Establishment Grant Program Requirements

Objective 
Funding Details 
Eligibility
Evaluation Criteria

GMS Application Information

Canada Common CV (CCV)
Project Details
Eligibility 
Team Members
External Reviewer(s)
Ethics Requirements
Plain Language Summary
Objectives
Gender and Sex Based Analysis
Research Proposal Description
Project Abstract
References and Attachments
Relevance 
Team Composition
Mentor
Budget Table and Justification
Signature and Submission

Review Process
Step by Step Guide for Applicants
Resources for Consideration
Contact Information

This competitive peer reviewed funding opportunity supports investigator/curiosity driven research across the four health research categories.

Objective

The Establishment Grant assists in building research capacity and provides initial support for new health researchers in Nova Scotia over a 1 to 3 year period.

Given our mandate to build capacity in health research in Nova Scotia, mentorship is a required component of an Establishment Grant application. 

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Funding Details

Value and Duration: The maximum amount awarded is $50,000/year for up to 3 years (maximum $150,000).

Process to Apply:  Create an account in the Grant Management System (GMS) and choose Apply for Grant/Award – Establishment Grant.

Open/Close Date: To view all current funding opportunities, click here.

Multiple Submissions: Related, but not duplicate, applications may be submitted for more than one grant provided the applicant clearly demonstrates how each application is unique and that they can be implemented independently. NSHRF grant recipients (Principal Investigator or Co- Principal Investigator) may hold only one Establishment Grant at a time.  If two applications submitted in the same competition are both fundable, the Principal Investigator will be required to accept only one grant.

Funded applicants may apply for a subsequent Establishment Grant in a future competition (provided they remain eligible) if their current funded Establishment Grant will be completed within one year of the subsequent notice of award to begin the second Establishment Grant. 

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Eligibility

To apply for an Establishment Grant, the Principal Investigator (PI) must meet one of the three conditions outlined below:

  • Be a health researcher new to Nova Scotia (i.e., holds or will hold a first time academic appointment at a Nova Scotia university/affiliated research institution or an appointment (with research responsibilities) at an affiliated hospital/research centre/institute on or after September 1, 2011)
     
  • Be a new Doctorate (PhD) graduate (i.e., graduated on or after September 1, 2011) and hold an academic appointment in a Nova Scotia university/affiliated research institution or an appointment (with research responsibilities) at an affiliated hospital/research centre/institute)
     
  • Be a researcher new to health research (i.e., holds an academic appointment at a Nova Scotia university or an appointment (with research responsibilities) at an affiliated hospital/research centre/institute but has undergone a career transition and is now conducting health research)

Please note: Applicants with limited term appointments are eligible to apply, however, the Establishment Grant must be completed before the end date of the appointment. Please ensure the PI’s updated CCV clearly indicates the end date of the appointment.

NEW THIS YEAR: Applicants with a limited term appointment must provide a letter from their institution indicating the start and end dates of their appointment. The letter must be from a senior official in the applicant’s institution. If, at the time of application, the researcher holds a limited term appointment but has not yet received a contract for the upcoming academic year, she or he is eligible to apply. If successful, a condition of funding will be confirmation from the institution that a new appointment was made. The research project must be completed during this appointment.

We encourage researchers from outside the province who are planning a move to Nova Scotia to apply for this funding opportunity. Researchers who do not have an academic appointment at the time of application must demonstrate they will have one by the time the grant begins (effective September 1, 2016) by providing a letter from a senior official at the institution confirming the effective date of appointment.  

Researchers may apply for an extension or other special consideration with respect to the eligibility period. We encourage all researchers wishing to apply for special eligibility consideration to contact the program manager and request approval prior to submitting an application. Special eligibility considerations may include:

  • Career transition, defined as a researcher who is making a major shift from another discipline into a health research discipline. Supporting documentation, including a copy of the applicant’s CCV and letter describing the transition, is required.
     
  • "First time" academic appointment may also apply to a researcher returning to Nova Scotia after an absence from the province. Supporting documentation, including a copy of the applicant’s CCV and letter of request, is required.
     
