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

Related questions and answers

Design

  1. How is the Project Scheme different from CIHR’s Open Operating Grants Program (OOGP)?
  2. How many grants will be awarded in the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  3. Will knowledge translation and commercialization projects be supported in the Project Scheme?
  4. Why is a portion of the Project Scheme budget being allocated to a special consideration for projects using a partnered/integrated knowledge translation approach?
  5. How will applications be considered for funding through the partnered/integrated knowledge translation (iKT) portion of the budget?
  6. Are Project grants renewable?
  7. Will CIHR impose across-the-board budget cuts over peer review recommended amounts as done previously in the Open Operating Grant Program?

Eligibility

  1. What are the eligibility requirements for the Project Scheme?
  2. Will knowledge users not located at an eligible institution be permitted to apply to the Project Scheme?
  3. Are “collaborators” permitted as part of my research proposal?
  4. How does CIHR define a partner in the context of the Project Scheme?
  5. Should I include partners as Co-Applicants on the application?
  6. What are the institutional support requirements for the Project Scheme?
  7. If I was successful in obtaining a grant in the Transitional Operating Grant: 2014-2015 competition, am I eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  8. If I applied to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, am I eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  9. If I apply to CIHR’s remaining integrated Knowledge Translation competitions, am I eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  10. May a researcher submit more than one application to a Project Scheme competition in the role of Principal Applicant?
  11. If I receive a Project Scheme grant, what will happen to my currently held CIHR Open grants on which I am the Nominated Principal Investigator?
  12. If I have a Foundation grant, can I apply for a Project grant and agree to give up the Foundation grant?
  13. I am interested in applying to the Project Scheme competition and I would like to submit a project that uses a community based participatory approach. Are there any specific eligibility criteria or requirements?
  14. Will randomized controlled trials (RCTs) be funded in the Project Scheme?
  15. Will there be a separate application template for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) applications with large budgets in the Project Scheme?
  16. Can a researcher at a foreign institution be part of a Project team and receive funding from the grant?
  17. Can I use part or all of the allocated funding to support research in an international project?

Timelines

  1. What are the competition timelines for the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  2. How many Project Scheme competitions will be held each year?
  3. What are the competition timelines for the Project Scheme: 2016 2nd Live Pilot competition?

Application Process

  1. Is it mandatory to register for the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?
  2. What elements cannot change between registration and application?
  3. Will CIHR accept updates to applications after the application deadline, such as notices of final acceptance of publication?
  4. Will there be any training or support available on the Project Scheme competition processes?

CV Requirements

  1. Why did CIHR develop the Project Biosketch CV?
  2. Has the CIHR Project Biosketch CV been tested and/or validated by the research community?
  3. How is the CIHR Project Biosketch CV different from the current CIHR Academic CV?
  4. Are CV-related attachments permitted?

Budget Request

  1. What is required for my budget request?
  2. Are cost quotations or other budget attachments required?
  3. How will my budget request affect the review of my application?
  4. Is equipment an eligible expense in the Project Scheme?
  5. Will there be a separate funding envelope for large grants in the Project Scheme?
  6. Is there a cap on Project grant values?
  7. How will funds be distributed over the duration of the grant?

Adjudication Process

  1. What criteria will be used to adjudicate applications to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Results

  1. How will the competition results be communicated?

Contact Information

  1. Who can I contact if I have questions regarding the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot?

Design

1. How is the Project Scheme different from CIHR’s Open Operating Grants Program (OOGP)?

The application format and review process are significantly different from those of the Open Operating Grants Program. More detailed information on the application format and review process for the Project Scheme can be found in the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot funding opportunity. While the applicant categories (Nominated Principal Applicant, Principal Applicant, Co-Applicant) remain the same, eligibility is extended such that knowledge users can apply as nominated principal applicants.

2. How many grants will be awarded in the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

The number of grants expected to be funded for this competition will depend on the application pressure, requested budgets and peer review recommendations.

