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CIFAR Global Call for Ideas

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research --CIFAR --invites the global research community to submit proposals for new programs that address complex, fundamental questions of importance to the world. Ideas must be novel, bold, and potentially transformative to warrant the creation of a sustained, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research program.

Application Timeline and Process


  • Call for Letters of Intent opens: November 15, 2017
  • LOI deadline: January 21, 2018
  • Announcement of short-listed proposals: Spring 2018
  • Final proposal deadline: Fall 2018
  • Announcement of competition results: Spring 2019





Stage I requires a Letter of Intent (LOI) from researchers who would be key members of the program. This submission should identify the core elements of the research idea and the range of possible research questions for consideration. CIFAR will shortlist LOIs based on the recommendations from the International Review Body and CIFAR’s Research Council.

The deadline for LOI submissions is January 21, 2018 at 11:59pm (PST). No late submissions will be accepted. The Instructions for the Letter of Intent submissions can be found here

Stage II of the process will support the development of full proposals. Each LOI team that passes Stage I will work with CIFAR to convene up to two small workshops over a four-month period to prepare a full proposal. The full proposals will be reviewed by an International Assessment Panel (IAP) comprised of research leaders with diverse expertise. The IAP will make recommendations to CIFAR’s Research Council. The Research Council will make recommendations to the President about funding decisions. CIFAR’s Board of Directors will make the final decision based on the recommendation of the President.

Website: CIFAR Global Call for Ideas

If you intend to submit a letter of intent, please notify , Manager, Prizes and Awards. McMaster University would like to hear if any of our faculty are applying to this competition.