  • Researchers who have taken medical leave, parental leave or other institution-approved leaves during their eligibility period may receive a corresponding extension to their eligibility period. Supporting documentation from the applicant’s institution in the form of a letter confirming the length of any formally approved leave is required.
     
  • Researchers who have held limited term appointments in the province and who go on to receive tenure track appointments in Nova Scotia may request an extension to the eligibility period. Supporting documentation, including a copy of the applicant’s CCV and letter of request, is required.

These scenarios are assessed on a case-by-case basis and approval by the Director, Programs is required. 

An applicant’s eligibility will be determined by the NSHRF and will be indicated in the applicant’s GMS portfolio after the submission deadline.

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Evaluation Criteria

The proposal must demonstrate the following criteria which are used to evaluate Establishment Grant applications:

Academic Excellence of the Applicant(s)

  • Knowledge, expertise and experience of applicant(s)
  • Relevant research experience of applicant(s), including peer reviewed publications, presentations and previous research awards or grants
  • Applicant’s(s’) past or potential contributions to, and impact on, the proposed area of research
  • Ability of the applicant(s) to have their findings used by other researchers and end-users (clinicians, decision makers, community)
  • Complementary expertise among team members (if applicable) and how this creates synergy
  • Mentorship relationship and how it contributes to the academic merit of the proposal

Merit of the Proposal

  • Originality and innovation
  • Significance and expected contributions to research
  • Clarity and scope of objectives
  • Clarity and appropriateness of methodology, including limitations
  • Extent to which the scope of the project addresses a specific health research area and its related issues, including the need for varied expertise within or across disciplines
  • Feasibility
  • Dissemination plan that is appropriate, targeted and adequately resourced

Budget

  • Appropriateness and justification of the budget
  • Availability of other sources of funding (if applicable)
  • Special needs related to the project (e.g., collaborative activities or infrastructure costs, such as user fees)

Relevance to Nova Scotia – The proposal must demonstrate relevance to improving the health of Nova Scotians by addressing any of the following:

  • How the proposed research addresses health issues of relevance to Nova Scotians
  • The potential economic impact of the research in Nova Scotia
  • The potential impact of the research on clinical practice in Nova Scotia
  • The potential impact of the research on health policy in Nova Scotia
  • How the proposed research addresses the NSHRF health research priorities

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GMS Application Information

The application information is submitted in the NSHRF’s Grant Management System (GMS) and is completed either as direct entries or as additional uploads. This section describes each requirement in detail. To start your application please create an account in the NSHRF’s Grant Management System. 

If you are entering information directly in to the GMS and you wish to cut and paste from another document we recommend that you paste as unitext. Notepad will convert to unitext.

All sections uploaded to the GMS must adhere to the following format:

  • Uploads cannot exceed section page limit and must be in Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Font must be 11 pt minimum, black type. No condensed/narrow fonts, type, or spacing
  • Use 1.5 line spacing, 0.5 inch (1.27 cm), left and right margins
  • PI's last name and application ID number must be at the top of each page in the header
  • Pages uploaded for each section should be numbered in the footer
  • Page numbering can start at one (1) and end with the maximum page limit for that section; applicants do not need to attempt consecutive numbering between sections
  • All references should be uploaded as a separate attachment in the References section

Please note: Ensure uploaded documents are not locked or password protected as the system will not be able to open them.

Canada Common CV (CCV)
Project Details
Eligibility 
Team Members
External Reviewer(s)
Ethics Requirements
Plain Language Summary
Objectives
Gender and Sex Based Analysis
Research Proposal Description
Project Abstract
References and Attachments
Relevance 
Team Composition
Mentor
Budget Table and Justification
Signature and Submission
 

Canada Common CV (CCV) 

All applicants or team members with an academic appointment require a NSHRF-validated CCV. After completing the required fields on the CCV, users must validate their PIN (the email address associated with your GMS account) and submit an NSHRF CV within the CCV. You will need to provide your GMS account information (email address and GMS password) in order to successfully match your CCV and GMS accounts. All applicants, including team members with academic appointments, should check the version of the CCV linked to their GMS account. 

