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Full Application Guide

2017 NCE International Knowledge Translation Platforms (NCE-IKTP) initiative competition

 Full Application Guide
 Full Application Form (Download instructions)
 Tables for Budget and Partner Information (updated)
 Book 4

Guidelines for Completing a Full Application

As outlined in the Competition Guide and Letter of Intent Guide for the 2017 NCE International Knowledge Translation Platforms (NCE-IKTP) Initiative competition, selected applicants are invited to submit a full application following the review of the Letters of Intent.

The full application consists of four individual books:
Book 1: The Proposal
Book 2: Letters of Support
Book 3: Curriculum Vitae
Book 4: Signature Pages

Candidates submitting a full application are advised to read this guide in conjunction with the following documents that are available on-line:

  • 2017 NCE-IKTP Initiative Competition Guide
  • 2017 NCE-IKTP Initiative Competition Letter of Intent Guide
  • NCE Program Guide
  • Information for NCE Grantees
  • Applicant Resources


The deadline for the electronic submission of the full application for the 2017 NCE-IKTP Initiative Competition is October 17, 2016.  Applications must be received by the NCE Secretariat by 4:00 p.m. EST.
Applications must be submitted to the NCE on-line electronic application system ( as a single, searchable PDF file. (Instructions for creating a searchable PDF are included in Appendix B.) Book 4 may be omitted from the electronic version, however, it must be included as part of the paper original.

Applicants must also provide the NCE Secretariat with one unbound original copy by October 24, 2016, containing the original signatures. The unbound copy must be identical to the electronic submission. Inclusion of additional material in the unbound copy will result in the rejection of the application from the competition.

To use the NCE Secure Submission Site:
Complete the required fields and select the NCE-IKTP > 2017 Competition > Full Application (FA) from the respective drop down menus. The PDF document may not exceed 20 MB.

The following message will appear on-screen if the document is successfully uploaded:
Thank you for using the NCE Secure Submission Site. You have successfully submitted the document below. We will contact you or the contact person indicated in the document should we require any additional information. Document submitted: <AcronymOfProgEnglish>_<AcronymOfCompEnglish>_<AcronymOfDocTypeEnglish>_
<AcronymOfNetworkName><NameLast> <YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS ET>

Mailing Address

Networks of Centres of Excellence
2017 NCE-IKTP Initiative Competition
16th Floor, mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1H5

General Presentation

Print must be in black ink, of letter quality (minimum standard), with no more than six lines per inch. The type size for fonts measured in points (pts) must be no smaller than 12 pts.  If measured in characters per inch (cpi), it must be no more than 10 cpi. Condensed type is unacceptable. 
Use white paper, 8½ x 11 inches (21.5 cm x 28 cm), with margins of 3/4 of an inch (1.905 cm) (minimum) all around. Include the title of the proposed network at the top of every page (in the header) and number the pages consecutively.

Graphs and illustrations may be included but count as part of the page limits set out below. Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable.  Any extra material will be removed.  

What to Include in the Full Application

BOOK 1: The Proposal

Cover Letter (maximum of 2 pages)

The host institution plays an important role in a network, through both the direct support of the network administrative centre and by participating in network governance.

Provide a cover letter from the institution that proposes to host the NCE-IKTP network administrative centre. The letter must be signed by the applicant and the President or CEO (or delegate) of the institution.

The letter must detail the nature of the anticipated support that will be provided by the host Institution and the level of engagement on network governance. If the support is different from what was in the Letter of Intent, the letter must provide details on those differences.

Please refer to guidelines for the meaning of signatures (see On-line Resources).

Application Form

Complete all sections of the NCE-IKTP Application Form, which is available on-line.

Executive Summary for Public Release (1 page max)

Provide a one-page summary describing the “opportunity”, and how the proposed NCE-IKTP network will be “seizing the opportunity”. Consider the following points:

  • how will the network raise Canada’s profile on the world stage and ensure that Canada is part of international knowledge translation initiatives;
  • stimulate or reinforce partnerships with international stakeholders to develop concerted efforts in high impact areas of socio-economic importance;
  • enhance knowledge translation and adoption of technologies in Canada and abroad; and
  • create lasting formal collaborations evidenced by agreements with organizations that represent strategic international partnerships.

