Reforms of open programs and peer review – Questions and answers – Foundation Scheme Live Pilots

Related questions and answers

Design

  1. How much will CIHR invest in the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?
  2. How many grants will be awarded in the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?
  3. Is there a cap on Foundation grant values?
  4. Is anything different between the 2014 and 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  5. Will institutional support in the Foundation Scheme disadvantage researchers in smaller or remote institutions?
  6. Are Foundation grants portable?
  7. Will there be an opportunity for Foundation grant holders to request funding increases mid-stream?
  8. How will Foundation grantees transition out of the Foundation program?
  9. Will randomized controlled trials (RCTs) be funded in the Foundation Scheme?
  10. What type of training, support and resources will CIHR offer to applicants and reviewers?
  11. If I participate in a Foundation "live pilot" competition and I am not successful, will I lose my existing Open grant(s)?
  12. If I am successful in a Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition and also hold Open grants, what will happen to my grant(s)?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  2. Why has CIHR created specific eligibility criteria for the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  3. What CIHR programs are considered Open Programs?
  4. Can I become eligible for a Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition if I extend my current Open grant so that it ends during the eligible timelines of no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016?
  5. If I am a Co-Principal Investigator on an Open grant that has a grant end date of no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016, am I eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  6. How do I find out what the end date of my grant is?
  7. If two investigators apply together to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition, do both Program Leaders need to meet the eligibility criteria?
  8. If I apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, will I be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  9. Will a Program Leader who is successful in the Foundation Scheme be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme or the remaining Open Knowledge Translation competition as a Nominated Principal Applicant?
  10. If I apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, will I be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  11. If I only hold one CIHR grant today, am I eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme?
  12. Can teams apply for funding under the Foundation Scheme?
  13. If a researcher who is eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition submitted an application for early renewal to the Transitional OOGP competition, will he/she still be eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?
  14. Can an eligible researcher apply for a new grant in the 2015 Transitional Operating Grant competition, and then also apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?
  15. Can a researcher at a foreign institution be part of a Foundation grant and receive funding from the grant?
  16. Can a Program Leader use part or all of the allocated funding to support research in an international project?
  17. Will the eligibility criteria for the Foundation Scheme change after the "live pilot" competitions are completed?

Timelines

  1. How many competitions will there be per year for the Foundation Scheme?
  2. What are the competition timelines for the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

Application Process

  1. Is there a registration process for the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  2. Will there be Nominated Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators and Collaborators in the Foundation Scheme?
  3. Can I add or remove Program Leaders at Stage 2?
  4. How does CIHR define a partner in the context of the Foundation Scheme?
  5. Should I also include partners as Program Experts on the application?
  6. What is the difference between a named and unnamed Program Expert?
  7. What are the institutional support requirements for the Foundation Scheme?

Foundation Scheme CV

  1. Why did CIHR develop a new CV for the Foundation Scheme competition?
  2. How is the Foundation Scheme CV different from the current CIHR Academic CV?
  3. Will CV attachments be allowed for the Foundation Scheme CV?
  4. I don't see a "Career Contribution Table" section in the CCV. Where do I put that information?
  5. Has the new CV been tested and/or validated by the research community?
  6. Do I need to submit a different CV at Stage 2?
  7. Can I update my CV after the application deadline at either Stage 1 or Stage 2?
  8. Who should I contact if I have feedback regarding the new CV?

Budget Request

  1. What is required for my budget request at Stage 2 of the Foundation Scheme?
  2. Are cost quotations or other budget attachments required?
  3. The budget amount that I entered at registration was incorrect. Can I enter a different amount at Stage 2?
  4. Is equipment an eligible expense in the Foundation Scheme?
  5. How will my budget request affect the review of my application?
  6. How will funds be distributed over the duration of the grant?
  7. How will funds be distributed if the application includes multiple Program Leaders?
  8. If I receive a Foundation grant, what will happen to my currently held CIHR Open grants on which I am the Nominated Principal Investigator?
  9. What are CIHR Open grant programs?
  10. Who can I contact if I have questions about my specific situation?

