Partnerships for Health System Improvement - 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.

To understand the general application process for PHSI programs, refer to General Application Process.

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.

To get ResearchNet-specific information on a task-by-task basis, refer to Task Tips.

Before you begin

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

  1. In ResearchNet, complete all tasks listed for your funding opportunity following the on-screen instructions in one of the official languages.
  2. 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.
  3. Print the Signature pages, found in ResearchNet needed for the funding opportunity.
  4. Offline, obtain signatures for all signature pages, and for any other material needing signatures.
  5. Scan the signature pages.
  6. Upload the signed signature pages to ResearchNet as part of your submission before the application deadline date.
  7. Review the funding opportunity How to Apply section under the subsection entitled "Specific Instructions" and provide the additional information requested.
  8. Preview all components of your application in ResearchNet using the "Preview Application Materials" task to ensure that your application is complete.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 a

Task Tips

These Task Tips are not a comprehensive list of information required to ensure completeness.

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.

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.

New: Applicants will enter their Common CV Confirmation number in this task. This replaces the former requirement to upload a CCV .pdf file.

CIHR applicants will choose an Academic CV template (replaces Full Application CV) or a Knowledge User CV template, depending on their roles. See the "Eligibility" and the "How to Apply" sections of this funding opportunity to determine the CV requirements for each participant. To produce an Academic CV template or a Knowledge User CV template:

  1. Log in to the Common CV system: go to the CV menu and select Funding.
  2. In the Funding Source field, select CIHR from the dropdown and click next. Select the appropriate CV type and click next.
  3. Enter data and click on "Done." Validation is automatically performed and errors are displayed, if any. The validation rules follow the requirements set specifically by CIHR.
  4. Review the CV data online and via a preview of the PDF.
  5. When satisfied, record the confirmation number that is displayed with the status message and at the top of the CV PDF.
  6. Return to ResearchNet and enter this confirmation number under the Identify Participants Task. If you wish to make changes to your Common CV for a certain application, you must repeat the steps above and use the new confirmation number.

Note 1: 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.

Note 2: A CV is required for all participants, with the exception of collaborators.

Your application must include at least two Principal Applicants (including the Nominated Principal Applicant), one who is an independent researcher and one who is a knowledge user (decision maker).

  1. If the Nominated Principal Applicant is an independent researcher, you must also identify a Principal Knowledge User who is a decision-maker. In ResearchNet, this individual must be identified as having the Principal Knowledge User role.
  2. If the Nominated Principal Applicant is a knowledge user, you must also identify a Principal Applicant who is an independent researcher. In ResearchNet, this individual must be identified as having the Principal Applicant role.

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.

Contribution Details

The following attachments provide more information on various applicant contributions.

New: All of the data fields in the following attachments can now be found in the renewed Common CV.

CIHR is taking a phased in approach to the submission of Contribution Details: applicants may use the renewed Common CV to enter their contribution data or may continue to use the following attachments. Only Career Interruption and Delays must be submitted through the renewed Common CV, under the Leaves of Absence section.

Phasing in the use of the renewed Common CV for Contributions will provide more time for some of the more labor-intensive fields (e.g. Publications). Therefore, none of the Contributions fields in the renewed Common CV will be mandatory (with the exception noted above). However, CIHR strongly encourages the applicant to enter data into at least 5 of the Contribution fields in the renewed Common CV (where possible), to familiarize themselves with the system.

Contributions Details - Most Significant Contributions
(with a Common CV, limit to one page; with a Knowledge User CV, limit to 6 pages)

Warning - Trainees
This "Most significant contributions" section applies to researchers only and is not required for trainees.

Identify a maximum of five (5) contributions, with a maximum length of one page, that best highlight your contribution or activities in the field of research, defining the impact and relevance of each. A contribution is understood to be a publication, literary or artistic work, conference, patent or intellectual property right, contract or creative activity, commission, etc. Your complete description may include the organization, position or activity type and description, from and to dates, and the basis on which this contribution is significant (i.e. relevance, target community and impact).

Contributions Details - Activities and Contributions (limit to one page)

The activities and contributions defined in this section should include both academic and non-academic achievements, and their impacts.

Examples of entries follow. This is not necessarily a complete list, and is intended to provide guidance only.

  • Committee membership
  • For peer review committees, specify the year(s), the subject(s), and the funding organization
  • For thesis examination committees, indicate the author, title of thesis, and university
  • Consulting/contract activities
  • Research development
  • Research or technical reports
  • Supervisory experience (e.g. training of students)
  • 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)
  • Editorships (specify if editor-in-chief or member of the editorial team)
  • Evaluation of articles for scientific, literary or artistic journals (specify title of journal and the number of articles evaluated)
  • Knowledge translation/Dissemination activities
  • Trainees might also mention development of a graduate seminar program, journal club or similar activity

If some of these completed works do not seem to support the research theme of the team or centre to which you belong, provide the necessary explanations.

