Early Researcher Awards (ERA)

About

The Early Researcher Awards (ERA) is a highly competitive grant program that helps exceptional early career researchers build their research teams. Applicants must demonstrate strategic value to Ontario (i.e., economic, social, cultural benefits, knowledge transfer, and/or ability to enhance Ontario’s profile in the global academic community).  All research supported by ERA funds must be conducted in Ontario at an eligible institution. ERA funds are to be used over a period of 5 years to fund eligible expenses for a research team of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians.

Each award to a leading researcher is a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000 from the researcher’s institution and/or a partner organization. In addition, up to $40,000 will be provided by the Ministry to the institution for indirect costs. It is important to note that Early Researcher Award (ERA) is not alternative funding, it is complementary to existing funding.

The new program guidelines and application form for Round 17 will be posted by the Ministry on or before July 8, 2022

The $100,000 from the ERA and the $50,000 matching contribution will cover the following expenses for undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians carrying out the research in Ontario at an eligible institution:

  • salaries and benefits
  • essential and reasonable travel and expenses related to conferences, workshops or seminars
  • essential and reasonable travel and expenses related directly to offsite research activities
  • the amount paid to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows must be in keeping with the levels established by other award programs. Salaries must be commensurate with institutional remuneration scales. Undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians must be based in Ontario.

The new program guidelines and application form for Round 17 will be posted by the Ministry on or before July 8, 2022.

Round 17/2022 eligible applicants are those who:

  • are a full-time faculty member or principal investigator at an eligible research institution; and
  • have started their academic career on or after January 1, 2016, *; and
  • have completed their first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2011*; and
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award; and
  • are not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

* The dates are subject to extension in case of eligible interruptions. By eligible interruptions, the program means the times that the applicant could not be able to pursue active research, such as parental leave, and required training (i.e. required medical training and fellowships). Research Associate positions and post-doctoral fellowships are not deemed as eligible interruptions. Applicants must provide details in Section 8d of the application to document eligible interruptions. Failure to provide information will result in the application being deemed ineligible.

All applications must be signed, and submitted, by Queen’s designated Institutional Authority in the Vice-Principal Research portfolio. Applications submitted directly to the funding agency will not be accepted.

Three Letters of Reference are required; 2 from arms' length sources.  Reference letters MUST be sent to Research Services for submission to the Ministry.  Please view the sample templates in the Useful Links section below to assist with soliciting reference letters and information on submitting the letters to our office.

Action to take now: Please notify Research Services of your intent to apply to Round 17 of the Early Researcher Award Program by completing our internal Eligibility Pre-Screening Form  prior to June 3, 2022, to assist our unit in gauging eligibility and coordinating the application process.

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