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2016-2017 Research Opportunities Program (ROP)
Frequently Asked Questions

Program Streams

Can you please explain the difference between R4W and E4P?

Research for the Workplace (R4W) funds proposals up to two years in duration, to conduct research projects with clear research questions and objectives.

Evidence for Practice (E4P), on the other hand, supports proposals that aim to create solutions or tools based on completed research. E4P proposals have a shorter duration and aim to make an immediate impact on workplaces.

For more details, please refer to the 2016-2017 ROP Guidelines document.

Are separate funds set aside for each of the award streams?

No, projects are funded based on merit from one funding pool. Our experience from previous calls for proposals indicates that segregating funds by stream is not necessary to ensure that the best proposals receive funding.

What is the success rate of applications to the program?

Since the program’s inception in 2013, 39 of 141 proposals (27.7%) have been funded.

Is it possible to delay the start date of a project to facilitate data collection?

Requests for delayed start dates will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Do applicants need to submit all the tools that will be used for an E4P project?

No, but the more information provided to reviewers, the better the ability of the reviewers to accurately assess the quality and potential impact of the proposed project.

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for ROP?

Please refer to the ROP Guidelines for information on eligibility.

Can organizations that are not research institutions apply for ROP, such as labour, employer, or community based organizations?

Community, employer, or labour groups are eligible to apply for an ROP grant, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria in the ROP Guidelines. Groups that are not research institutions are, however, encouraged to partner with academic organizations to ensure that the methodology of the proposed research is explained properly in the application.

Do you accept proposals from hospitals?

Yes, hospitals are eligible organizations, as noted in the ROP Guidelines. All eligible organizations must demonstrate that they have the capacity to conduct the proposed research.

May a national organization apply for ROP if it is based in Ontario?

Yes, an Ontario-based national institution may apply for ROP. If a national institution is not based in Ontario, it must collaborate with an eligible Ontario-based organization.

For greater clarity, applicants from Ontario-based national institutions must demonstrate that the proposal will support and have particular impact on health and safety in Ontario workplaces.

Can you please explain what is meant by "clinical trials" in the ROP Guidelines?

The term "clinical trials" refers to research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. The ROP does not fund proposals that involve clinical trials.

Can you please explain what is meant by "proprietary research" in the ROP Guidelines?

"Proprietary research" refers to research initiatives undertaken primarily for the benefit a particular organization, as opposed to being widely and freely available for the purpose of improving health and safety in the province.

ROP Strategic Priorities

What are the ROP’s strategic priorities?

Please refer to the ROP Guidelines for information on our strategic priorities.

Should proposals align with strategic priorities of the Ministry of Labour or those of the applicant’s organization?

Proposals should align with the priorities outlined in the ROP Guidelines.

What if the subject of our research proposal is not listed in the ROP guidelines under areas of research priority?

The list of sample research topics is not exhaustive. You may submit proposals addressing topics that are not listed in the ROP Guidelines, as long as you are able to demonstrate how they align with ROP priorities.

Should an applicant target more than one priority in order to ensure the success of the proposal?

Not necessarily. Proposals are ultimately judged on quality and impact. A proposal focusing on one or two priorities is likely to be of higher quality than a proposal dealing in a cursory way with many priorities.

Should an applicant target specific priority sectors in order to ensure the success of the proposal?

The ROP does not target particular sectors. In particular, we encourage the development of proposals that can be applied to multiple sectors.

Budget

What level of funding is available under the ROP?

Refer to the ROP Guidelines for details on the budget.

Can applicants pay international co-investigators?

Yes, depending on the investigator’s role. Please indicate the roles and qualifications (e.g. PhD, student) for all team members receiving payment.

May applicants hire consultants?

Yes, applicants are required to comply with the requirements outlined in the ROP budget guidelines when hiring consultants.

Will the ROP grant funding cover any preliminary costs that an applicant may incur before the Transfer Payment Agreement is in place? For example, can an applicant begin activities such as data collection before a Transfer Payment Agreement is in place?

Funding will commence on the date specified in the Transfer Payment Agreement. Costs associated with activities conducted prior to the execution of the Transfer Payment Agreement will not be eligible for reimbursement and therefore must be covered by the grant recipient or its partners.

Can applicants exceed the 10% limit on travel for research being conducted in rural or remote areas?

Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants requesting more than 10% must provide a rationale in their funding application.

How critical is leveraged support to a project’s success?

While the leveraging of either financial or in-kind support is strongly encouraged, it is not mandatory; proposals will not be given preferential evaluation solely on the basis of leveraged support.

Collaborations

Can an applicant collaborate with a public health lab?

Yes, as long as the relevance to OHS can be clearly demonstrated.

Can an applicant collaborate with an international organization/researcher?

Yes, applicants may collaborate with international organizations or researchers as long as the primary investigator and host institution (responsible for managing the funding) are based in Ontario.

Can an applicant submit an application for a project that does not include collaborations?

Yes, but applicants are strongly encouraged to establish collaborations.

