Phil's Editorials
Launching the Canada First Research Excellence Fund

February 02, 2015

Our Conservative Government remains committed to promoting excellence in science, technology and innovation. Indeed, under our Government, we’ve invested over $11 billion in science, research and technology.

But we know we can’t be complacent. That’s why we’re proud to deliver the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, an investment that will award grants for promising research in the fields of science and technology.

The Government of Canada’s significant investments in research and development have already made a major contribution to Canada’s strong performance in science, technology and innovation (ST&I). The Fund, which was announced in Economic Action Plan 2014, is a legacy investment to help position Canada’s post-secondary institutions among the best in the world for talent and breakthrough discoveries, and to excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic benefits for Canada. 

The inaugural competition will see Canadian post-secondary institutions vying for research funding over seven years. Grants will be awarded on the basis of scientific merit, strategic relevance to Canada (including the potential for the research area to create long-term economic advantages for Canada), and quality of implementation plan. Submissions will be reviewed by independent panels of international scientific experts as well as an arms-length selection board composed of leaders from the academic, public and private sectors. Applications for this first competition will be due in March 2015. A second competition will be launched by 2016 at the latest.

Institutions will have the freedom to determine the scope and scale of their proposals. The Fund will consider large, potentially multi-institutional initiatives as well as smaller, single-institution proposals. Proposals will be required to align with the Government of Canada’s updated ST&I priority research areas, released as part of its renewed ST&I Strategy: environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; natural resources and energy; information and communications technologies; and advanced manufacturing. The Fund will be available to all post-secondary institutions on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis.

The Fund will be administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) on behalf of the three granting agencies: SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Our Government is committed to promoting excellence in science, technology and innovation, with a view to advancing the economic prospects and well-being of Canadians. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will provide a significant boost for many of our post-secondary institutions, enabling our strongest and most innovative research programs to thrive and flourish.