Early Researcher Awards

How to get government funding to build a research team.

How it works

The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research centres, including:

  • universities
  • colleges
  • research hospitals
  • research institutes

You can use the money to build a research team of:

  • undergraduates
  • graduate students
  • post-doctoral fellows
  • research assistants
  • research associates
  • technicians

Who is eligible

You are eligible if you:

  • are a full-time faculty member or principal investigator at an eligible research institution
  • started your academic research career no more than 5 years ago (as of July 1, 2013)
  • completed your first PhD, DVM or MD no more than 10 years ago (as of July 1, 2013)
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award
  • are not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Funding amount

Maximum funding


Successful applicants

Your research centre needs to provide an additional $50,000.

The government will provide up to $40,000 to your research centre for indirect costs.

How to apply

The application process involves 4 steps:

Step 1: Notify your research centre that you plan to apply.

Step 2: Your research centre submits a Notice of Intent to apply (a document that lets the government know you plan to apply for an award).

Step 3: Gather the documents for your application package, including:

  • a signed letter from your research centre confirming it will match award funding
  • application form
  • research proposal (no more than 5 pages)
  • budget
  • your curriculum vitae
  • three original, signed letters of reference

Step 4: Your research centre submits the complete application package to the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

View the Program Guidelines for detailed application instructions.

Program guidelines (ZIP)

Application Forms

Matching Letter

Notice of Intent

Application Form

Application deadlines

Notice of Intent due: Friday, May 30, 2014

Last date to mail complete application package: Monday, August 11, 2014

Selection process

The review panel scores applicants on:

  • excellence of the researcher
  • quality of the proposal
  • development of research talent
  • benefits for Ontario (e.g. cultural, economic, etc.)

Unsuccessful applicants will get a copy of the review panel’s comments.

Projects Funded

Information about projects supported through the Early Researcher Awards can be found on the Ontario Open data website.


If you have questions, please contact:

Caitlyn Tindale
Email: contact us
Phone: 416-314-2528

Judith Ponte
Email: contact us
Phone: 416-325-4098

Updated: October 9, 2014