Applicants must re-submit their CCV (NSHRF CV) to their GMS account for the 2016-17 competition in order to ensure the most recent CCV is available for confirmation of eligibility and assessment by reviewers.

Instructions for validating your PIN and submitting your Common CV to NSHRF can be found here.

Please contact the NSHRF Helpdesk with any questions.

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Project Details

Category of Research 

This funding opportunity is reviewed by one of two peer review committees. Applicants must identify the health research category most appropriate for their research in the GMS application form. The following are the two peer review committees:

1)  Biomedical (MED)
2)  Health Policy, Health Services and Health Outcomes (PSO)

The NSHRF will make the final decision on which peer review committee will review the application based on the proposed research summary.

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NSHRF Health Research Priority  

In the GMS, please select the most applicable/ predominant NSHRF priority that relates to or most closely associates with your project. To view the NSHRF Health Research Priorities click here. This information is for administrative purposes only.

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Institution that Will Administer Funds

Applicants must indicate which institution will administer the funds if the application is funded. This institution will be required to approve the application prior to submission. All Nova Scotia institutions are able to complete this approval process through their institutional GMS accounts.  

It is recommended that applicants contact the institution that will be approving their application to determine internal institutional deadlines, requirements and potential support offered by the institution during the application process.

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Resubmissions

Any application that remains similar in content and has been submitted, reviewed and not funded in previous NSHRF competitions must be marked as a resubmission in the GMS application form. Material submitted in previous applications is not available to reviewers, so the current application should contain all information required for evaluation. Applicants resubmitting can upload up to two pages outlining how previous feedback has been addressed. This information can be uploaded in the Project Details section of the GMS when the application is identified as a resubmission. Applicants are also encouraged to incorporate this information within the relevant sections of the application in order to highlight the changes made in response to feedback received. 

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Eligibility 

Applicants (PIs) will need to identify in the GMS application form which criterion makes them eligible for this funding opportunity. The GMS will validate for only one response, so please select the most recent criterion.

For example, if you received your PhD in October 2011 and your first academic appointment started in December 2011 select the criterion "PI is within 5 years of his/her first academic appointment at a Nova Scotia university or approved research institution/centre as of September 1st of the current year" and enter December 2011 as the date of first academic appointment.

If the criterion that makes you eligible is that you have undergone a career transition and are now conducting health research /pending academic appointment/returning to Nova Scotia after an absence from the province, a letter outlining the details of your circumstance must be uploaded in the GMS. Applicants in these categories are strongly advised to contact the program manager to determine eligibility prior to submission of the application.

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Team Members

  • All team members (if applicable) must be listed in the GMS application form.
  • team member category must be designated to each member.
  • Team members must create a GMS account and are required to provide consent in the GMS. (Collaborators are the only team member role not required to provide consent in GMS.) 
  • Team members can be from Nova Scotia, elsewhere in Canada or any other country. 
  • All team members with academic appointments must validate and submit their CCV. Team members who do not have academic appointments must provide the PI with a copy of their professional résumé or CV to upload. Collaborators do not require a CCV or résumé.
  • All Establishment Grant applications must include a mentor who is listed in the Team Member section of the GMS application form. Please see the Mentor section for more details.

Adding Team Members: In order for the Principal Investigator (PI) to add team members to the application, he/she must instruct the individuals to first create a GMS account. The PI then adds a team member’s system account (email address) in the Other Team Members section of the GMS application. Once a team member has been added to the application, the PI must notify the team member and instruct her/ him to sign in to GMS and provide consent.

All team members listed on an application must provide consent in order for an application to be successfully submitted. To access the applications(s) requiring their consent, team members must refer to the Team Review section under Portfolio in their GMS account. It is the responsibility of the PI to notify team members when they have been added to the application - team members and Co-PIs are NOT electronically notified when added.

For information on how to view team members' contributor status in GMS (i.e. confirmation that team members have provided consent), the PI should click the Consent link in the Status column on the portfolio page in their GMS account. If a team member does not provide consent, the application is incomplete and cannot be submitted.