3. Will knowledge translation and commercialization projects be supported in the Project Scheme?

Yes. CIHR’s mandate includes both the creation of knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians. CIHR supports the commercialization of health research discoveries as an important type of knowledge translation. The Project Scheme is expected to support a diverse portfolio of health-related research, knowledge translation and commercialization projects at any stage, from discovery to application. Knowledge translation and commercialization applications involving a partner and/or a knowledge user are eligible to be considered within a special consideration in the Project Scheme competition for partnered/integrated knowledge translation (iKT) projects.

4. Why is a portion of the Project Scheme budget being allocated to a special consideration for projects using a partnered/integrated knowledge translation approach?

CIHR recognizes there is concern that there will be less incentive in the new Open schemes for applicants to embed partnered/integrated knowledge translation (iKT) approaches into their research. Therefore CIHR will be allocating a portion of the Project Scheme budget to ensure that a minimum level of investment in funded knowledge translation and commercialization projects that include a partnered/iKT approach will be established. The exact percentage of applications funded will be determined based on the applications received but CIHR will target consistency with past levels of investments in these types of projects.

5. How will applications be considered for funding through the partnered/integrated knowledge translation (iKT) special consideration portion of the budget?

At both the registration and application stages, applicants will be required to provide information on whether their proposed project consists of a knowledge translation or commercialization project that includes a partner and/or a knowledge user.

Peer review for applications that are confirmed eligible and validated for the partnered/iKT special consideration will be integrated into the competition as a whole. However, at Stage 1 of the peer review process, applications that are deemed eligible for the special consideration will be assessed by both researcher and knowledge user reviewers. The adjudication criteria for the Project Scheme have been designed for all types of research, including knowledge translation and commercialization projects.

For further information regarding the Partnered/Integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT) Projects – Special Consideration, please consult the Project Scheme Registration Instructions.

6. Are Project grants renewable?

Project grantees interested in building on the results of previous research and knowledge translation projects may submit a new application, emphasizing sequential lines of inquiry, to the Project Scheme competition.

CIHR is moving away from the term “renewal”. The new open programs fund either distinct projects, or a program of research for a set time period. This does not preclude researchers from applying for consecutive funding to advance a line of inquiry that is linked to a previous project.

Each grant will have a distinct grant identifier.

7. Will CIHR impose across-the-board budget cuts over peer review recommended amounts as done previously in the Open Operating Grant Program?

CIHR does not intend to implement across-the-board budget cuts for grants awarded through the new Open funding schemes. However, a decision to implement budget cuts cannot be ruled out during the transition period (which includes the 2015-16 Open Grant Programs – Foundation Scheme: 2015 2nd Live Pilot, Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot and Project Scheme: 2016 2nd Live Pilot). CIHR’s decision will be influenced by the scale of budget requests put forward by applicants to these competitions. The final decision will be made when CIHR has a better understanding of the durations and values of the successful applications for these competitions in the context of planned program budget.

Eligibility

8. What are the eligibility requirements for the Project Scheme?

Detailed information on eligibility requirements can be found in the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot funding opportunity.

9. Will knowledge users not located at an eligible institution be permitted to apply to the Project Scheme?

Knowledge users are eligible to apply to the Project Scheme as Nominated Principal Applicants, Principal Applicants or Co-Applicants. In cases where knowledge users applying as Nominated Principal Applicants are not located at an eligible institution, a parallel application for institution eligibility will be required during the competition process. CIHR is reviewing this process for future competitions. That said, it is essential that any institution that will manage a CIHR grant meets the criteria to manage public funds.

10. Are “collaborators” permitted as part of my research proposal?

Yes. Collaborators may be included as part of the research proposal.

11. How does CIHR define a partner in the context of the Project Scheme?

Partners may provide support for a research project 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.

Partner involvement is not a mandatory requirement in the Project Scheme. However, it may be reasonably expected depending on the nature and type of research program and the anticipated benefits to the partner.

Applicants may provide information on all partners involved in their proposed project by adding them to their application, if applicable. Within the budget section, applicants can highlight any secured, or expected to be secured, partner contributions that will support the proposed project.

12. Should I include partners as Co-Applicants 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 may be included as Principal Applicants or Co-Applicants on the grant, depending on their level of involvement.