Contributions Details - Patents and Intellectual Property Rights (limit to one page)

This section should include details for patents and intellectual property rights for technology transfer, products, and services. Do not include publications in this section.

Descriptions might include the title, patents or intellectual property rights number and date, country(ies) of issue, the name of the inventors, as well as relevance or impact of the stated item.

Contributions Details - Publications List (no page limit)

List your most important publications and other research contributions over the past five years, according to the categories below. This is not necessarily a complete list, and is only intended to provide guidance. 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.


Use each applicable category as a different sub-title; maintain the same presentation order as shown 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)
  • Works including individual or collective literary or artistic works (e.g. novels, short stories, poetry, film, video, visual arts work, booklet, record, sound creation, book of artists, collection, exhibition catalogue, etc.)
  • Research reports or reports produced for the government
  • Articles in professional or cultural journals without review committee (including popularized texts)

Task 3: Enter Project Information and Supporting Documents

This task collects information related to your research project.

Project Title

Your Project Title is the way that CIHR identifies your research project.

Lay 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.

Lay Abstract

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 Paid

Institution that will administer the funds for your project. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements on the CIHR website for more information.

Certification Requirements

If you are awarded a grant, the necessary certification requirements must be met in accordance with policies on ethical conduct of research. Relevant policies:

Is this a clinical trial?
Indicate if this application includes a clinical trial. For more information regarding clinical trials, please refer to the policy on trials.

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?
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

Applicants whose proposed research will involve Aboriginal People, please consult Ethics of Health Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.

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).

Containment Level

Definitions of Levels may be found in the PHAC laboratory biosafety guidelines.

Environmental Impact

CIHR must review proposals for potential impacts on the environment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Project Descriptors

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 CIHR website for more information.

Suggested Institutes

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.


Research Proposal

The Research Proposal should stand alone (i.e. it should contain all the information required to support your research plan and should contain a complete description of your project).

The Research Proposal should be text only and is limited to 13 pages. The first 12 pages of the Research Proposal should address the Evaluation Criteria and the last page of the research proposal (page 13) should outline the main activities and milestones for the proposed funding period in diagram form (i.e., a research timeline). Sufficient time and resources should be allocated for ongoing interaction and/or final communication between researchers and relevant audiences of managers or policy makers. Title pages and table of contents at the beginning of the proposal will count towards the total pages allowed.

Attach any references, tables, charts, figures and photographs in the Research Proposal Appendix section (see below).

The Research Proposal must include the following sections:

  • Research Question
    • Explanation of how the project responds to the objectives of this Funding Opportunity.
    • Description of the research project including: the objectives of the proposed project; an explanation of how this research responds to an important need identified by the decision-maker(s) on the team.
    • Description of the issue the proposed research will address within the eligible research theme area.
    • Description of the linkages the project has and/or will develop with specific individuals and/or groups of managers and/or policy makers.
  • Research Approach
    • Description of the proposed research methods and approach to analysis, as well as the rationale for the approach selected.
    • Description of how decision-maker team members are engaged in the project, including the nature of the collaboration and the extent to which it is, and will continue to be, an effective partnership.
    • Description of the strategies that will be used to encourage knowledge translation involving individuals, managers and/or policy makers identified above.
    • Description of the end-of-grant KT plan for disseminating the outcomes of the project so that others may benefit from approaches found to be effective. What knowledge should be transferred? What are the goals of the plan? Who is the audience? How will this be accomplished? How feasible is it? What resources are required?
  • Feasibility
    • Description of how each team member will contribute to the project including how the decision-makers on the team plan to apply the findings.
    • Demonstrated or potential strength of the team: the training or track record of the applicant(s) in terms of research and knowledge translation, the relevancy of the recent research of the applicant(s).
    • Description and justification of timeline.
  • Outcomes
    • Description of the impact the project will have on health outcomes, practice, programs and/or policy.
    • Relevance of the project's findings to other practice/program/policy settings.
    • Description of the evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness and impact of the proposed project.

Research Proposal Appendix

Appendices may include items such as, references, tables, charts, figures, photographs, questionnaires, RCT methods, and consent forms. Legends should be succinct and should not contain detailed information pertaining to methods.

Reviewers are under no obligation to read the Research Proposal appendix other than to read references, tables, charts, figures and photographs.

Summary of Progress (Maximum 1 page, in addition to the 13 page Research Proposal; Optional)

For renewal applicants, summarize progress under 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.

Response to Previous Reviews (Maximum 2 pages, in addition to the 13 page Research Proposal; Optional)

If you are resubmitting an unsuccessful application, you are strongly encouraged to 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.

Task 4: Complete Summary of Research Proposal (Maximum 1 page)

This summary should address the objectives of this funding opportunity and describe the potential contribution the research will make to the development of policy or decisions. The Summary of Research Proposal is very important as it is used 1) by committee members to declare their ability to review; and 2) by CIHR Branches, Institutes and Initiatives to determine relevance.

