Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Health & Life Sciences Data and Sample Mining
Table of contents
- AO objectives
- Eligibility criteria
- Funding agreements
- Privacy Notice Statement
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
- Funding type: Grants
- Maximum amount per project: up to $70,000
- Maximum duration of the project: up to one (1) year
- The overall number of grants awarded and their level will depend on budget requested by each proposal and the availability of funds.
In the future, human exploration of space is expected to extend beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to cis-lunar space, the surface of the Moon, and ultimately to distant targets such as Mars. The resulting expeditions will require extended periods of exposure to weightlessness and space radiation, with confinement and isolation in the extreme environment of space, all of which are linked to substantial health and performance risks.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is interested in human spaceflight and maintaining a healthy and highly qualified Canadian astronaut corps capable of participating in space exploration missions. Also, in line with the vision and priorities of the new Space Strategy for Canada, the CSA aims to enable scientific opportunities and global partnerships, and to harness space to solve everyday challenges for Canadians.
To achieve this, the CSA's Health and Life Sciences (HLS) group conducts activities generating knowledge in fields that sustain human space flights, mitigate health risks and develop countermeasures for those missions. Since time and resources on the International Space Station (ISS) are limited, CSA aims to broaden science opportunities in order to enhance and supplement flight investigations on the ISS and to optimize utilization of CSA ISS resource allocation.
The intent of this AO is to provide financial support to researchers in Canadian Universities and post-secondary institutions to conduct science investigations that will lead to a better understanding of human spaceflight risks while contributing to improve remote medicine and health benefits here on Earth. More specifically, the aim of the present AO is to solicit proposals for scientific analysis, using databases or samples derived from existing collections for improving the understanding of the risks of spaceflight or for initial validation of new countermeasures. The studies selected for this AO are expected to be precursors of Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space research platforms.
In the past decades, several agencies and institutions have supported the establishment of dedicated databases and sample repositories collecting the results from space related studies on human subjects and non-human model organisms (see Table 1 for examples of databases and repositories). These studies include investigations in space and on Earth using analogue populations. In addition to the use of publically-available datasets and repositories, researchers can also use datasets from previous flight or analogue experiments, either archived by the original investigator at his/her institution, or with an intent to obtain data or samples from the original investigator. Applicants must provide in their proposal justification of the intended use of datasets or samples, to test or generate new hypotheses regarding the effects of spaceflight on human health, or to enhance the value of existing data, through development of new insights in regard to the original datasets or samples.
This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.
Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.
Table 1: Examples of databases and sample repositories that could be used to respond to this AO. The AO is not confined to these databases or sample repositories, nor will proposals using these specific databases or sample repositories be favored. Inclusion of database or sample repository here does not constitute an endorsement or provide a guarantee access. All data and sample use implies attribution requirements (i.e. acknowledgement of the root source(s) of the data or samples).
|Database or sample repository||Details||Access limits|
|NASA GenLab||A comprehensive omics database for space-related research from which an investigator can generate hypotheses to direct future experiments, utilizing both ground and space biological radiation data.||Public data accessible for immediate download and use|
|Genbank||The GenBank sequence database is an open access, annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations.||Public data accessible for immediate download and use|
|Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging Data and Biospecimen (CLSA)||A rich resource of data and biospecimens collected from study participants is assembled||
|Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS)||CHMS, the biobank is designed to produce a nationally representative cohort to facilitate the progress of new and innovative health research projects. The biobank currently holds biospecimens (blood, urine and DNA) collected from over 22,000 consenting Canadians between the ages of 3 to 79 years.||
After obtaining all necessary approvals, a letter of agreement is signed between the researcher and Statistics Canada
|NASA Life Sciences Data Archives: database||The Program uses evidence from data collected on astronauts, as well as other supporting studies. These data are stored in the research data repository, Life Sciences Data Archive (LSDA).||Access approach is dependent on the sub-repository (e.g. see Medical Data Repository below).|
|NASA Life Sciences Data Archives: Medical Data Repository||Astronaut and flight analog subject data to support the research community. Both de-identified and possibly attributable (identifiable) may be available.||
|NASA ARC Biobank||Spaceflight biospecimens from NASA's Space Life Sciences Space Biology and Human Research including from shuttle and international space station experiments.||Specimens are made available as part of the Institutional Scientific Collection (ISC) Biospecimen Sharing Program (BSP). Requires case by case application to obtain samples.|
|Dryad||Dryad is an international disciplinary repository of data underlying scientific and medical publications. Dryad is a curated general-purpose repository that makes data discoverable, freely reusable, and citable.||Public data accessible for immediate download and use|
2. AO objectives
Projects selected from this CSA competition will have as their objective to increase scientific knowledge that will contribute to the efforts toward the understanding, mitigation or elimination of health risks associated with human space exploration and generate scientific insights that will also contribute to applications on Earth.
