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Proposal Evaluation

APC will only provide funding to proposed projects and programs of research that meet standards of excellence.

All proposals will be subjected to a merit review process to be coordinated by the partner agencies of APC. Where possible, a single, coordinated review process will be employed, even when proposed activities may seek support from more than one partner within APC.

Proposals will be examined against the APC Evaluation Criteria by experts in the same domain as the proposal. These experts may be from academia, industry or the public sector, and may be based within Canada or internationally.

For each proposal received, a merit review process will be employed that is commensurate with the scope and complexity of the proposed research. As examples:

  • In the case of a relatively small project involving one researcher and one company tackling a problem of limited scope, merit review would be limited to an anonymous paper review by external referees. The number of referees consulted would range from three to six, depending on the size of the funding request.
  • In the case of a larger research effort, with a correspondingly larger funding request (typically requesting more than $250,000 per year, on average) and potentially involving numerous institutions and industrial partners, a site visit to the host institution by a committee of five to six domain experts will be employed.
  • In the case of a particularly complex or large proposal, comprising a wide range of subject matter, an anonymous paper review may be combined with a site visit so as to ensure that all of the topics at hand within the proposal are examined and that a thorough two-stage review is performed.


The APC Steering Committee is responsible for the final approval of proposal funding, based on the recommendations brought forth by expert reviewers. (However, final approval for CFI funding within APC must be approved by the CFI Board of Directors).

The APC Steering Committee is composed of:

  • NSERC Vice-President, Research Partnerships, (Steering Committee Chair)
  • NRC Vice-President, Engineering
  • CFI Vice-President, Programs and Planning
  • SSHRC Vice-President, Partnerships Branch
  • Industry Canada Director General, Program Coordination Branch

Role of Project Office in Evaluation

The APC Project Office, being closely associated with the development of proposals, will not directly participate in the review process of APC proposals, other than to act as an observer and provide contextual information as necessary. However, the Project Office will ensure that any proposal that is put forward for merit review will fit within the guidelines of Automotive Partnership Canada. This includes ensuring the research is being driven by the needs of the projectís industrial partner(s); that there is a suitable Canadian-based partner(s) in a position to exploit the research results; that there exists an appropriate plan for the training of HQP; and that the budget conforms with what can be supported through APC.