1.1 Timelines for the Northern Contaminants Program Call for Proposals

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) issues a Call for Proposals in November of every year. The NCP is now accepting funding proposals for 2018-2019. The deadline for proposal submissions is 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, Wednesay, January 10, 2018

Table 1.1 Timelines for the NCP 2017-2018 Call for Proposals
Call for Proposals issued November 15, 2017
Proposal consultation process with Inuit Research Advisors, communities and Regional Contaminants Committees

November 15, 2017

to January 10, 2018

Deadline for submission of proposals January 10, 2018
Applicants apply for research licences and ethics review, as applicable. January to April 2018
Proposal Review Period - proposals are reviewed by peer reviewers, technical review teams and Regional Contaminants Committees

late January to

end of March 2018

Deadline for submission of Community Engagement forms March 31, 2018
NCP Management Committee meets to make final funding decisions April 2018
Written notification sent to applicants on the status of their proposal(s) April to May 2018
Funding Agreements prepared and signed June 2018 and ongoing


1.2 Available Funds

The current focus of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) is on the high priority issues in communities where people are exposed to contaminant levels of concern to health authorities (see Contaminants of Concern).

Activities funded by the NCP fall under five subprograms and their associated funding envelopes. Note these funding levels are approximate and may be subject to change

Table 1.2 NCP Funding by Subprogram for the 2018-2019 Call for Proposals
NCP SubprogramsOngoing / Core ProjectsResearch / OtherProjectsTotal Funding
Human Health N/A $1,075,000


Environmental Monitoring and Research (EMR)

Ongoing core monitoring projects:

Only project leaders identified in the EMR Blueprint are invited to submit proposals for ongoing core monitoring projects.

Research projects:

Open to proposals for research projects that address priorities identified in the EMR Blueprint

$850,000 $225,000 $1,075,000
Community-Based Monitoring and Research (CBMR)
Funding available through NCP, with joint contributions from the Indigenous Community Based Climate Monitoring Program
N/A $500,000 $500,000

Communications, Capacity and Outreach (CCO)

Ongoing core projects:

Support for Regional Contaminants Committees, Inuit Research Advisors and key NCP communicators

Other projects:

Open to proposals for projects and activities that address priorities identified in the CCO Blueprint

$450,000 $150,000 $600,000
Program Coordination and Indigenous Partnerships $1,100,000 N/A $1,100,000
TOTALS $2,450,000 $1,90,000 $4,350,000

Applicants should consult the NCP Blueprints for a description of these subprograms when preparing their proposals.

1.3 Geographic focus of the Northern Contaminants Program

The geographic focus of NCP is Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. Proposals for work to be conducted outside these regions will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to their relevance to the various NCP Blueprints.

1.4 Changes to the 2018-2019 NCP Call for Proposals

Please note the following important changes and updates in this year's Call for Proposals:

  • Multi-Year Funding Requests: Applicants for projects under the Community-Based Monitoring and Research Subprogram (Section 8), Regional Contaminants Committee Core communications and capacity building (Section 9.5.4) and Indigenous Partner Capacity Building (Section 10.2) are now eligible to receive multi-year funding agreements for up to 3 years (i.e. 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21) based on a single application). Project descriptions and budget tables provided in the proposal are to reflect the full funding period requested.
  • There will not be an NCP Results Workshop in 2018. As such, project budgets should not include this as a planning/budget item for 2018-2019. The next NCP Results Workshop will be held in Fall 2019.
  • Human Health Blueprint: No significant changes for 2018-2019
  • Environmental Monitoring and Research Blueprint: The Blueprint incorporates some regional priorities for new information on contaminant levels in certain species of importance to the region.
  • Community Based Monitoring and Research: The amount of funding available for Community-Based Monitoring and Research projects in 2018-2019 has increased to $500,000. Projects that address questions of both contaminants and climate change are of particular interest.
  • Communications, Capacity, and Outreach Blueprint: Proposals are particularly welcome for work related to translation and interpretation of contaminants terminology into Indigenous languages, as well as holding workshops that present NCP results at a regional scale.