More specifically, through this AO, the CSA seeks to:
- Create an opportunity for new space life science experiments to generate new knowledge and insight into the risks of human space flight, with ultimate objective to keep astronauts healthy in space. Each proposed study is expected to be a direct precursor of future Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space research platform;
- Advance understanding of similar health issues or applications on Earth, that could contribute to improving health care for Canadians;
- Foster the development of highly qualified personnel (HQP), and inclusion of diversity of HQP in space HLS.
3. Eligibility criteria
3.1 Eligible recipients
Eligible recipients (beneficiaries) for grants are:
- Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions.
3.2 Eligible projects
Projects eligible for funding under this AO are those wherein eligible recipients submit projects for which Canadian researchers are Principal Investigator (PI) in new research projects. As described in section 1, eligible projects will perform scientific analysis, using datasets or samples derived from existing collections to improve the understanding of the risks of spaceflight on human health or for initial validation of new countermeasures to these risks.
All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.
3.3 Links to CSA priorities
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must be aligned with CSA priority outcomes, as stated in the - Departmental Plan: Space research and development advances science and technology. The HLS group of the CSA is sponsoring this AO and will only consider relevant those activities that are aligned with its mandate to "
identify, understand, mitigate or eliminate health risks associated with human space flights, and to understand and address the needs of humans during those missions." The activities selected must "
generate new knowledge and insight into the risks of human space flight to keep astronauts healthy in space" (Space Strategy for Canada, ), and they must clearly be recognizable as direct precursors of future Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space research platforms. The most important health risks associated with human space flights (i.e. future long-duration human spaceflight missions) have been identified and are listed in Table 2. Proposals that address one or more of the risks listed in this table will be given higher priority for CSA support.
The following table presents the human space flight risks targeted by the CSA for this AO.
|Musculoskeletal||Mission risk resulting from reduced muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and increased bone fragility|
|Sensorimotor||Mission risks resulting from sensory changes/dysfunctions|
|Metabolism||Mission risks associated with metabolism and the effects of nutrient composition of diet on health during space missions|
|Behavioural health and performance||Mission behavioural health and performance risks, for example, associated with psychological adaptation, stress and fatigue, cognitive deterioration or issues with team dynamics|
|Radiation||Mission risk due to health and performance impairment associated with radiation damage|
|Variable gravity and planetary-Lunar missions||Mission risks associated with physiological adaptation (including Space Associated Neuro-optical Syndrome) during transit (i.e. long duration exposure to microgravity) and sojourn on planetary surfaces. Note that physiological adaptation includes adaptation of human-associated microbial communities. Other risks can be associated with planetary exploration and can include, for instance exposure to dust.|
Benefits on Earth: In addition to the risks listed above, the CSA will also consider how the activities would contribute to advance understanding of similar health issues or translate to applications on Earth, or that could contribute to improving health care for Canadians.
3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program objectives
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:
- To support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA;
- To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and HQP in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA.
