Information Session Presentation

Ontario Research Fund
Research Excellence
Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
September 2011
• The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE)
program promotes research excellence in Ontario by supporting
transformative, internationally significant research
• The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE)
Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Round recognizes the
importance of the arts, the humanities and the social sciences to
innovation, the development of social knowledge, and the
advancement of social and economic well-being in this province
Comprehensive Research Investments Create Capacity
and a Strong Knowledge Base
MRI DIRECT DELIVERY builds capacity by providing
comprehensive research support in all research disciplines
PEOPLE: Research talent programs, a central part of the
knowledge creation ecosystem, support attraction/retention of
researchers throughout their career development
INFRASTRUCTURE: Ontario Research Fund –Research
Infrastructure (ORF-RI) supports modernization, development
and acquisition of new infrastructure (small/individual to
large/institutional) and is administered in concert with Canada
Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
OPERATIONS: Ontario Research Fund –Research Excellence
(ORF-RE) supports transformative, internationally significant
research projects
Fellowship Program (PDF)
·Early Researcher Awards (ERA)
ORF-RI: Small Infrastructure
Grants to Attract
and Retain Researchers
·ORF-RI: Large-Scale
Infrastructure Grants for
Transformative Research
Builds research teams (graduate students, PDFs)
led by established scientists (principal investigators and co-investigators)
INSTITUTE MODEL, funded by MRI to advance
translational and focused research in specific research areas
The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is an
internationally renowned hub for multi-disciplinary, multiinstitutional collaborations in translational cancer research
The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) facilitates multi-disciplinary,
multi-institutional research collaborations in neuroscience
Continue to raise Ontario’s
global reputation
in research community
Flagship, Best-in-Class, Research Program
ORF Share of Funding by
Focus Areas
Other Disciplines
Digital media and ICT
Advanced Health
Bio-economy and clean
Since 2004, $1.17B committed towards 1,500
research projects in OIA focus areas,
leveraging $2.5B leveraged from partner
funding from institutions, federal government
and the private sector.
• ORF-RE SSAH was posted on August 29, 2011
• Submission deadlines are:
– Notice of Intent (NoI): November 4, 2011
NoIs posted on our website will enable institutions to identify
appropriate opportunities for collaboration prior to applying
– Applications: February 15, 2012
• The minimum support in the SSAH Round provided by the ORF-RE
to a project is $200,000 and the maximum support provided is
$1 million
ORF-RE SSAH: Mandate
• ORF-RE SSAH Round will focus on:
– Quality of research
– Strategic value to Ontario
– Attraction, retention and fostering of research
• Projects supported by the ORF-RE are expected to
produce results that may have a beneficial impact on
Ontario’s quality of life and economy and may raise
its profile in the global academic community
• The ORF-RE funding is open, on a competitive basis, to Ontario’s:
Publicly assisted universities
Colleges of applied arts and technology
Hospital research institutes
Not-for-profit research institutes affiliated with the above
Consortia of the above, with one institution as lead applicant, assuming responsibility and
accountability for the consortium
– Other Ontario not-for-profit research institutions at the discretion of the ORF Advisory Board
• Where an institution's eligibility to apply for ORF-RE funding may be
in question, such institutions must request and receive confirmation
of eligibility from the ORF Advisory Board
• ORF-RE will not support proposals seeking funding for:
Contract R&D where the private sector owns the IP
Clinical trials
Endowed research chairs
High performance computing platforms
Funding Formula
• ORF-RE supports total operating costs, including an indirect cost
component of up to 40% of a project’s direct costs
• Project funding is achieved through contributions from the Ministry,
institutions, the private sector, and community partners
• ORF-RE will contribute a maximum of 1/3 of total project costs,
with the remaining 2/3 coming the applicant institution, community
partners and the private sector
• Financial support from a community partner is considered solely as
a component of the institutional contribution to a project
• When constructing the budget please ensure the cash flow is close
to the spending profile, i.e. not divided equally over four years
Conditions Of Funding
• Institutions will be also required to have in
– Plan for youth outreach/mentorship activities
(Successful applicants may use up to 1% of the
ORF contribution to undertake annual youth
science and technology outreach activities)
– Intellectual Property (IP) arrangement
ORF-RE SSAH: Selection Criteria
• In the SSAH Round, the ORF-RE proposals will be judged on:
– Research quality
– Strategic value to Ontario
– Development of research talent
– Project management
• To be considered for funding, all proposals must meet the
minimum threshold of excellence in the following criteria:
