CMC received 95 letters of intent from researchers responding to its third call for proposals, 38 more than received for last year’s round 2 call.
“I think the strong response indicates there’s more awareness of CMC and our activities as well as increased engagement with researchers across the country – especially in central Canada,” says Richard Adamson, CMC Managing Director.
This increased awareness is reflected by the fact the highest number of submissions (29) were from Ontario. There were 28 applications from Alberta, 12 from BC, Quebec and Saskatchewan, and one each from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The deadline for letters was December 9, 2011. Responses to all letters were issued on December 23. Applicants have until February 15 to submit full proposals. CMC expects to allocate $10 million this round. Currently, the network funds 36 research projects for a total of $18 million.
Automation of Process
New this round was automation of the application process using the Carbon Commons. Patrick Mann, Director of IT, says the process was relatively smooth.
“Overall the system worked well for version 1.0, and we’ve been making improvements for the full proposal phase,” says Mann.
There were a variety of reasons for moving to an online application system and there are multiple benefits. The automated system removes considerable manual work from CMC staff. It will not be necessary, for example, to send international reviewers copies of LOIs and full proposals because they are available online.
The proposal management system is also reusable and will be employed in future competitions. All data is now centrally located and searchable, so CMC has considerably upgraded reporting and auditing capability.
In addition, CMC will move annual reports to an online submission system so that progress can be tracked in an automated, efficient fashion.