ERA Round 3 Competition Announced

    MEMORANDUM

TO:  PDAD&C
FROM: John Challis, Vice-President Research & Associate Provost
DATE:  November 14, 2006
RE:  Early Research Awards Round 3 Competition Announced for January 31, 2007



The Ministry of Research and Innovation announced its third competition for Early Researcher Awards (ERA). (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/MRI.asp) The internal deadline at GRIP is January 8th, 2007.  This will allow time for a detailed budget and editorial review, with finalized applications and copies returned to GRIP no later than January 29th.  Early notification to frederick.zhu@utoronto.ca of names of forthcoming applicants would be appreciated.

The ERA program is to help to help promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates through a matching grant of $100,000 (based on a $50,000 match from the institution). The ultimate goal is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent in high-priority economic sectors. We urge academic divisions to be selective in identifying eligible applicants and to peer review these submissions before forwarding them to GRIP.  Effort should be made to tie each application to one of the seven MRI priority areas.

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

  • full-time faculty or principal investigators based at an eligible institution
  • within the first five years of the start of their independent academic research career
  • actively involved in conducting research, supported by peer-reviewed funding

Our experience from previous competitions is that applicants who have published and have a Granting Council track record (normally those in the later years of the 5 year period) have been more successful. However, outstanding early stage faculty should not be discouraged.

Results of this competition are expected in the early summer of 2007 and, for the first time, MRI will provide written feedback to unsuccessful applicants.  In the last round, MRI received 359 applications (59 from UofT) and made 104 awards (20 from UofT).

Questions regarding the ERA program may be directed to Sheila Van Landeghem  (Sheila.vanlandeghem@utoronto.ca; 946-3603)

MRI/ERA Review Panel Membership:

The Ministry is seeking individuals to serve as members of the ERA peer review panels. Information on the panel and an application form are available at: http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/era/peerReviewPanel.aspor by contacting Andrew Tomingas at Tel: 416 314-3808 or Email:Awards@mri.gov.on.ca

Please let GRIP know of any nominations/volunteers from UofT.