4.1 Required documentation
The application must include the following:
- A completed original application form signed by the duly authorized representative;
- Two (2) copies of the full proposal;
- A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (must be confirmed by the organization's Office of Research);
- Hospitals and research institutes affiliated with universities shall provide official documents establishing this affiliation.
- A copy of the application (identical to the signed paper copy) in a standard electronic media format (USB flash drive, CD or DVD). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence;
- Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
- Letter of support from Co-Investigators, confirming their intent to participate to the study, including information on the potential source of funds, if applicable.
- The applicant will ensure that ethical certification requirements have been met before fund transfer. A letter signed by the chairperson of the local Institutional Review Board (IRB) regarding approval of the experimental protocol will be required for funding.
- Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
- For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal).
Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:
CSA Announcement of Opportunity for HLS Data and sample mining
c/o Isabelle Marcil
Astronauts, Life Sciences and Space Medicine
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
- Proposals must be received at the CSA no later than at 2:00 p.m. (ET).
- Applications sent by email will not be accepted.
- Incomplete applications shall not be considered.
Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions (Section 9).
4.2 Service standards – Complete applications
Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.
Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within 2 weeks of receiving the completed application package.
Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within 26 weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within 18 weeks after formal approval of the proposal.
Grant: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within 4 weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the grant agreement.
Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by AO.
5.1 Eligibility criteria
- Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1;
- Represents an eligible project as defined in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4;
- Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1.
An evaluation committee will assess screened-in applications according to the eligibility criteria described in Table 3.
|Pass definition||Fail definition|
|Eligibility of the applicant||This criterion evaluates whether the application has been submitted from an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1.||The organization is an eligible recipient for a contribution as described in Section 3.1 of this AO.||The organization is not an eligible recipient for a contribution as described in Section 3.1 of this AO.|
|Eligibility of the project||This criterion evaluates whether the application is an eligible project for this AO as defined in Section 3.2.||The project is eligible for a grant as described in Section 3.2 of this AO.||The project is not eligible for a grant as described in Section 3.2 of this AO.|
|Alignment with CSA priorities||This criterion evaluates how the project will contribute to the CSA priorities as defined in Section 3.3.||The proposal clearly demonstrates that the research objectives directly address one or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2.||The research does not address a risk of human space flight as described in Table 2 or only indirectly addresses a risk.|
|Alignment with G&C Program priorities||This criterion evaluates how the project will contribute to the G&C Program objectives as defined in Section 3.4.||The proposal clearly demonstrates how the project will contribute to support the development of science and that it will foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and HQP in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA.||The proposal does not demonstrate how the project will contribute to support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA, or that it will foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and HQP in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA.|
|Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1||This criterion evaluates whether the proposal meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1||The proposal meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1.||The proposal does not meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1.|
5.2 Evaluation criteria
5.2.1 Graded evaluation criteria
Once the eligibility is confirmed according to section 5.1, submissions will be evaluated using the following graded criteria. These criteria and ratings are listed in Table 4 and a detailed description of these graded criteria follows. Through this graded evaluation criteria, a scientific merit review will be conducted based on a peer-review criteria described in Section 5.2.2. To be considered eligible for funding, the total score received for these graded criteria most be greater than 125/200.
|Criteria||Maximum points for evaluation||Minimum points to pass||Poor||Average||Good||Excellent|
|1. Benefits to Canada (55/200)|
|1.1 Alignment with the priorities of the CSA and its Space HLS Program, and link to future space studies.||25||20||0||15||20||25|
|1.2 Benefits on Earth||20||15||0||10||15||20|
|1.3 HQP development||5||1||0||1||3||5|
|1.4 Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)||5||1||0||1||3||5|
|2. Project feasibility, resources, and risk assessment (40/200)|
|2.1 Risk management||20||10||0||10||15||20|
|2.2 Budget, resources allocation and schedule||20||10||0||10||15||20|
|3. Results (105/200)|
|3.1 Results of the scientific merit review (external peer review led by partners /or by CSA)||100||(Scientific merit review score)|
|3.2 Science dissemination plan||5||0||0||1||3||5|
|Total||200||125Table note 1||-||-||-||-|
Description of evaluation criteria
1. Benefits to Canada
1.1 Alignment with the priorities of the CSA and its Space HLS Program, and link to future space studies
Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposed research objectives are aligned with the priorities of the CSA and its Space Health & Life science program, and whether they are direct precursors of future Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space platform.
