New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) - 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.
- There are no notable changes from the 2021 competition. The 2022 competition will continue with two stages: Notice of intent to apply (NOI) and full application. The Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration serves as the general guideline for eligibility of expenses and use of funds related to the direct costs of research. Exceptions to those policies for Exploration grants are noted in the competition overview.
- Applicants and research administrators are encouraged to attend the Exploration webinars to learn more about the Exploration stream and the overall application process. Registration is not required.
Notice of Intent to Apply :
- French webinar held on Friday, May 27
- English webinar held on Friday, May 27
Full Application Stage:
- The French webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 19 from 10 am – 12 pm ET.
- The English webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 19 from 1 pm – 3 pm ET.
- Please click the “Join Webinar” link on the NFRF Exploration Competition Details website
The following table is a summary of key agency / Queen's deadlines. Please see the note on Research Services' internal processes below.
|Notice of Intent Review deadline
(optional but recommended*)
Monday, June 20, 2022
|Notice of Intent to apply deadline
Tuesday, June 28, at NOON (Eastern)
|Monday, August 29, 2022|
|Application Review deadline
(optional but recommended)
|Monday, August 29, 2022
(Queen's internal process)
(research that is not hospital-based)
|Tuesday, September 6, 2022|
|Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 12:00 pm
(Queen's internal submission deadline**)
|Results Announced||March 31, 2023|
|Funding Start Date||March 31, 2023|
** Applications are forwarded to the agency by Research Services. Strict adherence to internal deadlines is required to ensure applications are submitted on time.
Notice of Intent (NOI):
The deadline to receive a NOTICE OF INTENT REVIEW from a Research Projects Advisor (RPA) is Monday, June 20, 2022. NOIs will be used for administrative purposes (identifying external reviewers and composing the multidisciplinary review panel). The NOI is not adjudicated; however, your proposed project must be clearly defined and must show that it fits the requirements of the NFRF Exploration Call (i.e., high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary). Review of the NOI by an RPA is not mandatory but is strongly recommended.
The deadline to receive a FULL APPLICATION REVIEW from a Queen’s RPA is Monday, August 29, 2022. 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 RPAs from different disciplines. The advisors will:
- Perform a detailed reading and content review of your full application (including editing suggestions)
- Perform a budget review
- Provide detailed comments/feedback
If you would like to have your application reviewed, please email your application to Andrea Hiltz () no later than Monday, August 29, 2022, 2021. 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
Your application must be submitted using the agency's Convergence Portal . When you click submit your application will be electronically directed to the Research Services for review and approval. Then, administrators at Research Services will forward your application to the funding agency on your behalf. Please note the deadlines for Queen's are shown in the "Important Dates" tab 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 Monday, August 29, 2022. The TRAQ deadline for research that is not hospital-based is Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
The TRAQs must include:
- a DRAFT of the research proposal;
- a DRAFT of the budget/budget justification, and;
- a copy of the hospital-impact form (if the research would be considered hospital-based)
See the TRAQ Resources section in the "Information & Resources" tab below for more information.
Research Summaries from previously successful NFRF applications from Queen's.
Note: these sample applications are intended for internal use at Queen’s only. You must enter your Queen's NetID and password to access the files.
It is prohibited to circulate the sample applications outside of Queen’s or to host the example applications elsewhere online. Similarly, it is strictly prohibited to duplicate any of the text provided.