Adjudication Process

  1. What criteria will be used to adjudicate applications to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?
  2. What rating scale will be used in the reviews?
  3. Who will be participating on the Stage 3 peer review committee?

Results
2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" Stage 1 Decisions

  1. Where can I find the results of Stage 1 for the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?
  2. What do "Consolidated Ranking" and "Standard Deviation" represent on the Notice of Decision?
  3. In my Notice of Decision, it appears that two reviewers ranked my application above the 80th percent rank. Why did my application not advance to Stage 2?
  4. What criteria were used to select applications to advance to Stage 2?
  5. My rank does not seem to correspond to my individual ratings. Why is that?
  6. What is the breakdown of new/early career investigators and established investigators that are moving to Stage 2?
  7. What is the breakdown of applications with multiple Program Leaders that are moving to Stage 2?
  8. Will reviewers from Stage 1 also participate at Stage 2? If so, will they review the same applications as they did at Stage 1?
  9. Will results from Stage 1 applications be shared with reviewers in Stage 2 and 3?
  10. How many applications did not have 5 reviews?
  11. Will reviewers be informed of the outcome of the Stage 1 applications they reviewed?
  12. How many applications were assigned to each reviewer?
  13. Why are the standard deviations so large in this competition?

Design

1. How much will CIHR invest in the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

The estimated core competition investment for the 2014 Foundation 1st Live Pilot competition is approximately $408.9 million over 7 years.

The combined total amount available for CIHR's 2015-16 Investigator Initiated Grant Programs (Foundation Scheme: 2015 2nd Live Pilot, Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot and Project Scheme: 2016 2nd Live Pilot) is approximately $500M.

2. How many grants will be awarded in the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

The total number of grants funded will depend on the application pressure, requested budgets and peer review recommendations.

3. Is there a cap on Foundation grant values?

Foundation grant values will be commensurate with the requirements of the research proposed, and will vary depending on the research field, research approach, and scope of program activities. There is currently no cap on Foundation Scheme grants. CIHR anticipates the majority of Foundation grants will range from approximately $50,000 to $1.5 million per year. Established investigators will be awarded 7-year grants, and new/early career investigators will be awarded 5-year grants. An applicant's funding history will be an important factor in determining levels of funding.

4. Is anything different between the 2014 and 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

Changes to the 2015 pilot are being determined as we analyze the results of the 2014 pilot, which concluded in July 2015. CIHR will inform the community when changes are made to the 2015 pilot and will highlight all changes within the funding opportunity and supporting documents as they occur.

5. Will institutional support in the Foundation Scheme disadvantage researchers in smaller or remote institutions?

Institutional support is not about matching dollars, but is meant to ensure that the researchers funded through the Foundation Scheme have the necessary resources, tools, and time to be successful. Some small or remote institutions often function through networked environments contributing to the support environment and reviewers will consider this approach as part of the peer review process.

6. Are Foundation grants portable?

Foundation grants are awarded to the individual, not the institution, and will be portable. CIHR has yet to determine whether any new processes or polices would apply to Foundation grantees who decide to change institutions. It is essential that the ongoing success of the program, and its key components (research, knowledge translation, mentoring/training), is ensured.

7. Will there be an opportunity for Foundation grant holders to request funding increases mid-stream?

Foundation grantees interested in continuing their program of research beyond the duration of the Foundation grant may submit a new application in year 6 to the regular Foundation Scheme competition. In exceptional circumstances, Foundation grantees may choose to submit a new application in an earlier year with the goal of obtaining a higher level of grant support. In all instances, current policies on early re-application would apply.

8. How will Foundation grantees transition out of the Foundation program?

At Year 6 of the Foundation grant, grantees will have an opportunity to signal whether they wish to continue their program of research by applying to the next Foundation Scheme competition. If no application for continued support is submitted, then end-of-grant reporting will be expected within 18 months of the term-end date of the Foundation grant.

