Research grants

This category is not open to applications. Details are provided for information only. Please see Financial administration for updated information on scientific and financial reporting requirements and policies.

1. Description

Grants for research will be awarded to projects deemed worthy of support, provided that the basic equipment and research facilities are available in the institution concerned and that it will provide the necessary administrative services. Such awards will be granted for the purchase and maintenance of animals, expendable supplies, minor items of equipment, payment of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technical and professional assistants, open access publication costs, research travel and permanent equipment.

These grants do not provide for personal salary support of the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Co-applicants nor for institutional overhead costs.

The Canadian Cancer Society reserves the right not to accept more than 3 applications from a single Principal Investigator in a given research grants competition (3 submissions in total). Only one INITIAL or RE-APPLICATION submission from each Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator will be accepted. Renewals are not affected by this limit.

2. Eligibility

A researcher who is designated as the Principal Investigator must be based in, or formally affiliated with, an eligible Canadian Host Institution such as a university, research institute or health care agency. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technical support staff, or investigators based outside of Canada are not eligible to be a Principal Investigator. Both the Principal Investigator and executive authorities of the Host Institution are required to agree to the terms of the Host Institution/Canadian Cancer Society Agreement included as part of the application, thereby acknowledging and agreeing to all the responsibilities and obligations outlined in that Agreement.

The person named as the PI remains the PI on a grant for the duration of the grant unless given express permission by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Applicants who do not yet hold an eligible position

Investigators who have a firm offer of a research position at an eligible Host Institution and where the appointment is not contingent on the success of a pending application, can submit an application as Principal Investigator provided that the position commences by July 1, 2011. In such cases, a letter from an appropriate authority of the Host Institution must be included, which provides clear details as to the exact nature of the appointment (including title and major responsibilities), as well as the expected start date and duration of the appointment.

A researcher designated as Co-Principal Investigator or Co-applicant is a researcher who may or may not have a formal affiliation with the Host Institution, but will take responsibility for particular administrative and scientific aspects of the research project. These categories may not include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technical support staff, or investigators based outside of Canada. These individuals are not eligible to receive salary support from a grant.

The third category, Additional Authors, formally recognizes other individuals who will make substantial intellectual contributions to the research project or have contributed to the drafting of the application itself, but who are not eligible to be included as Co-Principal Investigators or Co-applicants. Students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, lay contributors and investigators based outside of Canada may be included in this category. Students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates may receive salary support from a grant.

3. Types and terms of grants

Applications may be for a period of research up to a maximum of three years.

Resubmissions of Previously Unsuccessful Applications: An investigator who is submitting a revised grant application that was unsuccessful in the preceding grant competition (special initiatives included) will be permitted to provide a response to the critiques of the previous proposal. These applications will be considered as Re-Applications. If the investigator chooses not to respond to the critiques, the application will be an Initial Application.

4. Certificates

The following may be required from all participating institutions, depending on the proposed work:

  • If this application involves the use of biological materials, a certificate must be submitted from each institutional Biohazards Committee guaranteeing that the project will be conducted under conditions which satisfy the "Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines", published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Canada. Please reference their website for current guidelines.
  • If this application involves the use of experimental animals, a certificate must be submitted from each institutional Animal Care Committee guaranteeing that all animals will be cared for and studied under conditions meeting the standards stated in "Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals", published by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
  • If this application involves human experimentation, a certificate must be submitted from the appropriate Committee of each institution involved, stating that the protocols and methods have been found acceptable from an ethical point of view in accordance with the "TCPS 2 - Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans" (TCPS 2 has replaced the 1st edition of the TCPS (1998)), published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Any investigator proposing human embryonic stem cell research must contact the Canadian Cancer Society prior to submitting an application. The Government of Canada has passed Bill C-6, An Act respecting assisted human reproduction and related research that regulates, among other things, the use and creation of human embryonic stem cells. The Act may be found on Health Canada's website. Its provisions dictate the regulations incumbent on applicants, Host Institutions and the funder in the contemplation of carrying out of research covered by the legislation. This will often involve special ethics and other approval mechanisms (beyond approval via the usual local Ethics Review Board).

The Canadian Cancer Society has endorsed and adopted the Guidelines set forward by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, entitled Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: Guidelines for CIHR-Funded Research. In addition, based on the recommendation of the CIHR-led Ad hoc Working Group on Stem Cell Research, a Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) has been struck. The SCOC will review applications dealing with human embryonic stem cells and other ethically sensitive human stem cell research to ensure that they are in accordance with CIHR's stem cell Guidelines. As with all ethical approvals, for any research grant involving human embryonic stem cells, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work proposed has been approved by the SCOC.

Please be advised that no funds will be released to successful applicants until all required certificates are received.

5. Host Institution/Canadian Cancer Society Agreement

Grants are made only with the consent and knowledge of the administrative head of the institution at which they are to be held and applications must be countersigned on the Host Institution/Canadian Cancer Society Agreement. These signatures indicate that the officials at the Host Institution have read and understood all of the various obligations of the parties, which now includes a formal policy on Integrity in Research and Scholarship. No funds will be released to successful applicants without these signatures and titles. Applicants are reminded that this form also contains a disclaimer and indemnity clause. Specific terms of the Agreement are available.

