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. What is the difference between sponsor's letters of reference and letters from collaborators?
  14. '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?
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. Is the Summary of Progress for the New Investigator award expected to be exactly the same as the Summary of Progress submitted in the attached research proposal? Or, is it supposed to be a summary of my career, to date?
  18. What are priority announcements?
  19. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?
  20. How can I update my application after the deadline?
  21. 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?
  22. 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?
  23. 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)?
  24. How does a reviewer evaluate the publication record? Which documents do reviewers look at to evaluate an applicant’s publication record?

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. What happens if the required paperwork isn't received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?
  7. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?
  8. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?
  9. 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?

    It is highly recommended that applicants submit their application well ahead of the CIHR deadline. If you have successfully submitted your application through ResearchNet, you will receive two emails. A first one when you submit your application to the institution and a second when the institution approves and submits it to CIHR. 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 "Employment" section and the "Leaves of Absence and Impact on Research" subsection of the 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.

    Note: personal career choices such as professional or independent work experience are not considered eligible interruptions.

  6. 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…"
    1. Would I be at a disadvantage if I do not seek peer-reviewed operating support from CIHR?

      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. What are some examples of CIHR grant opportunities I am eligible to apply for?

      In addition to the Foundation Scheme and Project Scheme competitions, other opportunities offered by CIHR include Catalyst Grants, Knowledge Synthesis Grants, Knowledge to Action Grants, Team Grants, etc. - as listed in the Funding Opportunities 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. 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 applicant'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.

  14. '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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. How do I proceed?

    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.

  17. Is the Summary of Progress for the New Investigator award expected to be exactly the same as the Summary of Progress submitted in the attached research proposal? 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 research proposal, 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, applicants should address their research relationship with previous supervisor(s).

  18. What are priority announcements?

    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; however, your application must still meet the eligibility criteria and requirements for the open competition to which you are applying.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. How does a reviewer evaluate the publication record? Which documents do reviewers look at to evaluate an applicant’s publication record?

    The CIHR Reviewers’ Guide for New Investigator Salary Awards directs the reviewers to look at the Common CV (CCV), the 5-year Research Plan and the three Sponsor Letters when evaluating the applicant’s Track record. The CCV with the CCV attachment (publication list), the Dean of Faculty/Research Director Letter, letters of collaboration, and finally the three Sponsor Letters are all sections where the reviewers may look at to evaluate the publication record. Although it is suggested that reviewers look only at the information provided in the application to prepare their review, websites such as Pubmed are also consulted by some.

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. What happens if the required paperwork isn't received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?

    As long as the delays fall within the allowable start dates stated in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award document, the only effect is that your payments will be delayed until we're able to process your paperwork. Payments can be made retroactively as of your indicated start date provided that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

  7. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?

    Awards recipients must devote at least 75 per cent of their time to research training in order to maintain their eligibility.

  8. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?

    Recipients may receive unlimited funding from any other sources, with the exception of other Canadian federal sources. Recipients are expected to respect the eligibility requirements and funding conditions throughout the tenure of the CIHR award.

  9. 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.