The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) recently launched the 2020 Exploration stream competition. The Convergence Portal is now open for submission of a Notification of Intent (NOIs). A summary is provided below.

New this year, the competition has only 2 stages:


  1. Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) stage
  2. Full Application stage


In preparation for the NOI deadline, NFRF is offering the following webinars:


July 7th – 2020 Exploration NOI – French

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Time

Meeting link – Event password: kpQPBsTv728


July 7th – 2020 Exploration NOI – English

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time

Meeting link – Event password: SWrPUuX93C8



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 in unexpected ways and from bold, innovative perspectives.  With the Exploration stream, there is recognition that innovation often carries risk; proposals for high-risk research projects that have the potential to deliver game-changing impacts are strongly encouraged.

Exploration stream grants support projects that:

  • bring disciplines together beyond traditional disciplinary or common interdisciplinary approaches;
  • propose to explore something new, which might fail; and
  • have the potential for significant impact.

Projects must be interdisciplinary. The nominated principal investigator and team members (if applicable) can be from any discipline, but the proposed research project must include elements from at least two different disciplines (as defined by a group-level classification based on the Canadian Research and Development Classification).



Up to $125,000 per year (including indirect costs)

Indirect Costs

Researchers must include 25% in indirect costs in their applications on top of the direct costs of research. The 25% of indirect costs will be used by the university to cover indirect costs driven by your project and will be managed as per the Research Support Fund under the SHARP budget model and will not be available to the applicants to spend.



Up to 2 years



  • Copy of NOI along with a  completed and fully signed ORS Checklist are due at ORS no later than 9:00am on Monday, August 17, 2020, in order for ORS to provide institutional approval and forward your NOI to NFRF by the August 18th agency deadline
  • NOI due at agency – Tuesday, August 18, 2020
  • Application due at ORS for full review – Monday, October 5, 2020
  • Final application and fully signed ORS Checklist are due at ORS for required review no later than 12noon on Thursday, October 15, 2020 in order for ORS to provide institutional approval and forward your application to NFRF for October 20th deadline
  • Application due at agency – Tuesday, October 20, 2020

All competition documents are now available on NFRF’s website

ORS is accepting electronic applications – the process is outlined here: