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Networks of Centres of Excellence Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) Initiative Competition

Full Application Guide

The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program is a federal initiative administered jointly by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in partnership with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Health Canada. The NCE-Knowledge Mobilization Initiative is an initiative under the NCE Program.

 Full Application Guide


  • Guidelines for Completing a Full Application
  • Deadline
  • General Formatting and Presentation
  • Official Language Requirements
  • Full Application Process
    • Section A
      1. NCE-KM Full Application Form
      2. One page visual summary
      3. Description of Proposed Network
    • Section B
          Financial Overview
    • Section C
          Letters of Support
  • Information Webinar
  • Reminders and Contact Information
  • On-line resources
  • Checklist
  • Appendix A: Electronic Signatures
  • Appendix B: Guidelines for Merging PDF Documents

Networks of Centres of Excellence Knowledge Mobilization Initiative

NCE-KM Network Competition

Participation in the Full Application stage of the NCE Knowledge Mobilization Initiative competition is by invitation only, based on decisions by the NCE Management Committee at the Letter of Intent (LOI) stage.

Guidelines for Completing a Full Application

This guide is to be used in conjunction with the NCE-KM Initiative Competition Guide.

The NCE-KM Initiative funds networks dedicated to transferring knowledge to those who can put it into practice. The program supports collaborations between knowledge producers and knowledge users from various disciplines, sectors and institutions (including industry, government, not-for-profit organizations etc.) and various sources and types of knowledge for the social, economic, technological, and/or wellness benefit of Canada and the Canadian population.

The Full Application stage of the competition provides detailed information on all aspects of the network’s vision, expected impacts and added value as well as its plans for knowledge mobilization and stakeholder engagement. It also includes detailed information on the overall governance and management structure of the proposed network. All Full Applications will be evaluated according to the five NCE-KM Initiative Review Criteria, as well as the goal and objectives of the NCE-KM Initiative.The Full Application should be submitted on behalf of the proposed network by an eligible academic researcher and by the Host Institution. The applicant and Host Institution must be eligible to receive funding from one of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR). Further details regarding applicant and host eligibility can be found in the NCE Program Guide.

The Full Application must clearly describe the challenge(s) the proposed network aims to address. It must be co-developed with the knowledge user co-director and other relevant partners and stakeholders from the private, public and/or not-for-profit sectors. The extent of partner- and stakeholder-integration will be assessed and partners must be aware that their level of involvement, in addition to their cash and/or in-kind commitments, is critical to the success of the network.


The deadline for the electronic submission of the Full Application for the NCE-KM Initiative Competition is September 4, 2018. Applications must be received by the NCE Secretariat by 4:30 p.m. the applicant’s local time.

Applications must be submitted to the NCE on-line electronic application system as a single, searchable PDF file and not be assembled using scanned images. Electronic signatures are accepted. The PDF cannot exceed 49 MB. Instructions for merging PDF documents can be found in Appendix B.

General Formatting and Presentation

  • Page size: 8 1/2 x 11 inches
  • Margins: no less than ¾ of an inch on all sides
  • Font: Times New Roman (no smaller than 12 pts) or Arial (no smaller than 11 pts). If measured in characters per inch (cpi), it must be no more than 10 cpi. Condensed type is not acceptable.
  • Header: include the name of the network at the top of every page
  • All pages in final PDF document must be consecutively numbered
  • Graphs and illustrations may be included, and may be in colour as long as they are of high enough quality to be legible upon printing, but will count as part of the set page limits
  • Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable
  • Any pages exceeding the page limits indicated will be removed.

