York launches new Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Research Clusters initiative

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The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) is launching a call for a new research initiative.

The Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Research Clusters initiative was created to strengthen interdisciplinary research in areas of strategic importance to the University. The program will provide funding to selected research clusters to support globally leading research excellence that will offer world-class training opportunities for high-calibre personnel. It is also intended to serve as a catalyst to secure future large-scale follow-on funding, through federal, provincial or other external research funding programs, including the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and the New Frontiers in Research Fund Transformation stream. In doing so, this new initiative will scale the development of research teams and clusters to position the University as a key node in national and international networks in strategic areas of interest. It will also enable impactful contributions towards the University’s Strategic Research Plan, the University Academic Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


For the purpose of this initiative, an interdisciplinary project is defined as one that crosses the mandate of at least two of the three federal research funding councils (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and includes members from at least two Faculties, while a cluster must include a team of at least five researchers, one of whom must be an early career researcher.

Early career researchers are defined as individuals who, as of 2021, have five years or less experience since their first academic appointment, with the exception of career interruptions (e.g. maternity or parental leave, extended sick leave, clinical training and family care) that occurred after their appointment. For all leaves, except professional leaves (such as training-related, sabbatical and administrative-related leaves), the five-year window is extended by twice the time interruption taken.

Research themes

The program will provide funding for a limited number of projects across select thematic areas, including: artificial intelligence and society; digital cultures and fintech; disaster and health emergency; global health; and many more.

To learn more about the specific themes and details to submit a proposal, including the adjudication and reporting process, view the PDF of the call for submissions at yfile.news.yorku.ca/files/2021/05/Catalyzing-Interdisciplinary-Research-Clusters-Memo.pdf.

Key dates and contact information

  • The deadline to submit a notice of intent is June 7 by 4:30 p.m.
  • Full proposals (by invitation only) are due July 30 by 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Mark Roseman, director, Strategic & Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI), Office of Research Services, at roseman@yorku.ca.