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Update on the Tri-agency grants management solution initiative


As you know, the three federal granting agencies have committed to modernizing their grants management systems to better support applicants, administrators and reviewers, with the goal of developing a harmonized solution that delivers a more efficient and user-friendly experience. I would like to provide you with an update on the significant progress being made on the Tri-agency grants management solution (TGMS) initiative.

Our approach is rooted in co-designing the solution with our stakeholders and since the beginning of the year, we have engaged with many individuals from the research community. One way that we’ve done this is by organizing workshops, starting with one in Ottawa with users from across Canada, followed by sessions at five universities to model the key needs, tasks and pain points of our primary users (i.e., applicants, reviewers and administrators). We mapped their experience to gain greater visibility into how users interact with current grants management systems—and what an ideal future state would look like. The knowledge learned from these workshops will be foundational in guiding the selection of our grants management solution. We are in the process of hosting workshops, with five additional universities to continue this important work.

To date, we also have held six workshops with users from across Canada to assess how ready they are for the change and how best the agencies can support them. I want to thank users for volunteering their time to participate in the various workshops—your input is crucial to the success of the TGMS initiative.

Getting this initiative right means meaningfully engaging and consulting broadly, and to that end, we have established an External change agent network (ECAN), which includes representatives from 117 institutions who have been engaged in meetings and workshops to ensure we capture perspectives from various user groups. I’m pleased to note that this network includes administrators from across the country, and a range of diversity in terms of geographic location, language, institution size and gender of users.

In addition, the best interests of the research community are being represented by the TGMS External advisory board (EAB), which is providing independent advice and recommendations to the three granting agencies on the TGMS initiative.

Once again, thank you to the members of the ECAN and the EAB for sharing your expertise and perspectives with us.

We are now ready to turn our attention to test-driving some potential grants management solutions. In December and January, select members of the research community are participating in the testing of the “Proof of concept” of potential solutions. These real-world tests are critical milestones on the road to selecting a solution and a specialized implementation provider to launch the new solution.

It is important to note that the engagements we have undertaken to date have given us the opportunity to better understand the diversified needs of the research community and to capture the nuances of different views. Engagement activities will be ongoing throughout the winter to ensure that the diverse needs of our users and stakeholders continue to be top of mind for this initiative.

If you have comments or questions about this process, want to become a member of the External change agent network, or if you feel that you have something important to contribute, please feel free to contact us at or participate in the Tri-agency grant management solution stakeholder survey. To stay connected, please visit the TGMS website, subscribe to our Access, Contact or Dialogue newsletters, and follow us on Twitter: @CIHR_IRSC, @NSERC_CRSNG or @SSHRC_CRSH.

Thank you,


Adrian Mota
Vice-President, TGMS | Associate Vice-President, Research Programs – Operations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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