6. Evaluations

6.1 Evaluation Process

Applications for funding under the CFPMN will be evaluated in three stages:

6.1.1 Stage 1: Letter of Intent (LoI)

Applicants must submit a LoI Form by the stated deadline.

The LoI is reviewed by the IDEaS Program Office and selected specialists to:

  • Confirm the eligibility of the applicants and proposed activities;
  • Confirm the alignment of the proposal to the CFPMN Innovation Challenge; and
  • Identify suitable reviewers in the event of an invitation to submit a Full Proposal.

6.1.2 Stage 2: Full Proposal

Applicants deemed eligible at the LoI stage will be invited to submit a Full Proposal.

Full Proposals will be reviewed by a review board committee composed of subject matter experts from the national and/or international scientific communities, as selected by the IDEaS Program Office.

Full Proposals will be peer-reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers according to the criteria listed in Section 6.2.2. Reviewers shall be experts in the field relevant to each proposal and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments as well as external consultants. Only proposals that have passed the eligibility requirements and assessment criteria will be considered compliant and will be placed in a pool of pre-qualified proposals for final consideration by the IDEaS Decision Board.

6.1.3 Stage 3: Final Funding Decision

All pre-qualified proposals will be considered for funding by the IDEaS Senior Management Funding Oversight Committee, comprised of the DND Assistant Deputy Minister of S&T, the Director General responsible for the IDEaS program, and the Directors General responsible for the DND and/or Canadian Armed Forces organization(s) associated with the S&T Innovation Challenge. 

This Committee consider the evaluation results of the pre-qualified proposals and examine strategic considerations across multiple parameters, such as:

  • Budget constraints;
  • Distribution of investment;
  • Operational relevance;
  • Strategic relevance
  • Extent of leveraging other partners through cash and In-Kind Contributions;
  • Similar S&T initiatives being funded by DND’s partners and allies;
  • Industrial and social benefits to Canada; and
  • Changes to Government of Canada priorities.

Contribution Agreements will be offered to applicant(s) recommended and approved by the Committee.

Before a final decision is made, the DND Investment Manager responsible for the CFPMN may seek input and advice from other organizations, including, but not limited to, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

The amount of support will be determined according to the total eligible funding requested, as well as the other sources of funds invested by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Funding decisions made by the IDEaS Senior Management Funding Oversight Committee are final. There is no appeal process.

See Annex D –Application and Evaluation Process for a visual depiction of the Application and Evaluation Process.

6.2 Assessment Criteria

6.2.1 Letter of Intent

The LoI will be evaluated based on a single mandatory evaluation criterion:

Defence and Security Alignment (Pass/Fail): The degree to which the proposal responds to the specific defence and security S&T Innovation Challenge expressed in the CFPMN. Alignment of the research activities with the Innovation Challenge statement is a mandatory criterion for the LoI.

Pass: The proposal defines which aspect(s) of the Innovation Challenge statement will be addressed and clearly outlines how the proposed research activities will address that aspect(s).

Fail: The proposal does not demonstrate sufficient relevance to the Innovation Challenge statement, or fails to describe how the planned research activities will address questions of relevance to the Innovation Challenge statement.

6.2.2 Full Proposal

Proposals will be evaluated using six point-rated criteria (Innovation, Scientific Quality, Management, Scientific Capabilities, Collaboration, and Benefits to Canada). Each assessment statement under each criterion will be scored using a 5-point scale corresponding to one of the following benchmark statements:

  • Insufficient: 0 points
  • Poor: 1 points
  • Average: 2 points
  • Good: 3 points
  • Excellent: 4 points

The scores for each assessment statement will be averaged and expressed as a percentage. To be considered for funding, a minimum threshold of 50% for each assessment criterion must be obtained. The score for each criterion will be weighted as indicated below, to provide a total score, expressed as a percentage, for each proposal. Proposals meeting a threshold total score of 70% will be placed into a pre-qualified pool. 

Reviewers will be asked to score the following assessment statements listed under each criterion:

Innovation (20% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The research proposal seeks to shift current research paradigms by using novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, or instrumentation;
  • Novel interdisciplinary approach(es) are key to the proposed research;
  • The expected outcomes have the potential to be transformative and have a lasting impact in this field, as opposed to providing incremental solutions; and
  • The expected outcomes will advance the state-of-the-art over existing solutions in this field.

Scientific Quality (25% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The proposed research is based on a strong scientific premise;
  • The research questions and goals are clearly described;
  • Proposed strategy, methodology and analyses are appropriate to accomplish the stated goals;
  • Rationale for the proposed approach is clear;
  • Measures for success of the project goals are appropriate and detailed; and
  • Anticipated scientific/technological risks/barriers are clearly identified with appropriate mitigation strategies.

Management (10% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The work plan is clear, with key milestones and anticipated activities, as appropriate;
  • The proposed approach is feasible in terms of timelines and available resources;
  • The Principal Investigator(s) will provide an appropriate level of effort to effectively lead the project, manage resources and coordinate the Micro-net’s activities; and
  • Financial, project management, and human resources risks/barriers are clearly identified with appropriate mitigation strategies. 

Scientific Capabilities (10% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The investigators and Collaborators in the Micro-net are well suited to the proposed project:
      • Established investigators have demonstrable track records of significant and ongoing contributions to the advancement of their fields
      • New or early-career investigators have appropriate experience and training;
  • Scientific resources, technical expertise, facilities and infrastructure required to conduct the proposed research have been clearly identified, and are suitable and available; and

Collaboration (15% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The expected project benefit(s) to be gained from the multidisciplinary membership is/are clear;
  • Potential trans-disciplinary communication opportunities both inside and outside of the network will be fostered.
  • The proposed leadership, governance structure, and roles and responsibilities are both appropriate for the project and favour collaboration between Micro-net members; and
  • The integration of the diverse areas of expertise within the Micro-net has been appropriately planned to achieve an interdisciplinary advantage.

Benefits to Canada (20% of total score):
Assessment statements:

  • The proposal addresses an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field, which has relevance to Canada;
  • The plan to disseminate the information generated during the project is adequate and appropriate;
  • The knowledge acquired will be of benefit to Canada’s defence and security sector;
  • The activities of the Micro-net will strengthen Canadian capabilities in the field of study;
  • The proposed research will provide a strong training opportunity for students and post-doctoral fellows;
  • The proposed activities have the potential to stimulate the creation of highly skilled jobs in Canada; and
  • The expected outcomes of the research have the potential for significant and lasting socioeconomic impact on Canadians.
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