NFRF Exploration 2021 (Queen's NetID and password are required to view)
- Cao Thang Dinh: Electro-bio hybrid systems for converting carbon dioxide to bioplastic
- Jason Gallivan: Understanding the neurobiology of social distancing and the impact of staying digitally connected ‘online’
- Anna Panchenko: Unraveling the landscape of oncohistone mutations
- Zongchao Jia: Developing a new class of P. aeruginosa antivirulence drug using a novel microsensor and electrokinetics technology
NFRF Exploration 2020 (Queen's NetID and password are required to view)
- R David Andrew: The early molecular events setting up acute brain injury
- Neil Renwick: Advancing knowledge of highly heterogeneous neuroendocrine neoplasms through graph neural network modeling of post-transcriptional gene regulatory networks
- Bas Vriens: A 10,000-ton Algal Liver: Genetic Engineering for Improved Wastewater Treatment
- Christine Sypnowich: Toppling Monuments: Colonial Trauma, Justice, Heritage, and Restorative Healing
Panel Discussion and Q&A webinar with Queen’s NFRF Exploration Grant Recipients held on September 2, 2020
To aid 2020 applicants as they prepared their Full Applications, Research Services invited four previous NFRF Exploration awardees to discuss their projects and highlight what helped to make their applications successful. The conversation paid particular attention on how to effectively portray the high-risk, high-reward, feasibility, interdisciplinarity and EDI components of the project within the application.
View a recording of this NFRF panel discussion webinar ( Queen's NetID and password are required to view video)
- Program overview
- 2020 Multidisciplinary Review Panel Co-chairs’ Report
The Multidisciplinary Review Panel co-chairs’ report for the 2020 Exploration competition is submitted for consideration to the NFRF Steering Committee.
- SSHRC NFRF (Exploration) FAQ
- Reviewer Manual
- Evaluation matrices
- Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Defines appropriate use of Tri-Council funds
- Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research - SSHRC guidelines that should be used as a reference for applications related to Indigenous research
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:
- English and French information webinars on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) were held on September 17:
- NFRF Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research - An NFRF guide that describes best practices for EDI in Research, and includes a list of question questions applicants should consider.
- (Net ID & password required) - An overview of EDI guidelines, best practices and resources available to researchers at Queen’s. Guide to EDI Resource (PDF 201 KB)
- - this fillable PDF must be completed for the EDI section of the NFRF application. 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. EDI fillable form (PDF 89 KB)
- Integrating Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDII) in Research - a “toolkit” created by Research Services of useful EDII resources to help our research and innovation community implement EDII policies and practices into their respective research programs, projects and research environments.
- EDII Wise Practices in Research - This page provides some general tips and recommendations on how to address the EDII considerations in your practices and successfully communicate an EDII action plan in your funding application.
- R4R@Queen’s Session Materials: EDI in Research
- Natural Sciences & Engineering Council (NSERC) – Guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research - This guide provides the research communities served by NSERC with information and resources to help include EDI considerations in their research.
- Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences Style Guide: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: The FHS EDI Style Guide is to be used by FHS learners, staff, and faculty to make communication with diverse audiences more equitable and inclusive. The guide provides advice on how to engage with issues concerning race, gender, and sexual orientation, among other intersecting identities.
- A list of Further Reading and EDI Concepts and Terms (PDF 416 KB)
- Sex- and Gender-based analysis - CIHR website that provides an overview of key terms, online training, and key resources for researchers
- Appropriate integration of sex & gender in research - CIHR website outlining key considerations for the appropriate integration of sex and gender in research
- SGBA online training - short training videos on SGBA from CIHR
- Women and Gender Equality Canada – Services, information, and resources towards advancing equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders
Completing the TRAQ DSS for Hospital-Based Research
- - Step-by-step explanation for how to complete the TRAQ DSS Form for hospital-based research Hospital-Based Research - Tips for Completing the TRAQ DSS FORM (PDF 866 KB)
- - Mandatory form for all hospital-based research conducted at KGH, HDH, and Providence Care Hospital Departmental Impact & Information Form (PDF 329 KB)
- - Explanation of how to complete the Hospital Impact form Hospital Departmental Impact & Information Form Tips (PDF 214 KB)
- - FAQ for hospital-based research, including the definition of hospital-based research Hospital-Based Research Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF 223 KB)
Completing the TRAQ DSS for Research that is not Hospital-Based
Research Services Contacts
All 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.