9. Will randomized controlled trials (RCTs) be funded in the Foundation Scheme?

Foundation Scheme grants will support health research leaders from all pillars of health research, including researchers who will conduct randomized controlled trials as part of their overall program of research.

10. What type of training, support and resources will CIHR offer to applicants and reviewers?

Ensuring that the research community is able to understand the new funding schemes is a priority for us all. To achieve this, CIHR is developing support materials and instructor-led webinars to walk applicants, grant administrators and reviewers through the application and review processes. CIHR will update these support materials based on the results of ongoing pilots.

11. If I participate in a Foundation "live pilot" competition and I am not successful, will I lose my existing Open grant(s)?

No.

12. If I am successful in a Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition and also hold Open grants, what will happen to my grant(s)?

The Foundation Scheme is designed to support world-class researchers in various stages of their careers to conduct programs of research and translation of findings that contribute to improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and/or products, and a strengthened Canadian healthcare system.

Therefore, successful Foundation Scheme applicants will have all existing Open grants terminated and replaced by a Foundation grant to support their program of research.

Eligibility

13. Who is eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

The Foundation Scheme is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of health research leaders by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative, high-impact programs of research.

Specific criteria have been established for the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition. One of the Program Leaders must fall into one of the following four groups:

  1. On July 30th 2013, the Program Leader is the Nominated Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator of a CIHR Open program grant with an expiry date no earlier than October 1, 2015 and no later than September 30, 2016.
  2. The Program Leader is considered to be a new/early-career investigator, as defined in the funding opportunity.
  3. On July 30th 2013, the Program Leader has never held Open CIHR funding as a Nominated Principal Investigator or a Co-Principal Investigator.
  4. The Program Leader was unsuccessful in the Foundation Scheme 2014 1st Live Pilot competition. CIHR strongly encourages any Program Leader that was unsuccessful in the Foundation Scheme 2014 1st "live pilot" competition to carefully consider the feedback received from peer reviewers as well as their standing within the competition in their decision to submit an application to the 2015 live pilot competition.

Please view the funding opportunity for a complete list of eligibility requirements.

14. Why has CIHR created specific eligibility criteria for the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

CIHR is applying specific eligibility criteria to the "live pilot" competition to manage application pressure in a competition environment where new program criteria, processes and supporting systems are being piloted.

15. What CIHR programs are considered Open Programs?

CIHR Open grant programs include:

  • Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP)
  • Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI)
  • Knowledge Synthesis Grant (KRS)
  • Knowledge to Action Grant (KAL)
  • Proof of Principle Program Phase I and II (POP I and POP II)
  • Industry-Partnered Collaborative Research (IPCR)

Note that if, as of July 30, 2013, you are a Nominated Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator funded through an Open grant program Priority Announcement with a grant term expiry date no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016, then you are also eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition.

16. Can I become eligible for a Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition if I extend my current Open grant so that it ends during the eligible timelines of no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016?

No. Effective July 30, 2013 only Open grants that have an expiry end date of no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016 are eligible.

17. If I am a Co-Principal Investigator on an Open grant that has a grant end date of no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2016, am I eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

Yes.

18. How do I find out what the end date of my grant is?

The end date of your grant, or grant expiry date, represents the end of the period for which CIHR is providing funds for research. It can be found on the Authorization for Funding (AFF) document, which was provided to you at the time of your notice of decision from CIHR. The end date will be listed in the Payment Details section, under the Period column. The grant expiry date will be the last date listed in this area, unless otherwise noted in the "Notes" section.

You can also contact your grants administration office to obtain this information.

19. If two investigators apply together to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition, do both Program Leaders need to meet the eligibility criteria?

No. As long as one Program Leader meets the criteria the investigators can apply. Those who choose to apply together will need to convincingly demonstrate synergy and a history of co-managing programs of research.

