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Discovery Frontiers Call for Proposals:
Advancing Big Data Science in Genomics Research

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are applicants required to contact a Genome Centre in order to submit an application?
It is not a requirement for applicants to contact a Genome Centre, but potential applicants are encouraged to contact their regional Genome Centre(s) to discuss opportunities for guidance in developing their application for this program. Contact information for the nearest Genome Centre to you can be found at the bottom of the This link will take you to another Web site Genome Canada Web page.

2. Is it a requirement that the lead applicant be an NSERC-funded researcher?
It is not a requirement that the lead applicant be a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)-funded researcher. The eligibility guidelines indicate that all applicants and co-applicants must meet NSERC, Genome Canada (GC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) eligibility criteria and be at an institution eligible to receive NSERC, GC and CIHR funds. Applicants requesting infrastructure funding must be from an institution that is eligible to receive Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funds.

3. Can the application’s area of impact be limited to human health?
Given that this is an inter-agency call for proposals, the applications are not required to abide by the subject matter eligibility guidelines of any one funding agency. It is expected that this initiative will bring together experts from a wide range of disciplines, and that the approaches used will emphasize bold initiatives and interdisciplinary thinking, with potential for major breakthroughs and impacts across a range of scientific disciplines. For further information, please refer to the objectives and selection criteria for this call for proposals.

4. Can equipment be requested from NSERC, GC or CIHR or must it be requested from the CFI?
Equipment can be requested from funds available through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Genome Canada (GC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), only if the total amount requested does not exceed $50,000. Applications that include a request for infrastructure greater than $50,000 must be submitted to the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) by completing the additional budget pages required. Each application may include a request for equipment or infrastructure from either NSERC, GC or CIHR, or the CFI.

5. Are applications required to indicate cash or in-kind contributions from collaborators?
Co-investment is not a requirement of this program, except in the case of a request for infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). In this case, as per its usual practice, the CFI will fund a maximum of 40 percent of the total eligible infrastructure costs, up to a maximum contribution of $1M. The remainder must be provided by the institution(s) and/or eligible funding partners. Note that funds from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Genome Canada may not be used to match CFI funds awarded through this call for proposals.

6. Is there a maximum amount of infrastructure that can be requested from the CFI?
There is no upper limit to the amount of infrastructure that can be requested, however, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) contribution to the project will not exceed the lesser of $1,000,000 or 40% of the total eligible infrastructure costs for the project. Thus, to receive the maximum financial contribution of $1,000,000 from the CFI, the project would need to include at least $2,500,000 of eligible infrastructure costs (and at least $1,500,000 of matching funding from eligible partners).

7. Does this call for proposals require international collaborators?
Yes. The objective of the 2013 call for proposals is to support the establishment of a major initiative with strong international linkages. This must be demonstrated through, for example, the participation of international scientists in the initiative, in international collaborations or in relevant international initiatives. The degree to which international collaborators are integrated into the proposal will be considered as part of the review criteria.

8. Are the international collaborators eligible for financial support?
International collaborators will not be eligible to receive financial support, as all applicants and co-applicants must meet the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) eligibility criteria and be at an institution eligible to receive NSERC, Genome Canada and CIHR funds.

9. Can a person be included in more than one application?
Yes, given that a limited number of applications will be invited from the letters of intention submitted and that the intent is to involve the best-qualified researchers in this research, it is acceptable to be included in more than one proposal.

10. Is the focus of the initiative to fund research methodologies or to generate new databases?
The objective of the call for proposals is to develop tools and methodologies for integrating various types of biological datasets related to “omics” data. The initiative will fund one project that proposes to explore and develop diverse computational and mathematical approaches and techniques to facilitate the use of big datasets in genomics. In determining the focus of a proposal, applicants should consider that all proposals will be assessed in the extent to which they meet the call for proposal’s objectives and selection criteria.

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