The primary objective of the Talent Recruitment Fund, is to support the recruitment of outstanding professors and researchers in the applied research space by investing in some of the resources they will need to quickly get started and succeed.
The intent of this program is to help institutions recruit or retain promising early stage researchers into faculty / independent researcher positions. This award is intended to foster excellence in applied research, and to support those research programs with the potential for significant economic impact (direct or indirect) for the province of NB. There is a focus on accelerating the pace of research for the awardees, by helping them start up their research programs quickly and increase the speed at which impactful results are created. These principals direct the program guidelines that are laid out below.
To be eligible for a Talent Recruitment award, the candidate cannot have yet agreed to take up the role for which the institution is applying. This will be judged as both the date of signature on the employment contract and the role start date being later than the date at which the Talent Recruitment award application was received at NBIF. The candidate may or may not already be working at the institution and may occupy the position that the award is requested for – only if they occupy the position in a temporary capacity (meaning that they are not considered a full-time tenure track professor).
The same candidate cannot be eligible for an RPI and a Talent Recruitment award simultaneously: NBIF reserves the right to make a final decision on eligibility.
The role must be:
- Full-time and physically based in NB.
- At least 3 years in duration, and with a reasonable expectation that the role will become permanent in the future.
- For universities, the role must a faculty position. Post-doctoral fellowships are not eligible.
- The primary purpose of the role is to conduct research (and not, for example, to teach).
- The position must permit the individual to engage in independent research activities that are not under the direction of another researcher.
The award must be used for expenses directly linked to the candidate’s research program. A detailed list of eligible expenses is included in the NBIF Award Administration guide, though we note due to the nature of the Talent Recruitment award there is some room for more leniency towards travel and networking-related expenses. As an example, the award might be used for:
- Laboratory renovations
- Purchase of equipment or software
- Lab personnel salaries, such as students or a postdoc
- Hosting a workshop or other event for networking/collaboration purposes
- Travel directly related to the research program (eg to a conference in order to meet new collaborators or to meetings with industry partners)
- Purchase of computers or office equipment for the use of the candidate or their research group
In the event that the candidate wishes to use the award for an expense not normally allowed under NBIF rules, an exception can be granted by NBIF approval after a written request.
There is no requirement to leverage the award, but if the candidate desires they may use the Talent Recruitment fund as matching funding in an application for another funding opportunity (for example, the Talent Recruitment award could be used as matching funding in an NSERC RTI application for a piece of equipment).
The institution must apply for the award before the candidate has agreed to take up the role (see “Eligibility” above). Understanding that recruitment cycles can be very rapid, institutions should inform NBIF during the recruitment process for a new position that might form a Talent Recruitment award application, along with tentative dates for when the NBIF might expect an application. If this is done, NBIF guarantees a 1-week turn around from the date that a complete application is received (except during the period from Dec 22 – Jan 2 due to office closures). If NBIF is not informed of recruitments underway with tentative timelines, processing an application will take 2-4 weeks.
In order to facilitate the application process, institutions may choose to apply to NBIF with a selection of candidates for the same role. This is permitted and NBIF will provide feedback on which of the candidates could receive a Talent Recruitment award. Processing this type of application will take longer.
Applications are to be submitted via the NBIF Application portal. Most sections of the application should be completed by the institution (for example, a research administrator) but there are some portions that require input from the applicant.
Once a decision has been made, a notification email will be sent the institution’s research administrator. An official NOD will be issued after the candidate’s acceptance of the offer has been confirmed via email.
Final confirmation of the award will require 1) the date on which the employment contract was signed and 2) the date when the role will start. A letter from the institution’s research administration containing these two dates is sufficient for confirmation (the actual contract is not required).
The award start date is the date that the candidate takes up the role at the institution. The award end date is 2 years later, at which point all the funding must be exhausted. Any unspent funding remaining after the award end date must be returned to NBIF. A maximum extension of 6 months is possible, on written request and subject to NBIF approval.
After 1 year, the recipient will be asked to informally report on initial progress and also complete a financial report. After 2.5 years from the start date, a detailed technical report will be required along with a final financial report.
The minimum award size is $30,000 and the maximum award size is $100,000. We expect the normal award size to be $55,000 and the institution will need to justify any deviation away from this normal. Awards greater than $55,000 are generally only granted for the creation of a significant new position that is highly influential for the institution, such as a research chair. Larger than normal award sizes should be linked to very impactful research programs that can demonstrate significant potential for direct or indirect economic benefit for NB.
The application does not need to demonstrate any leverage for this award.