20. If I apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, will I be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Yes. Applicants to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, including those who are invited to submit a Stage 2 application, are eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition. However, a Foundation Grant Program Leader is not eligible to hold a Project grant as a Nominated Principal Investigator or Principal Investigator. Nominated Principal Applicants must choose between a Foundation Grant or a Project Grant(s) if they are successful in both competitions. During the transition, CIHR will allow a Principal Applicant on a Project Grant to change their role to a Co-Applicant if they accept a Foundation Grant.

21. Will a Program Leader who is successful in the Foundation Scheme be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme or the remaining Open Knowledge Translation competitions as a Nominated Principal Applicant?

A Foundation Grant Program Leader will not be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme or CIHR’s Open Knowledge Translation competitions as a Nominated Principal Investigator or Principal Investigator. However, as CIHR supports collaborative approaches to health research and knowledge translation, there is no restriction on Foundation Grant Program Leaders participating in projects as co-applicants or collaborators.

22. If I apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition, am I eligible to apply to CIHR’s remaining Open Knowledge Translation competitions?

Yes. Applicants to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition are eligible to apply to CIHR’s remaining Open Knowledge Translation competitions. Researchers who are successful in the Foundation Scheme will have all of their existing Open grants terminated and replaced by their Foundation grant.

23. If I only hold one CIHR grant today, am I eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme?

Eligible applicants to the Foundation Scheme will include new and established Program Leaders with a demonstrable track record of excellence and impact in their field of study.

Applicants may include researchers with or without one or more existing sources of CIHR funding (e.g. Open Operating Grant Program, Open Knowledge Translation Programs, Strategic Funding), and future Project grantees. Note that once funded, Foundation grantees can only hold one active Foundation grant at a time.

24. Can teams apply for funding under the Foundation Scheme?

In some areas, programs of research are co-managed by two or three researchers of equal standing. Single applications from multiple Program Leaders will be eligible in the Foundation Scheme. Such joint applicants will need to convincingly demonstrate synergy and a history of co-managing programs of research. It is expected that while the broader research team may evolve over time, Program Leaders (whether single or joint) will remain unchanged over the course of the grant.

25. If a researcher who is eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition submitted an application for early renewal to the Transitional OOGP competition, will he/she still be eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

Researchers eligible to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition who applied early to the Transitional OOGP competition will only be eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition if their renewal application is unsuccessful.

Researchers whose renewal application is successful will not be eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition, even if they are unsuccessful in the Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st "live pilot" competition.

26. Can an eligible researcher apply for a new grant in the 2015 Transitional Operating Grant competition, and then also apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

Yes. Researchers eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition can submit new OOGP grant applications to the Transitional OOGP competition, and still be eligible to apply to the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition. Researchers who are successful in the Foundation Scheme competition will have all of their existing Open grants terminated and replaced by their Foundation grant.

27. Can a researcher at a foreign institution be part of a Foundation grant and receive funding from the grant?

Yes. The Program Leader, in the role of Administrative Coordinator, may transfer funds to other Foundation grant participants (i.e., researchers, trainees, knowledge-users, etc.) based in other countries through a transfer of funds from the Institution Paid (or the primary institution) to a secondary institution subject to approval from the Institution Paid. Consult the section Transfer of Funds Between Institutions of the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide for more information.

28. Can a Program Leader use part or all of the allocated funding to support research in an international project?

CIHR encourages applications that demonstrate the potential to improve the health of Canadians and the global community, and encourages, when appropriate, Canadian researchers to engage in international research projects and/or international collaborations.

Applicants may apply for Foundation grants to support research to be carried out in, and/or in direct collaboration with researchers and/or knowledge-users based in, other countries. However, please note that when participating in an international collaboration, applicants may apply for CIHR funds for the Canadian components only.

29. Will the eligibility criteria for the Foundation Scheme change after the "live pilot" competitions are completed?

Yes.

