CIHR New Investigator Salary Award – Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ page for the open competition of the CIHR New Investigator Salary Award program. Please bookmark this page for future reference.

The information below is intended to supplement the information provided within the most current version of the open competition CIHR New Investigator Salary Award funding opportunity.

For all other new investigator award funding opportunities, please consult the individual funding opportunity announcements, as these opportunities may have different requirements.

Application Phase Questions

  1. Where can I find the most recent CIHR New Investigator Salary Award funding opportunity?
  2. What are the specific assessment criteria for this program?
  3. How do I verify that my application has been successfully submitted to CIHR?
  4. I am a current recipient of a one-year CIHR New Investigator Salary Award. Am I eligible to apply?
  5. Will the interruptions/delays in my career be taken into account when determining my eligibility?
  6. Regarding the eligibility criteria of the funding opportunity "…the applicant must seek competitive peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR or another research funding organization as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant in order to meet all Conditions for Funding…" a) would I be at a disadvantage if I do not seek peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR? b) What are some examples of CIHR grant opportunities I am eligible to apply for?
  7. Do I apply for a 5-year award or must the number of years requested be identical to those I requested in the related operating grant?
  8. Should the header in my research proposal include the total funds requested – such as in the grant application?
  9. My faculty position is with the University, but my research will be conducted at an affiliated hospital. Where should the letter from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director and the Appendix 2A parts 1, 2 and 3 come from – the University or the hospital?
  10. Which 'Part' within Appendix 2A should be signed by the Head of the Department?
  11. Will I be at a disadvantage if the letter from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director indicates that the faculty/research appointment is conditional upon my success in the New Investigator competition?
  12. Is there anything I need to mail in to CIHR?
  13. Should I identify the individuals that were listed as "collaborators" on the related grant application as "collaborators" on this application?
  14. What is the difference between sponsor's letters of reference and letters from collaborators?
  15. When applying for a New Investigator Salary Award, who at the institution is required to provide the signature of the authorized individual?
  16. 'Evidence of the candidate's leadership abilities' is a criterion within the 5 Year Research Plan. How does CIHR define 'leadership' as it pertains to this competition?
  17. Can I include figures in my 5 Year Research Plan? If I do so, do these need to be embedded in the 5 pages, or may I upload them as a separate file?
  18. In the Identify participants/collaborators task on ResearchNet, I am asked whether I am currently licensed in Canada ( ) yes ( ) no expiry date (yyyy-mm-dd). I am currently licensed in Canada, however, I don't have an expiry date. ResearchNet does not allow me to continue without putting in an expiry date.
  19. Is the Summary of Progress for the New Investigator award expected to be exactly the same as the Summary of Progress submitted for the Operating Grant? Or, is it supposed to be a summary of my career, to date?
  20. What are priority announcements and how can I apply for them?
  21. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?
  22. I accidentally clicked the Submit button. How do I unsubmit my application to make changes to it?  
  23. How can I update my application after the deadline?
  24. How can I submit a justification for eligibility if I have obtained a full time professional degree (MD, DVM, etc.) or PhD degree over 10 years ago due to career interruptions or delays?
  25. Where in an application must I provide the written commitment from the Institution to protect a minimum of 75% of the applicant's time for research, for the duration of the award?
  26. Am I still eligible to apply if I don't hold operating funds as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant as of the earliest possible start date for the New Investigator Salary Award (i.e., July 1 following the September application deadline)?

Award Administration Questions

  1. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?
  2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?
  3. Must I hold peer reviewed operating funds as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant by July 1 following the competition deadline?
  4. What do I need to do if my status changes before my award expires?
  5. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?
  6. If I have questions, who should I contact?

Application Phase Answers

  1. Where can I find the most recent CIHR New Investigator Salary Award funding opportunity?

    The most current version of the CIHR New Investigator Salary Award funding opportunity can be found on the CIHR Funding Opportunity Database and we strongly encourage applicants to read the Salary Awards - Application instructions.

  2. What are the specific assessment criteria for this program?

    Read through the CIHR Reviewers' Guide for New Investigator Salary Awards to learn more about how your application will be assessed.

  3. How do I verify that my application has been successfully submitted to CIHR?

    If the application has been successfully submitted through ResearchNet, an automated email message confirming submission will be sent. No further confirmation is provided.

  4. I am a current recipient of a one-year CIHR New Investigator Salary Award. Am I eligible to apply?

    Award recipients may receive up to a total of 5 years of salary award funding through CIHR New Investigator funding opportunities. This includes funding through CIHR's Priority Announcements. For example, if you currently hold a one-year award and you meet the eligibility requirements of the program, you may apply to the New Investigator Salary Award competition. Should you be successful in this competition, the term of your award would be pro-rated and you would be offered a 4-year award.

