounts must be in Canadian funds.
- If the operating base changes for subsequent years, provide estimates for each year accordingly.
- Information on eligibility of expenses and employment under grants is found in the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide, Use of Grant Funds.
- Individuals paid from grants are not employees of CIHR.
- Each budget item must include the applicable provincial and federal taxes and should be calculated using the after-rebate tax rates. After rebate tax rates are available on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
- CIHR will not be funding equipment through its Open Operating Grant competitions until further notice.
Equipment is defined as any item (or interrelated collection of items comprising a system) of nonexpendable tangible property, having a useful life of more than 1 year and a cost of $2,000 or more, which is used wholly or in part for research.
Note that all three conditions must be met for an item to be considered equipment, i.e.:
- nonexpendable tangible property; and,
- useful life of more than 1 year; and,
- a cost of $2,000 or more.
To be considered materials or supplies an item must meet only one of the following conditions:
- expendable tangible property; or,
- useful life of 1 year or less; or,
- a cost of less than $2,000, excluding the non reimbursable portion of taxes.
For example, a laptop computer that costs less than $2,000 would be considered as materials or supplies even though it is a nonexpendable tangible item with a useful life of more than one year.
For the tax rate, consult your institution.
Financial Assistance Requested Details
Provide a full justification for all budget items relative to the proposed research.
If you include a need for research personnel and trainees, state their roles and explain why you require the level (in terms of qualifications and salary) that you are requesting.
Itemize the expendables and services; for example, number and cost of animals, nature and amounts of reagents, numbers of subjects, or number and cost of printing survey instruments. For travel requests, indicate the purpose of the trip(s), the people that will be traveling, and their destination(s).
For maintenance costs included in this operating budget, indicate:
- the anticipated extent of utilization;
- reasons for choice of specific type, model or service contract, in relation to alternatives; and
- where applicable, the necessity for the service contract.
If you are requesting or hold start-up funds to equip a new laboratory, detail any funds you have received or have applied for from other sources for this purpose (e.g., institutional sources) and how you intend to use these funds.
Cost Quotations/Quotation Support Letters
For service contracts costing more than $10,000, at least one cost quotation must be attached. In addition, explain why is it necessary to outsource this service as opposed to having it done in-house. This information can be included in the Financial Assistance Requested Details attachment or as a separate Quotation Support Letter.
Note: No other information may be included in the “Budget Attachments” section other than that described above in the “Financial Assistance Requested Details” and the “Cost Quotations/Quotation Support Letters”. Any additional material will be removed from the application prior to being sent to reviewers.
Estimate the number of hours per week each applicant will be working on the research project.
For personnel who will be paid on the grant, for example research assistants or technicians, list their position at the time of application, their current salary rate ($/annum, excluding benefits) and their current source of funding.
Task 6: Attach Other Application Materials
Upload any other application materials you wish to include with your application package. All documents must be in PDF format.
You may attach:
- Letters from Collaborators who are expected to make a significant contribution, confirming their willingness to participate in the manner indicated.
- Letters of support may be appended when specific incremental cash or in-kind contributions are being provided in support of the proposed research. Letters in general support for the research, the researcher or the research team should not be appended and may be removed.
- Questionnaires and consent forms, if applicable.
- Up to five publications from the past five years, relevant to this proposal.
For New Investigators and for applicants with pending appointment, you must attach:
- letter at the time of application, signed by the responsible official of the Institution Paid, stating the institution's commitment to confer eligible status on the researcher and the expected start date of the academic or research appointment which must be no later than the announced funding start date of the OOGP competition (see funding opportunity details).
Task 7: Peer Review Administration
This task collects information used for the purpose of peer review administration.
Suggested External Reviewers
Suggest Canadian and/or foreign reviewers that you feel have the expertise to review your application. CIHR reserves the right to make the final selection of external reviewers. You should not suggest reviewers in conflict of interest. Consult the conflict of interest guidelines on the CIHR website for more information.
Reviewers to Exclude
Provide the names of individuals that you feel cannot provide an objective review of your application.
Future Committee Member Nominations
Nominate individuals that you feel would be appropriate as reviewers for a particular peer review committee.
Future Committee Member Nomination/Proposed Committee
For more information consult the Peer Review Committees and Mandates on the CIHR website.
Suggest up to two peer review committees that you feel could review your application. Suggested committees must remain unchanged between registration and application. Only one committee will be selected. CIHR will consult with committee Chairs and Scientific Officers, as required, in assigning applications to specific committees. Note that CIHR will make the final decision on which peer review committee will review each application based on the summary of proposed research received during the registration phase. The final committee selected will not necessarily be your first or second choice.
Task 8: Apply to Priority Announcements/Funding Pools (if applicable)
Priority Announcements/Funding Pools
Priority Announcements/Funding Pools on CIHR's core competitions offer additional sources of funding for highly rated applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates.
Priority Announcements/Funding Pools for the OOGP are listed on the CIHR website in June and December of each year together with CIHR's other current funding opportunities. For requirements on individual Priority Announcements/Funding Pools, verify the "How To Apply" section of each Priority Announcement/Funding Pool on the Funding Opportunities page. This section will indicate if relevance information is required at the application stage.
Identify Priority Announcements/Funding Pools and Relevant Research Areas
To apply for funding through a Priority Announcement/Funding Pool, select the Priority Announcement/Funding Pool title from the list you see in ResearchNet and the Relevant Research Area(s) addressed by your proposal.
Describe (in one half-page) how the research proposed will address the relevant research area (if applicable).
Task 9: Print/Upload Signature Pages
- Print the signature page PDF file which is found on ResearchNet.
- Obtain all required signatures.
- For applications that require partner signatures, signatures are captured in the Partnership Details PDF and should be uploaded in the Identify Application Partners task (Manage Attachments).
- Scan and upload the signed signature pages in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting your application.
- All necessary signatures must be obtained and uploaded on ResearchNet prior to the Research Institution's deadline date. You must submit your signature pages to the Research Office so that the Institution can approve and submit the application to CIHR through ResearchNet.
- When the Research Office electronically approves and forwards your application to CIHR, they are, in fact, confirming that all required signatures have been obtained.
Task 10: Preview Application Materials
Review all components of your application. If a task is incomplete, you must provide the missing information to successfully submit your application.
Task 11: Consent and Submit Application
You must review the terms listed and respond to the questions regarding consent in order to submit your application.
You must click Submit to send your application to your institution's Research Office.
It is highly recommended that you submit your application well ahead of the CIHR deadline. If your research office returns the application to you with comments or questions and you cannot address these before the CIHR competition deadline, your application will not be accepted by CIHR. Many institutions have internal deadlines for receipt of applications ahead of the CIHR deadlines, please confirm with your institution.
After January 3, 2011 the CIHR deadline time for receipt of all applications will be 20:00 ET.