Can the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board act as a knowledge dissemination partner?

Yes.

May applicants collaborate with legal organizations e.g. a legal services group?

Collaborations with diverse groups and individuals are strongly encouraged but must be relevant to the proposed project and must link to or contribute to occupational health and safety.

Can a post-doctoral student act as a co-investigator for a proposed project?

Yes.

If the Ministry of Labour is named in the application as a collaborator, is the ministry involved in defining the research priorities for a particular project?

No. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Ministry of Labour cannot be actively engaged in the development of the research proposal. The level of engagement or collaboration with the Ministry of Labour may include data sharing, providing a letter of support or some level of subject matter expertise.

Is there a platform for facilitating collaborations between universities and other research institutions?

Currently there is no mechanism or forum in place to facilitate collaborations between organizations.

Can knowledge users submit letters of support if they are also members of the research team?

Yes, knowledge users may submit letters of support even if they are members of the research team.

Can collaborators submit letters of support?

Yes, as long as they are not identified as a co-lead or a co-investigators.

For the purposes of the letters of support, who is a "knowledge user?"

A knowledge user is any potential user of the research evidence/information that is generated from the project, such as a workplace party, employer, union, health and safety organizations etc.

Are e-signed letters of support acceptable?

Yes.

Can an applicant submit a letter of support from the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, or the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board?

Yes. The content of the letter will determine whether or not the letter of support represents a conflict of interest.

Who should the letters of support be addressed to?

Letters of support should be addressed to the Transfer Partner and Research Funding Unit and included with the original submission of the research proposal.

Knowledge Dissemination

What are some examples of knowledge dissemination tools?

Knowledge dissemination tools include but are not limited to plain-language summaries, various dissemination vehicles (such as websites, newsletters, conferences or seminars, social media, etc.), and other additional or alternative tools proposed by the applicant.

Would knowledge dissemination-focused proposals be eligible for E4P?

Yes, E4P aims to support solutions based on existing research that will have an immediate impact in workplaces; knowledge dissemination would meet that definition.

What are knowledge users? Can the Ministry of Labour act as a knowledge user?

Knowledge users may include employers, workers, interest groups, or any groups other than the applicant that would benefit from and make use of the proposed research.

The ministry may use the results of the research to develop policy or inform its programs. The ministry will also share the results of the funded research with the occupational health and safety system.

Application Form, Process & Deadline

Where can I get more information?

We encourage you to consult the ROP Guidelines for more detailed program information. You may also visit the ROP webpage for more information.

If you still have questions, you may contact the Transfer Payment and Research Funding Unit (TPRFU) staff by email at researchgrants@ontario.ca or by phone at 416-212-6518.

Where can I find the application forms?

ROP application forms are available through the MOL website.

Do you accept quantitative or qualitative research proposals?

The Ministry of Labour will accept quantitative and qualitative proposals as well as mixed-methodology research proposals.

What is the application deadline?

Please refer to the ROP Guidelines for information on the deadline.

Is the application deadline flexible? For example, must applicants located in northern Ontario submit the proposal by the deadline, or can it be postmarked for that date?

All proposals must be received by December 5, 2016, in order to avoid delays to the proposal intake and review process.

Will I receive a confirmation that my application was received?

Yes. Please refer to the ROP Guidelines for information on application confirmation.

Can an applicant receive an award for more than one program / project?

There are no restrictions on the number of project grants that may be held by a single investigator / team.

How do I submit my application?

Please refer to the ROP Guidelines for details on how to submit the application.

Can we ask TPRFU staff questions throughout the application submission period?

TPRFU staff will be happy to assist applicants with matters related to program details and administration, but cannot provide advice on research, methodology or other scientific issues. You may contact staff by email at researchgrants@ontario.ca or by phone at 416-212-6518.

When will applicants be informed of the results of the call for proposals and when will projects start?

Applicants will be informed of the call results in the spring of 2017. Projects will likely commence in June or July 2017 once transfer payment agreements are finalized with successful applicants.

When will the ROP awards be announced?

Funding decisions will be communicated to the institution's executive authority responsible for research, the lead institutional contact and the project lead. The list of award recipients are expected to be announced in the spring of 2017.

Who is considered a signatory?

A signatory is an individual who is authorized to contractually bind the organization, typically a VP of Research, President or CEO. It is up to the applicants to confirm the signatory at their institutions.

Are e-signatures accepted?

The application forms do not have the capability to allow e-signatures.

What is the expected duration of the proposed projects and can an applicant receive an extension?

R4W projects are expected to be conducted over a period of up to two years; E4P projects are expected to be concluded within eighteen months. An applicant may ask for an extension by providing the ministry with information on why the project cannot be concluded within the timelines specified in the ROP. The ministry has full discretion to accept or deny a request for an extension.

May I act as a peer reviewer for ROP?

Applicants, including co-leads and co-investigators, are excluded from acting as peer reviewers to avoid conflict of interest. Others who are interested in acting as peer reviewers and are not applying to the program should send an email to researchgrants@ontario.ca.