  5. Will the interruptions/delays in my career be taken into account when determining my eligibility?

    Interruptions and delays in your studies will be taken into account when determining eligibility. This information is also used by the peer reviewers when assessing productivity. Applicants are advised to clearly and fully describe any interruptions or delays that affected the research and the dissemination of research results in the Leaves of Absence section, under Employment, in the renewed Common CV. While ensuring that the quality of the research remains competitive, peer review committees are asked to be sensitive to the impact of these circumstances on the level of productivity as some circumstances make it impossible or undesirable for researchers to publish important results of their research prior to applying for CIHR support.

  6. Regarding the eligibility criteria of the funding opportunity "…the applicant must seek competitive peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR or another research funding organization as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant in order to meet all Conditions for Funding…" a) would I be at a disadvantage if I do not seek peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR? b) What are some examples of CIHR grant opportunities I am eligible to apply for?
    1. While you will not be at a disadvantage if you seek funding elsewhere, you are encouraged to consider CIHR's grant funding opportunities in your efforts to secure grant support.
    2. In addition to the Open Operating Grant competition, other opportunities offered by CIHR include Catalyst Grants, Knowledge Synthesis Grants, Knowledge to Action Grants, Team Grants, etc. - as listed in the Find Funding section of our website.
  7. Do I apply for a 5-year award or must the number of years requested be identical to those I requested in the related operating grant?

    Applicants are encouraged to apply for the entire 5 years of salary support. If the eligibility status of the applicant changes within these 5 years, the award can be terminated.

  8. Should the header in my research proposal include the total funds requested – such as in the grant application?

    No – there is no need to complete this for the New Investigator competition.

  9. My faculty position is with the University, but my research will be conducted at an affiliated hospital. Where should the letter from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director and the Appendix 2A parts 1, 2 and 3 come from – the University or the hospital?

    The Letter from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director must be written by the institution that will administer the funds should you be successful in the New Investigator competition. The Appendix 2A parts 1 to 3 must be completed by the head of the department of the institution – who can confirm the details of your research activities and who will offer successful candidates a full-time faculty, or equivalent position as an independent investigator. Both institutions should be in agreement with the percentage of time protected.

  10. Which 'Part' within Appendix 2A should be signed by the Head of the Department?

    The Head of the Department should sign one or all parts within Appendix 2A.

  11. Will I be at a disadvantage if the letter from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director indicates that the faculty/research appointment is conditional upon my success in the New Investigator competition?

    Institutional support is an important component of the application and review process. The letter from the institution should demonstrate a strong commitment to the applicant regardless of success in the competition.

  12. Is there anything I need to mail in to CIHR?

    No. All application material is submitted electronically through ResearchNet.

  13. Should I identify the individuals that were listed as "collaborators" on the related grant application as "collaborators" on this application?

    Yes, applicants should list the collaborators on any related grant application. A Common CV confirmation number from collaborators will not be requested by this task once the applicant indicates each name as “Collaborator”.

  14. What is the difference between sponsor's letters of reference and letters from collaborators?

    Three sponsor's letters of reference must be included in the application and can be written by former supervisors, mentors, experts in the field, etc. who can speak to the candidate's potential to initiate and conduct health research. Letters from collaborators are optional in the application package. If these are included, they should be written by collaborators who are expected to make a significant contribution in the proposed research, confirming their willingness to participate in the manner indicated.

  15. When applying for a New Investigator Salary Award, who at the institution is required to provide the signature of the authorized individual?

    An individual who has the authority to bind the Institution or organization to the general conditions governing grants and awards, as per the statement Meaning of Signatures on Application Forms outlined in the CIHR Grants and Awards Guide.

  16. 'Evidence of the candidate's leadership abilities' is a criterion within the 5 Year Research Plan. How does CIHR define 'leadership' as it pertains to this competition?

    Leadership can be demonstrated through the applicant's engagement as a mentor, their ability to manage research, to contribute novel ideas to their research program, to make decisions that are crucial to the success of the research program, to lead his/her research collaboratively, have excellent working relationships with those around him/her, etc.

  17. Can I include figures in my 5 Year Research Plan? If I do so, do these need to be embedded in the 5 pages, or may I upload them as a separate file? 

    Applicants are encouraged to upload figures as a separate file in the Research Proposal Appendix section of the application.

  18. In the Identify participants task on ResearchNet, I am asked whether I am currently licensed in Canada ( ) yes ( ) no expiry date (yyyy-mm-dd). I am currently licensed in Canada, however, I don't have an expiry date. ResearchNet does not allow me to continue without putting in an expiry date.

    Applicants are to insert the renewal date of the license in the space provided. A copy of the license will need to be attached to the application for verification purposes.

  19. Is the Summary of Progress for the New Investigator award expected to be exactly the same as the Summary of Progress submitted for the Operating Grant? Or, is it supposed to be a summary of my career, to date?

