New Frontiers in Research Fund – Exploration Grant

The goal of the Exploration stream is to inspire high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research.

Submitting to NFRF-Exploration

All applications to the 2022 New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) – Exploration competition are electronically submitted via the Convergence Portal. Please follow application procedures described in the program guidelines.

NOTE: 25% Indirect Costs of Research must be included in your budgets.


In order to obtain institutional endorsement and prior to submitting in the portal, applicants must send an RPIF that is filled out and signed by the PI, Head and Dean (as appropriate), along with a final budget and required application pages (see below) to

There is a two-stage application process: Mandatory Notice of Intent (NOI) and Full Application.

NOI Deadlines:

  • Applicant’s e-Submission Deadline: Your NOI should be submitted via the Convergence Portal no later than Monday, August 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm PT as ORS will need to provide the required online approval.
  • Sponsor NOI deadline: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm PT

Full Application Deadlines:

  • UBCO internal deadline (see procedure #3 below): Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 9:00 am PT
  • Applicant’s e-Submission Deadline (see procedure #4 below): You may continue to work on your online application after you have submitted the required paperwork to ORS. Your final application should be submitted via the Convergence Portal on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm PT
  • Sponsor deadline: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm PT

While ORS makes every effort to submit all applications on time, applications submitted after the UBC internal deadline will not receive a guarantee of administrative review from ORS, which includes confirmation for application completeness and compliance. As ORS must forward each application to MSHR-BC after the applicant’s final submission, we cannot guarantee that applications submitted after noon on the sponsor deadline day will be forwarded. 

The application must be prepare using the Convergence Portal. All attachments must respect the page limits and formatting guidelines or the application may be withdrawn. (Note that the Portal is only supported on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox.). For more details on how to apply, see NFRF Exploration competition webpage  Notice of Intent to Apply Guide and the Full Application Guide for more information. Other useful resources to assist in the completion of your application include Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and the evaluation matrices.

In the “Host Institution” field, it is critical that you list the institution to ensure your application is routed to UBCO ORS for approval. Failure to do so will result in your application not being routed to ORS for approval. This should be completed at the Notice of Intent and Full Application Stages. You will also be asked to list your department affiliation and position type (e.g., Assistant Professor).



Use the Research Project Information Form (RPIF) to obtain the required internal signatures, as per UBC’s Signature Policy:

  • UBC Applicant (Principal Investigator)
  • Department Head or Director of School or Institute (typically 4 days prior to ORS internal deadline)
  • Dean or designate (typically 2 days prior to ORS internal deadline)

*NOTE: Currently, Southern Medical Program submissions are served by our colleagues in Vancouver. Southern Medical Program applicants should refer to the FoM MShHR Scholar instructions for deadlines and procedures or contact the Office of Research Services at for more information.

Applicants must submit a complete and original digital copy of their application (see list of required pages below) and RPIF to the Office of Research Services for institutional approval. Digital copies can be sent to ORS administration via: by the internal deadline. Applicants are encouraged to check ORS Funding Opportunities for current deadlines.

As the ORS processes a large number of applications during NFRF competition periods, the internal deadline is intended to ensure that all applications receive administrative review prior to institutional support / signature (by ORS). Please ensure you have collected ALL required signatures prior to submitting to ORS (the full UBCO signature policy can be found here), and that the documents submitted to ORS are identical to your Convergence submission. The following items should be included:



Upon receiving notice by the ORS to do so, submit your full application online using the Research Portal and NSERC CCV by the portal e-submission deadline. To do this, the applicant must complete and link all the forms as described in the NSERC instructions. First “Verify” to ensure the application is complete. Then click “Submit” to submit your application to ORS for online approval.

If all requirements are met, ORS will approve your application on the Convergence Portal by the agency deadline. ORS has read-only access to your application and cannot make changes. If the application is not approved, ORS will return it to you for changes. ORS is no longer required to physically sign applications submitted through the portal.

Once ORS has approved your application, the status on the Convergence Portal will change from “Received by Administrator” to “Received by Agency.” At this point, material or revisions received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted by the agency.

Submitting an application is final; this action cannot be undone. Additionally, no changes can be made to your application once it has been submitted to NFRF.

For more information, see NFRF Exploration competition webpage  Notice of Intent to Apply Guide and the Full Application Guide for more information. Other useful resources to assist in the completion of your application include Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and the evaluation matrices.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your Convergence account, or if you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the MSHR-BC Help Desk by telephone at 604.714.6609 or toll-free at 1.866.673.4722 or by email at Help Desk hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).

If you have questions regarding the submission process, please email the Office of Research Services:  or Denise Maines (she, her) Research Development Officer, Natural Sciences and Engineering at

If human subjects / animal subjects / biohazard materials are used for the project, the appropriate certificates of approval are required to be in place as funds will NOT be released until this requirement is met. For a certificate of approval to be valid it must state the exact title of the project and funding agency.

Visit the Behavioural Research Ethics Board for more information.

Note:  The Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation has the discretion to reject grant applications that have not been submitted through the proper channels if the applicant has a history of non-compliance or the application has included unauthorized commitments.