Timelines

30. How many competitions will there be per year for the Foundation Scheme?

There will be one Foundation competition per year.

31. What are the competitions timelines for the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

The competition timelines for the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition are as follows:

2015
Registration Deadline July 27, 2015
Stage 1 Application Deadline September 15, 2015
Anticipated Stage 1 Notice of Decision December 1, 2015
Stage 2 Application Deadline February 5, 2016
Anticipated Stage 3 Notice of Decision July 15, 2016
Funding Start Date July 1, 2016

Note that only successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to apply to Stage 2.

Application Process

32. Is there a registration process for the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

Yes. In order to profile the applicant pool and prepare for peer review, the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions include an early registration deadline.

33. Will there be Nominated Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators and Collaborators in the Foundation Scheme?

No. In the Foundation Scheme, there will be two roles: Program Leader and Program Expert. Program Leader(s) will be the grant holder(s).

Program Experts will be brought in by the Program Leader(s) to ensure they have the necessary expertise, experience and resources in place to complete their research. Given the duration of funding provided through this scheme, we expect that Program Experts will likely change over time as the program evolves. There will be no requirement for, or assessment of, the CVs of these experts. Program Experts will be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme.

34. Can I add or remove Program Leaders at Stage 2?

No. All Program Leaders need to be identified at the time of registration and must remain unchanged throughout the competition (cannot be added, replaced or removed at Stage 1 or 2). The names of individuals participating as Program Experts can only be added at Stage 2 of the application process.

35. How does CIHR define a partner in the context of the Foundation Scheme?

Partners may provide support for a research program which contributes to the goals, vision and/or mandate of their organization. They may intend to use the results of the research to achieve a certain end. Examples of partners include industrial, community-based and voluntary health organizations.

Please note that securing partner funds (e.g. from industrial partners, knowledge user organizations, etc.) is not a mandatory component of the Foundation Scheme; however, depending on the type of research program being proposed, partner funding may be helpful, and you may be encouraged to attempt to secure a type of cash or in-kind support from relevant partners. For example, partner support could be requested to support a critical step in applying/translating the research program outputs that are relevant to the partner.

Detailed instructions on how to identify application partners, if applicable, can be found in the Foundation Scheme – Stage 2 Application Instructions.

36. Should I also include partners as Program Experts on the application?

In some cases, partners may provide in-kind support through knowledge-users who are engaged in the entire research process, varying in intensity and complexity depending on the nature of the research and their needs. In these cases, the knowledge-users can be included as Program Leaders or Program Experts on the grant, depending on their level of involvement.

37. What is the difference between a named and unnamed Program Expert?

A Program Expert is an individual who participates in or contributes to the program of research but does not direct the program. Program Leaders may choose which Program Experts should be named in CIHR’s funding decision documents depending on their level of involvement. Naming Program Experts allows individuals to be recognized for their contributions to the program of research.

38. What are the institutional support requirements for the Foundation Scheme?

The requirement for institutional support is the same as with all other CIHR grants. The Program Leader(s)' institution(s) must approve the application confirming that it agrees to support the Program Leader as articulated in the Grants and Awards Guide and also as may be further articulated within the application.

Foundation Scheme CV

39. Why did CIHR develop a new CV for the Foundation Scheme competition?

One of the objectives of the reforms of CIHR's open programs has been to minimize applicant and peer reviewer burden. One of the design elements being tested through the pilots is the development of a CV that captures the relevant information required for peer review while reducing the amount of overall information required in order to decrease burden on both applicants and peer reviewers. The new CV was developed to gather only information that is directly relevant to the adjudication criteria of Foundation Scheme applications. Limits were imposed in an attempt to focus the CV on only relevant information for the application at hand.

