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Research Software Program Competitive Funding Call 3

Research Software Platform Reuse

Building on previous CANARIE Research Software funding calls, Call 3 focuses on research platform sharing across multiple academic research teams, projects, and disciplines. Under this competitive call, up to $3.6M in funding will be contributed to Canadian research teams to modify and maintain an existing software platform in order to meet the needs of at least five new research teams. A platform, known internationally as a science gateway, is a software package that supports a large portion of what researchers need to do in their workflow.

The purpose of the call is to:

  • Allow researchers to adapt and reuse existing software to meet their research needs;
  • Reduce software development duplication by promoting the sharing of platforms and reducing new development; and
  • Extend platform lifetimes and support a larger base of researchers by providing a maintenance funding mechanism.

Eligibility Requirements

  • This call is intended for research teams that will adapt their software platform for use by new research teams. Both new applicants and those who have previously participated in CANARIE Research Software funding calls are invited to apply.
    • If you are a researcher who would like to adopt or use an existing platform but have not found a suitable platform, please refer to this list of platforms, previously funded under the Research Software Program, to contact platform owners who are interested in new collaborations.
  • An existing platform must currently be in use by at least one research team (which may be the applicant).
  • Applicants must be employed by a Canadian university, college, corporation, or other legally recognized entity. This entity will act as the Lead Contractor. The Lead Contractor must be able to enter into a Project Agreement with CANARIE.

This call is not open to:

  • Federal government institutions (federal departments, agencies, or Crown corporations, including their research facilities)
  • Foreign organizations

Participation Obligations

  • At least two (2) new research teams must be actively using the platform to facilitate their research by the end of the first year of funding.
  • At least five (5) new research teams (including the two above) must be actively using the platform to facilitate their research by the end of the second year of the funding.
  • Letters of confirmation from all new research teams will be required at the end of the first and second years of funding.
  • The Lead Contractor will be required to enter into a Consortium Agreement(s) with any organization(s) involved in the software development, or that otherwise receive funding as part of the project.
  • Software developed with CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost through the Canadian Research Software Registry at science.canarie.ca.
  • Lead Contractors shall not issue any release or publicity concerning a funded project or its subject matter except with prior written approval of CANARIE.

Funding Details

New Applicants (not funded under CANARIE Research Software Funding Call 2a or Call 2b)

The maximum funding available per project is $300K, broken down as follows:

Phase Funding Funding Period
Development Phase
Software development required to modify an existing platform to meet the needs of multiple research teams, for a period of 12 months
Up to $100K April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021
Maintenance Phase 1
Development, platform maintenance, and support for 12 months
Up to $100K* April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022
Maintenance Phase 2
Development, platform maintenance, and support for 12 months
Up to $100K* April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023
* Contingent on the Participation Obligations listed above

Applicants Previously Funded Under CANARIE Research Software Funding Call 2a or Call 2b

The maximum funding available per project is $250K, broken down as follows:

Phase Funding Funding Period
Development Phase
Software development required to modify an existing platform to meet the needs of multiple research teams for a period of 6 months
Up to $50K* October 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021
Maintenance Phase 1
Development, platform maintenance, and support for 12 months
Up to $100K** April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022
Maintenance Phase 2
Development, platform maintenance, and support for 12 months
Up to $100K** April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023
* Activities from April 1, 2020 to Sept 30, 2020 will be carried out using existing Call 2a/Call 2b maintenance funding. Successful applicants will require an amendment to their existing Statement of Work. In these cases, Call 3 funding will start October 1, 2020.
** Contingent on the Participation Obligations listed above

CANARIE will require brief technical progress updates every 6 weeks.

Financial Requirements

Accounting Representatives – An accounting representative from your institution’s Research Accounting/Research Services office or from your organization’s Finance department must prepare a preliminary project budget using CANARIE’s Preliminary Project 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 back-up 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.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

Projects will be selected through a competitive process. All project proposals will be evaluated against the Mandatory and Scoring Criteria below, which must be addressed in the Statement of Work (SOW). Applicants must use the SOW Template to describe their project and its deliverables. The SOW will form part of the Project Agreement between the Lead Contractor and CANARIE.

For teams previously funded under CANARIE’s Research Software Program, CANARIE may share quantitative metrics from a team’s previous projects with the selection committee.

Mandatory Criteria

  1. The proposed software makes use of Canadian digital infrastructure (networking, compute, storage and/or sensors).
  2. The proposed project contributes to one or more of CANARIE’s Expected Results:
    > enhances 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;
    > expands 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,
    > enables the creation of innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services and accelerate their commercialization in Canada.
  3. The software development proposed is technologically feasible and economically viable in the timeframe of the project plan.
  4. All funded work must be performed in Canada.
  5. The Lead Contractor must be a Canadian university, college, corporation or other legally recognized entity.
  6. 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.
  7. In-kind contributions must be at least 15% of total eligible project costs. This is to be demonstrated in the Preliminary Project Budget.
  8. Software developed using CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost, through the CANARIE Research Software Registry for a period of 3 years from the end of the funded Development Phase.
  9. The applicant team must be actively using the platform for academic research.

Scoring Criteria

  1. Extent to which the proposed project supports new research applications
  2. Extent to which the proposed project advances Canada’s capabilities in Research Software development
  3. Extent to which the project makes use of existing software
  4. Extent to which the proposed platform supports an existing user base
  5. Additional costs to users such as license fees, compute and storage resources or the need to purchase extra equipment
  6. Completeness of the Project Plan
  7. Completeness and quality of the proposed System and Software Architectures

Evaluation Procedure

Proposals under this call will be evaluated by CANARIE through an external expert advisory committee.

Key Dates

  • Information Webinars (please register for the session of your choice at the links below):
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: November 28, 2019 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Notification of Project Selections: January 7, 2020

Application Procedure

To be accepted for evaluation, applicants must complete and submit the Proposal Submission Form, which includes uploading the Preliminary Project Budget and Statement of Work.

Required Documents for Submission:

Submit a Proposal

Reference Material:

Questions about the Call

Additional Resources

To find and learn about software contributed by participants in CANARIE’s Research Software Program and by members of the Canadian research community, visit science.canarie.ca.