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 institutions to build a research team.

View the program guidelines for more information.

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, 2015)
  • completed your first PhD, DVM or MD no more than 10 years ago (as of July 1, 2015)
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award
  • are not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Eligible institutions include:

  • universities
  • colleges
  • research hospitals
  • research institutes

Funding amount

Each award to a leading researcher is a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000 from the researcher’s institution and/or partner organization.

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 office that you plan to apply.

Step 2: Your research office submits a Notice of Intent to apply (this document that lets the government know you plan to apply for an award) by Friday, June 26, 2015.

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

Step 4: Your research office submits the complete application package to the ministry by Monday, August 24, 2015.

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 Caitlyn Tindale
Phone: 416-314-2528

Alison Hughes
Email Alison Hughes
Phone: 416-326-8462

Updated: June 8, 2015