Acceptable Application Formats and PDF Attachments

Important note:

  • This document provides general guidelines regarding what are considered to be acceptable application formats and attachments for a CIHR application. Please refer to the relevant funding opportunity for specific submission requirements.
  • When preparing your application, CIHR expects that you will adhere to all applicable instructions and requirements. This includes formatting. In cases of non-compliance that results in extra pages being added by applicants, CIHR may reformat and remove any pages that exceed the stated limit of the funding opportunity instructions, with no further notification to the Nominated Principal Applicant.

Research proposals written in French will be allowed to submit additional pages, in support of evidence demonstrating that French documents require approximately 20% more space than similar English documents. Therefore, the allowable length of all Research Proposal or equivalent attachments for French language application material will be increased by at least 20% and a standardized number of pages will be implemented for the Research Proposal section to ensure a cohesive approach across all CIHR funding programs. To simplify FO design and the application process, the increased page limit will be rounded to the closest half or full page.


All of CIHR's programs are now submitted electronically through ResearchNet unless otherwise stated in the funding opportunity. Applicants may be required to upload PDF fillable forms found on CIHR's website, or upload their own attachments, as part of their ResearchNet application. To determine the application format and PDF attachment requirements, please consult the How to Apply section of the funding opportunity. All inquiries should be directed to the CIHR Contact Centre.

Under no circumstances will hand-written applications be accepted.

Requirements for PDF Attachments

File attachments created by the applicant may be prepared with the word processing software package of your choice, but they must be uploaded in PDF format. ResearchNet will not accept supplementary audio or video material. Documents must be in one of the official languages (English or French), and must be typed and formatted following the instructions for formatting attachments listed below. The reason for these formatting requirements is to ensure that all applicants have exactly the same amount of space to write their proposals. CIHR indicates, under each section, the total number of pages permitted. This also facilitates the work of peer reviewers who must review multiple applications.

Instructions for preparing and formatting attachment documents. CIHR has simplified its attachment formatting requirements. The following apply to all attachments and must be followed to ensure readability and fairness.

  • Use a font size of 12 point, black type. Do not use condensed/narrow font sizes or type density. Smaller text in tables, charts, figures, and graphs is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Use a minimum of single line spacing. Do not use narrow line spacing.
  • Insert a margin of 2 cm (3/4 inch) – minimum – around the page.
  • Observe page limitations, additional pages may NOT be added unless specified.
  • Use only letter size (21.25 X 27.5 cm / 8.5" X 11") white paper/background for all attachments.
  • Photo-reduce the supporting documents if the originals are larger than 21.25 X 27.5 cm / 8.5" X 11".
  • Attachments must be uploaded in PDF format (unprotected).
  • The size of the attached document(s) cannot exceed 30 MB per document.
  • For more information about converting documents to PDF, please refer to Help with Accessibility page.

Please note that failure to comply with these requirements can negatively impact the status and evaluation of your application in a competition.

For all documents that need to be attached, please follow the instructions provided within ResearchNet on how to upload your document.

If you have any questions, contact us Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Date modified: