New Frontiers in Research Fund - Exploration

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 previous competitions. The 2024 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. 

The links to the recordings of the Notice of Intent webinar presented on May 22 for the 2024 Exploration competition can be found below, alongside a link to the slides used during the presentation.

Session recordings

Session slides

 Stay tuned

The Vice-Principal Research Portfolio will host an information webinar about the NFRF Exploration Grant later this summer. Please come back to this page for webinar date and details.


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 to apply deadline*

* Email application documents to Dora Baczyk ( for review.

Monday, August 19, 2024 at 9:00 AM (Eastern)
(Queen's internal submission deadline)

EDII Review**

** If you don’t have a clear EDII plan in place, please reach out to Aleks Bergier ( as soon as possible to initiate the conversation and the planning process. If you haven’t already, we also strongly recommend that you take the EDI in Research Training Modules.
Monday, September 2, 2024
TRAQ deadline
(hospital-based research)
Tuesday, October 22, 2024
TRAQ deadline
(non-hospital-based research)
Tuesday, October 29, 2024
Application Review deadline
(optional but recommended)
Monday, October 21, 2024
(Queen's internal process)

Application Convergence Portal Deadline***

*** Applications are forwarded to the agency by Research Services. Strict adherence to internal deadlines is required to ensure applications are submitted on time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2024 by 9am
Results Announced March 31, 2025
Funding Start Date March 31, 2025

Notice of Intent (NOI):

The deadline to receive a NOTICE OF INTENT REVIEW (not mandatory but is strongly recommended) from a Research Projects Advisor (RPA) is Monday, September 25, 2023.  NOIs will be used, by the agency, 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).  

If you would like to have your NOI reviewed by an RPA, please email your document to Dora Baczyk ( by Monday, September 25, 2023.

Full Application:

The deadline to receive a FULL APPLICATION REVIEW from a Queen’s RPA is Monday, November 27, 2023. 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 an RPA. The advisor 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 an assigned RPA no later than Monday, November 27, 2023.  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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Friday, November 24, 2023. The TRAQ deadline for research that is not hospital-based is Friday, December 1, 2023.
    The TRAQs must include:
    1. a DRAFT of the research proposal;
    2. a DRAFT of the budget/budget justification, and;
    3. 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: 2023 successful applications will be posted as soon as the NFRF embargo on results has been lifted. Please note that 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)

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

Completing the TRAQ DSS for Hospital-Based Research

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

Contact Information

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.

Health Sciences

Natural Sciences and Engineering

Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts

EDII & Indigenous Initiatives

Jennifer Robinson
Faculty of Health Sciences

Dora Baczyk
All faculties

Bei Cai
Smith Engineering

Adam Jeziorski
Faculty of Arts & Science

Merline Fonkwe
All faculties

Diane Davies
All faculties

Adrian Kelly
Faculty of Arts & Science

Aleksandra Bergier
All faculties

Agency Contact