- Do the research objectives address health risks associated with human space flights (per Table 2) to keep astronauts healthy in space?
- Can the research proposed clearly lead to a future investigation on the ISS or other space platform?
Minimum score required = 20
Poor: The research objectives in the proposal do not address a risk of human space flight as listed in Table 2. (Score: 0)
Average: One research objective in the proposal addresses a risk of human space flight as described in Table 2, but overall, the proposal only indirectly addresses this risk or does not clearly demonstrate how the risk is addressed. The proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the research objectives will lead to a future space investigation. (Score: 15)
Good: One research objective in the proposal directly addresses one or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2 and describes how the risk is addressed. The proposal demonstrates how the research objectives will lead to a future space investigation. (Score: 20)
Excellent: The research objectives in the proposal directly address one or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2 and incorporates a multi-systems approach to risk research. The proposal as a whole addresses risks associated with human space flight. The proposal clearly demonstrates how the research objectives will lead to a future space investigation and is well justified. (Score: 25)
1.2 Benefits on Earth
Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposal demonstrates that the acquired knowledge of human health spaceflight risks may contribute to advance understanding of similar health issues or applications on Earth, or that could contribute to improving health care for Canadians.
Minimum score required = 15
Poor: The proposal does not address benefits on Earth, or the case for benefits is not logical or persuasive. (Score: 0)
Average: The proposal indicates benefits on Earth, and the justification is general. (Score: 10)
Good: One of the research objectives has direct Earth benefits. A specific justification is provided. (Score: 15)
Excellent: The proposed research as a whole is targeted to directly address one or more benefits on Earth. The justification is thorough and persuasive. (Score: 20)
1.3 HQP development
Description: This criterion evaluates how the project will foster the development of HQPs, through recruitment of qualified students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees and provide them with an integrated and meaningful role in the project research team.
Minimum score required = 1
Poor: The proposal does not include a plan to foster the development of students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees. (Score: 0)
Average: The proposal contains a development plan.. Role of students/postdoctoral fellows/trainee candidates is stated but lacks details. (Score: 1)
Good: The proposal contains a detailed plan to develop students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees, and provides realistic assurance on its feasibility. Their role in the team is well defined. (Score: 3)
Excellent: The proposal contains a well-thought out plan to develop students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees. Description on how this plan will be achieved is complete. The proposal demonstrates that efforts were already made to integrate students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees in the research team with meaningful tasks contributing to their development. (Score: 5)
Description: The research project must meaningfully engage members of underrepresented groups within the research team through the engagement of students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and partners. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities). Applicants can consult the Employment equity website for definitions of each group.
This criterion evaluates whether the proposal includes a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from these underrepresented groups within the research team.
Minimum score required = 1
Poor: The proposal does not describe any particular measure to facilitate the diversity of the team. (Score: 0)
Average: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan.. The description of how this plan will be achieved lacks details. (Score: 1)
Good: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan. The description of how this plan will be achieved is mostly complete and the approach appears feasible. (Score: 3)
Excellent: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan that is fully described, with detailed information on how it will be achieved. The proposal demonstrates that efforts were already made to integrate minorities in the research team. (Score: 5)
2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment
2.1 Risk management
Description: This criterion evaluates the knowledge of potential pitfalls and obstacles that may occur during project course and adequacy of proposed preventive/remedial measures. The proposal shall address key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each. Information should be provided on resources availability, risks associated with their non-availability and, the risk and mitigation strategies associated with those risks. The following points are particularly important:
- Has the applicant identified and described in detail the risks associated with the project, including, but not limited to, financial, technical, and managerial?
