Early Researcher Award (ERA)

Program name: Early Researcher Award (ERA) - Round 17
Type: Grant for hiring research team
Office of Research deadline:
  • September 20, 2022 – Internal Nomination Form (PDF) due to OR
  • October 17, 2022 – First full draft of application due to OR
  • November 01, 2021 – Reference letters due to OR
  • November 17, 2022 – Final complete draft of application due to OR
  • December 01, 2022 – Complete application due to Ontario (no later than 5:00pm)
Program deadline:
  • December 01, 2022 – Complete application due to Ontario
  • Full-time faculty members or principal investigators
  • First independent academic appointment started on or after January 1, 2016
  • First terminal degree (e.g. PhD, DVM, or MD) completed on or after January 1, 2011
  • Have not already held an Early Researcher Award
  • Are not, or have not been a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair
  • *independent academic appointment is defined as a position where a researcher is capable of independently publishing, supervising, and applying for funding**MCU will consider eligible interruptions including continued education, required training (e.g. residency or medical fellowships), parental leave, or sick leave, as long as these are clearly detailed in the application form and specific dates are provided. Research associate positions and postdoctoral fellowships are NOT considered eligible interruptions.


Awardees are selected based on a review panel that scores applicants based on:

  • Excellence of the researcher – 40% of the scoring
  • Quality of the research – 30% of the scoring
  • Development of research talent – 20% of the scoring
  • Strategic Value for Ontario (e.g. Commercialization benefits, Economic benefits, Societal and/or cultural benefits) – 10% of the scoring

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

Funding start date: TBD
Research focus areas: Provides recently-appointed Ontario researchers with funding to build a research team. Consideration is given to those with programs benefitting Ontario.
  • The ERA provides $100,000 to the researcher
  • The Faculty will provide the $50,000 in matching funds
  • The ERA also provides up to $40,000 to UW for indirect costs
Length of project: 5 years
Industry partner: N/A
Program submission instructions:
  1. Notify your Institutional Research contact (see below) that you plan to apply, and send them a signed Internal Nomination Form (PDF)
  2. Institutional Research team will review one draft application and review the final application for completeness.
  3. By November 17, 2022 submit the final application package to the Office of Research, including:
  • Three original, signed letters of reference (sent directly to the Office of Research)
  • An electronic copy of your full application package (appendices as PDF)
  • The full application package includes:
  1. Application Form
  2. Appendix A – Total Expenditure Budget
  3. Appendix B – Proposed Research (maximum of six (6) pages including appendices, excluding references)
  4. Appendix C – Researcher’s CV
  5. Appendix D - Three reference letters
  6. Attachment - Mitigation Economic and Geopolitical Risk Checklist

5.   The Institutional Research team will then do the following:

  • Obtain the institutional signature;
  • Create PDF of completed application package; and
  • Submit application to MCU prior to the deadline

Office of Research Contacts:

For any questions regarding the ERA program, please contact Danusha Kalinga (dkalinga@uwaterloo.ca) or Stephanie Filsinger (slfilsin@uwaterloo.ca)

Full details about the program are available through the government of Ontario.