Write for a general audience using plain language as the summary may be used for communication purposes, such as press releases or the NCE website. Examples may be found here.


Table 1 – Alphabetical List of Key Individuals (unlimited pages)

Provide an alphabetized list of the individuals and organizations that will be participating actively in the network. Include a brief description of the nature of the participation.

Table 2 – Summary of Anticipated Funding for the Network

Indicate, for Years 1 to 4, the total funding being requested from the NCE Program (line 1) as well as the anticipated cash support (lines 2 to 6) from other sources. In-kind support (lines 8 to 12) from all other sources should be listed on a separate page. 

Where a commitment of cash or in-kind support is made, a Letter of Support certifying the contributor's commitment to the network is required in Book 2. 

Table 3 – Proposed Expenditures of NCE-IKTP Funds for the Administrative Centre

Provide detail on the proposed expenditures of NCE funds for the operations of the network administrative centre. Include costs for salaries, equipment, staff and committee travel, communications activities, and meetings.

Add rows in the table, if needed, in order to specify all Communications activities. Provide details and justification for all entries in Table 3 on following pages.

Please note: eligible expenses include costs related to platform activities (such as: knowledge mobilization, commercialization, communication activities, networking, development of tools, etc.) and the associated administration of the network. NCE-IKTP initiative funds may not be used to fund research or research costs.

Networks must adhere to the regulations and administrative policies found in the Tri-agency This link will take you to another Web site Use of Grant Funds document and the NCE Program Guide. In general, networks follow the regulations for the granting agency under which its related research area falls.

Table 4 – Confirmed Contributions from Partner Organizations

Using one page per organization, provide details on anticipated and confirmed incremental cash and in-kind contributions from each partner organization. On a separate page following each contribution page, include a short explanation for the contribution, its purpose, and how it will be distributed in the network.

As mentioned above, a letter from each partner organization confirming each incremental contribution must be included in Book 2. Include, as a preface to this table, an index showing the name of the partner organization and the page number of the accompanying letter in Book 2.

STRATEGIC PLAN (19 pages maximum – free form)

Complete the free form section of the application using the sections described below respecting the overall page limit. Outline all changes made since the LOI stage.

Network Vision (1 page)

Describe the vision of what the network proposes to achieve, including specific goals and objectives. These must align with the objectives of the NCE-IKTP initiative. The vision should describe the expected value and impacts of the network within the timeframe of the proposed funding cycle and beyond, especially with respect to the expected outcomes and impacts on partners, knowledge users and end beneficiaries, for the benefit of Canada and Canadians. Provide evidence that the proposed strategy will ensure successful completion of the proposed activities during and after the NCE-IKTP funding period, and increase long-term impact of the network. Research is not an eligible activity under the NCE-IKTP program. Do not include goals, objectives or vision as they relate to a research program.

Review Criteria:

In order to be successful, an application must meet the threshold of excellence in all five review criteria, which are weighted equally in the evaluation. Consult the 2017 NCE-IKTP competition guide for a full description of each criterion.

  1. Expected Impacts and Added Value
  2. Model for Collaboration
  3. Strategic Plan
  4. Proposed Team
  5. Management and Governance

It is important that the network demonstrate the involvement of key individuals and/or inclusion of key activities in areas that fall under the domains of two or more of the three federal granting agencies. This information should be included when addressing all of the review criteria to enable the reviewers to assess the significance of the contributions of the individual(s) and/or importance of the activities.

1. Expected Impacts and Added Value - what will the NCE-IKTP network achieve? (4 pages)

Describe the expected impacts and added value of the proposed NCE-IKTP network. Provide examples of how the proposed platform will improve access to global knowledge, thereby benefitting Canadian and international stakeholders. Define how the knowledge translation and/or technology adoption will be assisted through the relationship-building provided by the network via the platform and the importance of the inclusion of multidisciplinary approaches in achieving the objectives. Describe how Canada’s profile on the global stage will be raised through this initiative.