Task 5: Enter Budget Information and Supporting Documents

This task collects information on the budget for your research project.

Financial Assistance Requested

Include costs, both cash and/or in-kind, to be covered by the project-specific and competition partners. These must be listed in the "Other Funding" column of the Financial Assistance Requested section and must total the contributions listed in the Partner Details Forms. The budget requested from CIHR must be listed under the "CIHR" column. Examples of allowable in-kind costs are provided in the "Guidelines - Allowable Costs" section the PHSI funding opportunity.

In the column entitled "No.", provide an estimate of the number of human resources 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.

Budget Attachments

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, 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 and/or equipment items included in this operating budget, indicate:

  • the availability and status of similar equipment;
  • 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 upgrading existing equipment or 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 / Cost Support Letters

For single items of equipment or service contracts costing more than $10,000 and up to $25,000, attach at least one cost quotation.

For single items costing more than $25,000, attach to the quote a letter from the Authorized Official at the Institution Paid attesting that the equipment is not currently available, plus at least two competitive quotes.

Note: No other information may be attached to this module. Any additional material will be removed from the application prior to being sent to reviewers.

Human Resources

Estimate the number of hours per week each applicant will be working on the research project.

Employment History

For research assistants, technicians and other personnel who are not listed as an applicant on the research project, list this person's 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

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attach:

  • Signed letters of support from cooperating agencies or groups (for data access or provision, permission for interviews, plans for use of results by decision makers, organizations, etc.)
  • A signed letter from each Knowledge-User applicant (including the Nominated Principal Applicant if applicable) describing:
    • their role and their precise degree of involvement in the project;
    • amount of time committed to the project;
    • cash and/or in kind contribution; and
    • a description of how they intend to use the results of this research project.

    Please note: the review committee reads these letters carefully to assess the degree of commitment of the knowledge user applicant(s). Decision-makers are advised to personally write their letters, rather than sign a template letter. Applicants are also encouraged to refer to the CIHR Guide to Writing Letters of Support for additional guidance.

  • A list of all measurement tools proposed for the use in the project (append a copy of any tools that are not readily available in the published literature).

Applicants may attach a maximum of five publications (optional).

Applicants may be required to submit a separate document (1 page maximum) articulating how the objectives and the specific relevance criteria for CIHR funding partner(s) will be met for the relevance review process. See the "How to Apply" section of the PHSI funding opportunity for additional information.

For independent researcher applicants with pending academic appointments, you must attach a letter of support from the Dean of the Faculty indicating the date the appointment is expected to take effect.

Task 7: Identify Application Partners - Upload Partner Information

This task collects information on all Partners involved in your application.

  1. Click "Add a Partner" to add partners.
  2. Enter the names and information details for all the Partners participating in your project.
  3. Print the "Partnership Details" PDF by clicking "View" for each Partner.
  4. Obtain signatures from each Partner.
  5. Attach the signed "Partnership Details" in PDF format by clicking on the "Manage Attachments" link on the right.

The minimum partner contribution requirement must be met at the time of application. The minimum partnership contribution requirement for all applicants is 20% of the total grant amount requested from CIHR. The Partnership Details Form will be used to confirm partnership contributions. Those partnerships for which a signed Partnership Details Form is not provided at the time of application will not count towards the 20% partnership contribution requirement.

Partnership contributions can be a combination of cash and/or in-kind contributions. There is no upper limit on partner contributions to a project.

Information Required from Project Specific Partners

The following documents must be provided at the time of application for all cash and/or in-kind contributions from any Project Specific partners:

  1. A Partnership Details Form completed and signed by the Project Specific partner;
  2. A signed letter of support from the Project Specific partner.

Information Required from Competition Partners

The following document must be provided at the time of application for contributions from any Competition Partners:

  1. A Partnership Details Form completed and signed by the Competition partner (no letter of support is required).

Task 8: Print/Upload Signature Pages

  1. Print the signature page PDF file which is found on ResearchNet.
  2. Obtain all required signatures.
  3. Scan and upload the signed signature pages in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting your application.
  4. This Funding Opportunity participates in the eApproval process. This means that when the applicant submits their application, it will be electronically directed to the Research Institution for review and approval. The eApproval process allows Administrators at a Research Institution to review and electronically approve applications for which the applicant has identified their institution as the Institution Paid. Once the applications are reviewed and approved by the Research Institution they will submit the applications electronically to CIHR on behalf of the applicant. When completing the application on ResearchNet, detailed instructions on the eApproval process are available in the "Electronic Approval tool for Research Institutions - Applicant's Guide" under the Project Details task. All necessary signatures must be obtained and uploaded on ResearchNet prior to the Research Institution's deadline date. 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 9: 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 10: Consent and Submit Application

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 deadline, please confirm with your institution.