CIHR Policy on Complete Applications - FAQ

  1. Why is CIHR only accepting complete applications?
  2. What is a complete application?
  3. Are there any funding opportunities that do not require signature pages to be submitted to CIHR?
  4. How do I know whose signature is required?
  5. Is the Nominated Principal Applicant's signature still required?
  6. Are signatures from other applicants such as Principal Applicants and Co-Applicants still required?
  7. Does the Nominated Principal Applicant (NPA) need to upload the signature pages on ResearchNet?
  8. Are signatures from Institutions or Organizations of other applicants such as Principal Applicant and Co-Applicant still required?
  9. Does CIHR require a signature from the Nominated Principal Applicant's Institution Paid?
  10. Which programs are using the e-Approval process?
  11. In the case of an application submitted via the e-approval process or directly to CIHR, what if the Authorized Official at the Institution Paid cannot abide by all conditions under the "Meaning of Signatures"?
  12. Do signature pages need to be couriered to CIHR if the application is submitted via ResearchNet?
  13. What institutional signatures are required when submitting a Training Award application?
  14. Can a foreign researcher be a Principal Applicant on a grant?
  15. Does the rule regarding complete applications relate to all funding opportunities, or only those on ResearchNet?
  16. With regard to submitting a) notices of acceptance of publications and b) notices of any other funding requested after the application deadline date, are there any funding opportunities which have deadline dates for these additions?
  17. Are applicants informed when their application has been withdrawn?
  18. What about information that is outside of my control that is to be provided?
  19. What recent updates are there to the completeness rules launched in September 2008?

1. Why is CIHR only accepting complete applications?

CIHR is accountable to taxpayers and to the Canadian government for its processes. A review of all of our competition management processes revealed that we needed to make some improvements. Changes will be implemented over the next two years. To provide fairness within its competition management process, CIHR will no longer accept incomplete applications. Applicants who have submitted incomplete applications and are then given the opportunity to complete them are perceived to have an unfair advantage over those who have correctly submitted complete applications by the competition deadline.

Furthermore, CIHR runs many competitions on a tight schedule and receives thousands of applications per year. Delays to competitions caused by the follow-up and processing of incomplete applications put undue strain on CIHR's timelines for the peer review process and funding decisions reporting.

Our systems have been updated to ensure that applicants have the opportunity to view the application information before it is submitted to CIHR. If you have any questions regarding the submission process, contact us between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time:

support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca 
1-888-603-4178
613-954-1968

2. What is a complete application?

Applicants need to follow the application instructions that are provided in the "How to Apply" section of each funding opportunity, as well as the instructions within ResearchNet and the Common CV. The most common reasons for incomplete applications are as follows:

  • not providing the "Summary of the Research Proposal";
  • missing signatures on the signatures pages of the application for funding, including signatures from the Nominated Principal Applicant, other participants, supervisors (if applicable), partners (if applicable), and an authorized official from the Institution Paid.
    Note: The Nominated Principal Applicant must obtain these signatures and upload them onto ResearchNet before submitting their application.

If you are not sure what makes a complete application, we encourage you to seek clarification from CIHR before the submission deadline.

3. Are there any funding opportunities that do not require signature pages to be submitted to CIHR?

All necessary signatures must be obtained prior to the CIHR application deadline for all funding opportunities.

For applications submitted through ResearchNet, all required signatures must be in the uploaded signature page once the application is submitted to CIHR.

For applications not using ResearchNet, the signed pages (including the Routing Slip) must be sent to CIHR, courier-stamped by the CIHR application deadline date.

4. How do I know whose signature is required?

CIHR's Grants and Awards Guide outlines the required signatures and defines the meaning of signatures for applying for funding. Review the specific application instructions of the funding opportunity to determine who must sign the application and if other supporting documentation (e.g., letters of support) are required and if so, whether these require signatures. If partner signatures are required, the appropriate authorized official (i.e., who has the authority to bind the funding partner (e.g., company or other organization) to the cash and/or in-kind contribution to the grant, salary or training award). If you are not sure what signatures are required, we encourage you to seek clarification from CIHR well in advance of the submission deadline since signatures do take time to obtain.

5. Is the Nominated Principal Applicant's signature still required?

Yes. However, if the Nominated Principal Applicant is submitting his/her application via ResearchNet, then hitting the "submit" button constitutes his/her signature and he/she does not need to affix his/her signature on the signature pages.

6. Are signatures from other applicants such as Principal Applicants and Co-Applicants still required?

Yes, CIHR requires a signature (original or copied) from other applicants such as Principal Applicants and Co-Applicants listed on the application.