Where there are overlaps with existing networks or initiatives in Canada or abroad, including those that are part of the NCE suite of programs, explain the added value provided by the proposed platform. As well, clearly articulate the relationship to the existing network and the successes of the network related to this IKTP initiative.

Consider the following in addressing this criterion:

  • Identify the issue(s) to be addressed and a description of the barriers to be overcome as they relate to (for example): the establishment of strong and fruitful collaborations (between networks, centres, consortia and their partners); acceleration of the achievements of researchers and the implementation of their work; the uptake and use of evidence-based knowledge; identification of and plans to address critical knowledge gaps; and the execution of coordinated international research projects;
  • Demonstrate Canadian and international stakeholder engagement in identifying and addressing the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) and in co-creating and implementing the solutions;
  • Justify the quality and appropriateness of the proposed approach(es) to overcome the barriers to international engagement and impact;
  • Elucidate the expected socio-economic outcomes and impacts including social, economic, environmental, cultural, and/or wellness-related, of the proposed NCE-IKTP network and its relevance to stakeholders, as well as Canadians in general and the international community;
  • Describe the relationship and complementarity of the network’s proposed Platform activities to similar endeavours being carried out by other groups or being addressed through other opportunities in Canada and abroad;
  • Identify the expected outcomes with respect to Canada’s international visibility and participation in international cutting-edge initiatives;
  • Highlight the expected impacts, beyond the period of NCE-IKTP funding.

2. Model for Collaboration - how will the NCE-IKTP network strengthen, expand and intensify meaningful international collaborations to achieve its objectives? (3 pages)

Describe how the proposed platform will strengthen, expand and intensify meaningful international collaborations across the range of expertise that is needed to achieve the stated objectives. Outline the strategy that will be utilized to build links and ensure shared benefits between national and international institutions.

Consider the following:

  • Detail the strategy for intensified engagement of current stakeholders and the plan to partner with additional stakeholders from Canada and abroad;
  • Describe the existing links between national and international academic institutions, research networks and centres, consortia, federal and provincial agencies or equivalent (both Canadian and non-Canadian), non-governmental organizations, and private sector stakeholders;
  • Detail how the most relevant stakeholders from Canada and abroad have been involved from the outset as committed participants, with the intention of addressing the Platform goals (i.e. stakeholders who will maximize the desired outcomes and impacts of the NCE-IKTP network); stakeholders must include international partners;
  • Describe the history of proposed team members’ partnerships with complementary groups and the plan to build on and extend these relationships to maximize the development of the proposed NCE-IKTP network;
  • Discuss the commitment, nature and extent of contributions from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors (both Canadian and international) as well as the prospect for increasing commitments as the work progresses;
  • Describe how the proposed collaborative model, including relevant policies (i.e. IP management), will ensure benefit to all parties.

3. Strategic Plan - how will the NCE-IKTP network achieve impact? A well-defined plan is critical for success. (4 pages)

Provide an overview of the strategic plan for how the NCE-IKTP network will achieve impact. The strategic plan should reflect the goals and objectives for the platform, and provide metrics to measure the success of the planned activities. Provide a description of the process(es) that will be used to identify internationally-important knowledge gaps and to engage and build collaborations. Describe the process for adapting to new opportunities and unexpected challenges.

Consider the following:

  • A well-defined strategic and operational plan reflecting the NCE-IKTP network’s goals, objectives, milestones and desired impacts;
  • The feasibility of the NCE-IKTP network’s plans (proposed platform activities) to deliver on its goals and objectives, which may include (among others): establishing new and strengthening current collaborations, the inclusion of a diverse range of perspectives as well as new and unique models of collaboration; knowledge translation activities; supporting meaningful international HQP exchanges; and coordination of international research endeavours;
  • Describe the process that has been and will be used to identify internationally important knowledge gaps and needs, and the plan for informing research funders and others of the gaps;
  • Detail the plan for engaging and building collaboration and capacity among current and future stakeholders and beneficiaries in Canada and abroad;
  • Include a Performance Measurement Strategy with defined metrics that assess:
    • the relevance, reach, accessibility, and use (uptake and application) of the tools/activities/programs/support provided by the platform in Canada and abroad; and
    • the degree to which there will be (and has been) impact on social, economic, environmental, cultural, and/or wellness-related outcomes in Canada and abroad;
  • What is the NCE-IKTP network’s approach for adapting and innovating in response to new opportunities or unexpected challenges.

