Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Research Clusters initiative invites new applicants

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The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University has announced a second round of funding for the Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Research Clusters (CIRC) initiative. The first successful round of funding, announced in December 2021, resulted in over $3.5 million in research funding support for interdisciplinary research clusters.

The initiative is designed to strengthen interdisciplinary research clusters in areas of strategic importance while enabling impactful contributions towards the University’s Strategic Research Plan, the University Academic Plan, and York’s commitment to supporting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“Funding from this program will foster interdisciplinary collaboration, global research excellence and support world-class training opportunities for York’s community of changemakers in areas of strategic importance to the University,” says Amir Asif, vice-president research & innovation. “CIRC will support researchers in securing future large-scale follow-on funding through federal, provincial and other external research programs, including the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, and the New Frontiers in Research Fund Transformation stream.”

Available funding and research themes

Selected projects will receive $150,000 per year over three years from the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation. Participating Faculties will collectively contribute an additional $25,000 per year (minimum) per project. A total of up to 10 projects are expected to be funded in this round.

Funds are to be used for direct costs of research, with not more than 20 per cent used for equipment. In all cases, the use of funds is to be governed by all relevant York policies.

In alignment with the University Academic Plan, the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will serve as the eligible research themes. Applicants will self-select SDGs which best align with their proposal. There is no predetermined target around the number of funded projects per research theme.


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 –Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – and includes members from at least two Faculties.

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 2022, 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.

Key dates and contact information

  • The deadline to submit a notice of intent is May 9 by 4:30 p.m.
  • Full proposals (by invitation only based on the review of the notice of intent) are due July 29 by 4:30 p.m.

For more information and to apply, contact Mark Roseman, director, Strategic & Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI), Office of Research Services, at