Please Note: If a team member’s consent is outstanding when attempting to submit an application, you may choose to delete the team member and remove reference to that team member in all applicable application sections. If a team member is described in the application, but not listed as a team member (has not provided consent) reviewers will be instructed to disregard that team member’s contribution to the project.

Please see the PI User Guide in GMS for further details. Please refer team members to the Team Member Guide in GMS for details on creating an account, linking the CCV and providing consent.

 

External Reviewers

Applicants must include the names and contact details of four suggested external reviewers in the GMS application form. Suggested individuals should be content and/or methodological experts in the research area(s) discussed in the application. It is critical that applicants review the NSHRF conflict of interest policy when suggesting individuals, in order to ensure they are not in conflict with any member of the research team. Specifically, a conflict exists when an external reviewer is either a(n):

a)      individual from your immediate department

b)      individual with whom you are collaborating or have collaborated, published or been a co-applicant with within the past five years

c)       former student or teacher within the last ten years

d)      close personal friend

e)      close relative

f)       scientist or colleague with whom you have had long-standing scientific or personal differences

The NSHRF does check for potential conflicts before contacting external reviewers. In some cases, the NSHRF will contact the applicant and request additional external reviewers if the four provided are unavailable or if a conflict of interest is identified.

Required information for external reviewers includes: last name, first name, institution, department, country, province/state, email, relationship to applicant, areas of expertise (six keywords). Please do not cut and paste email addresses from websites; hidden code can generate errors when validating this section.

Excluded reviewers: Applicants also have the opportunity within the GMS application form to identify individuals they do not want their application sent to for review; explanation is required. 

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Ethics Requirements

In the GMS application form all ethics approvals that apply to the proposed work must be identified. If the approval(s) have been obtained they can be uploaded.  If not available at the time of application, ethics approval must be provided if the application is approved for funding. Please be aware that NSHRF does not release any funds until final ethics approval has been received or notice from the Research Ethics Board indicating ethics approval is not required is received. No exceptions will be made. Refer to the Ethical Conduct Requirements for more information.

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Plain Language Summary
Word Maximum: 500 Words

Applicants must provide a clear and concise description of their project, written in language suitable for a non-scientific audience. This should include a brief statement of the research area of interest, as well as the project objectives. Describe the potential impact of the proposed project on the health of Nova Scotians. Also indicate why the proposed research is important to the mandate of the NSHRF. If funded, the NSHRF will use this summary for communication purposes. 

Objectives 

Please list the main project objectives for the full duration of your project. These objectives should be the same as those described in the Project Abstract and Research Proposal section of your application. Ensure listed objectives encompass all of the main activities you plan to undertake using the project funds. A maximum of ten objectives can be listed in the GMS application form. Please only enter one objective per text box (click Add Objective to enter each subsequent objective).

Please note: This section is used for administrative purposes by the NSHRF. Funded applicants will be expected to report on progress related to the listed objectives.

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Gender and Sex Based Analysis – NEW THIS YEAR

In order to support health research that produces more ethically sound, rigorous and useful results, NSHRF is adopting the approach of the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and including mandatory questions related to the appropriate integration of gender and sex based analysis in the Establishment Grants.

Information for applicants and peer reviewers on responding to and evaluating responses to these questions are available on the CIHR website.

The questions are:

  1. Are sex (biological) considerations taken into account in this study? (Y/N)
     
  2. Are gender (socio-cultural) considerations taken into account in this study? (Y/N)
     
  3. (If the respondent answers "YES" for one or both questions) Please describe how the sex and/or gender considerations will be considered in your research proposal. (maximum of 2,000 characters)
     
  4. (If the respondent answers "NO" for one or both questions) Please explain why sex and/or gender are not applicable in your research proposal. (maximum of 2,000 characters)

Research Proposal Description
Page Maximum: Twelve pages 
 
Provide a clear and concise description of the proposed research project. This section should include a brief statement of the problem to be researched, research questions, the project goal(s), objectives, methodology and target audience(s).