4. Proposed Team - who is going to drive the Strategic Plan and undertake the Platform activities in the NCE-IKTP network? (3 pages)

A network must demonstrate that it has identified the key individuals and roles and responsibilities necessary to establish, expand and intensify relationships with partners in Canada and abroad (including Canadian and international partners and other relevant experts, stakeholders, and beneficiaries) to create strong fruitful collaborations. NCE-IKTP networks must also demonstrate that these individuals have worked successfully in large, multidisciplinary projects or programs. It is expected that the Platform team will include a strong diversity of expertise and perspectives and will represent the international nature of the NCE-IKTP network with plans to execute activities both in Canada and abroad.

Consider the following:

  • Discuss the appropriate expertise and experience of the proposed leaders, as evidenced by track record, to execute the platform’s strategic plan, namely:
    • Experience in planning, coordinating, and implementing international agreements, partnerships and activities
    • Multidisciplinary (e.g. align with the domains of inquiry of at least two of the granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and multisectoral expertise.
    • Expertise in creating and maintaining collaborations, partnerships and networks
    • Experience and expertise relevant to the planned activities of the Platform
  • The time commitments and planned contributions of the leaders.

5. Management and Governance (3 pages, as well as a 1 page organizational chart)

This criterion addresses the structure and policies that will be put in place to oversee the NCE-IKTP network. It is expected that the governance and management teams will include a strong diversity of expertise and perspectives and will represent the international nature of the network’s goals and activities.

Each NCE-IKTP network must have an organizational structure appropriate for the management of a complex multidisciplinary, multi-institutional and multi-national program with a clear distinction between management and oversight functions. A strong governance model with a sound management structure is essential to its success. Note that all successful NCE-IKTP networks must be incorporated federally as a not-for-profit corporation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

If an industry-led not-for-profit corporation is proposed as the Host Institution, it must be able to demonstrate that it has in place appropriate and robust policies, procedures and financial controls to administer funding to academic institutions.

Consider the following:

  • Detail the presence of effective leadership with proven expertise in business management functions (including the administration of similar organizations); coordination and integration of Platform activities; and building international partnerships; and in evaluation of outputs, outcomes and impacts of the IKTP;
  • Define the clarity of roles and responsibilities for management and staff;
  • Detail a defined and robust governance process that clearly separates management and governance functions in such a way as to avoid conflicts of interest (e.g. role of the network director in managing the network and their voting privileges on the Board of Directors);
  • Provide information on the board and committee structure to ensure appropriate decisions are made and implemented;
  • Describe the effective policies and controls to administer funding; sound planning and budgeting mechanisms;
  • Strong internal and external communications strategies.

References Cited (no page limit)

Provide a bibliography of all references cited in previous sections

Acronyms (no page limit)

Provide an alphabetized list of all acronyms used in the application. 


5. Letters of Support (Up to 15 letters, maximum 2 pages per letter)

No more than 15 letters can be included. Maximum of two pages each. Provide letters from partners providing cash/in-kind support only. If there are more than 15 organizations providing support, choose the 15 most impactful letters that provide details on specific cash or in-kind contribution to include in the application.  Letters that describe a general level of support for the network should not be included.

The letters should be addressed by the contributing stakeholder to the proposed Network Director and confirm in-kind or cash contributions.

End users are expected to provide letters of support that include their engagement and a description of the anticipated benefits and impacts of the network as well as detail their cash or in-kind contributions.

Provide a summary table for the letters of support indicating the name of the organization, page number, cash and/or in-kind contribution to the network, the sector (academic, industry, provincial, federal, other), and page reference at the beginning of this section.

