Go to the content anchor

Team of Excellence Research Program (TERP)

The TERP program provides support for innovative, interdisciplinary, and highly original basic research into the complex mechanisms of living organisms. TERP funds novel collaborations that bring scientists with distinct expertise together to focus on problems at the frontiers of life science. Emphasis is placed on novel collaborative research at the cutting-edge of the life sciences, and drawing on the expertise of scientists from other research areas (physics, chemistry, instrumentation/engineering, bioinformatics and computer science, etc.). Novel combinations of expertise are a major feature of TERP projects, and proposals involving truly novel interdisciplinary collaborations will be given clear preference; applicants are expected to develop new lines of research through the collaboration. Projects must be distinct from applicants’ other research funded by NSTC or other sources (e.g., MOE, NHRI or AS). The collaboration between all team members must be absolutely necessary to achieve the aims of the project. “Concerted action” projects, in which each team member performs a self-contained project on a general theme without extensive interaction with the other team members are not considered to be collaborative. The purpose of TERP funding for basic research is to support teams of scientists at the forefront of research in their respective areas, whose collaborative projects open up new frontiers in fundamental biology. Projects of a primarily pathophysiological nature will not have priority for funding. Nor does TERP support projects of a purely applied nature. For instance, projects aimed specifically at developing methods of treatment or diagnosis, and those directly concerned with agricultural or environmental problems such as crop yield or bioremediation will not be considered eligible. Studies related to disease are only considered if they allow new insights into fundamental biological mechanisms. The innovative aspect of a project is a major criterion in the review of TERP research grants. A brief explanation of the contributions of team members with different expertise should be provided in the summary, which will be used in the letter of intent and full proposal review process. TERP projects must be composed of at least three sub-projects, which must be headed by one person serving as a chief investigator, and at least two principle investigators. The letter of intent should include an overall abstract, specific goals, background, summary of methods, and requested budget, together with a list of no more than 5 most significant publications within the past five years, and shall be submitted around October. After review of the letters of intent, invitations shall be issued from late November to early December to applicants selected to submit full applications. Full applications are then due around the beginning to middle of January. Each proposal will be sent to three overseas and two domestic reviewers. Each primary reviewer will assign a score of from 1 (highly recommended) to 5 (not recommended) to each proposal. Final decision will be discussed by a panel of secondary reviewers based on the scores received by each applicant.

Last Modified : 2022/09/27