Proposal Submission Information for the CFDR 2023 Research Grant Competition

Please review the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research Grant Program Policy document at https://cfdr.ca/grants/ for important information on the program; investigator eligibility, areas of support, areas of non-support, grant process, investigator and sponsoring institution agreements, obligations and reporting requirements, CFDR’s funding process, and publications and rights. The submission of a Proposal indicates agreement to the terms and conditions as outlined in the CFDR Research Grant Program Policy document.

 

The second step in applying for a CFDR Research Grant is the [invited] submission of a full proposal.

The documents can be submitted in English or French. The package must be sent via electronic mail to CFDR at info@cfdr.ca by 4:59 PM [EST] March 3, 2023. The package must contain the following:

  1. Abstract, Proposal, References, Principal Investigator(s)and team in formation, Budget and Appendices
  2. Project Description
  3. Human Research Ethics approval (if available) or the plan for approval
  4. Photos and Photo Release Form for each Principal Investigator(s)
  5. Completed and signed Application Form

  • Abstract, Proposal, References, Principal Investigator(s) and team information, Budget an Appendices.

Format

  • Text must be 12-point font and single-spaced.
  • Pages must be formatted to have 1-inch margins at the top, bottom and sides.
  • Pages must be numbered and include a header in the format: name of principal investigator(s), title of project, year of competition.
  • Appendices do not follow the formatting requirement.
  • The single electronic document containing the Abstract, Proposal, References, Principal Investigator(s) and team information, Budget and Appendices must be called

[full name of principal investigator (s), Proposal, year of competition]. Suggestion: scan documents together to create a single file.

 

Content

Abstract: 1 page maximum

The abstract must not exceed 300 words, including the title on 1 page. The abstract should include the title, hypothesis or research question, the objectives of the research, a brief discussion of the methodological approach and the value of the research to future practice. This abstract may be used by CFDR for publication in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, and other professional avenues, and to announce Grant awards.

 

Proposal: see page limits in each section below

  • Table of Contents: 1-2 pages maximum
  • Proposal: 11 pages maximum

 

Attempts should be made to present all information of major relevance to the project in the Proposal. Any pages beyond the page limit will be eliminated without being read by the reviewers. The text of the Proposal must not exceed eleven [11] pages as described below:

  • (Maximum 1 page) Purpose and specific objectives of the research and the underlying hypotheses i.e., the question to which an answer is being sought
  • (Maximum 1 page) Relevance of the proposal to dietetic practice, including generalizability of results and limitations of same
  • (Maximum 3 pages) Present state of knowledge relative to proposed research
  • (Maximum 6 pages) Research design including a timeline for major activities, methodologies, sampling strategy and recruitment plans, sample size rationale, e.g., sample size calculations for quantitative research, and sample size considerations for qualitative research, statistical analysis of results or qualitative analysis plans, criteria for evaluating outcome and/or interpretation of findings, and procedures for ensuring scientific rigour of study
    • Information on sufficiency of infrastructure and/or support to enable the success of the research project should be included as appropriate.
    • Investigators should briefly describe the method or the modifications where new or modified methodologies are to be used in the study.
    • Economic analysis of cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, or cost utility should be included, if relevant.
    • Potential critical challenges should be identified, and a mitigation plan described.
  • Response to comments/suggestions from the LOI stage: (1 page maximum)

 

References

 

Principal Investigator(s) and Team Information: 10 pages maximum

  • Full names and Professional titles and affiliations
  • Contact information
  • Areas of expertise
  • Abbreviated CV (3 pages maximum per investigator) for the Principal Investigator and Co- Principal Investigator
  • Description of the role of each person on the project

 

Budget: no page limit

 

The budget must be detailed by expenditure by year. The total budgeted sum must not exceed the grant maximum award sum of $20,000.

