Early Researcher Awards (ERA)


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.

Eligible Expenses shall consist of either Direct Costs or Overhead Costs for the Research Team (excluding the Principal Investigator). Undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians must be based in Ontario.

The up to $100,000 from the ERA Program Funding from the province and the $50,000 Matching Contribution from the Institution will cover the following eligible direct costs for undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians carrying out the research:

  • salaries and benefits claimed in proportion to the time spent working on the project
  • essential and reasonable travel and expenses related to conferences, workshops or seminars - not to exceed full economy fares (amount may be limited at the discretion of the Ministry)
  • essential and reasonable travel and expenses related directly to offsite research activities - not to exceed full economy fares (amount may be limited at the discretion of the Ministry)
  • associated expenses related to the research team (not intended for the principal investigator), such as:
    • police record checks
    • job advertisements
    • publication costs
    • accommodations for off-site research
    • lab user fees

Up to $7,500 for discretionary expenses to be used to fulfill the objective of the program to build research talent and cannot be utilized to supplement the salary of the principal investigator.

Round 18/2024 eligible applicants are those who:

  • are a full-time faculty member or principal investigator at an eligible research institution (adjunct positions do not qualify); and
  • have started their academic career on or after January 1, 2018*; and
  • have completed their first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2013*

Researchers (PI) who are, or have been, Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are not eligible to apply for an ERA. Researchers (PI) may be awarded only one ERA during their career; however, researchers (PI) who are not successful may submit an application in a later competition, providing they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.

* 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 maternal/parental leave, required training (i.e. required medical training and fellowships) or institution approved medical leave. Research Associate positions, post-doctoral fellowships or time spent in industry (private sector) are not deemed as eligible interruptions. Applicants must provide details in Section 9d 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 at  EarlyResearcherAward@queensu.ca for submission to the Ministry. 

May 21, 2024

July 25, 2024

  • Queen's prepares cover letter listing all submissions and submits all required ERA applications and documentation to the funding agency on behalf of the institution.


  • Dora Baczyk, Research Projects Advisor - Life and Health Sciences
    (Grants and Research Operations, Research Services)
     613-533-6000 ext. 77315