40. How is the Foundation Scheme CV different from the current CIHR Academic CV?

The CV sections in the Foundation Scheme CV are, for the most part, the same as the CIHR Academic CV; however, different limits have been imposed in each section in an attempt to focus on information that is directly relevant to the application at hand. Additionally, there are more mandatory fields in the new CV compared to the CIHR Academic CV. This was done to increase the comparability and consistency of information included in the CV submitted to CIHR. The new mandatory fields may create "errors" for some users due to missing information. Applicants to the Foundation Scheme should be prepared to allocate extra time to complete their CVs in order to address the extra information required.

41. Will CV attachments be allowed for the Foundation Scheme CV?

No. CV-related attachments (Publication List, Contributions/Activities List) will no longer be allowed in ResearchNet and will need to be included in the CV.

  • Publication List: Bulk import is now available in the CCV; therefore, all publications are expected to be included in an applicant's CV.
  • Contributions/Activities List: Many sections in the CCV now have specific limits; therefore, CIHR feels that it is reasonable to expect applicants to include their relevant activities and contributions in the CCV.
  • Most Significant Contributions List: This information is collected as a task within the Stage 2 application in ResearchNet; therefore, the Most Significant Contributions attachment in ResearchNet will no longer be allowed.

42. I don't see a "Career Contribution Table" section in the CCV. Where do I put that information?

This information is collected as a task directly in your application in ResearchNet. There is not a place in the CCV to capture this information.

43. Has the new CV been tested and/or validated by the research community?

The Foundation Scheme CV has been extensively circulated to members of CIHR's research community over the past year. The current version of the CV is based on feedback compiled from researchers in all pillars. We will continue to collect feedback throughout the pilot competition in order to continue to refine and improve the template.

44. Do I need to submit a different CV at Stage 2?

No, however it is recommended that applicants moving on to Stage 2 update their CVs to reflect the purpose of this stage.

45. Can I update my CV after the application deadline at either Stage 1 or Stage 2?

In order to ensure fairness, equivalent time must be guaranteed for the assessment of each complete application. As a result, CIHR will not accept updates to applications after the application deadline.

46. Who should I contact if I have feedback regarding the new CV?

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Foundation Scheme CV, please feel free to contact us at support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

Budget Request

47. What is required for my budget request at Stage 2 of the Foundation Scheme?

You will be required to provide a realistic and well-justified budget request that is appropriate to support your proposed program of research, taking into account your research funding history. Please refer to the Foundation Scheme Stage 2 Application Instructions for details on what is required for the budget task.

48. Are cost quotations or other budget attachments required?

No. Cost quotations or other budget attachments are not required. You are expected to provide a high-level justification and not a precise valuation of each line item within the budget. Peer reviewers are advised that a detailed item-by-item scrutiny is not expected.

49. The budget amount that I entered at registration was incorrect. Can I enter a different amount at Stage 2?

Yes. Reviewers will only have access to your budget request at Stage 2.

50. Is equipment an eligible expense in the Foundation Scheme?

Yes. Equipment, as defined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, is an eligible expense in the Foundation Scheme. Requests for equipment should be placed under the "Non-Consumable" category in the budget section of the application.

Please consider the following when requesting funds to purchase equipment:

  • Funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research for which the funds were awarded, and the benefits should be directly attributable to the grant.
  • Funds must be used effectively and economically, and the expenses must be essential for the research for which the funds were awarded.
  • Contributions to shared expenses must be directly attributable to the funded research program or project, and agreed to and authorized by the grantee.

51. How will my budget request affect the review of my application?

The budget assessment will not be factored into the scientific assessment of your application. Reviewers will be required to determine if your requested budget is appropriate to support your proposed program of research and if it is realistic and well-justified. Additionally, reviewers will be asked to assess the appropriateness of justifications for requests that are higher than their historical grant levels. Reviewers may recommend that the budget remain as requested or recommend an adjusted amount. If a reviewer adjusts the budget, he/she will be required to provide comments to justify their recommendation.

52. How will funds be distributed over the duration of the grant?

The total amount requested will be equally divided over the duration of the grant. The period of support is 5 years for new/early career investigators and 7 years for all other applicants.

53. How will funds be distributed if the application includes multiple Program Leaders?

Funds will be sent to the Institution Paid entered in the application. Distribution of grant funds will be at the discretion of the Program Leaders within the guidelines and policies of their institution.

54. If I receive a Foundation grant, what will happen to my currently held CIHR Open grants on which I am the Nominated Principal Investigator?

Successful Foundation Scheme applicants will have all of their existing Open grants held as a Nominated Principal Investigator terminated and replaced by a Foundation grant to support their program of research. Note that grants on which they are a co-principal investigator or co-investigator will not be terminated.

55. What are CIHR Open grant programs?

CIHR Open grant programs include:

  • Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP)
  • Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI)
  • Knowledge Synthesis Grant
  • Knowledge to Action Grant
  • Proof of Principle Program Phase I and II (POP I and POP II)
  • Industry-Partnered Collaborative Research (IPCR)

56. Who can I contact if I have questions about my specific situation?

If you have any questions or comments about your specific situation, please feel free to contact us at support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

Adjudication Process

57. What criteria will be used to adjudicate applications to the Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competitions?

A structured adjudication process will be used to help reviewers assess each applicable criterion. The relative weights of each of the criteria are noted in parenthesis.

Stage 1
Criterion 1: Caliber of the Applicant(s) (75%)

  1. Leadership (25%)
  2. Significance of Contributions (25%)
  3. Productivity (25%)

Criterion 2 – Vision and Program Direction (25%)

Stage 2
Criterion 1 – Quality of the Program (50%)

  1. Research Concept (25%)
  2. Research Approach (25%)

Criterion 2 – Quality of the Expertise, Experience and Resources (50%)

  1. Expertise (20%)
  2. Mentorship and Training (20%)
  3. Quality of Support Environment (10%)

58. What rating scale will be used in the reviews?

The adjudication scale and its descriptors can be found in the Peer Review Manual – Foundation Scheme, under Section 1.1-Preliminary Reviews of Applications.

Ultimately, the ratings are a tool to rank the applications and provide feedback to applicants. Reviewers are encouraged to use the full breadth of the scale. Increased granularity was built into the top descriptors to express differences within these categories.

Descriptor Abbreviation Definition
Outstanding O++

For this sub-criterion, the application excels in most or all relevant aspects. Any short-comings are minimal.

O+
O
Excellent E++ For this sub-criterion, the application excels in many relevant aspects, and reasonably addresses all others. Certain improvements are possible.
E+
E
Good G For this sub-criterion, the application excels in some relevant aspects, and reasonably addresses all others. Some improvements are necessary.
Fair F For this sub-criterion, the application broadly addresses all relevant aspects. Major revisions are required.
Poor P For this sub-criterion, the application fails to provide convincing information and/or has serious inherent flaws or gaps.

59. Who will be participating on the Stage 3 peer review committee?

This stage will be completed by one interdisciplinary committee comprised of reviewers covering the full spectrum of health research. It is anticipated that members will include both national and international experts.

Results
2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" Stage 1 Decisions

60. Where can I find the results of Stage 1 for the 2015 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" competition?

A summary of the results of the Stage 1 review process for the second Foundation Scheme Pilot can be found on CIHR's website.

61. What do "Consolidated Ranking" and "Standard Deviation" represent on the Notice of Decision?

Applications are attributed a percent (%) rank from each reviewer, based on the ranking of their assigned list of applications. An application that is ranked first out of the list of applications for that reviewer is attributed a percent rank of 100%. An application that is ranked last is attributed a percent rank of 0%.

The consolidated ranking represents the average of all reviewers' percent (%) ranks for a given application. The standard deviation indicates the variability among reviewer rankings.

62. In my Notice of Decision, it appears that two reviewers ranked my application above the 80th percent rank. Why did my application not advance to Stage 2?