1.5 Responsibilities of Applicants

All NCP-funded projects must conform to the guidelines outlined below.

1.5.1 Partnerships

The NCP requires that all funded projects be carried out in partnership with Northerners. Scientists are encouraged to work with community leaders, Elders, hunters and other knowledgeable individuals to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the design and conduct of the study. Community input to the research is important, as are sensitive and sound researcher–community relations; all must be clearly demonstrated in project proposals. The Regional Contaminants Committees (RCCs) and the Inuit Research Advisors (IRAs) play a particularly important role in this respect and are to be involved in any steps taken to work with the communities, see Contacts.

The NCP supports interdisciplinary studies that advance general knowledge related to contaminants, including projects that address the interactions between climate change and contaminants. Applicants are encouraged to seek opportunities to combine NCP activities with those funded by other programs such as ArcticNet and the Indigenous Community Based Climate Monitoring Program to explore interdisciplinary questions.

Project leaders are also encouraged to seek co-funding from other programs that support community-based research and monitoring in the Arctic. Two such programs that operate in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, respectively, are the Cumulative Impacts Monitoring Program (CIMP) and the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan. For more information, please contact CIMP by e-mail at or call 1-867-767-9233 ext. 53081, and for NGMP, please e-mail or call 1-855-897-6988.

1.5.2 Training the next generation of Arctic scientists

The NCP recognizes the importance of training the next generation of Arctic scientists as well as training scientists in the North. Research funded by the NCP is often well suited for graduate level research projects. The involvement of students in NCP research and monitoring projects is strongly encouraged. Project leaders are also encouraged to develop links with the Arctic Colleges and other educational institutions to enhance the training and education of Northern students by including them in the project work.

1.5.3 Northern consultation and informed consent

All applicants are asked to review the Community Engagement Requirements for Northern Contaminants Program Projects carefully; this specifies consultation requirements for all project proposals, see section 3. Applicants must demonstrate, in writing, appropriate engagement as per the above-mentioned requirements, ensure that they allow enough time to complete this process and are encouraged to discuss their consultation plans with the appropriate Regional Contaminant Committee(s) and/or Inuit Research Advisors, see Contacts.

For projects involving the collection of personal information and/or samples from people, informed consent must be obtained prior to final approval of the project. As well, agreements must be established with First Nations and Inuit governments or organizations that pertain to ownership, control, access and possession of data and information (OCAP principles) collected from individuals. 

1.5.4 Licensing, ethics review and health and safety

All research taking place in Canada’s North requires a scientific research licence. Please consult the websites of the licensing authorities in the following regions, and/or contact the Inuit Research Advisors for guidance, see Contacts.

Every research project involving the collection of personal information and/or samples from people will be required to provide proof of approval from all relevant ethics review boards/committees to the NCP Secretariat before the research project is given final approval.

The health and safety of NCP research teams, including Northern community members who assist/participate in the research in any way, is of paramount importance. NCP Project Leaders should be aware of their responsibilities with respect to ensuring the health and safety of their teams, particularly when carrying out research activities in remote northern locations. 

NCP researchers are encouraged to consider the following information on health, safety, insurance, training, licensing and other aspects of working in the North, which was developed for researchers during International Polar Year, and disseminate this information to applicable members of the project team and incorporate these measures into project plans:

1.5.5 Project communications

The NCP places an emphasis on the importance of clear and appropriate communications during all phases of a project’s lifecycle, from planning and development to the dissemination of results, and all stages in-between. Projects must develop a communications plan/strategy that is acceptable to the relevant Regional Contaminants Committees (RCCs), First Nations and Inuit governments and public health authorities (where applicable).

It is required that successful applicants will work in partnership with relevant local/regional organizations and the NCP Secretariat to develop any messaging related to contaminants exposure to human populations. Public health authorities, and First Nations and Inuit governments in areas with settled land claims, bear the ultimate authority to approve and release public health messages.