Official Languages Requirement

In compliance with Part VII of the Official Languages Act, the Granting Agencies have established that positives measures to promote the use of both English and French in Canadian society should be taken. As such, if successful in the NCE-KM Competition, networks will be required to publish its website in both official languages. The cost of translating the website is an eligible expense and therefore can be included as an expense in the financial section of the application.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The NCE programs help build a more advanced, healthy, competitive and prosperous country. The participation of all qualified individuals, inclusive of members of under-represented groups, is essential to mobilize Canada's best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise to create excellent, innovative and impactful results. Recognizing and valuing diversity and equity must be accompanied by concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of diverse populations, meaning that individuals must be and feel valued, respected and equally supported. Networks must therefore outline the measures that will be implemented to embed, promote and track equity, diversity and inclusion within the overall structure of the network, the creation and fine-tuning of the network’s strategic plan, and the execution of network activities.

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, including in the way that research is funded and conducted. The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) has a leading role in this sphere, having been mandated to work in collaboration with Indigenous communities, the granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to advance understanding of reconciliation, including through supporting research by and with Indigenous peoples and increasing the capacity of Indigenous communities to conduct research and partner with the broader research community.  Helpful documents include the following:

This link will take you to another Web site Indigenous Research Statement of Principles
This link will take you to another Web site Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research
This link will take you to another Web site Open letter to members of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee
This link will take you to another Web site Action Plan: Building a healthier future for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples

Full Application Review Process

The NCE Standing Selection Committee is responsible for reviewing the Full Applications and for providing funding recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee for final decisions. The decisions of the NCE Steering Committee are final. There is no appeal process. As part of the review process, the network co-directors and/or the applicant will not be required to meet with the NCE Standing Selection Committee on September 27th 2018. However the Committee will call the network co-directors and/or applicant to provide clarification of, or elaborate on, aspects of the proposed network.

What to Include in a Full Application:

Section A: Summary Information

1. NCE-KM Full Application Form Section A (Fillable PDF Form)

The Full Application Form is available on the NCE web site. Complete all sections.

2. One page visual summary (Free form; 1 page max)(Free Form)

The one-page overview of the NCE-KM should include its vision, anticipated impacts and benefits and overall knowledge mobilization activities and strategies. It should be a visual marketing/branding tool that provides a snapshot of the NCE-KM’s identity and potential value for its sector and for Canada. Include visual tools such as graphs, charts and/or tables that give a quick overview of what the NCE-KM will be all about.

3. Description of Proposed Network (Free Form)


Using the following headers, please provide details for each section while respecting the maximum page limit. (Applicants are responsible for including the appropriate number of pages in each section in order to ensure all five review criteria are addressed.

A. Network Vision, Expected Impacts and Added Value

NCE-KM networks are expected to benefit end-users and the Canadian population, by using evidence-based knowledge, as well as considering various sources and types of knowledge, to improve public policy, professional practice, social services, products and processes. This section should specifically address the challenges that will be addressed as well as the expected social, economic, environmental, cultural, and/or wellness-related outcomes and impacts of the proposed NCE-KM network. The relevance of the network in relation to knowledge user and end-user communities, as well as Canadian society and the Canadian population, in all its diversity in general and, where appropriate, the international community should be discussed.

Describe the expected impacts of the network within the timeframe of the proposed funding cycle and beyond the period of NCE-KM funding. This section should clearly identify the issues to be addressed and the barriers to be overcome regarding the uptake of evidence-based knowledge and/or identification of critical knowledge gaps, in addition to the strategies to achieve these specific goals and objectives through multifaceted solutions.

The engagement of knowledge users in identifying, addressing and implementing solutions should be clearly described as well as the expected outcomes (if any) with respect to Canada’s international visibility.

Discuss how the inclusion of sex, gender and diversity considerations will be addressed within the network’s goals and objectives.

B. Plan for Knowledge Mobilization and Stakeholder Engagement

This section should outline the network’s strategic and operational plan that will set out how the network will move as a cohesive and effective organization to meet its stated goals, objectives and desired impacts. The active engagement of stakeholders and knowledge users is critical for the success of a NCE-KM network.

The network’s strategies to enable collaboration between experts from different disciplines and with end-users to maximize the impact of the network’s knowledge mobilization efforts should be described. Describe the involvement of stakeholders in the conception, design and delivery of the network’s goals and the network’s plan to engage additional stakeholders over the funding cycle.

Provide a 1-page logic model that reflects the network’s overall strategic plan. A performance measurement strategy should be included, reflecting the logic model, that identifies Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics and targets to measure progress, and the expected outcomes that will demonstrate that impacts are being achieved. Outline the anticipated risks associated with the delivery of the network’s objectives over the funding cycle as well as ways in which the risks will be mitigated. A Gantt chart can be used.

The plan for engaging and building capacity among current and future knowledge users, other stakeholders and beneficiaries in Canada and abroad as well as the process for identifying knowledge gaps and needs should also be addressed. The network's approach for adapting and innovating in response to new knowledge or unexpected network outcomes should also be described.

C. Network Team and Management and Governance

Describe the proposed management and governance structure of the network, including a 1-page organizational chart. This section should highlight the measures that will be implemented to promote and track equity, diversity and inclusion within the structure of the network management and governance teams and its activities, in order to be representative of Canada’s population. This may include, for example, any of the following:

  • an explanation of the recruitment strategy for attracting a diverse group of individuals presenting a combination of the necessary expertise, knowledge and skills;
  • the establishment of an equity, diversity and inclusion commitment statement for the network;
  • initiatives/strategies to promote an equitable and inclusive work environment.

Describe how the management team and other key players collectively have the required experience, diversity and expertise to execute the network’s strategy. Outline how the team and key players represent the diversity of perspectives required to enable the network’s success. Indicate the time commitments and planned contributions for each individual.

Include short biographies of key network personnel, the co-directors and the proposed members of Board of the Directors in order to demonstrate that the network has the management and governance expertise required to deliver on its objectives. Should short biographies be available online, links can be provided.

Describe how the co-leadership model will be implemented. Provide information about the nature and level of involvement of partners and stakeholders in the management and governance of the network, in particular with regard to strategic planning and the design and execution of network activities.

Briefly outline the administrative and operational structures of the proposed network with regard to co-ordination of activities, setting schedules, monitoring the network’s progress towards its strategic goals, and allocation of resources.

If the network Host is to be an industry-led incorporated not-for-profit consortium, provide evidence that the organization has in place the required financial controls, policies, procedures and a history of funding academic research. 

D. Evaluation and Performance Metrics (Maximum 1 page)

Include, in tabular form, a list of the milestones, initiation and completion dates, and performance indicators organized by objective. Provide quantitative and qualitative output measures and performance indicators that will be used to measure and assess progress and performance of the network. Idenfity the main risks and provide brief mitigation strategies.

E. Explanation of Overlap (Maximum 1/2 page)

Where there is a potential for perceived overlap with currently or previously funded initiatives, describe the differences therein. Explain how the network will complement or build on the activities and achievements of the other initiatives, and highlight the network’s added value.

F. Response to NCE Standing Selection Committee LOI Report (Maximum 1/2 page)

Discuss how the network has addressed or will address the feedback received from the NCE Standing Selection Committee at the LOI stage.

Section B

Financial Overview (Excel Tables and Free Form) (Maximum 4 pages)

Table 1: Anticipated Expenditures (Excel table, maximum 1 page per tab)

Use Table 1 to indicate the anticipated expenditures of both NCE and non-NCE sources of funds (if applicable) for the proposed network (years one to four).

Please note: The NCE-KM Initiative funds knowledge mobilization activities and related networking activities (networking costs, network administration, etc.). NCE-KM funds may not be used for research-related expenses (see the NCE Program Guide for more information on eligible expenses).

Table 2: Anticipated Funding (Excel table, maximum 1 page)

Use Table 2 to indicate the cash and in-kind funding committed from the stakeholders (years one to four).

Explanation of Expenditures and/or Funding (Free-form, maximum 2 pages)

Use a maximum of two pages to briefly describe and provide justification for the anticipated expenses and/or funding listed in the budget tables.

