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Ministry of Colleges and Universities Early Researcher Awards (ERA) Round 18

Research Admin Offices:

  • HRS

Funding Type:


Opportunity Type:

  • Grant


The ERA program will fund up to a total of $100,000 (over five years) for eligible direct costs and up to a total of $40,000 for eligible operating costs, for a maximum of $140,000. The Researcher’s Institution must match an additional $50,000 in funds for eligible direct costs. All funds are to be used over five years.


  • DeGroote School of Business
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Health Sciences



Internal Deadline:

July 11, 2024

Sponsor Deadline:

July 25, 2024

Additional Dates:

  • NOI - ROADS & HRS - May 23, 2024
  • Referee Contact Information - ROADS & HRS - June 3, 2024
  • Draft Application - ROADS & HRS - June 20, 2024
  • Final Draft Application - HRS - July 8, 2024
  • Final Draft Application - ROADS - July 11, 2024
  • Final Applications - HRS - July 19, 2024
  • Final Applications - ROADS - July 25, 2024


The Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program was established to help institutions and their promising, recently appointed, Ontario-based researchers build research teams of graduate students, undergraduates, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and technicians. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent. The ERA is a discretionary, non-entitlement program that encourages applicants from all disciplines to apply.

Additional Program Information:

Additional notes for applicants:

  • Researchers may be awarded only one ERA during their career, however, researchers who are not successful may submit an application in a later competition, providing they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Researchers who are, or have been, Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are not eligible to apply for an ERA.
  • Researchers can only submit one application for the round.
  • The Government of Ontario generally defines an independent academic research appointment as a position where a researcher (PI) is capable of independently publishing, supervising, and applying for funding.
  • To be competitive, researchers are encouraged to be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding and to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors.


The ERA program is open on a competitive basis to researchers who:

  • are full-time faculty or principal investigators (PI) who, at the application deadline, are based at an eligible institution (adjunct positions do not qualify);
  • have started their independent academic research career on or after January 1, 2018; and
  • have completed their first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2013 (anywhere worldwide)

Note: The MCU takes into account ‘eligible interruptions’, which may extend your eligibility window.

Application/Nomination Process:

By May 23, 2024: Notify your Department Chair, Faculty Associate Dean Research, and ROADS of your intent to apply. Matching funds are required for this program. Also, to be competitive, applicants must have a strong history of peer-reviewed funding and must be able to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors and the benefits of their proposed research to Ontario. Therefore, it is advised that you meet with your Department Chair and Associate Dean Research to review your CV and secure matching funds.

By June 3, 2024: Once approved, provide the contact information for five potential referees to ROADS & HRS.

By June 20, 2024: The draft of a complete application and matching funds letter are due to ROADS & HRS.

By July 11, 2024: ROADS – The final draft, and a completed and signed Application Approval Form, are due to ROADS. Please note, applications received after this date may not receive a full review.

By July 8, 2024: HRS – The final draft, and a completed and signed HRS Application Checklist, are due to HRS. Please note, applications received after this date may not receive a full review and given the competitiveness of this program, a review is necessary to improve chances of success.

By July 19, 2024: HRS – All application edits completed and applications ready for submission to the MCU.

By July 25, 2024: ROADS – All application edits completed and applications ready for submission to the MCU by 5pm (EST).


Online information sessions

Register for a free online information session to learn more about the Early Researcher Awards Round 18 and how to complete your application. You can choose from one of three information sessions below:

Information session 1:

Information session 2:

Information session 3:

Additional Details.


For more information and how to apply, contact Christina Pellegrini, Senior Advisor, ROADS.

For more information and how to apply, contact Michelle Czerwinski, Associate Director, HRS.