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.


  1. 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. 
  2. 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.

Panel Discussion and Q&A Session:

Panel Discussion on August 24 has been cancelled. 


Notice of Intent to Apply :

Full Application Stage:

  • French – 2022 Exploration Full Application
    July 14, 10 am – 12 pm (Eastern Time) 
  • English – 2022 Exploration Full Application
    July 14, 1 – 3 pm (Eastern Time)

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
(Queen's internal process)

Notice of Intent to apply deadline

Tuesday, June 28, at NOON (Eastern)
(Queen's internal submission deadline*)

TRAQ deadline
(hospital-based research)
Monday, August 29, 2022
Application Review deadline
(optional but recommended)
Monday, August 29, 2022
(Queen's internal process)
TRAQ deadline
(research that is not hospital-based)
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Application Deadline
Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 12:00 pm
(Queen's internal submission deadline**)
Results Announced March 31, 2023
Funding Start Date March 31, 2023

* Email application documents to Andrea Hiltz ( for review.

** 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.

If you would like to have your NOI reviewed by an RPA, please email your document to Andrea Hiltz ( by Monday, June 20, 2022.

Full Application:

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.

  • 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 Monday, August 29, 2022. The TRAQ deadline for research that is not hospital-based is Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
    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: 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)

NFRF Exploration 2020 ( Queen's NetID and password are required to view)

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)

 View the slide set from the NFRF panel discussion webinar (PDF 205 KB)

Overall Program:

Application Guidebooks:

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

Indigenous Initiatives
Jennifer Robinson
Faculty of Health Sciences

Andrea Hiltz
All faculties

Dora Baczyk
Faculty of Health Sciences and Smith School of Business 

Bei Cai
Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science

Adam Jeziorski
Faculty of Arts & Science

Diane Davies
All faculties

Adrian Kelly
Faculty of Arts & Science

Aleksandra Bergier
All faculties

Agency Contact