Section C

Letters of Support

1. List of Letters of Support (Fillable PDF)

2. Host Institution Letter (Maximum 1 page)

A letter, signed by the President or CEO (or delegate) of the Host Institution that proposes to host the network administrative centre must be included. This letter should outline the anticipated support from the proposed Host Institution. Host Institutions play an important role in networks through both direct support of the administrative centre and, normally, participation in network governance through voting membership on the Board of Directors.

The signature on the letter should match the signature in Section A of the Application Form.

3. Letter from Knowledge User co-Director’s Organization (Maximum 1 page)

A letter, signed by the President or CEO (or delegate) of the Knowledge User co-Director’s organization must be included. This letter should confirm the organization’s support of the proposed network, specifically referencing the commitment of the co-Director’s time (as an in-kind contribution) to the network.

4. Letters of Support from Primary Partners and/or Stakeholders (Up to 10 letters, 1 page maximum per letter)

Up to ten (10) Letters of Support from the primary partners and/or stakeholders may be included.

Letters should:

  • come from a senior executive with influence over a budget;
  • indicate the anticipated level, duration, and nature (cash and/or in-kind) of support for the proposed network;
  • describe potential involvement and added-value of the proposed network to the stakeholder’s current and future activities;
  • indicate current and past associations with individuals participating in the proposed network’s activities;
  • not be template formatted by the applicant; and
  • be dated and signed no earlier than December 2017.

5. Network Stakeholders (Table - maximum 1 page)

In the table provided, please list the individuals and organizations that will be integral to the proposed network. Arrange the table by role (Knowledge producer, knowledge user, end beneficiary) and provide an estimate of their time commitment to the network.

Information Webinar

The NCE Secretariat will host webinars on Thursday July 5, 2018. In order to participate in the webinar, the followings link is to be used. English webinar, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (ET):

To join the meeting:

  • Enter your name
  • Click “Enter Room”

We have updated our virtual meetings with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the videoconference, join through teleconference using the information below. Do not join the teleconference unless you are instructed to do so.

  • Local dial-in: 613-960-7514
  • Toll-free dial-in: 1 877-413-4790
  • Enter the conference ID: 7462843

Reminders and Contact Information

The deadline for the electronic submission of the Full Application for the NCE-KM Network Competition is September 4, 2018. Full Applications must be received by the NCE Secretariat by 4:30 p.m. at the applicant’s local time.

Applications must be submitted to the NCE on-line electronic application system as a single, searchable PDF file. Instructions for merging PDF documents can be found in Appendix B.

Tables, graphs and figures may be included within the page limits noted above. Any extra material will be removed.

The NCE-KM Competition Guide, NCE-KM FA Application Form and NCE-KM FA Excel Tables can be obtained at

For more information, please contact the NCE Program at:

Telephone: 613-995-6010


A Full Application consists of three sections, prepared as follows. Each section must be fully
paginated, with tabs for each section and subsection. Please adhere to the set page limits;
additional pages may be removed prior to peer review.

SECTION A - 13 pages + Application Form

  • NCE-KM Full Application Form (Fillable PDF Form)
  • One page visual summary (1 page max)
  • Description of Proposed Network (Free Form) (10 pages maximum)
    • Vision, Expected Impacts and Added Value
    • Plan for Knowledge Mobilization and Stakeholder Engagement (including a 1 page logic model)
    • Network Team and Management and Governance (including a 1 page organizational chart)
  • Evaluation and Performance Metrics (1 page maximum)
  • Explanation of Overlap (Free Form ) ( 1/2 page maximum)
  • Response to NCE Standing Selection Committee LOI Report (Free Form) ( 1/2 page maximum)

SECTION B - 4 pages

  • Table B1: Anticipated Expenditures (Excel Table) (1 page)
  • Table B2: Anticipated Funding (Excel Table) (1 page)
  • Budget Justification (Free Form) (2 pages)

SECTION C - 14 pages

  • List of Letters of Support
  • Host Institution Letter (1 page)
  • Letter from Knowledge User co-Director’s Organization (1 page)
  • Letters of Support (1 page per letter, max of 10 letters)
  • Network Stakeholders Table (1 page maximum)


