Government of Canada invests in innovative research related to the pandemic, climate change and beyond
Unique New Frontiers in Research Fund pushes boundaries by supporting interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research
April 4, 2022
Research that takes risks has the power to push the boundaries of innovation and change the way we think about and address issues that impact Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada continues to invest in cutting-edge, novel, interdisciplinary research with the potential to benefit Canadians across virtually all sectors of our economy and our society.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced a total of over $45 million in support for research projects through the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF). This combined investment will support 751 researchers, including 245 early career researchers. These projects were part of two competitions under the banner of the NFRF: the 2021 Exploration competition; and the NFRF special call on innovative approaches to research in the pandemic context.
This year’s NFRF Exploration stream supports 102 research projects with the potential to yield innovative results in social, cultural, economic, health-related and technological areas. Research teams of two or more are receiving grants of up to $250,000 each over two years. Some of the innovative projects being funded include research on flood-resilient and climate-adaptive amphibious housing for Indigenous populations in Canada; the design of root system architectures that improve crop resilience to climate change; and Black creativity in the arts, sciences, technology and business.
The NFRF special call on innovative approaches to research in the pandemic context supports 90 research projects that will accelerate the development and testing of new directions in research methodologies. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Canadian researchers’ ability to conduct research, particularly community and field-based research, it has also provided a unique opportunity to explore new, innovative directions in how research is conducted. Funded projects include artificial-intelligence-based solutions to facilitate clinical trial enrolment, mobilizing a network of health communicators to investigate and respond to online abuse, and reimagining food systems for a sustainable and equitable future.
Through these research projects, Canadians can be confident in a future where we build back better, together.
“Today’s investment in Canadian researchers demonstrates our government’s confidence in Canadians to find innovative solutions. With ambitious Canadian talent, we are drastically improving the lives of all Canadians. When we invest in Canada, we are investing in a better and more sustainable future for all.”
—The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“In a time when relying on scientific evidence has never been more important, our government recognizes the need to invest in Canadian scientists. We know that cutting-edge and innovative research will help build a more resilient Canada and future for all. With today’s investment, we are reaffirming our support to help chart a path toward a more equitable, sustainable and resilient postpandemic world, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
—The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health
“The NFRF seeks to inspire innovative, high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research projects that push boundaries into exciting new areas with the potential to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and expertise in the global, knowledge-based economy. These grants show Canada’s and the federal research funding agencies’ commitment to keeping our research at the forefront of the global research ecosystem.”
—Alejandro Adem, Chair, Canada Research Coordinating Committee; and President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Launched in 2018, the NFRF funds interdisciplinary, high-risk / high-reward, transformative and rapid-response research led by Canadian researchers working with Canadian and international partners. It is designed to support world-leading innovation and enhance Canada’s competitiveness and expertise in the global, knowledge-based economy. The fund is investing $275 million over five years (2018-19 to 2022-23) and will grow to have an annual budget of $124 million beginning in 2023-24.
The NFRF Exploration stream supports high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research. It seeks to inspire projects that bring disciplines together beyond traditional disciplinary or common interdisciplinary approaches by research teams. Interdisciplinary research is often risky, but worthwhile, given the potential for significant, groundbreaking impact.
With grants up to $250,000, the special call on innovative approaches to research in the pandemic context accelerates the exploration of new approaches and the development and testing of new directions in research methodologies.
All funded teams must demonstrate commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the research environment.
The NFRF is under the strategic direction of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee, and is managed as a tri-agency program by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), on behalf of Canada’s three federal research funding agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and SSHRC.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
New Frontiers in Research Fund
- Date modified: