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Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, ORF-RE Round 7

Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence Round 7


Draft Notice of Intent due to ROADS by February 3, 2014

Final Notice of Intent due to ROADS by February 10, 2014

Full application due to MRI by July 15, 2014


All applications, including those led by McMaster and those where we partner on proposals led by other institutions, require Faculty endorsement.



The Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) has issued the call for proposals for Round 7 of the Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE) competition. They have not issued any additional information about the anticipated Translation Research Platforms or Social Sciences & Humanities rounds.


The ORF-RE program promotes research excellence of strategic value to Ontario by supporting new leading-edge, transformative, and internationally significant research.


While Round 7 will be open to all disciplines, the Ministry particularly encourages applications in three focus areas:

·         Bio-economy and clean technologies

·         Advanced health technologies

·         Digital media and information & communications technologies 


The ORF-RE focuses on scientific excellence and strong benefits to Ontarians. Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

·         Research Excellence: Scientific merit, quality of research, and expertise of research team

·         Research Impact: Anticipated value to Ontarians in the following three categories:

o        Commercialization

o        Economic Benefits

o        Societal Benefits

·         Research Translation: Strategy for achieving Research Impact

·         Project Management and Governance: Management of the project, including governance structure, sustainability, budget, and milestones




As a general rule, the minimum support provided by the ORF-RE to a project is $1 million. The maximum support provided is $4 million.


The program will contribute towards eligible operating costs of an approved research project to a maximum of 1/3 of the total project costs, with 1/3 of the remainder coming from the applicant institution(s) and 1/3 from the private sector. The ORF may consider a “blended” funding formula in cases where the institution and the private sector partners, in combination, make up 2/3 of the required funding.  This flexibility will be provided only in exceptional circumstances, based on the opportunity for success and the quality of the partnership between the applicants and their private sector partners. 


Please note, funding from research-focused charities, foundations, and private philanthropists, as well as municipal and federal government contributions are considered “institutional” rather than private sector.




The ORF-RE program funds:

  • direct costs, including:
    • Salaries and benefits: claimed in proportion to the time spent working on the project
    • Facilities and equipment: up to 10% of total direct costs
    • Other direct research costs: including, but not limited to, materials, fieldwork expenses, and dissemination of research
    • Management and administration: up to 5% of total direct costs
  • indirect costs—the overhead costs of doing research


ORF does not fund:

·         Research in which the private sector owns the resulting IP

·         clinical trials

·         endowed research chairs or any other endowments

·         high performance computing platforms 

·         costs related to proposal development

·         fees for use of equipment owned by the institution unless such fees are charged to all institutional users based on a published schedule

·         costs related to existing facilities infrastructure improvements, not specifically related to the proposal and/or not included in the original application

·         opportunity costs

·         any items or services not directly related to the project


Proposals must include a plan for:

  • Commercialization (including market potential, socioeconomic outcomes and market analysis)
  • IP ownership and disposition
  • youth outreach/mentorship activities



Application Process:

All applications, including those led by McMaster and those where we partner on proposals led by other institutions, require Faculty endorsement. Applicants are encouraged to contact their Associate Deans Research to discuss their proposals. Once ROADS has received an email from your Associate Dean Research indicating his or her approval of your application, a Senior Advisor will be assigned to assist you with development of your proposal.


If you plan to apply to the ORF-RE Round 7, please notify Sherisse Webb, Assistant Director, Development, ROADS, at or extension 26946, immediately, if you have not done so already.


MRI requires that all applicants submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) through ROADS.  The draft NOI is due to ROADS by February 3, 2014. The final NOI and email from the Associate Dean Research indicating Faculty approval are due to ROADS by February 10, 2014. ROADS will submit the NOIs to MRI by February 12, 2014.


Please note that NOIs submitted by individual researchers will not be accepted. Applications from researchers who did not submit a NOI will not be accepted by MRI.


The full application must be submitted to MRI by July 15, 2014.



More Information:

If you have questions regarding the ORF-RE program, please contact Sherisse Webb, Assistant Director, Development, at or extension 26946.


Additional information about the ORF-RE program can also be found on the MRI website at