- Are the resources available to the research team, or was an agreement made to ensure implementation of the project?
- Are the mitigation strategies for each risk correctly addressed and realistic? What is the probability that such risks would occur?
Minimum score required = 10
Poor: The proposal does not identify any key risks or mitigation strategies, or some risks are identified but related mitigation strategies are missing or inadequate. (Score: 0)
Average: Some, but not all, key risks and their mitigation strategies are defined. Some information is lacking. (Score: 10)
Good: The proposal demonstrates general understanding of key risks and potential pitfalls for this type of project and proposes elements of preventive/remedial measures to ensure feasibility of the study. (Score: 15)
Excellent: The proposal demonstrates clear understanding of key risks and obstacles/pitfalls accompanied by clear and adequate discussion of preventive/remedial measures to ascertain completing the study and achieving quality results. Key risks and their mitigation strategies are well described and the risk assessment is realistic. (Score: 20)
2.2 Budget, resources allocation and schedule
Description: This criterion evaluates the adequacy of the budget, resource allocation to tasks, level of effort and material resources as well as project schedule Applicants need to present in their application an itemized budget that clearly describes project expenditures and sources of funding. The application must also show resource (human & funds) allocation to tasks, and level of efforts as well as project schedule. Applicants are encouraged to seek co-funding and should clearly indicate co-funding in their budget.
Minimum score required = 10
Poor: The proposal presents an unclear or incomplete description of budget and resources allocation, and schedule or the description provided shows inadequate budget and resources allocation or insufficient and/or inadequate justification of project expenditures. (Score: 0)
Average: The budget, resources allocation and schedule are presented; however, some information may be missing, or the justification of expenditure is incomplete, or some expenditures are mis-evaluated. (Score: 10)
Good: Appropriate budget, allocation of resources and schedule. Resources allocation, level of effort appear adequate and logic, schedule planning is feasible. Project expenditures and justification appears to be appropriate. (Score: 15)
Excellent: The budget, resource allocation and schedule are clearly detailed. Clever allocation of resources and level of efforts, with clear and comprehensive justification provided. (Score: 20)
3.1 Results of scientific merit review
For results of scientific merit review, refer to section 5.2.2.
3.2 Science dissemination plan
Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposal includes a science dissemination plan describing how results from the investigations will be disseminated (e.g.: conferences, publications, etc). Per Section 7.7, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients, and applicants are encouraged to use open access publications in order to facilitate dissemination of results from the investigation.
Minimum score required = 0
Poor. The proposal does not include a science dissemination plan. (Score: 0)
Average. The proposal indicates some provisions for to science dissemination, but few details are provided and open access publications are not privileged. (Score: 1)
Good. The proposal includes a plan to disseminate scientific results to the scientific community, but not necessarily the use of open access publications. (Score: 3)
Excellent. The proposal includes an explicit and a well-thought-out and structured scientific publications plan to disseminate scientific results using open access publications, and the plan is likely to raise Canada's profile in Space Life Science considerably. (Score: 5)
5.2.2 Evaluation criteria for scientific merit review
The scientific merit review will be conducted by a panel of scientific experts according to the language ladder listed in Table 5 and defined below. For any given criterion, a score within the associated range will be assigned by reviewers. The scientific merit review panel will assign a score from 0 to 100 or a designation "
not recommended for further consideration" based on the intrinsic scientific merit of the proposal. Passing proposals must receive at least a minimal score for each criterion and also obtain a total score of at least 70, which is higher than the sum of all the minimal scores.
|Criteria||Maximum points for evaluation||Minimum points to pass||Poor||Average||Good||Excellent|
|1. Science quality (30%)|
|Significance of the research question||30||15||0-7||8-14||15-24||25-30|
|2. Research approach (45%)|
|3. Research team (25%)|
|Experience, expertise and productivity||25||8||0-5||6-12||13-20||21-25|
|Total||100||70Table note 2||-||-||-||-|
Description of evaluation criteria for scientific merit
1. Science quality
- Significance of the research question
Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposal addresses a significant gap in health research related to spaceflight. The significance of the proposed research in terms of the hypotheses/research questions addressed as well as novelty will be assessed. Potential increase of our understanding of the risks associated with human spaceflight or proposed mitigation strategies will be evaluated.