– Quality of research
– Strategic value to Ontario
Application Process
• Institutions submit Notices of Intent (NoI) by November 4, 2011
• NoIs are posted on the Ministry website to:
– Help institutions identify opportunities for collaboration
(where applicable)
– Allow Ministry staff to conduct early searches for external
• Institutions submit applications by February 15, 2012
• Applications must be received and/or postmarked no later than
February 15, 2012
• Late and incomplete applications will not be accepted
Adjudication Process
• MRI staff review applications for completeness
• Applications are forwarded to external expert reviewers for
quality of research, training of HQP, and appropriateness of
project budget
• Applications and external reviews are forwarded to peer review
panels for a review against the full set of criteria
• Review panels make recommendations to the ORF Advisory
• ORF Advisory Board makes recommendations to the Minister
• MRI Minister makes final decisions
• Decisions are communicated to institutions by way of a letter to
the Vice-President, Research, Lead Institutional contact and the
Principal Investigator of the lead institution
Common Application Errors and Weaknesses
failure to meet research excellence criterion
failure to indicate how the proposal differs from the current state of the art
research in the field, within the Ontario context as well as nationally and
proposed research lacks focus (numerous, unrelated or loosely related
failure to “make the case”, i.e. to explain the steps that led to the proposed
research concept
failure to demonstrate the strategic value of the research to Ontario
proposed research is not ground-breaking or innovative (e.g. small scale,
single experiment focused)
the budget appears inflated and/or expenses are not adequately justified
the management structure is poorly defined
the governance structure lacks autonomy
• For more information on ORF-RE or other MRI
programs please visit our web-site at:
• Contacts:
– Mima Vulovic (416) 212-7060
[email protected]
– Joel Bartczak (416) 326-1111
[email protected]
FAQ’s - Start-date for Eligible Expenditures
Q. What is the "Start-date" for eligible expenditures under the ORFRE program?
A. The "Start-date" for eligible expenditures of ORF-RE projects is
fixed as of the date of the Award Notification Letter. In
exceptional circumstances and depending on the merits of the
proposal and recommendation from the review panels, the ORF
Board may advise and direct Ministry staff to negotiate an earlier
“Start-date”. If an earlier “Start-date” is allowed it will not be any
earlier than the date of the call for proposals for that round of
competition. For ORF-RE SSAH, this date is August 29, 2011.
FAQ’s - Philanthropic and
Foundation Contributions
Q. Do philanthropic and foundation contributions qualify as private
sector contributions?
A. No, in ORF-RE philanthropic and foundation contributions do not
qualify as private sector contributions. However, in the SSAH
Round financial support from philanthropic organizations and
foundations are enthusiastically welcomed and will be
considered a component the institutional contribution to a
FAQ’s – Top Ups
Will the ORF allow awardees, who have received operating funding at a
reduced level in an ORF competition, to seek additional funding in order to
“top up” their existing grant in a later competition?
No. The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE) program
seeks to fund only new and transformative research projects, not incremental
To that effect applicants must provide a justification of the relevance of the
research proposed, both within the national/international context, and within
the context of previous Ontario government funding or ongoing Ontario
research initiatives.
In addition the research proposals should indicate the percentage of each
investigator’s time on a proposed project and identify whether a coinvestigator is also working on another project submitted to the ORF.
FAQ’s – Overhead Calculation
How do you calculate the maximum amount that can be taken from the ORF
contribution toward overhead (indirect costs)?
No more than 40% of the direct cost portion of the ORF contribution can be used
for indirect costs.
To determine the maximum amount that can be taken from the ORF contribution
toward overhead, please use the following formula:
Overhead amount = grant amount / 1.4 x 40%
For example, for a grant of $1,000,000, the maximum that can be taken for
overhead purposes is ($1,000,000 / 1.4) x 40% = $285,714.
Overall Project
Indirect costs =
40% of direct
ORF Funds
ORF Funds
Private sector
Private sector
FAQ’s – Peer Review Panels
Q. In the case of a proposal re-submission to a current or later round, do the
peer-review panels get to see the comments made on proposals from the
previous rounds and/or does the Ministry re-use the comments provided by
reviewers in the previous round?
A. No. Written comments provided by expert and Panel reviewers in one
round are not re-used from round to round. ORF-RE applications stand on
their own merits in each Round.
A Complex Program With Significant Industry
Industry is an integral
part of program
Applicants are
required to include
private sector
partners (PSP) in
their project
Program evaluation
criteria includes
‘strategic value to
Ontario’ and
experts are a part
of adjudication
MRI funding is
contingent on

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