Include a work plan with project start and end dates, significant milestones, as well as details on activities, indicators of success, and persons responsible. Also include the dissemination plan in this section.

All figures, diagrams, illustrations etc. required in order to describe the proposed research must be included within the page limit. Refer to the Resources section below for suggested topics and questions to consider when developing this section of the application. 

Please note: Objectives listed in this section should be the same as those listed in the Objectives section.

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Project Abstract
Page Maximum: One page

Provide a clear and concise description of the proposed research project. This section should include a brief statement of the problem to be researched, objectives, hypotheses, and research plan.

Please note: Objectives listed in this section should be the same as those listed in the Objectives section.

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References and Attachments
References: Up to 20 pages can be uploaded; use discipline-appropriate format.

Letters of Support: Must be uploaded as one attachment (may include letters indicating community partner support and involvement or a letter from applicant's primary affiliated institution if different than the institution listed as administering funds)

Other Attachments: Up to three additional supporting documents relevant to the application can be uploaded to the GMS (e.g., letter confirming access to data source or sample, questionnaire etc.)

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Relevance
Page Maximum: One page

Demonstrate the relevance of the proposed work and its anticipated outcomes. Indicate the potential impact this project will have on the health of Nova Scotians. Refer to Demonstrating Relevance to NSHRF for more information.  

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Team Composition
Page Maximum: Two pages

Describe the project team, highlight each team members' roles and experience, and demonstrate the team's ability to successfully conduct the proposed research. If the applicant does not have a research team, indicate how the applicant has the capacity and expertise to complete the project.

All team members must provide consent in their GMS account if listed or discussed in an application. Collaborators must be identified but do not need to provide consent.

Please Note: If a team member’s consent is outstanding when attempting to submit an application, you may choose to delete the team member and remove reference to that team member in all applicable application sections. If a team member is described in the application, but is not listed as a team member (has not provided consent) reviewers will be instructed to disregard that team member’s contribution to the project.

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Mentor

The purpose for requiring a mentor(s) is to ensure first time PIs and PIs new to Nova Scotia have identified a resource person(s) who is able to provide support and help to navigate the Nova Scotia health research enterprise. Alternatively, rather than being familiar with the Nova Scotia research community, a mentor may have a background relevant to the research proposed in the application. 

A minimum of one team member is required to be listed as a mentor and they do not have to hold another role on the team. This individual listed in GMS must provide a letter (described below). A mentor letter from someone who is not added in the GMS form will not be accepted.

Mentor Description
Page Maximum: Two pages

Please describe the mentoring relationship(s) to date, and the mentoring role in the application process and the execution of the proposed work. Demonstrate how the mentor's academic excellence and or experience strengthens the application.

For each mentor listed, applicants must highlight previous experience such as past mentorship success or recognition, publications, funding history, discoveries, achievements, work with community groups, and any other information relevant to assess the quality of mentorship. The applicant should indicate the extent to which the mentor(s) contributed to the application, including whether the mentor(s) reviewed the application prior to submission.  

Mentor Letter

One mentor (who is listed as a mentor in the team member section) must provide a letter to upload in the letter of support section of the GMS application form. Regardless of the number of mentors associated with the application, only one mentorship letter should be provided. If the PI would like to include additional letters from mentors identified in the application, these should be uploaded in the Additional Attachment section of the GMS application form.

The mentorship letter should:

  • Indicate the mentor’s agreement to participate as a mentor in the research project
  • Describe her/ his understanding of the mentorship role in relation to this application
  • Describe the mentorship role during the application process

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Budget Table and Justification
Budget Justification Page Maximum: Two pages

Refer to Budget Considerations and Allowable Costs when preparing your budget. You will need to upload a detailed budget justification and complete the budget table in the GMS application form outlining itemized expenses.

The budget must be directly related to the work plan. Only those expenses deemed necessary for the proposed research will be approved. Below are details as to what should be included in budget justification, as well as additional requirements within the budget table. A description is required for each budget item entered in the table; it is helpful to use similar descriptions when writing your detailed budget justification.