    This document should not be the same as the one submitted for the Operating Grant, but rather, it should summarize previous work relevant to this application. This may include a description of the research undertaken as a trainee, and, if applicable, as an independent investigator. In addition, candidates should address their research relationship with previous supervisor(s).

  20. What are priority announcements and how can I apply for them?

    Priority announcements offer additional sources of funding for highly rated applications that are relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates.

    Each priority announcement has its own specific objectives and requirements. Your application must still meet the eligibility criteria and requirements for the open competition to which you are applying.

    You apply for a priority announcement through the task 'Apply to Priority Announcements/ Funding Pools' in your ResearchNet application. You can select up to three priority announcements. For each priority announcement you want to be considered for, select the priority announcement title and then the relevant research area addressed by your research proposal under the "Identify Priority Announcements and Relevant Research Area" section, then press 'save'.

    After pressing 'save', if the priority announcement requires a relevance form, a text box will then appear stating "Describe (in one half-page) how the research proposed will address the relevant research area". This is the relevance form that you must complete.

  21. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?

    Yes, your application is first and foremost submitted to the open competition to which you are applying. However, if your application is withdrawn from the open competition for any reason, you will not be considered for any priority announcements.

  22. I accidentally clicked the Submit button. How do I unsubmit my application to make changes to it?

    Prior to the deadline, an application can be unsubmitted by sending an email to support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca, or by calling 1-888-603-4178 or 613-954-1968 between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

    After the deadline, applications cannot be unsubmitted.

  23. How can I update my application after the deadline?

    In order to ensure fairness in the evaluation of award applications, equivalent time must be guaranteed for each reviewer to assess each complete application. As a result, updates to applications (i.e. notices of final acceptance of publications and notices of any other funding requested or received) will not be accepted after the application deadline date.

  24. How can I submit a justification for eligibility if I have obtained a full time professional degree (MD, DVM, etc.) or PhD degree over 10 years ago due to career interruptions or delays?

    For those that fall outside of the 10-year eligibility period due to career interruptions or delays for the purpose of childrearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities; or, for health professionals only, who have engaged in post-degree non-research related clinical training (residency, etc.), a justification to explain why they feel they should be considered eligible is required. This justification must be provided by attaching a document (limit of half a page) under the "Attach Other Application Materials " section in ResearchNet.

  25. Where in an application must I provide the written commitment from the Institution to protect a minimum of 75% of the applicant's time for research, for the duration of the award?

    This commitment must be demonstrated in the Dean of Faculty/Research Director Letter.

  26. Am I still eligible to apply if I don’t hold operating funds as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant as of the earliest possible start date for the New Investigator Salary Award (i.e., July 1 following the September application deadline)?

    Yes, but you must seek competitive peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR or another research funding organization as a Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant in order to meet all conditions for funding as detailed in the funding opportunity. This must be demonstrated in the Research Funding History section of the Common CV.

Award Administration Answers

  1. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?

    Yes. As we will be offering your award to the next most highly-rated candidate, we need to know as soon as possible and certainly no later than 15 business days after the offer has been posted to your ResearchNet account. Please send us a signed copy of the Response to an Offer of Award form stating that you are declining the award and letting us know why.

    Please note that if recipients decline or terminate their open CIHR award funding for whatever reason, they will not be eligible to receive, or continue receiving (for prizes with multi-year commitments), any CIHR prize funds.

  2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?

    In addition to the specific requirements listed in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award (if applicable), there is one mandatory document that needs to be either mailed or emailed to us:

    Response to an Offer of Award: if you are successful in receiving an award, a PDF version of this form will become available to you in your ResearchNet account after you answer a few questions, i.e. start date, institution paid. Note that you need to sign the printed form and obtain the signature from the Dean of Faculty/Research Director. This form must be mailed or emailed to us within 15 business days of notification.

  3. Must I hold peer reviewed operating funds as a Nominated Principal Application or Principal Applicant by July 1 following the competition deadline?

    You must hold a peer-reviewed operating grant on which you are a principle applicant as of July 1 following the previous year’s application deadline; or, have the results of a successful peer-reviewed operating grant that will start by March 31 of the following year.

  4. What do I need to do if my status changes before my award expires?

    You must contact CIHR as soon as possible if your status changes at any point during the tenure of the salary award. You must notify CIHR in writing by email at: NewInvestigators@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

  5. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?

    Successful candidates have 15 business days to accept or decline an award as of the date on the funding decision letter.

  6. If I have questions, who should I contact?

    For technical help, email support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca, or call 1-888-603-4178 or 613-954-1968 between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

    For more information related to the CIHR New Investigator Salary Award program, email: NewInvestigators@cihr-irsc.gc.ca. For questions related to the Priority Announcements, email: PA-AP@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.