13. What are the institutional support requirements for the Project Scheme?

The requirement for institutional support is the same as with all other CIHR grants. The appropriate individual at the Nominated Principal Applicant’s institution(s) must approve the application. By approving the application, the institution confirms that it agrees to support the Applicant as articulated in the Grants and Awards Guide, and also as may be further articulated within the application.

14. If I was successful in obtaining a grant in the Transitional Operating Grant: 2014-2015 competition, am I eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Grant-holders from the Transitional Operating Grant: 2014-2015 competition are eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition.

15. If I applied to the 2015 Foundation Scheme: 2nd Live Pilot competition, am I 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.

16. If I apply to CIHR’s remaining integrated Knowledge Translation competitions, am I eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Yes. Applicants who have applied to CIHR’s remaining integrated Knowledge Translation competitions are eligible to apply to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition, provided they do not submit the same (or similar) application, in accordance with CIHR’s policy on Application Limits.

17. May a researcher submit more than one application to a Project Scheme competition in the role of Principal Applicant?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications an individual can submit to the Project Scheme.

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

Project Scheme grant-holders will retain all of their existing CIHR funding (open and strategic) held as a Nominated Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator.

19. If I have a Foundation grant, can I apply for a Project grant and agree to give up the Foundation grant?

Foundation grantees will have an opportunity to signal if they do not wish to continue their program of research at Year 6 by not applying to the next Foundation Scheme competition. The Foundation grantee may also request an earlier term-end date. In either case, once the Foundation grant term-end date is confirmed by CIHR, the individual would be eligible to apply to the Project Scheme for funding that would commence after the Foundation grant's term-end date. If unsuccessful in the Project Scheme, the most recently approved Foundation grant term-end date would apply.

20. I am interested in applying to the Project Scheme competition and I would like to submit a project that uses a community based participatory approach. Are there any specific eligibility criteria or requirements?

There are no eligibility criteria or requirements specific to research methodology or approach. The Project Scheme is open to applicants in all areas of health research that are aligned with the CIHR mandate: “To excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system.”

21. Will randomized controlled trials (RCTs) be funded in the Project Scheme?

Yes, randomized control trials (RCTs) will be funded in the Project Scheme.

22. Will there be a separate application template for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) applications with large budgets in the Project Scheme?

The same application form is used for all applications submitted to the Project Scheme. Applicants submitting an RCT application are not required to follow specific RCT headings as previously required in the Open Operating Grant Program.

23. Can a researcher at a foreign institution be part of a Project team and receive funding from the grant?

Yes. The Nominated Principal Investigator may transfer funds to other Project team members (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.

24. Can I 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 Project 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.

Timelines

25. What are the competition timelines for the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

The competition timelines for the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition are as follows:

Registration Deadline January 18, 2016
Stage 1 Application Deadline March 1, 2016
Anticipated Notice of Decision July 15, 2016
Funding Start Date July 1, 2016

26. How many Project Scheme competitions will be held each year?

There will be two Project Scheme competitions per calendar year. Calendar year is defined as January to December.

27. What are the competition timelines for the Project Scheme: 2016 2nd Live Pilot competition?

It is anticipated that the Project Scheme: 2016 2nd Live Pilot competition will have a Stage 1 application deadline of September 2016.

Application Process

28. Is it mandatory to register for the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Registration is mandatory. The purpose of the registration is to provide CIHR with a general idea of application pressure and the number and diversity of reviewers that will need to be engaged for the competition.

Please see the Project Scheme Registration Instructions for more information.

29. What elements cannot change between registration and application?

The project title must remain unchanged between registration and application. All participants must remain unchanged between registration and application; CIHR will not allow participants to be replaced, added or removed or roles to be changed once a registration is submitted. This is required to ensure a high quality of reviews, enabling CIHR to secure reviewers with the appropriate expertise for applications within the competition timelines. The list of participants will enable potential reviewers to declare any conflicts of interest.

The Complete Summary may be changed between registration and application. However, the summary submitted at registration will be the key source of information used to match prospective applications to peer review expertise. This is necessary to allow us to secure the most appropriate expertise for high quality review of all applications within the competition timelines. Should a high level of reviewer re-assignment occur at the application stage due to gaps or significantly changed summaries, competition timelines will be delayed.