What do the electronic or original signatures on the application mean?
For the Lead applicant

By signing and submitting my application, I (the Lead applicant):

  • certify that the information provided in my funding applications and related documents is true, complete and accurate and that I have represented myself, my research and my accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field;
  • consent to the sharing between the NCE Secretariat and any academic institution to which I am, or may become, affiliated of any and all information, including personal information, in any way related to the application and to the grant/award;
  • understand the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (including the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat) as they pertain to grant application information;
  • attest that participants listed on the application have agreed to be included;
  • certify that I am not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or any other research funding organization world-wide for reasons of breach of responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies;
  • certify that I respect and comply with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, as required only if I am, or was in the last 12 months, a public servant in the federal government;
  • accept the terms and conditions set out in NCE Program Guide and the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions between the federal granting agencies and Canadian institutions;
  • will inform the NCE Secretariat and institutional officials of changes in eligibility status;
  • agree to comply with the policies and guidelines described in the Requirements for Certain Types of Research, including:
      • research involving humans;
      • research requiring human pluripotent stem cells;
      • research requiring the use of animals;
      • research involving controlled information;
      • research involving biohazards;
      • research involving radioactive materials;
      • research activities having potential effects on the environment; and
      • other related policies;
  • will inform the NCE Secretariat and institutional officials of any changes in the nature of the research that may have an impact on certification or approvals on the same policies as in the previous bullet; and
  • understand that maintaining public trust in the integrity of researchers is fundamental to building a knowledge-based society. By submitting this application or by accepting funding from CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC, I affirm that I have read and I agree to respect all the policies of these agencies that are relevant to my research, including the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In cases of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose my name, the nature of the breach, the institution where I was employed at the time of the breach and the institution where I am currently employed. I accept this as a condition of applying for, or receiving, agency funding and I consent to such disclosure.

For academic participants:

By accepting to participate in the Network, I (the academic participant) also agree to the above.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies;
  • the applicant has met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • the institution obtained written approval from other institutions involved in the application process prior to submission; and
  • the institution agrees to comply with NSERC’s, CHIR’s or SSHRC’s data protection requirements and has adequate safeguards in place to protect sensitive information entrusted to it by the NCE Secretariat for the purpose of administering applications and awards.

The signature of knowledge user co-director certifies that its organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources;
  • understand the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (including the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat) as they pertain to grant application information and;
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

For further information, see the Questions and Answers on the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information at address on NCE’s Website.

Appendix B: Guidelines for Merging PDF Documents

Adobe Pro is required in order to merge PDF documents, which is available for download online on This link will take you to another Web site Adobe's website. Once Adobe Pro has been downloaded, various PDF documents can be merged into a single document.

The Application Form is a protected document, so you will need to follow the steps below in order to merge various PDF documents into one cohesive, searchable document.

  1. Preferred method:
  • Open the completed Full Application Form
  • Select ‘file’ then ‘print
  • When the print options opens select ‘Adobe PDF’ as your printer then click on ‘print
  • This will not print the document.  It will let you save it as another version
  • Once you have saved it, you will be able to merge the Full Application Form with the other files
  • In order to merge various files, go to the last page of your newly formatted Form, and click the “Add Page from Another Document” icon in the toolbar; browse to the next PDF document that you want to add, double-click it and choose ‘after’ - the document will automatically be added.
  • Repeat step F with your subsequent PDF documents until you have one final merged document.

If you do not have the option to merge (which can happen depending on the software you are using, although it is fairly rare), you will have to complete the above steps then use one of the PDF merging websites below:

  1. Alternate method:
  • From the Full Application Form
    • Click ‘File
    • Click ‘Create
    • Click ‘Combine files into a Single PDF
    • Click ‘PDF portfolio’ in the upper right
    • Use the ‘Add Files’ button to select all PDFs that you want to merge together (including selecting the document you are currently using as the first one you select)