HBI Early/Mid-Career (E/MC) Research Support Fund


HBI Research is introducing an Early/Mid-Career (E/MC) Research Support Fund award competition in response to the research challenges and reduction in funding opportunities created by the unique circumstances faced by researchers in 2020.

This competition is an opportunity for HBI early and mid-career researchers to access funds to help address the demands of sustaining a productive laboratory while continuing to explore innovative science.  HBI, through its Strategic Research and Innovations Committee (SRIC), recognizes the challenges faced by these investigators in obtaining external peer-reviewed funding during 2020. Preference through this program will therefore be given to early and mid-career investigators who demonstrate a need for funding support.

The HBI and SRIC values outstanding research proposals and through this program will continue to prioritize novel and innovative projects that engage with the community in impactful ways. The inclusion of trainees (postdoctoral and clinical fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and residents) wherever possible would further strengthen any application. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Full member of HBI within 10 years of first independent academic appointment (i.e., first instance of PI status after 1 January 2011). Formal eligible leaves, such as parental leave, will not be counted towards the 10-year eligibility period. HBI will follow CIHR’s policy of allowing formal leave during the first five years to be “double credited” (see https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/52159.html).
    To request an extension to the 10-year eligibility period, applicants should include a cover letter, with short declaration of leave type and duration, along with the application forms. The cover letter will not be used in the scientific review process.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate a sustained record of participating in HBI, or equivalent, internal peer review (IPR) processes over the past three years (2018-20). Those awarded HBI E/MC Research Support funding will need to continue to register and participate actively in HBI IPR programs to ensure submission of competitive applications for external funding opportunities.
  • Applicants cannot hold start-up or other operational funding provided by HBI, CIHR or other agencies in excess of $125,000 (in aggregate) in FY 2021-22.
  • Awards will be conditional upon obtaining all applicable project ethics and compliance approvals.

Eligible Expenses

  • Research staff salary and benefits
  • Trainee stipends
  • Minor equipment (<$5,000 without prior written approval.  Equipment >$5,000 require prior written approval.  Requests can be emailed to hbi.research@ucalgary.ca with description, estimate and project justification)
  • Materials and supplies
  • Research subject costs, including reasonable patient reimbursement
  • Conference and related travel expenses are not permitted

Terms and Value of award

  • Value of award: up-to-maximum of $50,000
  • Number of awards available: approx. 4, budget dependent
  • Term of award: one year, provided as a one-time payment to be spent by 31 March 2022
  • Extensions will not be granted. Unspent funds are to be returned to HBI

Application Process

  • To apply, submit an application (see attached forms) with current CIHR Biosketch, or similar biosketch, via email as a single PDF file to hbi.research@ucalgary.ca. Please do not submit a full CV.

Evaluation and Selection of Awardees

The HBI Deputy Director will appoint a review committee to provide an initial, independent score and ranking of proposals based on the criteria below. 

The initial ranking will be circulated to SRIC and used as a starting point to generate a consensus ranked list.  SRIC will review funding requested, beginning with the first ranked proposal, and working through the list until a total of $200,000 is reached.  SRIC may choose to reduce the requested amount for any proposal.  SRIC’s recommendations will be forwarded to the HBI Director for final approval. 

Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Impact/Innovation (50%): Will research project outcomes make a significant impact to scientific understanding or clinical practice? Do the project aims identify and potentially resolve a previously unsolved problem?
  2. Scope (10%): Does the project include appropriate milestones within the proposed timeframe and budget? Are these milestones achievable and likely to enhance future external funding proposals?
  3. Engagement in IPR activities (20%): Has the applicant participated in IPR over the last three years (2018-20) and made a commitment to engage in IPR for future external funding applications arising from this project?
  4. Participation in HBI activities and initiatives (10%): Has the applicant participated in BMH team or platform/core activities, other HBI leadership and committee work, research collaborations, community outreach/engagement, and training of future researchers?
  5. Likelihood of future impact (10%): Will this project allow the applicant to remain competitive in future external funding competitions?

Reporting Requirements

A short progress report will be required mid-term (due 15 October 2021) to evaluate project milestones and review remaining budget.  A final report is due 15 May 2022.

Key Dates

Dec 1, 2020

Call for proposals 

Jan 18, 2021

Application deadline (5 pm)

Mar 1, 2021

Announcement of successful applicants