Letters of support should:

  • Come from a senior executive with signing authority for the contributions being committed;
  • Indicate the level, duration, and nature (cash and/or in-kind) of anticipated or confirmed support for the proposed network;
  • Describe future involvement and added-value of the network to the stakeholder’s current and future activities;
  • Indicate current and past associations with individuals participating in the network’s activities;
  • Not be in template format; and
  • Be original documents, dated and signed no earlier than six months prior to the application deadline.

If the applicant is also a principal in a collaborating or supporting organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of that organization.

BOOK 3: CURRICULUM VITAE (CV) (maximum 10)

The applicant is responsible for selecting up to 10 short CVs for inclusion in Book 3. Any additional CVs (>10) will be removed.  The NCE Secretariat will only accept CVs that conform with a tri-agency (CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC) CCV Presentation Standard.

The CVs should be in alphabetical order by last name of the researcher and each should be separated by a bookmark.


Please use the form provided to produce signature pages. Use one page per organization, unless the number of individuals from an organization is large enough to require additional pages.

The signature of each academic participant is required to confirm their willingness to participate in the network and to acknowledge their agreement that the applicant will administer any NCE-IKTP award in accordance with NCE-approved management, governance and accountability structures.
Note that an electronic version of the signature forms is not required. Please only submit the signatures as part of the unbound original copy.
Refer to Appendix A for the meaning of electronic and original signatures.



For more information, please contact the NCE Secretariat at:

Rick Schwartzburg
Senior Program Manager
Telephone: 613-943-7616

Networks of Centre of Excellence
NCE-IKTP Competition
16th Floor, mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa ON K1A 1H5


On-line Resources

NCE website

Information Regarding the Meaning of Signatures

This link will take you to another Web site Electronic Approval (NSERC)

Information Regarding In-kind Eligibility

This link will take you to another Web site Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships

This link will take you to another Web site In-kind Eligibility Table (CIHR)

Tri-Agency Use of Grant Funds

This link will take you to another Web site Use of Grant Funds

Tri-Agency Responsible Conduct of Research

This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct Of Research

Privacy Act

This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act

Environmental Review Policy for Networks Receiving NCE Funds

This link will take you to another Web site NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment

Other Useful Resources

For more information on the NCE Program, the use of NCE funds, and other relevant NCE program information, consult the NCE Program Guide.

For more information on Management and Governance, see the  NCE Resource Manual on Best Practices for Governance and Operations.



Each application including the Application Form must be submitted in the following order. The maximum number of pages permitted for each section is indicated below.

  • Host Institution Covering Letter (2 pages)
  • Application Form
  • Executive Summary (1 page)


  • Tables for Budget and Partner Information
    • Table 1: Anticipated Expenditures (explanation on separate page) (2 pages)
    • Table 2: Anticipated non-NCE Funding (1 page)
    • Table 3: Anticipated Partners (1-2 pages)
    • Table 4: Confirmed Contributions from Partner Organizations

Strategic Plan (Free Form – 19 pages)

  •  Network Vision (1 page)
  • Expected Impacts and Added Value (4 pages)
  • Model for Collaboration (3 pages)
  • Strategic Plan (4 pages)
  • Proposed Team (3 pages)
  • Management and Governance (3 pages, also include 1 page for organizational chart)
  • Letters of Support (2 pages per letter, max. 15 letters)
  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 10)
  • Signature pages


Appendix A

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 This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies;
  • the applicant have 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 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, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Policy - Frequently Asked Questions.


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:

  1. Open the completed LOI Form
  2. Select “file” then “print”
  3. When the print options opens select “adobe PDF” as your printer then click on “print”
  4. This will not print the document.  It will let you save it as another version
  5. Once you have saved it, you will be able to merge the LOI Form with the other files
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

This link will take you to another Web site (recommended – free and easy to use)
This link will take you to another Web site
This link will take you to another Web site

2) Alternate method:

From the LOI Form

  1. Click File
  2. Click Create
  3. Click ‘Combine files into a Single PDF’
  4. Click ‘PDF portfolio’ in the upper right
  5. 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)