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RDM Call 1 (Closed)

About CANARIE’s Research Data Management Program

The ability to reuse research data supports accelerated knowledge creation, allows for reproducibility of scientific results, and maximizes return on investment of research funding. The research data management (RDM) workflow, comprising data creation, storage, access, and reuse, is supported by a range of software components and tools.

In response to a community-identified need, CANARIE’s Research Data Management program funds the development of software components and tools to enable Canadian researchers to adopt best practices in research data management.

The purpose of the program is to:

  • support researchers’ ability to find, access, and reuse data that has been generated by others;
  • enable the adoption of best practices and compliance with funding policy;
  • align with national and international standards to facilitate broad data sharing across research institutions.

About the Call

This is CANARIE’s first call for innovation to develop software components and tools that support data management in a way that facilitates interoperability and integration with digital research infrastructure (DRI) at the national and international levels.

Under this competitive call, up to $2.7M will be contributed to the development of software components and tools for research data management.

The purpose of the call is to:

A National Data Service (NDS) can be defined as “A service that provides one or more data-related functions to applicable stakeholders and disciplines in a specific national context.”[1] CANARIE uses NDSF to describe the Canadian context for a variety of services and resources that support research and innovation through the provision of:

  1. a national framework of interoperable infrastructure components and services (which is the focus of the call);
  2. adoption of best practices across Canada and all disciplines;
  3. adoption of standards and best practices for the creation, analysis, dissemination, and preservation of research outputs.

Priority Areas for Funding Consideration

CANARIE conducted a community consultation in early 2018 to identify areas for priority funding. The community response indicated eight (8) areas where support for software components and tools development would strengthen Canada’s research data management ecosystem. To be included for evaluation, project submissions must fall under one or more of the following themes, and must consider both the FAIR Principles and the NDSF.

Enriching (Meta)data and Discovery

As the diversity of research outputs increases, the challenge of finding specific researchers and resources also increases, especially at the national level. There is an opportunity to aggregate existing (meta)data from all systems and stages of the research lifecycle, as well as innovative approaches to enriching metadata (e.g. text mining, linking, entity extraction), that will improve the discovery of Canadian research outputs via an NDSF.

Federated Repositories / Interoperability

There are over 250 Canadian “data repositories”, and likely many times this number of databases that contain useful research (meta)data; each repository tends to present a unique architecture and (meta)data profile, and few are accessible via well-defined application program interfaces (APIs). There is an opportunity to use international standards and best practices to better document and make accessible Canada’s (meta)data repositories, and to develop smarter approaches to harvesting and linking these sources at the national level, thereby facilitating inter-disciplinary research, discovery, and re-use.

Domain-Specific Repositories

Domain-specific repositories provide researchers with sources of (meta)data deposit and discovery, facilitating a response to funder/publisher mandates, and support domain-specific features that make (meta)data more useful. There is an opportunity to enhance Canada’s domain repositories to ensure that they are interoperable with each other at the national level, and that these systems use internationally recognized best practices.

Data Deposit and Curation

Publishers and funders are adopting policies that require researchers to make data from their published outputs more accessible and reusable, but the options available to the researcher can be confusing and complex. There is an opportunity to create software services to guide and document the best approach to data management for each researcher, in a standards-based context with a minimum of effort (e.g. with the assistance of machine-mediated services), and according to practices that make their data FAIR.


While it can be a challenge to determine what research (meta)data should be preserved and for how long, it is clear that (meta)data is not accessible, and reusable over the long term, unless it is preserved. There is an opportunity to build IT tools that facilitate this decision-making process in such a way that leverages appropriate best practices that ensure research outputs are accessible in a usable way for a reasonable period of time.

Persistent IDs / Citability

A key requirement for making research outputs accessible is the adoption of accepted best practices for unique IDs, whether for the researcher and their team, the variety of outputs, or the research equipment and services used. There is an opportunity to integrate Canadian research platforms with best practice standards for persistent IDs that make it easier to link the various outputs throughout the lifecycle, and attribute outputs to all research participants.

Data Access and Analytics

Researchers have an increasing diversity of approaches to analyzing and transforming their data, whether in local systems or in the context of large national and international high-performance computing frameworks. There is an opportunity to build services that bring disparate sources of data to the researcher to facilitate data analysis at all stages of the research lifecycle.

Data Privacy and Security

In some disciplines (e.g. human health, biodiversity, social sciences), (meta)data cannot be easily shared without an extensive and lengthy process to anonymize/protect (meta)data. There is an opportunity to develop software services that facilitate this effort through semi-automated anonymization, as well as approaches that link datasets about individuals without unauthorized disclosure of personal information.

