University Research Services

University Research Services
University Research Services

New Frontiers in Research Fund - Exploration

Jump To: Important Dates | Review Process | Submission Process | Information & Resources  | TRAQ Resources | Contact Information

This website is meant to serve as a repository of websites and resources related to the New Frontiers in Research Fund - Exploration competition. The goal of the Exploration stream is to inspire high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research.

Exploration grants support research that pushes boundaries into exciting new areas. Researchers are encouraged to think “outside of the box,” undertake research that would defy current paradigms, and bring disciplines together in unexpected ways and from bold, innovative perspectives. With the Exploration stream, there is recognition that innovation often carries risk; proposals for high-risk research projects that have the potential to deliver game-changing impacts are strongly encouraged.


  1. URS is hosting a NFRF Exploration Information Webinar on July 14 from 2:30-4:30 via Microsoft Teams.  Please click here to register for this session.
  2. The URS review deadline for the NFRF Exploration competition is August 4th. Applicants will receive detailed editing feedback from two Research Projects Advisors in different disciplines. Please see the review process section for more details.
  3. URS has updated all of the key dates for this competition. Please see the table below for TRAQ deadlines and the Queen's internal submission deadline.

Important Dates 

The following table is a summary of key agency / Queen's deadlines. Please see the note on University Research Services' internal processes below. 



Agency-led Information Session July 7, 2020, 1:00-3:00 pm (Eastern)
Queen's-led Information Session July 14, 2020, 2:30-4:30 pm (Eastern)
Notice of Intent to apply deadline August 18, 2020, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern)
TRAQ Deadline
(Hospital-Based Research)
July 28, 2020
(Queen's internal process)
Application Review Deadline August 4, 2020
(Queen's internal process)
TRAQ Deadline
(Research that is not hospital-based)
August 11, 2020
Application Deadline August 18, 2020 at NOON
(Queen's internal submission deadline)
Results Announced March 31, 2021
Funding Start Date March 31, 2021


Review Process - University Research Services

The deadline to receive an APPLICATION REVIEW from University Research Services is August 4, 2020. Please note that this is not a scientific review (i.e. a review by a researcher in your discipline). The review will be performed by TWO Research Projects Advisors at University Research Services from different disciplines. The advisors will:

  • Perform a detailed reading and content review of your application (including editing suggestions)
  • Perform a budget review
  • Provide detailed comments / feedback

If you would like to have your application reviewed by University Research Services, please email Traci Allen ( your proposal documents no later than August 4, 2020.  Please remember that the more complete the application, the more useful the review process will be. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Submission Process

  • Your application must be submitted using the agency's Convergence Portal. When you click submit your application will be electronically directed to the University Research Services for review and approval. Then, administrators at University Research Services will forward your application to the funding agency on your behalf. Please note the internal submission deadlines for Queen's are shown above.

  • A TRAQ DSS is required at the full application stage for this funding opportunity. The TRAQ DSS deadline for research that is hospital-based (i.e., projects that will use hospital resources, space, staff, and/or require access to hospital patients, patient samples, and/or data) is July 28, 2020. The TRAQ deadline for research that is not hospital-based is August 11, 2020. The TRAQs must include: i) a DRAFT of the research proposal; ii) a DRAFT of the budget/budget justification, and; iii) a copy of the hospital-impact form (if the research would be considered hospital-based).  See the TRAQ Resources section for more information.


Information & Resources

About the Program

    • Feedback to applicants - general summary of the strengths/weakness of applications from the 2018 competition.
  • Application instructions
    • Evaluation matrices - these evaluation matrices will be used by reviewers in the NFRF and show what is considered highly valued in the program.
    • EDI fillable form (PDF, 89 KB) - this fillable PDF must be completed for the EDI section of the NFRF application. See also the NFRF best practices guide for EDI. NB - while the fillable PDf is currently available, eventually the Convergence Portal will be updated so that applicants can enter the required information directly in the portal interface.
    • Attachment guidelines - formatting requirements for free-form NFRF attachments.
    • NFRF peer review manual - an overview of the NFRF peer review process, and detailed guidance to reviewers.
    • NFRF agency-led webinar - the webinar will take place on July 7 2020 from 1-3 and the presentation recording and slides will be posted here after this date.
    • NFRF Queen's-led webinar - July 14, 2:30-4:30.  Please click here to register.  The presentation slides will be posted here after this date.

Additional Resources

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Sex and Gender Based Analysis

Other Resources

TRAQ Resources

Completing the TRAQ DSS for Hospital-Based Research

Completing the TRAQ DSS for Research that is not Hospital-Based


Contact Information

URS Contacts

All URS Research Projects Advisors (RPA) are working collaboratively to support this program. Please contact your discipline-specific RPA if you have any questions about the program.

Health Sciences

Natural Sciences and Engineering

Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts

Jennifer Robinson
Ext. 32944
Faculty of Health Sciences
Dora Baczyk
Ext. 77315
All faculties
Diane Davies
Ext. 79422
All faculties

Andrea Hiltz
Ext. 33108
All faculties

Kyle Hodder
Ext. 79707
Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science

Adrian Kelly
Faculty of Arts & Science

Agency Contact




Last Updated: June 30 2020