- Does this study address an important gap in identifying, characterizing and mitigating health risk for spaceflight?
- If the objectives are achieved, how will scientific knowledge related to spaceflight health risks be advanced?
- What are the expected outcomes of the proposed research in the context of understanding health risk problems related to spaceflight and/or mitigation strategies?
Minimum score required : 15
Poor: The hypotheses and research questions do not address an important health risk related to spaceflight or do not provide any mitigation strategy. The research question will most likely not result in novel knowledge generation as hypotheses and research questions have been explored before. (Score: 0-7)
Average: The hypothesis and research questions address health risk related to spaceflight or propose a mitigation strategy. However, the study will only marginally increase our understanding of the risks of human spaceflight or provide minor insights into mitigation strategies. The research question will most likely result in limited novel knowledge generation. (Score: 8-14)
Good: The hypothesis and research questions address an important health risk related to spaceflight or propose a credible mitigation strategy. The study is also likely to increase our understanding of the risks of human spaceflight or can lead to concrete insights to provide mitigation strategies. The project is likely to result in novel knowledge generation. (Score: 15-24)
Excellent: The hypotheses and research questions address one or several important health risks related to spaceflight or propose a substantial mitigation strategy. The study is likely to result in significant scientific understanding of the risks of human spaceflight or can lead to the development of new countermeasures. Results of this project will most likely considerably contribute to significant scientific knowledge advances in the field. (Score: 25-30)
2. Research approach
- Validity of research
Description: This criterion evaluates how the research approach builds upon a successful foundation of relevant researches. It evaluates the completeness of the literature review and its relevance to the study design and research plan.
Minimum score required: 11
Poor: The research approach is not based upon a successful foundation of relevant previous studies. The literature review is missing or inadequate/incomplete.(Score: 0-4)
Average: The research approach is based in part upon a successful foundation of relevant previous studies. The literature review is inadequate or incomplete.(Score: 5-10)
Good: The research approach is based upon a successful foundation of relevant previous studies. The literature review contains some relevant references but some important aspects might not be included or considered. (Score: 11-15)
Excellent: The research approach is largely based upon a successful foundation of relevant previous studies. The literature review is exhaustive and covers all aspects of the proposed study. (Score: 16-20)
Description: This criterion evaluates the appropriateness of the proposed research design, research methods, data analysis methods of the research approach to achieve the objectives.
- Is the selected set of data or samples appropriate for the proposed research objectives?
- Are the research design, methods and analysis proposed appropriate to achieve the objectives?
Minimum score required: 13
Poor: The proposed methodology is unlikely to support the objectives of the study or is poorly described. The research design lacks important details, the selected approach is not appropriate and the choice of data/samples is not well justified. (Score: 0-5)
Average: The proposed methodology may support the study's objectives. However, there is a lack of details in research design and/or the selected approach is poorly described. The choice of data/samples is justified, but there is an obvious risk it cannot fully address the research question. There may be better approaches to achieve the objectives. (Score: 6-12 )
Good: The proposed methodology is likely to achieve the objectives and well described. The research design, the selected approach, the choice of data/samples are justified and are aligned with the research question. However, some approaches might not be included to fully address the research question. (Score: 13-20)
Excellent: The proposed methodology is excellent and clearly described, giving a high level of confidence that the objectives will be achieved. The research design, the selected approach, the choice of data/samples are well justified and described. The proposed methodology fully address the research question. (Score: 21-25)
3. Research team
- Research team expertise, experience and productivity
Description: This criterion evaluates the availability of all the required expertise in the team and experience in the proposed field of HLS research in order to successfully accomplish the proposed work. This criterion will also evaluate the scientific productivity and past achievements in the proposed field of research and methodology.