6. Ceilings on research grant budgets

The ceiling for salaries and supplies combined is $300,000 per year per grant, for research involving clinical studies, epidemiology, behavioural, psychosocial, supportive care, palliative care, health promotion and health services research and is $150,000 per year per grant for all other types of research. This ceiling only refers to the limit of contribution that the Canadian Cancer Society will make towards a project and investigators should detail the full budget requirements. This does not preclude an investigator exceeding these limits if supplementary funding can be found from other sources and partners providing that the total obtained from all sources does exceed the Canadian Cancer Society's panel recommended amount deemed necessary by the Canadian Cancer Society’s Grants Panel. In this case, Canadian Cancer Society funds may be encumbered pending confirmation of such additional funding from other sources, should it be deemed critical to the project’s success.

7. Request for permanent equipment

The ceiling is $70,000 per grant for the purchase of necessary permanent equipment only as part of a research grant. This cap only applies to the contribution the Canadian Cancer Society would make towards the equipment and if a higher amount is recommended, other sources of funding can be found to augment the contribution. Please note that any approved equipment requests will not be counted towards the $150,000 or $300,000 ceilings on the budget. The cost of each item must exceed $1,000 to be considered under this category.

Applicants should note that due to financial constraints and in an effort to fund more grants, the ‘regular’ equipment funds category has been suspended. Equipment funds have only been approved for the New Investigators category. This policy remains in effect, however if finances allow, equipment may be funded in future competitions.

All grantees may use up to $10,000 per year or 5% of the amount awarded in the supplies and salaries budget for the purchase of equipment.

8. Support of research associates and professional assistants

Grant applications may contain requests for the support of professional assistants or research associates. It is recognized that research associates may often be key personnel in a research program. However, any person holding an academic rank equivalent to Assistant Professor or higher cannot be considered to be a professional assistant or research associate and therefore may not be paid from a grant.

9. Support of trainees

The support of graduate trainees and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged. The current maximum awards for trainees are as follows:


Regular students $19,500 per annum
Summer students $1,500 per month
Postdoctoral fellows $35,000; $36,580; $38,165; $39,750; $41,335; $42,915; $44,500 maximum per annum (Stipends for postdoctoral fellows are dependent on the number of years of experience post-PhD or post-MD). Note that no annual increments are currently provided.

Student and postdoctoral fellow salaries are considered training awards as defined by Section 56(1)(n) of the Income Tax Act. As such there are no deductions required for CPP/QPP, Employment Insurance or provincial health taxes. Fringe benefits such as medical, dental or private pension plans as well as academic fees are also ineligible expenses.

Update: August 2014. Please see Financial administration section for updates on stipends and taxation of Post-Doctoral fellows.

10. Multiple applications/multiple sources of funding

It is understood that applications may also be made to other agencies to provide support for grants/programs similar to those submitted to the Canadian Cancer Society. There must not be substantive overlap (more than 75%) with any pending application to any agency as of October 15, 2010. This pertains to initial, re-applications or renewal applications. Duplicate applications will not be accepted. The onus is on the applicant to indicate the extent (or absence) of overlap. If submitting duplicate applications to other agencies after October 15, grantees can accept funds from other sources, up to the total panel recommended amount, as long as the Canadian Cancer Society grant is accepted in full. The Canadian Cancer Society will not consider funding specific/partial aims of a project. Grantees can accept funds received from other sources up to the panel recommended amounts.

11. Notification of award

Successful applicants will receive an official “Notification of Award” (NOA) indicating the duration and the value of the grant. The financial office and the research office of the host university or institution will also be informed. Results of the competition will be posted on the Canadian Cancer Society research website in the spring. All applicants will subsequently be provided with the scientific critique prepared by the review panel. It is the objective of the Canadian Cancer Society to support the highest calibre of cancer research.

12. Funds for conference travel

Travel funds are no longer added to the base amount of grants, however grantees may use up to 5% of the grant budget for legitimate scientific and conference travel. Any monies spent on travel must be accounted for in annual accounting statements.

13. Grant start date

The start date for grants applied for in October 2010 will be July 1, 2011.

14. Scientific reporting, publications and communications-related activities

All grant recipients must submit scientific reports throughout the grant and after the grant end date. Principal Investigators will be emailed instructions about completing the report in our online system (EGrAMS). Submission of these reports is mandatory.

Annual Progress and End of Grant Reports: Investigators are asked to provide a summary of progress, a list of publications and presentations associated with the grant, details on trainees, and impacts of their research. Investigators will also be asked to list any activities that have helped to promote the Society. These reports are due by July 15 each year.

Post Grant Reports: As impacts of research may occur beyond the termination date, grantees must submit a “Post Grant” report two years after the grant termination date. The report will capture publications, status of trainees, etc. These reports are due by July 30 each year.

Failure to submit the required reports may result in the future installments on a grant being withheld.

In order to highlight research findings to the public, grantees are requested to contact the Canadian Cancer Society communications department Communications Manager with copies of important preprints and reprints and to involve the appropriate office in any media interactions that emanate from the funded research activities. The funder acknowledgement (item 16) must be included in any grant announcements.

15. Open access policy

Please see the Canadian Cancer Society Open access policy.

16. Acknowledgement of funds

Grantees must acknowledge the funder in all scientific communications and media releases related to the grant. The Notification of Award will detail the funder clearly. Proper acknowledgement would be "This research is supported by (funder) (grant #XXXXXX)".

17. Other conditions

For further information regarding procedures for grants awarded funding, please refer to the financial administration page.

Application, review and grant allocation process

Last modified on: September 14, 2017