If it feels like we have been working on this project for a long time, that is because we have. The New Frontiers Research Fund – Transformation competition stream opened on December 5, 2019 and a Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply was submitted by the University of Alberta on February 18, 2020.
The fund is part of a suite of new opportunities offered by the Government of Canada (Tri-Council) to replace the Centres of Excellence program. “The Transformation competition stream will support large-scale, Canadian-led interdisciplinary research projects that have the potential to bring about real and lasting change”.
460 teams submitted NOIs and the LOI submission date was set to April 2020. Then COVID-19 happened. This ended up being a blessing for our team as we were given an extra three months to develop our application. During this time we expanded our PI team and hosted a series of information-sharing meetings with new partners from across Canada and the globe.
We submitted our Letter of Intent (LOI) on July 15, 2020 along with 346 other teams. In November we were notified that we are one of only 31 teams invited to submit a full proposal. This final application is due to the funder on April 13, 2021.
We are now engaged in the challenging work of expanding on a successful LOI and refining our approaches. To do this we are building on the feedback that we received in the LOI round of review (attached below). The scoring was a pass / fail on “EDI – equity, diversity, and inclusion” and for “interdisciplinary”. We scored “excellent” in the category of “high reward” and “feasibility” and “very high” in the category of “high risk”. If you are interested in knowing more about this scoring process, here is the link: SSHRC-CRSH.GC.CA
The level of excitement and interest in our proposal is growing and our list of collaborators continues to expand. Next week, our Advisory Circle will meet for the first time to begin hashing out the details of the final proposal. It will be a lot of work but with our strong connections through an incredible network, we are confident that we can submit an excellent plan.