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Competition Guide

2013 NCE-Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) initiative competition

How to use this Guide

This guide to the 2013 NCE Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) competition provides an overview of the NCE-KM initiative, discusses the logistics associated with the NCE-KM competition process, identifies the eligibility and evaluation criteria used by the review committees, and outlines the 2013 competition timeline.

The competition guide is a stand-alone document that contains all relevant information about the 2013 NCE-KM competition. Throughout the competition, the NCE Secretariat will release additional Application Guides that will correspond with the different stages of the competition. These Application Guides will describe how to complete the respective application and should always be used in conjunction with the Competition Guide to best reflect the competition context within the information provided.   


The NCE-KM initiative is modeled on the NCE-New Initiative (NCE-NI) pilot, which was established in 2005. The NCE-NI’s mandate was to support networking between well-established researchers or research teams, encouraging them to develop new partnerships with knowledge users. In 2008, an evaluation of the NCE-NI initiative demonstrated that the program added value to multidisciplinary and collaborative research involving academics and community receptors in Canada. In 2010, the NCE Steering Committee approved the creation of the NCE-Knowledge Mobilization initiative (NCE-KM). The first competition for the NCE-KM initiative was held in 2011 and resulted in the funding of three NCE-KM networks

Program Administration and Governance

The NCE-KM initiative falls under the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, which is administered jointly through 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 Industry Canada and Health Canada. More information on the NCE Program’s goals and objectives can be found at

As an initiative of the NCE Program delivered by the NCE Secretariat, the NCE-KM initiative builds upon the foundation of successful tri-agency collaboration. It is overseen by a tri-agency steering committee (NCE Steering Committee) made up of the Presidents of the three granting agencies, the Deputy Ministers of Industry Canada and Health Canada, and the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer). Day-to-day administration of the NCE-KM initiative is provided by the NCE Secretariat.

NCE-KM Goal and Objectives

The goal of the NCE-KM initiative is to further the application and mobilization of world-class research to benefit end users by supporting networking and collaboration between well-established research teams and knowledge users.

The objectives of the NCE-KM initiative are:

  • to support networks between knowledge producers and knowledge users from various disciplines, sectors and institutions, including industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, for the social, economic, technological, and/or wellness benefit of Canadians;
  • to ensure the greatest impact of the application and mobilization of knowledge through strengthening collaborations with knowledge users and end users; and
  • to enable collaboration between researchers from different disciplines to develop approaches and strategies to maximize the impact of knowledge mobilization efforts.

Available Funds

Approximately $1.2 million per year will be available to support NCE-KM networks. Successful networks will be awarded up to $400,000 per year for four years with a possible three-year extension.
The second (and final) funding cycle of up to three years is only available for NCE-KM networks that have demonstrated that strong partnerships, developed with knowledge users and end users, have transformed the network into one centered on and driven by users.

Eligible Expenses

The NCE-KM initiative will fund knowledge mobilization and related networking activities (networking costs, network administration, etc.). NCE-KM funds may not be used to support research.


Key Individuals include all those who are instrumental to the activities of the network, including the network team members, individuals in stakeholder communities who will be involved in the design and delivery of KM activities, and individuals in end user communities who are instrumental to the design and implementation of the KM activities.

Knowledge Mobilization refers to the specific activities and tools designed to put available knowledge into active service for the benefit of society.

Knowledge Producers are experts who advance knowledge in particular area(s) through research.

Knowledge Synthesis consists of the aggregation of existing knowledge on a subject. This may be undertaken to inform further studies or for the purposes of dissemination to knowledge users. Knowledge synthesis often informs and precedes knowledge mobilization activities though the conduct of knowledge syntheses is not considered knowledge mobilization. NCE-KM funds can be used to support knowledge synthesis.

Knowledge Users are the groups or organizations in a position to exploit and apply knowledge, often for the benefit of an end user community.

End Users refers to the individuals who will stand to benefit from the successful application or mobilization of knowledge; they may or may not be organized groups and/or represented by organizations.

Private Sector Consortium means a grouping consisting mainly of for-profit companies to form a not-for-profit entity that has defined goals and objectives as well as governance, financial and accounting structures that are completely distinct from those of its component companies and meet the requirements of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards. This link will take you to another Web site

Stakeholders include all individuals or groups who have an interest in the outcomes of the NCE-KM network, including knowledge producers, users and also policy makers.

Eligibility Criteria

A. Applicant eligibility

Applications must be submitted by researchers who are eligible to apply for funding under the policies and guidelines of at least one of the three federal granting agencies partnering in the program (see eligibility criteria for This link will take you to another Web site CIHR, This link will take you to another Web site NSERC, and This link will take you to another Web site SSHRC) with the support of the Network Host.

B. Host Institution eligibility

The Network Host must show evidence of an effective financial and accounting framework. Hosts which are academic institutions must also be part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards. In the case of private sector consortia, the proposed Host must meet the financial, accounting and other requirements set out in the same MOU. This link will take you to another Web site

C. Application Eligibility

NCE–KM networks are expected to be multidisciplinary and to significantly involve key individuals in areas that fall under the domains of two or more of the three federal granting agencies.

Evaluation Criteria

There are five review criteria. In order to be successful, applications must meet the threshold of excellence in each of the five criteria. All criteria are weighted equally in the evaluation.

1) Expected Impacts and Added Value

NCE-KM networks must be driven to address key problems, challenges or opportunities of high strategic importance to the end user community and Canadians in general. Elements considered are:

  • the expected impacts (social, economic, technological, and/or wellness-related) of the proposed NCE-KM in relation to
    1. one or more end user communities, who are expected to use and benefit from the knowledge to be mobilized; and
    2. Canadians in general and the international community, where appropriate;
  • the strategic importance of the expected impacts, both during and beyond the life of the proposed NCE-KM network;
  • the relationship/complementarity of the proposed NCE-KM’s activities in relation to those of similar entities within the NCE program or to similar activities being carried out by other groups in Canada and abroad.

2) Plan for Knowledge Mobilization

Networks are expected to be multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and   involve knowledge users and end user communities over the term of the grant. A well-defined plan is critical, and should include processes for:

  • identifying the knowledge needs of the end user community(ies);
  • identifying and synthesizing the relevant existing knowledge to address those needs;
  • assisting the end user community(ies) to access, adapt and apply existing knowledge;
  • implementing  strategies to ensure uptake in the end user community(ies), including strategies for influencing behavioral or institutional/organizational changes;
  • implementing strategies and metrics to assess the degree to which there has been uptake and application of knowledge by end users.
  • identifying gaps in knowledge requiring further research (including a plan for informing research funders and others of those knowledge gaps);
  • engaging and building capacity among future end user communities; and
  • adapting and innovating over the life of the network in order to address situations such as the release of new research or the results of earlier KM activities.

3) Composition of the Proposed Network Team

A network must demonstrate that it has the key individuals required to mobilize knowledge effectively, including both knowledge producers and knowledge users. It is expected that the end user communities will also be represented. The assessment of the proposed team will include consideration of:

  • appropriate expertise and experience, as evidenced by track record. Appropriateness will include multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral aspects as well as the capacity to achieve the stated objectives and impacts of the NCE-KM network.
  • appropriateness of the team leadership of the project, including management, co-ordination and integration of activities; contribution and time commitment of participants; clarity of roles and responsibilities; and
  • the value added by the network approach, in terms of having the critical linkages in place for effective knowledge mobilization that results in social, economic, technological or wellness-related benefits.

4) Stakeholder Engagement in the Proposed Network

The engagement of stakeholders in the network is crucial for its success. Stakeholders are all individuals or groups who have an interest in the outcomes of the NCE-KM network. (Please see Definitions, above)  Elements considered are

  • the involvement of stakeholders (beyond those directly involved in the network team) in the design and implementation of knowledge mobilization activities;
  • the nature and extent of the confirmed financial and in-kind commitments to the proposed network by stakeholders; and
  • the planning for future financial and in-kind commitments to ensure longevity of the network.