- Does the research team have sufficient experience in HLS?
- Is the research team composed of members that have the required expertise? Is there sufficient personnel dedicated to the project?
- Has the research team demonstrated high level of productivity?
Minimum score required: 8
Poor: The team has some members with the required expertise or experience in similar research studies, but it is rather poor or limited. The team's scientific productivity in this field of research is poor and below an acceptable level of quality, impact and/or importance. (Score: 0-5)
Average: Some of the team members have expertise and experience in the field of research, but the overall level of expertise in the team is average. The team's scientific productivity in this field of research is average with acceptable level of quality, impact and/or importance. (Score: 6-12)
Good: The team includes several members that have the required expertise in the field and demonstrated experience in similar studies. The research team has a good publication record of high quality, impact and/or importance. (Score: 13-20)
Excellent: The team is mostly composed of experts in the proposed field of research. The research team has a clear expertise in the field and has successfully conducted studies of similar scope. The research team has a solid publication record of high quality, impact and/or importance. (Score: 21-25)
5.3 Evaluation process
Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.
Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform final score and ranking of proposals.
Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations. Grant agreements will be offered to the applicants in the rank order of the proposals while allowing considerations to maximize the use of available funding.
The results obtained in this AO could take into account certain factors in the final decision to grant funding, such as, but not limited to, the representativeness of the four designated groups (woman, Aboriginal person, disabled person or member of a visible minority), regional distribution, academic level, distribution between universities and post-secondary educational institutions, etc.
6.1 Available funding and duration
The total maximum funding amount given in grant for each project will be $70,000 over a maximum period of up to one (1) year.
The number of projects funded under this AO will depend on funding availability.
There is no limit on the number of proposals presented per investigator. However, considering the limited funding in this AO, the CSA will only fund one project for a researcher as a PI in this AO. It is possible for an investigator to be selected for funding as a PI in one project submitted in response to this call and be selected as a Co-Investigator for funding on other proposals.
The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.
Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs.
To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.
Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.
6.2 Eligible costs
Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement, in the form of a grant, with the CSA.
Applicants to this CSA AO cannot include as eligible costs any costs related to non-Canadian Co-Investigators or non-Canadian PIs or their work within the proposal. These costs should be submitted to the appropriate national agency for funding.
Eligible costs for grant under this AO are the following:
- Access fees;
- Accommodation and meal allowances;
- Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
- Acquisition or rental of equipment;
- Bursaries, such as stipends for students involved in the project;
- Consultant services;
- Costs related to obtaining security clearance;
- Data/sample acquisition;
- Data management;
- Laboratory analysis services;
- License and permit fees;
- Marketing and printing services;
- Materials and supplies;
- Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 20% of eligible costs for universities and 15% for other eligible recipients);
- Participation fees at conferences, committees and events;
- PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled and the reimbursement of any taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country net of any rebate or reimbursement received in the foreign country;
- Publication and communication services;
- Registration fees;
- Salaries and benefits;
- Translation services;
- Travel; and
- Tuition fees.
7. Funding agreements
The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.
Payments will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm—once a year in the case of multi-year agreements—their eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.
The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.
7.3 Conflict of interest
In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.
7.4 Intellectual property
All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.
7.5 Organizations in Quebec
An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.
Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux affaires canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.
Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.
Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.
7.6 Performance measurement
The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:
- Knowledge creation
- Knowledge production (including publications)
- Intellectual property (including patents)
- Capacity building
- Project's research team (including HQP supported)
- Partners' contributions
7.7 Open science
The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.
Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their articles by using one of the following methods:
- Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
- Journal offering open access to articles.
The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.
Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.
8. Privacy Notice Statement
The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.
