Early Researcher Awards

The Ontario Ministry of Colleges & Universities (MCU) has announced a call for Round 16 of the Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program. The ERA program provides funding to recently-appointed researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build a research team.

Important Dates

  • ERA Round 16 Information Sessions: 



    April 30, 2021

    1:00 p.m.

    May 3, 2021

    2:00 p.m.

    May 4, 2021

    10:00 a.m.

    To select a date and register visit the online registration
  • May 10, 2021: First draft submitted to Research Development; list of referees submitted to Research Development for optional support with letters
  • June 4, 2021: ROLA proposal and final application, including all attachments and referee letters, submitted to Research Development
  • June 11, 2021: Submission of applications to the Ministry by Research Development.


  • Full-time faculty member or principal investigator at an eligible research institution at the time of application;
  • Started your academic research career on or after January 1, 2015;
  • Completed your first PhD, DVM or MD on or after January 1, 2010;
  • Have not already held an Early Researcher Award; and
  • Not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair.
Eligible interruptions, such as parental leaves or mandatory training (e.g., medical residencies) are taken into consideration by review panels when determining applicant eligibility. Please contact Research Development if you have questions regarding your eligibility.

Funding Amount

Each award is a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000 from the researcher’s institution and/or partner organization.

Applicants should consult with their faculty early in the application process regarding matching funds. Western Graduate Research Scholarships can be used as eligible matching funds. Faculties (and/or Lawson) will complete a form provided by Research Development to confirm matching funds and their source.

The government will provide up to $40,000 to the institution for indirect costs.

For full program details, visit the Early Researcher Awards website.

Support and Resources

  • Research Development will provide detailed feedback on application content, CVs, and referees if proposals are submitted by May 10, 2021.
  • Research Development can help you select referees, reach out to referees, provide CVs and other materials to referees, and work with your referees to develop letters of support if notified by May 10, 2021.
  • Research Development can assist with budget support and review.
  • Research Development will provide a previous, successful ERA application on request.

Additional Documents and Resources

Sponsor Documents:

Application Templates and Guides (Western ID/Password Required):

Other Resources:


For more information, or questions relating to the ERA program, please contact Julaine Hall, Research Development Officer (Awards & Distinctions).