Refer to your institution’s policies pertaining to procurement and travel to ensure your budget aligns with institutional policies.

Dissemination: An allocation of a minimum of five per cent of the total budget for dissemination or knowledge transfer and exchange activities is required. Refer to our Resources for Grant Writing to assist you in developing your dissemination plan.

Personnel: Outline in the written justification details of hourly wage, work hours per week and number of weeks of work for each personnel position listed in the budget table. Please refer to your institution’s human resources policies and ensure CPP, EI and other related deductions/benefits are included if required by your institution. Flat rate student stipends are not allowable costs. Within the budget table, you will be required to identify the Role (Research Assistant, Technician, Other). If Research Assistant is selected, you will be asked to specify Student or Non-Student - if Student is selected, you will then be asked to specify the level. If Other is selected you will be asked to describe the role.

Professional/Technical Services: Provide details of any professional or technical contracts or arrangements that have been made.  A separate upload will be required for this budget item and can consist of correspondence confirming the details of the services that will be purchased or additional justification (i.e., why a particular vendor was selected). Up to three (3) files can be uploaded if multiple vendors were contacted for quotes/availability. Quotes can be uploaded in the budget section of the GMS application form under Justification: Quotes and Estimates.

Please note:  If an individual is to be remunerated from a grant (i.e., salary or consulting fees), that person cannot be listed as a team member.

Equipment, Materials and Supplies: Price estimates, including applicable taxes, shipping costs and other costs that are part of the purchase must be detailed in the justification. Budget items that exceed $2,000 require additional justification (i.e., quotes for equipment, computer hardware and software). One upload is required and up to three can be uploaded in the Justification: Quotes and Estimates section, in order to provide more details to reviewers related to expenses (e.g., to justify animal care costs, etc.). Do not re-upload the two page required budget justification in these additional uploads. Note: Equipment purchased with grant funds becomes the property of the institution administering funds.

Meeting Expenses and Honoraria: Provide relevant details related to any items listed under these budget items.

Travel: Separate budget items can be entered to distinguish travel related to work on the project (i.e., travel to conduct focus groups, team meetings) versus travel related to dissemination activities (i.e., conferences, community forums to present results).

Other: Provide relevant details related to any items listed under this budget item not already covered in another budget area.

In-kind contributions do not need to be listed in the Budget Table but should be outlined in the Budget Justification section. Contributions from other funding sources (including internal) should also be identified in the Budget Justification section. If any proposed research activities are dependent on other sources of funding, this contingency should be clearly identified and its impact on the execution of the research addressed. The NSHRF does not provide funding for research already funded by another agency. If an application is approved for funding, the program manager will discuss with the applicant and the other funding source (if necessary) to determine whether duplication or overlap exists and determine appropriate means of eliminating duplication/overlap. 

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Signature and Submission

Applicants must review the terms listed in the Signature and Submission section of the application in GMS as well as the Signature and Submission section on the General Program Requirements page.

Institutional approval is required and must be provided prior to the application deadline. Institutions must review the terms listed within the GMS Institution access page as well as the Signature and Submission section on the General Program Requirements page.

Applications submitted to the NSHRF that do not contain all of the necessary information will be deemed ineligible from further consideration in the competition process. Our systems have been designed to ensure that applicants have every opportunity to view the application information before it is submitted. The entire responsibility of ensuring proper submission of a complete application rests with the applicant. The NSHRF assumes no responsibility to notify applicants or follow-up with respect to particulars of incomplete or noncompliant applications. Late submission of applications will not be accepted by the NSHRF.   

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Review Process

The NSHRF undertakes an initial screening of the applications to determine the completeness of the application and applicant’s eligibility. A peer review panel will review applications in accordance with NSHRF’s peer review guidelines

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Step by Step Guide for Applicants

This guide is intended to provide applicants with a step by step checklist to follow in order to apply for the Establishment Grant.

Step by Step Application Guide (PDF)

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Resources for Consideration

The NSHRF has compiled a list of questions that applicants may find useful in preparing their applications for consideration by a review committee. Click here for more details.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, please contact the Director, Programs.

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