The information is collected under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,
- have access to his or her personal data and
- request correction of the incorrect information.
Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.
For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:
9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.
For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address email@example.com. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 2 p.m. (ET), .
At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the AO, the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and suggestions box.
Question 1: Will it be possible to obtain an extension to the current deadline of in order to complete the proposal and/or obtain the necessary approvals?
Answer 1: The evaluation process will begin right after the AO closes, and extending the AO posting puts the evaluation schedule at risk and delays funding of successful proposals. Therefore, a change of deadline is unfortunately not possible.
Question 2: In the Application form regarding your recent Announcement of Opportunity (AO), it is indicated that the full proposal description should be between 1500 and 2000 words in MS Word format(.DOC, .DOCX), 12-pt typeface, letter-sized paper and 1 in margins. Could you please clarify the following:
- Are there specific requirements for line spacing?
- Is it possible to include figures and tables presenting preliminary data in the proposal?
- Are references included in the maximum limit of 2000 words?
Answer 2: Here are some details about the description of the research proposal:
- Proposals are usually written in single space format; however, there is no preference/requirement for line spacing.
- Figures and tables presenting preliminary data can be included, but all legends and text will count towards the maximum limit of 2000 words.
- References are not included in the maximum limit of 2000 words.
Question 3: Regarding the application form, item 8 of Section 12 (Submission Checklist), it is written: "
The applicant will ensure that ethical certification requirements have been met before fund transfer. A letter signed by the chairperson of the local Institutional Review Board (IRB) regarding approval of the experimental protocol will be included with the proposal". Does the applicant need to have ethics approved and attach the ethical certificate to the application at the time of submission of the proposal or can the researcher submit the ethical certificate only prior to funding being released?
Answer 3: We require the researcher to submit ethical certificate to the CSA only prior to funding being released once the proposals have been selected. No documents regarding ethics approval are required when submitting the proposal. The application form has been corrected accordingly on our website. It is not necessary to start over with the new form if you already have filled it.
Question 4: Please clarify what kind of affiliation and rank in a Canadian university would allow me to be eligible as a PI to submit an application under this AO?
Answer 4: For this AO, we consider that it is the responsibility of the institution to determine the eligibility requirements for a PI. Usually, a PI is a faculty member holding a position or having received a firm job offer at the time of submitting a proposal as well as for the duration of the grant.
Question 5: We're a small company developing technologies and we'd like to apply to the Data and Sample Mining AO. Is it possible to obtain data from the CSA to further develop one of our solutions as a tool to monitor the well-being of astronauts?
Answer 5: Eligible recipients for funding through this AO are Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions. The investigator team is responsible for obtaining the data or samples directly from repositories that have the data relevant to their project (examples are provided in Table 1 of the AO). Applicants are asked to read the AO and FAQs thoroughly to ensure that their proposal is aligned with the AO objectives, eligibility criteria, and CSA's priorities.
Question 6: In the AO, under 4.1 Required documentation lists the following as required: A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (must be confirmed by the organization's Office of Research). Could you confirm what type of document CSA will accept and what type of confirmation is required from the Research Office Services?
Answer 6: The documentation required by CSA aims to confirm the legal name of the organization (this is necessary for a formal agreement to be drafted). It is typically enclosed in the "
The Act" of the University. "
The Act" is the incorporated document that sets out the legal name of the organization and it can be provided by the Office of Research of your University.
Question 7: We are in the process of completing an application for your AO and we have questions regarding the "
Duly Authorized Representative" Signature:
- Is the "
Duly Authorized Representative" the same person as the
"Representative from the Office of Research"? Is the Chair of my research department sufficient to be this representative?
Answer 7: Grant agreements are legal documents that must be signed by the person who has the formal power of signature for the organization applying to the AO, hence the "
Duly Authorized representative". Typically this may be a representative from the Office of Research, but it may vary from one institution to another and therefore applicants are responsible to identify the person who has the appropriate authorities in their organization.
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