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Government of Canada Invests in the Innovative Ideas of Early Career Researchers

By May 15, 2019No Comments

Canada’s researchers provide creative thinking and insight that help our health, environment, communities and economy thrive. Young researchers in particular are engaged in some of the most innovative projects across and between disciplines, but often face challenges accessing funds to support their work, despite its potential to deliver huge benefits to Canadians. That’s why the Government of Canada launched the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF): to provide funding that supports high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary and international research to help Canadian researchers make the next great discoveries in their fields.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, was at Laurentian University to announce  the first 157 early career researchers to receive funding for exploratory research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. This first investment of $38 million will support early career researchers with five years or less of experience since their first academic appointment. Each recipient will receive up to $250,000 over the next two years.

The Exploration stream is one of three streams that comprise the New Frontiers in Research Fund, a new initiative that will enable researchers to work together to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The Transformation stream will provide large-scale support for Canada to build strength and leadership in interdisciplinary and transformative research. Another future stream, International, will enhance opportunities for Canadian researchers to participate in research with international partners so they can exchange ideas with the world’s best and brightest.


 “I am pleased today to celebrate the very first researchers to benefit from the New Frontiers in Research Fund. Our government’s vision is for our researchers to take risks and be innovative. We want our scientists and students to have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and we want the halls of academia to better reflect the diversity of Canada itself. This new fund will help us achieve that vision.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“As society evolves, and the complexity of the challenges we face increases, so must our means of doing research evolve. The New Frontiers in Research Fund is designed to support leading-edge research and exciting new methodologies that have the potential to transform the way we approach scientific discovery and problem-solving. Through this program, we are truly paving the way for our emerging researchers to expand their horizons, work across disciplines and borders, and to take risks and deliver outcomes that will benefit Canadians now and well into the future.”

—Ted Hewitt, Chair, Canada Research Coordinating Committee, and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement is part of the Government of Canada’s Budget 2018 commitment to increase support for research that crosses disciplinary boundaries, encourages international collaboration and increases support for and leadership in cutting-edge, transformative research areas.
  • Designed by the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC), the New Frontiers in Research Fund includes an investment of $275 million over five years, and $65 million ongoing, to support international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and high-risk research.
  • The creation of the New Frontiers in Research Fund helps advance one of the five priorities mandated for the CRCC when it was established in 2017.