The Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution (CIEE) seeks proposals for new Thematic Programs (Working Groups) to be staged over the 12 month period from March 2018 to February 2019. The deadline for submission is November 3, 2017.  Proposals should outline a plan to address significant questions in ecology and evolution through synthesis-based research in the form of (a) unified and comprehensive data aggregation, (b) methodological integration, (c) conceptual synthesis, or (d) use of outcomes from funded research to arrive at broader impacts (e.g., meta-data analysis). Applicants must define the project scope, meeting agenda, inclusive budget, and plan for publication. CIEE provides logistic support and travel expenses. 

Application Procedures
Proposals can be submitted in either official language and should be comprised of the following:

1. A cover page including the project title, name and complete contact information for the organizer(s), and project summary (max. 300 words), suitable for public circulation.

2. A maximum three-pages, single-spaced narrative.  Please note that proposals longer than 3 pages will not be accepted. The narrative should include:
2.1. Brief introduction to the project goals.
2.2. Work plan of activities:  schedule of pre-meeting activities, agenda of the planned meetings, follow-up plan after  in order to reach the expected outcomes.  As appropriate, please include the source of the data to be synthesized and methods of the analyses.  If successful, applicants may be eligible for additional support for data storage and advanced computation requirements. Meetings can be held at any location in Canada; however preference will be given to meetings hosted at CIEE member organizations.  Our experience indicates that a virtual meeting (e.g., via teleconference or Skype) prior to the first physical meeting helps in achieving working group goals (Hampton et al. 2017).  In addition, making real progress typically requires at least three full days of meeting time. 
2.3. Expected outcomes (e.g., publications, white papers, open access databases, etc). Note that funded working groups are required to deposit original or derived data in a data repository.
2.4. Importance to Canada (e.g., benefit to Canadian environmental and economic well-being).

3. A list of participants, with affiliations and a short (one paragraph) biographic profile including description of their expertise contributed to the working group. CIEE will fund working groups from 8 to 18 participants in size. Proposals for large numbers of participants should be well justified, as previous analyses have shown that per capita productivity declines as group size increases (Hampton and Parker. 2011). Productive working groups typically include participants from a variety of career stages, including early career researchers (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows) as well as mid to later-career researchers (e.g. university faculty, government research scientists, senior managers). CIEE requires the participation of at least one graduate student and one postdoctoral fellow in each working group. CIEE is a national organization, and therefore encourages geographic breadth of the Canadian participants. International participants are welcome. Working groups must have demographic diversity, including gender balance. There is strong evidence for the positive impact of institutional and demographic diversity on the productivity of working groups (Hampton and Parker 2011, Campbell et al. 2013, Crowston et al. 2015). Finally, please distinguish between those who have committed to the project and those who are potential participants.

4. A budget including accommodation, transportation, meals and meeting room(s).  In the past, working groups were awarded grants valued from $6,000 to $12,000; however, most awards were in the middle of this range.  Please note that overhead costs and equipment cannot be included as eligible expenses.  Programs can be also co-sponsored with other organizations.  For example, CIEE has sometimes sponsored an additional meeting for working groups already or simultaneously funded by other synthesis centres.

5. Short resume(s) of the organizer(s).  Maximum 3 pages for each resume.

The selection process
As in the past grant cycles, CIEE’s funding decisions for new Working Groups will be based on a series (4-6) of confidential and evaluations performed by individual members of the CIEE’s Scientific Advisory Committee.  The CIEE’s Directors will determine the final level of funding to be received by each awarded project, and will provide all applicants with formal feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their proposals.
In general, scientific excellence and likelihood of success are the main criteria for evaluation, although consideration will also be given to the benefits to Canada, cost effectiveness, participant complementarity and diversity, and benefits to CIEE member institutions. The specific criteria of evaluation are:

1. Project rationale: scientific and/or applied significance of the questions, likelihood to advance understanding in ecology, evolution and/or environmental issues, evidence of novel synthesis, and evidence of benefit to Canadian environmental and economic well-being.
2. Project description: clarity of objectives, outcomes, work plan, meeting schedule.
3. Expertise and appropriateness of applicants and participants (from the organizer’s resume and the summaries of the participants).
4. Participant diversity, including the criteria of career, geographic, and demographic diversity.
5. Anticipated outcomes. Potential for defined scientific products, including refereed publications, white papers and open access databases.
6. Budget adequacy and feasibility (complete estimates and coherent justification).  Presence of matching funds or partner organizations should be indicated.  Applicants with industrial partners should also consider submitting their proposal to the regional NSERC office for consideration in the CONNECT program prior to CIEE submission. 

Deadline: Submit the full proposal as a single Adobe pdf file by November 3, 2017 to:

Applicants are encouraged to contact the CIEE Director, Diane Srivastava, co-Director Peter Leavitt, or Associate Director, Diego Steinaker, with any questions, including those on content, budget and facilities.

Diane Srivastava and Peter Leavitt
Director and Co-Director, Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution





The CIEE will grow as it adds partners from coast to coast. CIEE achieves its mission principally through funding from, and co-operation among, a consortium of Canadian institutions. Each member university pays annual membership fees assessed on a sliding scale according to their NSERC Discovery Grant program funding in ecology and evolution.  No overhead is charged, so all of the funding obtained from member organizations is used for direct support of CIEE scientific programs, whereas in-kind contributions help maintain staff and synthesis facilities.  As a result, the more members we have, the more activities we can support.
To increase our membership, we are seeking CIEE members’ at all Canadian universities to act as representatives and liaisons to their local administration. Through its membership, your institution will: 1) facilitate access to CIEE’s scientific programs for your faculty and highly qualified personnel, 2) gain a seat on the management board that sets the mandate and direction of the CIEE, and 3) play a pivotal role in shaping the future of ecology and evolution in Canada.  We are always looking for new representatives, so please, do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.