CIHR Foundation Grant

The Foundation Grant is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of health research leaders by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative and high-impact programs of research across CIHR’s mandate.

  • Programs of research are expected to include integrated, thematically-linked research, knowledge translation, and mentoring/training components.
  • Eligible applicants will include new/early-career, mid-career and established researchers, all of whom are independent researchers with demonstrable track records of excellence and impact in their fields of study.

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Quick Facts
  • Funding Term:
    • Early Career Investigators (within 5 years of 1st faculty appointment): 5 years;
    • Established Investigators: 7 years.
  • Application Stages & Deadlines (via CIHR's ResearchNet portal):
    • Registration: due mid-September 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017);
    • Stage 1: due mid-October 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017);
    • Stage 2: due mid-March 2017 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017).
  • CV Requirements (via Canadian Common CV portal):
    • Registration: Foundation Registration CV;
    • Stages 1 and 2: Foundation CV.
  • Budget Requirements:
    • Registration: high-level budget estimate;
    • Stage 1: none;
    • Stage 2: full budget module, including justification.
  • Peer Review Stages:
    • Stage 1: online reviews by 5 reviewers;
    • Stage 2: online reviews by 5 different reviewers;
    • Final Assessment Stage: face-to-face discussion of "grey zone" applicants by interdisciplinary committee.

CIHR Resources

SPARC Services & Resources

Contact: Christy McTait (604-827-5615)

SPARC provides a comprehensive suite of Foundation Grant support services and resources for researchers and research staff as outlined below.

Program Outreach

To find out if the Foundation Grant is the right competition for you, please consult the following SPARC resources and refer to the CIHR Foundation Grant live pilots homepage for full competition details. 

Recommended Timeline:

  • April/May 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
Information Sessions
  • For the 2016 competition, SPARC implemented new strategic grant development workshops (described in the Project & Proposal Development section below), instead of general information sessions.

  • Note: The 2015 Foundation Stage 1 information session materials are still relevant, given that the Stage 1 requirements remained the same for the 2016 competition. See the sidebar for Workshop Materials tab.

Newsletter & 2016 Foundation Email List
  • Subscribe to SPARC Connects, our monthly newsletter, to follow the latest Foundation Grant developments at CIHR and SPARC.
  • Contact Christy McTait to be added to SPARC's 2016 Foundation email list to receive timely updates and competition support.
Individual & Unit Consultation
  • If you’re trying to determine whether the Foundation Grant is right for you, contact Christy McTait to schedule a consultation.

Project & Proposal Development

To kick-start the grant development and writing (or revision) process, please consult the SPARC resources described below.

Recommended Timeline:

  • Stage 1: May/June 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
  • Stage 2: December 2016/January 2017 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
Strategic Grant Workshops
  • Stage 1: held in June 2016 (for the 2016 competition), with corresponding cheat sheets and recordings distributed by Christy McTait:
    • New Applicant Caliber + CV Brainstorm;
    • New Applicant Vision & Program Direction Test Your Concept;
    • Reapplicant Revision Kick-Start;
    • Reapplicant 1:1 drop-in to discuss CIHR feedback.
  • Stage 2: February 2017 Roundtable Q&A with UBC Awardees and CIHR Reviewers (for the 2016 competition); see the sidebar for full details and to register.

A UBC CWL is required to access some of the following SPARC resources while others are shared directly with applicants and affiliated research staff via emails from Christy McTait.

  • Guidelines, Tips & Templates: Utilize these resources (e.g., application development cheat sheets, best practices recommendations) to develop your most competitive research proposal. Note: These items are currently distributed via email. Please contact Christy McTait to request copies.
  • Sample Grant Library: Access successful 2014 and 2015 grant applications that have been generously shared by UBC researchers using your UBC CWL.
  • Presentation Materials: 2016 workshop resources are available directly from Christy McTait.
One-on-One Consultation
  • Contact Christy McTait to schedule a Foundation Grant development consultation session.

Proposal Review

A well-developed draft is required to access the services described below. 

Recommended Timeline:

  • Stage 1: July to October 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
  • Stage 2: February to March 2017 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
Internal Review
  • Small Panel Review: New for 2016, SPARC is organizing small discussion groups comprised of 3-4 faculty researchers to provide each other with written feedback and engage in face-to-face discussion to strengthen proposals prior to submission. Note: This service is highly recommended for all applicants, particularly Early Career Investigators and first-time Foundation Grant applicants, given the new application structure, adjudication criteria and peer review process.
  • See the sidebar for full details and to register for the upcoming Stage 2 February 2017 sessions.
SPARC Review
  • Full Review: SPARC, in partnership with Faculty-/Institute-based grant facilitators, provides written feedback on Stage 1 and Stage 2 applications, making suggestions to address content gaps, clarify meaning, improve readabilility and enhance impact in order to strengthen the final submission. 
    • For 2016 Stage 2, SPARC will provide this support over a 2-week period at the end of February/beginning of March 2017.

  • Module Review (TBC): SPARC is planning to offer targeted reviews of the Stage 2 Budget Justification section. These reviews may be conducted in conjunction with a full SPARC Review or independently, according to researcher preference and SPARC availability.
Final Submission

If you are getting ready to submit your application, please consult the following UBC and CIHR resources to confirm your requirements:

Recommended Timeline:

  • Stage 1: early October 2016 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)
  • Stage 2: early March 2017 (for the 2016 competition; TBC for 2017)

National & UBC Stats

CIHR introduced the Foundation Grant in 2014. The data below comes from CIHR's Foundation Grant Funding Decisions Notifications.

  2014 2015
Total Submitted - National 1366 910
UBC 125 87
Total Funded - National 150 120
UBC 23 17
Success Rate - National 11% 13%
UBC 18% 20%
Total Funding - National