New Frontiers in Research Fund - Explorations 2022

Program Summary

The objective of the Exploration stream is to support high risk, high reward and interdisciplinary research. It seeks to inspire projects that bring disciplines together beyond traditional disciplinary or common interdisciplinary approaches by research teams with the capacity to explore something new that might fail, but has the potential for significant impact.

Competition Link:

New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) - 2022 Exploration Competition

Award Amount and Duration:

Up to $100,000 per year plus 25% indirect costs, for up to 2 years.  Maximum total award $250,000.

Indirect Costs:

25% - must be added to the budget in addition to the direct costs


Grant Development Support

The RSO Research Relationships team will support University of Alberta NFRF Exploration Nominated Principal Investigators by offering the following support:

Top 10 Tips: submitting your NOI to NFRF (GAPHS)

Additional Information on Completing EDI Section & Team Biographical Information (Salim & Pawlina)

Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research

Roundtable discussion with NFRF Evaluators 2021- recording.  Main speakers, Kathy Hegadoren, Faculty of Nursing, Kisha Supernant, Faculty of Arts, and David Bressler, Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences are joined by Amit Bhavsar, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Heather Coleman, Faculty of Arts, David Evans, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Amy Kaler, Faculty of Arts, and Andrea MacLeod, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Listen to the Audio recording

Library of previously funded Exploration applications - request access

How to Apply

Application Stages: Two mandatory stages to apply using the Convergence Portal:

  1. Notice of Intent (NOI) - RSO deadline: 4 pm June 20th, 2022
    Submission on the Convergence Portal:  10 am June 28th, 2022
  2. Full application - RSO deadline: 4 pm September 6th, 2022
    Submission on the Convergence Portal: 10 am September 13th, 2022

RSO internal deadline reflects time/date for the proposal to be received through the Researcher Home Page for RSO review and approval to submit.  Ensure you submit early enough to obtain department and faculty approval prior to this deadline.

Please note that RSO must forward the submitted NOIs and full applications through the NFRF Convergence Portal before 4 pm on the day of the sponsor deadline. 

At the NOI and full application stages as part of the institutional review, RSO must confirm the following:

  1. That all participants meet the NFRF eligibility criteria and the definition of ECR (if applicable).  Written approval from all other institutions with participating Co-PIs and/or Co-Aps must be obtained using the external institution confirmation form, and
  2. The proposed research project meets the eligibility criteria

Thus, if you have any participating Co-PIs or Co-Aps from other institutions, please send them the external institution confirmation form for completion and signoff by their Research Services Office.  Once completed and signed, the form should be emailed back to you and uploaded to the proposal request in your researcher home page (see below).

Internal approval requirements for U of A NPIs and U of A Co-PIs/Co-Aps participating in externally led applications

NOI stage 

The U of A must provide confirmation to the lead institution of approval and eligibility to participate in addition to confirming Co-PI or Co-App status. You must create a new proposal request via your Researcher Home Page (RHP). If there are more than one U of A Co-PI or Co-App on a specific application, only one individual needs to create and identify the other participants as co-applicants on the one form. Attach a copy of the NOI and the required confirmation(s) from the lead institution to be signed by RSO as a single PDF document. Submit the proposal request for online approvals to meet the internal deadlines as listed.

Full application stage 
  1. As required by NFRF, if any NEW Co-PIs or Co-Aps from other institutions have been added since the NOI stage, the external institution confirmation form will need to be sent to those individuals’ institutional Research Services Office to obtain written confirmation of participation of those new team members.
  2. Create a new proposal request via the Researcher Home Page (RHP) and attach a copy of the full application and any new external institution confirmation form obtained in 1) above as a single PDF document.
  3. Submit the proposal request for online approvals to meet the internal deadlines as listed.

Please contact your Research Facilitator if you have any questions about the internal requirements and/or deadlines.

Summary of Grant Development Support for Applicants and Important Deadlines



Internal deadline to submit NOI proposal request to RSO for institutional review and approval.  Check with your Department. and Faculty for additional internal deadlines

4:00 pm

June 20th, 2022

Deadline for NPI to submit NOI via Convergence Portal

10:00 am

June 28th, 2022

Internal deadline to submit full application proposal request to RSO for institutional review and approval. This is the date/time the request must be received by RSO after Department and Faculty approvals have been provided. Check with your Department and Faculty for their internal deadlines (generally 2 or more days prior to RSO deadline)

4:00 pm 

September 6th, 2022

Deadline for NPI to submit full application via Convergence Portal

10:00 am

September 13th, 2022

Mechanical Engineering Department 2021 Lunch and Learn NFRF Exploration.  The session  covered the submission structure and evaluation criteria, with a round table Q&A with past NFRF Exploration winnersL Drs. Ge Li, Dan Romanyk, Morris Flynn, and Hossein Rouhani.

Link to video of the session

New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration Roundtable with Evaluators (2021).  Eight of the multidisciplinary review panel members who participated in the NFRF Exploration application panel provided insights and tips. With a better understanding of how reviewers assess applications and what makes an application successful might help boost the competitiveness of your application. 

Link to Session audio recording

Request a copy of a successful Explorations application from a previous competition

Link to request form

NFRF Program - 2022 Exploration NOI Webinar

Link to English webinar recording

Link to French webinar recording

May 27th, 2022

NFRF Program - 2022 Exploration Full Application Webinar

Link to access the webinars

July 19th, 2022