  • Salary: Salary expenditures must be justified, particularly in situations where a registered dietitian (RD) is employed on the project or where it is deemed necessary to pay participants. A salary will not be approved for principal investigator(s) or for full-time employees of universities, dietetic or public health departments or other agencies participating in the project. The funding would cover the costs of a temporary ‘buy-out’ or replacement of an RD who is the PI of the project. This would allow the RD the time to do recruitment of participants, data collection, data analysis and writing the report. Salary support is generally limited to such personnel as technicians, technologists, research assistants, statistical consultants and other similar persons required for the successful completion of the project, but not assigned to the project for the purpose of receiving training. Dietetic interns, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will not be supported. Secretarial assistance is also excluded. Salaries for personnel must be in accordance with those paid to similarly qualified persons at the institution where the project is undertaken. The employer’s cost of fringe benefits may be included in the budget. The Foundation will not provide salary support at a level greater than the experience required for the work to be undertaken in a project. The investigator/principal investigator (PI) must indicate number of hours per week to be devoted to the project. The type of personnel required must be listed as well as the educational and experience requirements of each person. For part-time employees on a project, the number of hours per week must also be listed.
  • Equipment: Minor equipment necessary for carrying out the project may be included (e.g., skinfold calipers, thermometers, tape recorders, pedometers). Cost of office furniture, photographic equipment, computers, etc., and service contracts on equipment will not be covered.
  • Supplies and Services: Expendable materials, telephone, fax, postage, computer services, printing and photocopying, rental charges, laboratory chemicals or analytical services, or maintenance costs related to equipment used in the project can be supported. Where applicable, unit cost, quantity and total cost should be specified for an item.
  • Fieldwork Travel: Funds essential for the collection of data or transportation of participants or other fieldwork travel are legitimate expenditures. Details must be given to show how the costs were derived.
  • Conference Travel and Dissemination (maximum $1000): Funds for principal investigator travel either to centres doing similar work for the purpose of obtaining first-hand essential information, or to scientific/professional conferences for the presentation of project-related papers, will be considered if details are provided. Alternatively, these funds can be allocated to dissemination to share results in on-line professional journals. Many on-line journals charge authors a fee to include their research articles.

 

Appendices: maximum 10 pages

These are distinct from the proposal and the Principal Investigator(s) and Team Information and must not exceed [10] pages. Appendices could include information such as:

  • Letters of Consultation: When the proposed project requires the support and cooperation of other professionals, institutions, departments, associations, or health agencies, their willingness to cooperate must be clearly confirmed in correspondence appended to the application. Investigators are advised to seek cooperation before submitting the proposal. The nature and extent of their commitment must be clearly described.
  • Consent form that research participants will be asked to sign.
  • Other relevant appendices such as data collection instruments/questionnaires to be used or unpublished abstracts may be added to the application.

 

  • Project Description: maximum 1 page

A brief description in non-technical language [maximum 300 words]. This description should include the research question, why the research is important to the public/profession/ business community, how the project will be implemented and anticipated impact of the findings. This description may be used by CFDR for public [e.g., media] releases relating to successful Grant awards.

 

In addition to the 300-word description, please include a 75-word description to be used as a press release for the announcement of successful grant awards.


  • Human Research Ethics Approval or Plan for Approval

A signed approval form from a duly constituted Committee for Ethical Conduct of Human Research [as deemed acceptable by the sponsoring institution and CFDR] must be submitted to CFDR before any funds can be used. Investigators should be aware that ethics review processes could take a significant amount of time. This process should be investigated and initiated as early as possible to ensure the appropriate documentation is available in time for the release of research funds. Human Research Ethics Approval renewals must be obtained for the duration of the project and provided to CFDR.

 

Investigators may wish to refer to the Government of Canada, Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans – TCPS 2 (2018):

ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique

 

Good Clinical Practices from Health Canada at:

www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/compliance- enforcement/good-clinical-practices


  • Photos and Photo Release Forms for each Principal Investigator (s)
  • Two high-resolution photos – one formal headshot and one depicting the principal investigator(s) profession. Dimensions: minimum 300 dpi or 350 ppi [pixels per inch]. Format: jpeg or tif.
  • The photo release form is available at https://cfdr.ca/grants/ Signed photo release forms must be submitted for all persons in a group (in-action profession) photo.