In this competition, the threshold used for decision was the 80th percentile. The percentile refers to the overall distribution of values of the individual reviewer percent ranks. The percent ranks are individual reviewer rankings expressed as deciles in the Notice of Decision. The percentile calculation is applied on the entire dataset of reviewer percent ranks for each cohort. For this competition, the 80th percentile was calculated as 84.615% for the new investigator cohort and 83.333% for the established investigator cohort.

63. What criteria were used to select applications to advance to Stage 2?

Based on the consolidated rankings, an overall rank order for the competition is obtained. The rank order is then converted into an overall percent rank, normalized to the top ranked application in the competition. The consolidated ranking for each application and the individual rankings per application in reference to an established percentile value are used to make decisions on which applications will move forward to the next stage.

Based on feedback from the first Foundation Grant pilot, applications from new/early career investigators and applications from established investigators were assessed and ranked within two separate cohorts. Applicants were invited to apply to Stage 2 if in their cohort:

  • the application had a minimum consolidated ranking above 75%; or
  • at least two reviewers ranked the application above the 80th percentile; or
  • the application was reviewed by fewer than five reviewers and at least one reviewer ranked it above the 80th percentile.

64. My rank does not seem to correspond to my individual ratings. Why is that?

The ratings are used as a tool for reviewers to reach a ranking for each application relative to the other applications in their assigned list of applications and provide feedback to applicants. However, it is the overall ranking that is used to determine standing within the competition and to determine which applications move forward to the next stage.

65. What is the breakdown of new/early career investigators and established investigators that are moving to Stage 2?

A total of 79 new/early career investigators and 186 established investigators were invited to submit a Stage 2 application

66. What is the breakdown of applications with multiple Program Leaders that are moving to Stage 2?

Of the 265 applications moving to Stage 2, 9 were submitted by multiple Program Leaders.

67. Will reviewers from Stage 1 also participate at Stage 2? If so, will they review the same applications as they did at Stage 1?

Our intention is to use a new pool of reviewers for Stage 2; however, a small number of reviewers from Stage 1 may participate at Stage 2. Should this happen, these reviewers would review a different set of applications. It is anticipated that the same Virtual Chairs will be used at both Stage 1 and Stage 2 for increased continuity.

68. Will results from Stage 1 application be shared with reviewers in Stage 2 and 3?

The reviewers at Stage 2 and at Stage 3 will not have access to the materials and reviews from Stage 1. Only the application material submitted at Stage 2 will be provided to the reviewers through ResearchNET.

69. How many applications did not have 5 reviews?

On average, 5 reviewers were assigned to each application. However, 118 of the 910 applications did not receive 5 reviews. CIHR reviewed the individual results of each of these applications to ensure that they were not disadvantaged in the decision process.

70. Will reviewers be informed of the outcome of the Stage 1 applications they reviewed?

Individual application decisions are only communicated to the Program Leader - Administrative Coordinator and Institutions as part of the usual competition process. Funding decision information for the program will be posted on our Funding Decisions web page following completion of Stage 3 of the review process in July 2016.

71. How many applications were assigned to each reviewer?

The range of applications assigned to each reviewer was between 5 and 14 with an average of 10 applications per reviewer.

72. Why are the standard deviations so large in this competition?

The distribution of applications reviewed at Stage 1 was expected and is consistent with the distribution of applications from historical Open Operating Grant Program (OOGP) competition data. The occurrence of large values for the standard deviations, which represent the difference in individual reviewer rankings for a particular application, is due to the magnitude of the numbers being used which are percent ranks (i.e., scaled from 0-100%). For example, an application receiving the percent ranks 20, 80, 90, 100 and 100 results in a standard deviation of 33.47. In comparison, average scores at the 20th, 80th, 90th, 100th, and 100th percentile in the OOGP (using CIHR's 0-4.9 rating scale) would be the values 3.25, 4.13, 4.31, 4.9 and 4.9, resulting in a standard deviation of 0.68.

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