5) Management and Governance

Networks must be governed by workable management and governance structures. The following elements are considered:

  • effective accountability mechanisms, whether through incorporation as a not-for-profit organization or some other means
  • a proven track record in leadership, management and/or governance of the individuals proposed for those roles;
  • effective budgeting mechanisms, together with a detailed budget and timeline;
  • an appropriate communications plan;
  • the integration of representatives from end user communities into management and governance; and
  • the flexibility to allow for involvement of new/additional end user communities who seek to engage with the network.

Competition Process

The competition process involves three stages as detailed below:

Notification of Intent (NOI) (Stage I)

  • The NOI is reviewed by the NCE Secretariat to:
    • Verify eligibility of candidates
    • Confirm suitability of the applications to the scope of the program.
    • Develop content for the webinar (described below).
    • Identify the expertise requirements for adjudication.
    • Coordinate logistics and planning of the webinars.
  • Materials provided at the NOI stage may be made available to reviewers in subsequent review stages.
  • Applicants will be notified by the NCE Secretariat of the results of the NOI stage.

Please note: submission of an NOI is not mandatory but is highly recommended.

The deadline for the NOI is November 6, 2012

Letter of Intent (LOI) (Stage II)

  • Submission of an LOI will be accepted from those who have been deemed eligible at the NOI stage or who have not submitted an NOI.
  • The NCE Standing Selection Committee will review all LOI applications and submit corresponding reports and recommendations on which applicants should be invited to submit a Full Application (FA) to the NCE Steering Committee. The NCE Steering Committee makes the final decision. There is no appeal process.
  • Applicants will be notified by the NCE Secretariat of the results of the LOI stage.

The deadline for the LOI is January 10, 2013

NB: Full Application Preparation (FAP) funding of up to $15,000 may be requested, by applicants who are invited to submit a full application, to assist in its preparation. FAP funding is tenable until the completion of the Standing Selection Committee meeting and should be used for application-related expenses including communications and workshops; travel (including attending the Standing Selection Committee meeting in Ottawa); and secretarial, clerical and co-ordination services. To request FAP funding, applicants must submit a one-page letter outlining their required budget, including a brief rationale of proposed expenses.

Full Application (Stage III)

  • Submissions will only be accepted from applicants invited to submit a Full Application (FA) by the NCE Steering Committee.
  • The NCE Standing Selection Committee will review all applications, and submit corresponding reports and recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee.
  • The Network Director or applicant will be required to attend part of the NCE Standing Selection Committee deliberations in order to provide clarification of, or elaborate on, aspects of the proposed network. The face-to-face meeting with the Standing Selection Committee will be a half-day’s commitment in Ottawa; further details will be provided to applicants in advance of the meeting. Applicants are reminded that the NCE Secretariat is the contact point for any correspondence with the NCE Standing Selection Committee.

Competition Timeline

Milestones Deadlines
Competition announcement October 19, 2012
Deadline for submission of Notification of Intent (NOI) November 6, 2012
Information webinar November 30, 2012
Deadline for submission of Letter of Intent (LOI) January 10, 2013
Successful LOIs announced March 2013
Deadline for submission of Full Application (FA) August 1, 2013
Successful NCE-KM networks announced November 2013
First instalment of funding released December 2013

Information Webinar

The NCE Secretariat will host an NCE-KM webinar prior to the LOI stage. Only applicants who have submitted an NOI will receive an invitation to attend. The webinar will include an opportunity for applicants to ask program- and competition-related questions. More details about the webinar will be included in the invitation to attend.

Privacy Act Statement

Information provided to the NCE is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act; the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act.


For more information, please contact:

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


Chris Kelly
Program Officer
Telephone: 613-995-3080

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

On-line Resources

NCE website

Information Regarding the Meaning of Signatures

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Information Regarding In-kind Eligibility

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Tri-Agency Use of Grant Funds

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