  • Completed and signed Application Form
    • A signed application form constitutes the agreement between CFDR, the Investigator(s) and the sponsoring institution. Please ensure that the sponsor reviews the grant policy before signing the form.
  • The Application Form can be found at https://cfdr.ca/grants/ This electronic document must be submitted with the file name format: Name of principal investigator(s), Application, year of competition.


External Reviewers listed on the application form: Proposed external reviewers must be well qualified to provide expert, objective assessment of the scientific quality and merit of the proposed study as follows:

Well qualified: External reviewers must have sufficient research training and experience to be able to scientifically answer the following questions:

  • Is the research question important and timely, or has this question already been widely investigated?
  • Are the design and methods appropriate for the question posed? Is the sample size adequate and/or the sampling strategy appropriate? Are the objectives measurable and feasible for the resources/time available?
  • What impact or contribution will the results make to the present state of knowledge in this area? Will the results be publishable so they can be shared widely?

 

Maturity of judgment and breadth of knowledge: External reviewers should be familiar with the blind peer review process and experienced enough to provide a mature and `arms-length’ assessment. This is someone who will understand the specific contribution of the proposed research within the context of the `bigger picture’; who, ideally, has a sense of the research already conducted in this area and the emerging ‘cutting edge’ inquiries.

 

Free of conflict of interest: There is a real or the potential for conflict of interest if investigators and proposed external reviewers share any, but not limited to the following:

  • Financial partnership or other economic interests, e.g. other grants.
  • A long-standing professional relationship, e.g., were part of another research team, former graduate student and thesis advisor, co-authored a paper.
  • Employment by the same institution or company.
  • A personal friendship or relationship.

 

Assessment Criteria

CFDR’s Scientific Review Committee will review proposals on the following evaluation criteria.

 

Interests and objectives of CFDR (worth 5%)

  • Is the proposal within the interests and objectives of CFDR?
  • Is it a proposal that is more appropriate for support by another granting agency?
  • Will the proposal add significantly to the state of knowledge on the subject with direct application to the practice of dietetics/nutrition?

 

Present State of Knowledge (worth 10%)

  • Is the investigator aware of the present state of knowledge in the area to be investigated? The application must include evidence of a comprehensive literature review.

Objectives (worth 10%)

  • Are the objectives of the project achievable and, if the objectives are stated in the form of a hypothesis, is the time reference reasonable with respect to the realization of the testing of this hypothesis?
  • If the project is part of a larger project, can the specific project/part be reported on within the time allowed?

 

Methodology (worth 50%)

  • The application must include details of the methodology to be used.
  • Is the methodology of the proposal sound?
  • Are there alternative ways to undertake this proposal?
  • Are the methods of data collection and analysis sound?
  • Is the sample size appropriate to achieve the objectives?
  • Is completion of the project feasible within the proposed timeline?
  • Are potential critical challenges identified and a mitigation plan described?

 

Expertise (worth 15%)

  • Does the research team have the expertise necessary to complete this research?
  • Is there sufficient infrastructure and support to enable the success of this research project?

 

Budget (worth 10%)

  • Is the budget reasonable and adequate in relation to the objectives of the study? Has the investigator identified other sources of income for the project, if any?
  • Has the investigator identified sources of continued funding if required at the completion of the project?

 

Feedback and Decision

CFDR will acknowledge receipt of Proposals by March 15, 2023. The results will be available be announced at the Dietitians of Canada Conference. Written reviews on full application proposals are provided to investigators at the end of the competition and after the results are announced. The discussions of the Scientific Review Committee are not recorded in these reports nor are the reviewers identified.

 

Investigators whose proposals are not funded have the opportunity to address feedback and resubmit a Letter of Intent in a subsequent funding cycle. The recommendations of the Scientific Review Committee and decisions of CFDR are final.

 

CFDR reserves the right to publish the names of successful investigators, sponsoring institutions, the title of the project and to quote from the project proposal. CFDR reserves the right to report on published accounts of CFDR funded projects in public communications.