1.5.6 Data management

The integrity and long-term stability of sample archive and data management is very important for meeting the long-term science and policy objectives of the NCP. Therefore, the NCP, in collaboration with other partners, has developed the document, Data Management Principles and Guidelines for Polar Research and Monitoring in Canada, which outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the NCP and of project teams regarding data, metadata and other information generated from NCP-funded research and monitoring projects. To meet the objectives laid out in the document, the NCP has partnered with the Canadian Polar Data Network - Polar Data Catalogue to ensure long-term access and availability of data, as well as to promote collaboration among researchers.

  • All NCP project leaders must use the Polar Data Catalogue to create a full set of metadata that completely document and describe the data collected as part of their NCP projects.
  • Applicants must describe their data management plans in their proposals.
  • Upon approval of funding each project leader will be required to complete and sign the NCP Sample and Data Accessibility Form.
  • Where possible, Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates should be captured when samples are collected.

The NCP Secretariat will review entries in the Polar Data Catalogue to ensure that NCP projects are reporting their metadata. Since metadata can be created before analysis is complete, the deadline for completion is March 31, 2018. Any holdback or further installment of funds including funding for the subsequent year will be contingent upon the creation of a new metadata record or update to an existing record.

1.5.7 Sample archiving

It is important that all tissue samples collected during the course of NCP studies be properly archived for future use. The collection and archiving of tissues from important traditional/country foods is of particular importance. These tissues could be used in the future to assess dietary exposure of Northerners to contaminants.

1.5.8 Quality assurance and quality control

A quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program has been established to assess the performance of all laboratories carrying out contaminant analyses under the NCP and to ensure inter-comparability of data. The QA/QC program is also designed to meet the diverse QA/QC needs of the researchers and analysts by providing them with appropriate diagnostic tools for their analyses and by offering guidance and support in taking corrective measures if needed. Further information on the NCP QA/QC program can be found in a detailed QA/QC report available upon request by e-mail to the NCP Secretariat. To ensure the continued success of the QA/QC program, all laboratories performing analyses for NCP research are expected to participate in the program. Applicants are also required to report on laboratory QA/QC performance in their proposals (see Proposal Format in Section 2).

1.5.9 Reporting

Funding recipients are responsible for submitting the following project reports to the NCP Secretariat, in accordance with the deadlines outlined in Table 1.3. Please incorporate the above reporting requirements into your work plans. Note that the NCP Results Workshop will not be held in 2018-2019.

Table 1.3 NCP Reporting Requirements 2018-2019
Type of Reporting RequirementFederal Government funding recipientsAll other funding recipientsDate
Mid-year report Yes September 15, 2018
NCP Results Workshop No The next NCP Results Workshop will be held in Fall 2019
Final financial report Yes No March 15, 2019
Project metadata input in the Polar Data Catalogue Yes March 31, 2019
End of year synopsis of research report Yes April 30, 2019
Final financial statement No Yes July 29, 2019

The end of year synopsis of research report allows NCP to make research results and other project information available to the public, including northerners and the scientific community, in a timely manner. Short versions of the results are posted on the NCP website. The complete Synopsis Report of NCP research is published in electronic format in September of each year. The contents of the Synopsis Report will also be widely accessible to the public through the NCP Publications Database.

1.5.10 Publications

Project leaders are expected to publish their results in peer-reviewed literature in a timely manner. Project leaders are required to provide the NCP Secretariat with an advance copy of any materials being developed for communication with the public that is related to and/or resulting from work carried out with the support of the NCP.

Project leaders and all team members are expected to acknowledge funding from the NCP in any publications, presentations, print and electronic communications related to and/or resulting from work carried out with the support of the NCP. For guidance and/or instructions on the proper acknowledgment of the NCP funding, and/or logos to use, please contact Simon Smith at the NCP Secretariat at or 819-934-1022.

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