30. Will CIHR accept updates to applications after the application deadline, such as notices of final acceptance of publication?

CIHR will not accept updates to applications after the application deadline.

31. Will there be any training or support available on the Project Scheme competition processes?

CIHR is developing a suite of support resources to assist applicants, peer reviewers and research grant administrators in understanding the Project Scheme. These resources will be posted to CIHR’s website as they become available.

CV Requirements

32. Why did CIHR develop the Project Biosketch CV?

One of the objectives of the reforms of CIHR’s open programs has been to minimize applicant and peer reviewer burden. In keeping with this objective, the CIHR Project Biosketch CV was designed to gather only the information that is directly relevant to the research application, in the context of the adjudication criteria for the Project Scheme.

33. Has the CIHR Project Biosketch CV been tested and/or validated by the research community?

Early versions of the CIHR Project Biosketch CV were circulated to members of CIHR’s research community for their comments. The current version is based on feedback compiled from researchers in all pillars. As well, a version of the Biosketch CV was used in the Transitional Open Operating Grant competition. We will continue to collect feedback in order to continue to refine and improve the template.

34. How is the CIHR Project Biosketch CV different from the current CIHR Academic CV?

The CIHR Project Biosketch CV is, for the most part, the same as the CIHR Academic CV. The main difference is that limits have been imposed in each section in an attempt to focus on information that is directly relevant to the application. In addition, there are more mandatory fields in the Biosketch CV compared to the CIHR Academic CV. This was done to increase the comparability and consistency of information included in the CVs submitted to CIHR.

35. Are CV-related attachments permitted?

CV-related attachments (Publications List, Contributions/Activities List, etc.) are no longer permitted. The information must now be included within either the CIHR Project Biosketch or the application form.

  • Publications list: All contributions and activities are expected to be included in the CIHR Project Biosketch CV.
  • Contributions/activities list: All publications are expected to be included in the CIHR Project Biosketch CV.
  • Most significant contributions list: The “most significant contributions” attachment is no longer permitted; this information is now collected in the application form.

Budget Request

36. What is required for my budget request?

You are expected to outline your budget request and justify that the resources requested are appropriate to support the proposed project financially. Please refer to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot funding opportunity.

37. Are cost quotations or other budget attachments required?

Cost quotations and other budget attachments are not required.

38. 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 the budget requested is realistic and appropriate to support your proposed research project. 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.

39. Is equipment an eligible expense in the Project Scheme?

Yes. Equipment, as defined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, is an eligible expense in the Project 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.

40. Will there be a separate funding envelope for large grants in the Project Scheme?

No, there will not be a separate funding envelope for large grants in the Project Scheme.

41. Is there a cap on Project grant values?

There is no funding cap on Project Scheme grants for the 2016 1st Live Pilot competition. Project grant values and durations will be commensurate with the requirements of the project proposed, and will vary depending on the research field, proposed approach, and scope of activities. CIHR anticipates that Project grants will reflect the wide variety of projects presently funded in various Open programs with values ranging from approximately $50,000 to $750,000 per year and grant durations ranging between 1 to 5 years.

42. 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.

Adjudication Process

43. What criteria will be used to adjudicate applications to the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition?

Peer review will be conducted in accordance with CIHR’s Peer Review Manual for Project Scheme. 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. Associated sub-criteria will be equally weighted.

Criterion 1 - Concept

  1. Quality of the Idea (25%)
  2. Importance of the Idea (25%)

Criterion 2 – Feasibility

  1. Approach (25%)
  2. Expertise, Experience and Resources (25%)

Results

44. How will the competition results be communicated?

All Nominated Principal Applicants will receive a decision package after the final assessment is completed that will include the decision on their application, the structured reviews (including written comments on strengths and weakness of the application, the ratings for each adjudication criterion, and consolidated ranking). Scientific Officer notes will also be included for applications that were discussed by the committee at the final assessment stage.

Contact Information

45. Who can I contact if I have questions regarding the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot?

If you have questions about the Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot competition, or about the reforms of CIHR’s Open Programs and peer review, please contact us at support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

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