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Research Funding FAQ's


Internal Awards

1.  Can I get any feedback prior to submitting my application?

Yes. Sandy Berry, Coordinator of Programs & Support Services can provide guidance as you plan and develop your application. Prior to submitting your application, you can also request a review of it by sending it to sandy.berry@iwk.nshealth.ca at least one week before the submission deadline. Reviews will cover the budget, timelines, formatting and readability of the application. No comments or suggested revisions will be offered based on the scientific or theoretical content. If you would like a Scientific Review contact Denise and she will arrange for a Consulting Scientist to review it. It is your responsibility to have your application reviewed by a peer, supervisor and/or mentor of such content in advance of submitting the application.


2. Who can apply to IWK Awards?

Employees or staff of the IWK and those holding an IWK MDSS designation are eligible to apply provided they meet the following minimum criteria: 

  1. Significant research presence at the IWK
  2. Primary research occurring and funds held at the IWK.

Trainees must be under direct supervision of someone meeting the above criteria

Applicants who do not meet all of these criteria are asked to explain their affiliation with the IWK.


3. Are Principal Investigators (PIs) with a IWK affiliate scientist appointment eligible to apply?

Yes, you are eligible to apply.


4. Am I able to be simultaneously a co-applicant on a different application?

You may also be a co-applicant on up to two additional applications.


5. Can a PI submit two or more applications in the same competition?

Yes, A PI can submit more than one application per competition however they can hold only one active award at a time.


6. Would I quality if I am conducting animal-based research?

Yes. Research involving animals is eligible.


7.  How does the application review work?

  • Two members of the Scientific Review Committee review your application
  • The Committee uses the following criteria to judge applications:
      • Relevance and Priority Area
      • Investigator / Team Composition
      • Proposed Research and Work Plan
      • Overall Merit of the Proposal
  • The Primary Review will present your project and the Committee will discuss its merits
  • A consensus score will be established and the Committee will score  using the CIHR Rating Scale:

Descriptor                            Range

Outstanding                          4.5 – 4.9

Excellent                               4.0 – 4.4

Very good                             3.5 – 3.9

Acceptable, but low priority 3.0 – 3.4

Needs revision                      2.5 – 2.9

Needs major revision           2.0 – 2.4

Seriously flawed                   1.0 – 1.9

Rejected                                0.0 – 0.9


8. What do I need to include if I am resubmitting an application?

If are resubmitting your proposal, include a cover letter explaining how you have addressed the reviewers’ comments.


9. If my application is successful, what are the terms of the award?

IWK awards are valid for the following periods:

Category A – 12 months from notification of award
Category B – 12 months from notification of award
Summer Studentship – 12 weeks from notification of award
Graduate Studentship – 2 years from notification of award
Post Doctoral Fellowship – 2 years from notification of award
Research Investigatorship – 2 years from notification of award
Establishment/Recruitment – 2 years from notification of award
Research Associateship  - 2 years from notification of award



10. Can I change my budget or extend my award period?

Any modifications to the budget will require written approval from Research Services. Extensions may be granted for up to one year if sufficient justification is provided. If not, all unused funds must be returned to Research Services at the end of the award period. If the successful applicant receives simultaneous funding from another source for the same study that has been funded by the IWK, and funding available exceeds the amount required to complete the project as per the approved budget, you must reimburse the IWK for the excess amount.


External Applications

1. Do applications need to be reviewed by Research Services?

Yes, any external grant application must be reviewed by Research Services. Applications must be received a minimum of 5 business days before the deadline for an administrative review and 10 business days before the deadline for a scientific review. Applications can be in draft form for the internal review. Please contact Sandy Berry at sandy.berry@iwk.nshealth.ca to inform us of any application that you will be submitting.


2. Does an Investigator Checklist need to be completed?

Yes an Investigator checklist must be submitted with all external grant applications. The checklist can be found here.


3. Should the investigator contact Research Services when they receive notice regarding the success of their application?

Yes, Research Services does not always receive results from funding agencies. Please contact Sandy Berry at sandy.berry@iwk.nshealth.ca when you receive your notification. If you receive a Notice of Award please send that to Research Services.




The IWK Health Centre is respected for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting women, children, youth and families and is home to many leading research centres. 

Learn more about our research centres by visiting one of the links below.