7. Does the Nominated Principal Applicant (NPA) need to upload the signature pages on ResearchNet?

Yes, only the NPA can upload the signatures on ResearchNet. The NPA will not be able to submit the application unless the PDF of the signatures is uploaded.

8. Are signatures from Institutions or Organizations of other applicants such as Principal Applicant and Co-Applicant still required?

No, as of Dec 15, 2009, CIHR no longer requires signatures, on the "CIHR Signature Pages," from Institutions or Organizations of other applicants such as Principal Applicant and Co-Applicant.

9. Does CIHR require a signature from the Nominated Principal Applicant's Institution Paid?

Yes, CIHR requires a signature (original or copied) from the Institution Paid. However, if the Institution Paid is submitting the application through e-approval, then hitting the "submit" button constitutes their signature and they do not need to affix their signature on the signature pages.  

10. Which programs are using the e-Approval process?

See below for the list of programs that are currently using the e-approval process.

  • Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP)
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Knowledge Synthesis Grant
  • Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI)
  • Proof of Principle Program: Phase I
  • Proof of Principle Program: Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trials: Mentoring
  • Catalyst Grant - CEEHRC Epigenetics, Environment & Health
  • CEEHRC Epigenomics Platform
  • Collaborative Health Research Projects (NSERC partnered)
  • Foundation Scheme
  • CIHR Doctoral Research Award
  • CIHR Fellowship
  • CIHR New Investigator Award
  • Knowledge to Action

11. In the case of an application submitted via the e-approval process or directly to CIHR, what if the Authorized Official at the Institution Paid cannot abide by all conditions under the "Meaning of Signatures"?

Other authorized official(s) will be required to sign block 2 in the Institution Signature section of the application and these signatures are to be uploaded on ResearchNet by the Nominated Principal Applicant (or sent to CIHR if the program is not on ResearchNet).

12. Do signature pages need to be couriered to CIHR if the application is submitted via ResearchNet?

No, a single PDF of all signature pages containing all required signatures can be uploaded on ResearchNet. They do not need to be couriered to CIHR.

13. What institutional signatures are required when submitting a Training Award application?

Depending on the scenario a signature is required from the institution paid and/or the institution where the research is being conducted.

Scenario 1:
Research conducted within Canada: a signature is required from the Institution Paid and the Institution where the Research is being conducted.

Scenario 2:
Research conducted outside of Canada: a signature is required only from the Institution where the Research is being conducted.

14. Can a foreign researcher be a Principal Applicant on a grant?

Principal Applicants are no longer required to have an employment relationship or academic status with a CIHR-eligible Institution. Foreign researchers who do not have such status, but who share responsibility for the direction of the proposed activities, and who meet the eligibility requirements for Principal Applicant as outlined in the Funding Opportunity, may apply as Principal Applicant. Foreign researchers applying as Principal Applicants are not required to spend a minimum of six months per year at a Canadian institution. (Note that the requirement for "6 months per year in Canada" (Grants programs only) remains in place for Nominated Principal Applicants).

15. Does the rule regarding complete applications relate to all funding opportunities, or only those on ResearchNet?

The rule relates to all funding opportunities regardless of the submission process (e.g., via ResearchNet or PDF).

16. With regard to submitting a) notices of acceptance of publications and b) notices of any other funding requested after the application deadline date, are there any funding opportunities which have deadline dates for these additions?

Due to the large number of applications that are received, the funding opportunity descriptions of the following competitions specify the dates up until which the above mentioned items can be submitted. Please refer to the funding opportunity descriptions.

  • Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP)
  • Doctoral Research Award
  • Fellowship
  • Master's Award  

17. Are applicants informed when their application has been withdrawn?

When an application is withdrawn, the Nominated Principal Applicant or Training Award Applicant/Candidate is advised via e-mail from CIHR that the application has been withdrawn from the competition.

18. What about information that is outside of my control that is to be provided?

In some cases, CIHR receives information from sources that are outside the direct control of the applicant. An example is the transcripts that are submitted to CIHR directly. These are normally received by the application deadline and we will continue to use our common sense for exceptional cases. If material will be accepted after the deadline, this will be stated in the "How to Apply" section of the Funding Opportunity description. If you are not sure what makes a complete application, we encourage you to seek clarification from CIHR before the submission deadline.

19. What recent updates are there to the completeness rules launched in September 2008?

With the December 2009 launch of Funding Opportunities, the following changes were made:

  • Updated instructions in the "How to Apply" section of the Funding Opportunity descriptions. They should be followed closely when applying for CIHR funding.
  • Updated "CIHR Grants and Awards Guide" to clarify the signature requirements which differ depending on whether the applications are being submitted electronically through ResearchNet or not.