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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

+ Q. How does this Call relate to the recently announced Research Data Management (RDM) Call 2?
A: The RDM Program is separate from the Research Software Program in that the former is focused on software tools to support research data management, while the latter is focused on software that supports the entire research workflow or portions of it.
+ Q. Can I apply to both this call and the Research Data Management Call 2 recently announced by CANARIE?
A: Yes. You can apply to both. Due to the different parameters of these two calls, it is unlikely that the same proposal would be suitable for both.
+ Q. Can I develop a new research platform under this call?
A: No. The purpose of this call is to leverage previous investment in research software by giving new users access to existing research platforms.
+ Q. What is the purpose of the Development Phase?
A: The Development Phase is designed to give platform contributors time to modify their platforms to meet the research needs of their new users.
+ Q. What if I don’t need to do any development to onboard new users?
A: That’s fine. You can use the development period to carry out maintenance activities and enhance your platform. Just tell us what you’re planning to do in the Statement of Work.
+ Q. Can I continue to enhance my platform during the maintenance period?
A: Yes. Assuming software maintenance and user support activities are being carried out, funding can also be used to extend or enhance the platform. You should describe such anticipated work in your proposal.
+ Q. Do I have to wait until the end of the first year of the project to start onboarding new research teams?
A: No. New research teams must be onboarded no later than indicated in the eligibility requirements, but you can onboard any/all of them sooner if you wish.
+ Q. Can I onboard more new academic research team(s) in addition to those mentioned in my proposal?
A: Yes. In this case, additional new academic research teams won’t affect funding levels, but you can add anyone you wish. We ask that you let CANARIE know about your successes.
+ Q. Do I have to attach letters of confirmation from all 5 (minimum) of my new users to the proposal?
A: No. It’s great if you can, but we understand that recruiting new users may take some time. We only require letters from the two new users to be onboarded during the first year of the project to be included with the proposal.
+ Q. Will CANARIE be monitoring platform users?
A: Not directly. We require letters of new research teams once they are onboarded and thereafter will monitor their use of the platform through metrics provided by the platform contributor.
+ Q. What if I’m a researcher who needs access to a platform but can’t find a suitable contributor to partner with?
A: A list of previously-funded research platforms can be found here.
+ Q. What are the technical reporting requirements?
A: Technical status updates are required every 6 weeks via videoconference with the CANARIE technical team. There will be a technical review and demonstration at the end of the development period, and we may also ask for an informal demonstration during development.
+ Q. Will the evaluation criteria be published before the end of the call?
A: The evaluation criteria are currently posted online under the Research Software Call 3 page.
+ Q: How long after the call does the software have to be maintained?
A: Software developed under 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 period. The Statement of Work includes a question regarding “your maintenance and support plan for the proposed software post CANARIE funding”, and this will be reviewed as part of the selection process.
+ Q: Is collaboration with international colleagues allowed?
A:  Yes, although the Lead Contractor must be a Canadian organization and funds must be spent on resources based in Canada. International partners may participate using their own resources.
+ Q: Is it mandatory to have a Principal Investigator?
A: Yes, someone must be appointed as the Principal Investigator (PI), and must be identified as part of the application process. The PI must be employed by the Lead Contractor or a Participant to the Project Agreement. The selection committee will review the PI’s bio during the selection process.
+ Q: What are the eligibility characteristics of the PI for the purposes of this funding call, and will their qualifications form part of the criteria for evaluation?  
A: The PI must be an employee of the Lead Contactor or of the participating organization, and their qualifications will be reviewed by the selection committee during the selection process.
+ Q: Is there someone I can discuss my ideas with prior to developing a full application to make sure we are on the right track?
A: Yes, please contact CANARIE’s Director, Research Software, Scott Henwood, at scott.henwood@canarie.ca or (613) 943-5434. Project ideas will be held in confidence.
+ Q: Can I submit more than one proposal for a platform?
A: Applicants may submit only one proposal for a platform. Applicants who have multiple platforms could submit one proposal per platform.

Finance Questions

+ Q. CANARIE funding is claims based. What does that mean to me?
A: During the project, you submit claims quarterly. Claims must be accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. employee timesheets, proof of salary and fringe benefits, supplier invoices, etc.). CANARIE reimburses your organization for eligible amounts claimed, less a 10% holdback which is paid at the end of the project.
+ Q. How do I know whether a project cost is eligible?
A: Please see the Schedule of Eligible Costs. When in doubt, contact us at programs@canarie.ca.
+ Q. Are there any limits on eligible project costs I should be aware of?
A: Eligible cost limits are noted below:
1.    Employee fringe benefits costs must not exceed 20% of eligible direct labour costs
2.    The total of sub-contractors’ and consulting fees must not exceed 5% of total eligible project costs
3.    The total cost of direct materials (i.e. software) must not exceed 5% of the total of all eligible project costs
4.    The total cost of travel must not exceed 3% of the total of all eligible project costs
+ Q. How do I know whether a travel cost is eligible?
A: Eligible travel costs are limited to domestic travel to meet with new users for the purposes of onboarding and to attend meetings with participants for the purposes of co-development.
+ Q. Can I claim the overhead associated with employees working on my project?
A: No, you cannot claim any overhead. General office supplies, utilities, rent for office space, office equipment, etc. are considered overhead, and are not eligible costs.
+ Q. Can I claim sales taxes?
A: Yes, non-recoverable portion of taxes incurred on purchases are eligible.
+ Q. Will the project finances be audited?
A: Yes, audits may be scheduled at any time during the project.
+ Q. What qualifies as an in-kind contribution?
A: In-kind contributions include salaries and fringe benefits paid at the rates shown in the organization’s payroll and accounting records incurred for the project, e.g. salary and fringe benefits for university faculty or Principal Investigator. Anyone not paid a salary will not qualify as an in-kind contribution.
+ Q. Is there a minimum in-kind contribution?
A: Yes, in-kind contributions must be at least 15% of the total quarterly eligible project costs before a project is eligible for funding.
+ Q. Can the software development be subcontracted to an external company?
A: Yes, software development can be subcontracted to an external company, however, in order for the costs to be eligible, any of the following must apply:
1.    Work performed by Canadian sub-contractors or consultants to advance a Project to the extent it is identified in the Statement of Work. The fees charged must be reasonable and not exceed fair market value.
2.    The total cost of sub-contractors and consultants fees MUST not exceed 5% of the total of all eligible Project costs.
3.    Fee-for-service contracts with federal labs that have the authority to collect revenue are eligible.
4.    The sub-contractor or consultant provides specialized guidance to the Project team.
5.    Work performed by foreign sub-contractors or consultants to advance a Project to the extent that it is identified in the Statement of Work and approved budget, and pre-approved in writing by CANARIE.
Please see the Schedule of Eligible Costs.
+ Q. Must the organization receiving the funding be a university or research institute? Could it be a charity or for-profit company?
A: The Lead Contractor can be a charity, for-profit institution, or any other legally recognized entity such as a university, college, or non-profit organization based in Canada. Federal government agencies are not eligible to receive funding.
+ Q. Will CANARIE permit funding that leverages a currently funded CANARIE project? 
A: Having an existing CANARIE project does not preclude you from submitting an application under this call.
+ Q. Does the Preliminary Budget Template require a signature prior to uploading to SurveyMonkey Apply?
A: No, the Preliminary Budget Template does not require a signature for the application procedure.