Call Submission Timeline

  • Information Webinars:
    • May 16th, 2018 13:00 Eastern Time
    • May 17th, 2018 13:00 Eastern Time
    • May 24th, 2018 13:00 Eastern Time
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: June 20th, 2018 | 17:00 Eastern Time
  • Announcement of Project Selections: The week of August 27th, 2018

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

  1. You have a proposal to develop:
    • research data management software components or tools that are intended to operate at the national level; OR
    • extensions to existing research data management software components or tools which will be accessible as a component of the National Data Service Framework.
  2. You must be able to commit to continue to offer the research data management software components or tools developed after the end of funding.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The project team must be employed by a Canadian university, college, corporation or other legally recognized entity. This entity will act as the Lead Contractor and must be able to enter into a Project Agreement with CANARIE Inc.
  • The Lead Contractor may complete the project with a funded participant from another Canadian entity.
  • The Lead Contractor and any participants will be required to enter into a Consortium Agreement.

You cannot apply if you are a:

  • Federal government institution (federal departments, agencies, or Crown corporations, including their research facilities)
  • Foreign organization.

Financial Information

This call will provide up to $2.7M for funded projects over an 18-month period. There is no limit on individual funding requests, although CANARIE’s goal is to fund a diversity of projects. Funding will cover only labour costs for software development and related activities. Please refer to the Schedule of Eligible Costs for all eligible and non-eligible costs.

Financial Requirements

Accounting Representatives – An accounting representative from Research Accounting /Research Services must prepare a preliminary project budget using CANARIE’s budget template. An accounting representative is someone who will be accountable for related financial accounts, records, and the submission of financial reports to CANARIE. Should a project be approved for funding, CANARIE will work with the Accounting Representative to finalize the budget. The budget will form part of the Project Agreement between the Lead Contractor and CANARIE.

Eligible Costs – CANARIE funding is claims-based i.e. quarterly claims must be submitted with backup documentation for eligible project costs. Details of eligible and non-eligible project costs are listed in the Schedule of Eligible Costs.

In-Kind Contributions – All projects are also required to contribute in-kind costs that are equivalent to at least 15% of the total eligible project costs. Please refer to the Schedule of Eligible Costs for more details on in-kind costs.

Project Schedule

  • Start of Development: October 1, 2018
  • End of Funding Period: March 31, 2020

CANARIE will require technical progress updates every 6 weeks.

Statement of Work

Applicants must use the Statement of Work (SOW) template to describe their project and its deliverables. The Statement of Work will form part of the Project Agreement between the Lead Contractor and CANARIE.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

Projects will be selected through a competitive process and will be evaluated against mandatory and scoring criteria. The list of mandatory and scoring criteria can also be found in the Statement of Work template.

Proposals will be evaluated by CANARIE’s Research Advisory Committee. The committee includes researchers, research administrators and private sector partners who are experienced in evaluating software proposals.

Mandatory Criteria:

Please address each of the following mandatory criteria:

  1. How does the proposed software make use of Canadian digital infrastructure (networking, compute, storage and/or sensors)?
  2. Explain how the proposed project contributes to one or more of CANARIE’s expected results:

(a) enhance opportunities for collaborative knowledge creation and innovation within Canada’s research and education communities through the maintenance and development of the CANARIE Network and related tools and services;

(b) expand the research and education community’s access to and utilization of the CANARIE Network and the availability of tools and programming that increase the effectiveness of its use; and,

(c) enable the creation of innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services and accelerate their commercialization in Canada.

  1. Please provide information to support that the software development proposed is technologically and economically viable in the timeframe of the project plan.
  2. All funded work must be performed in Canada. Please identify the locations(s) at which the funded work would be performed.
  3. The Lead Contractor must be a Canadian university, college, corporation or other legally recognized entity. Please provide the organization’s URL.
  4. No more than half of the membership and Board of Directors of the Lead Contractor can be composed of representatives or agents of the federal government. Please provide a list of Board members or provide the list via the relevant URL.
  5. In-kind contributions must be at least 15% of total eligible project costs. This is to be demonstrated in the Preliminary Budget.
  6. Software developed under CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost, through the CANARIE Research Software Registry at: https://science.canarie.ca for a period of 3 years from the end of the funded development period.

Scoring Criteria:

The following scoring criteria will be applied to proposals:

  1. Overall assessment of the project;
  2. Extent to which the project supports the FAIR principles;
  3. Extent to which the project makes use of/contributes to digital research infrastructure;
  4. Extent to which the project contributes to a national data service;
  5. Extent to which the project integrates with international digital research infrastructure; and
  6. Completeness/quality/sustainability of the project/design.

Required Documents for Submission:

Reference Material:

Public Communications

  • All materials produced with respect to the project (including, but not limited to, publicly accessible websites) shall reference CANARIE’s role in the project.
  • Lead Contractors shall not issue any release or publicity concerning a funded project or its subject matter except with prior written approval of CANARIE.
  • All communications related to projects and project funding must be made in both official languages for any nation-wide communication aimed at the general public and for any communication aimed at the general public residing in bilingual regions.

Questions about the Call

Applicants can refer to a list of questions and answers specific to this call at the following link: RDM Call 1 Q&A.

Any other questions about this call or about CANARIE’s Research Data Management program can be directed to rdm@canarie.ca. All questions that are not specific to applicant projects, along with their answers, will be posted to the RDM Call 1 Q&A page. Applicants are responsible for checking the site for an updated list of questions and answers.

[1] https://forum.casrai.org/t/national-data-service/939