National Pension Hub Special Call for Proposals

Submission deadline: Tuesday September 1, 2020


Download the Application Form

Special Call for Proposal Application Form

Funding Proposal Submission Guidelines

The National Pension Hub (NPH) is inviting submissions in a Special Call for Proposals focusing on the challenges facing retirement security providers, pension plan sponsors and managers and investment managers in light the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic stress. More specifically, we will solicit proposals on the impact of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis on:

1. Investment Management: Including - long term expected rates of return, role of fixed income in the “lower for longer era”, governance, portfolio management practices, ESG approaches and strategies, liquidity management, non-financial risk assessment and valuation of alternative assets
2. Plan Sponsors: Including - discount rate methodology and assumptions, valuing liabilities, solvency risk, intergenerational risk sharing and Targeted Benefit plan design in a low-rate environment.

The National Pension Hub (NPH) is a Canadian centre for pension knowledge and research that promotes and funds thought leadership through collaborations with universities and researchers. The NPH strives to provide pension and income security research that will support innovative solutions to pension design, governance, and investment management challenges. Each year, the NPH will award grants for research projects that will make material contributions to the NPH’s topics of interest (as detailed in this document). NPH research grants are for new or beginning-stage research projects with a maximum time horizon of two years.

Award Details

NPH grants for the Special Call for Proposals will have a maximum duration of 12 months. The funding range is CAD$10,000 to CAD$60,000. Funding awards will be determined by the NPH Advisory committee. The maximum allowable overhead per project is 20 percent. Research output from NPH funded projects will be shared with NPH member organizations. Researchers may be invited to present at a (virtual) event at the conclusion of their work. Distribution of research output does not preclude subsequent publication of the work in a journal of the researcher's choice. Successful applicants will be required to submit bi-annual research reports and annual financial reports.

Award Requirements

All project submissions should detail new, original research that is in its beginning stages. Research should demonstrate academic rigour, research excellence, and practical applicability. Strong preference will be given to submissions with at least one researcher at a Canadian institution. Proposals from research teams outside of Canada should be highly relevant to the Canadian pension market.

Submission Process

All submission packages must be sent to with the subject line “NPH Proposal Submission: Last Name of Project Lead”. Submission Package must include:

  1. Completed Application Form: This form should be filled out in a clear and concise manner and should be treated as a standalone document that conveys all requested information.
  2. Detailed Project Proposal: This should introduce the project, detailing both the scientific and industry-specific motivations for the research. Briefly lay out the proposed methodology, highlight how this work fills existing gaps in the literature, and comment on the expected outcome. The proposal should also include a general timeline for the work. Maximum 8 pages excluding references.
  3. Project budget: The proposal must include a detailed budget.
  4. CV(s) of lead researcher(s)

Application Deadline and Review Process

The deadline for paper submissions is at 23:59 hrs EST, 1 September, 2020. The NPH Advisory committee, composed of both practitioners from each NPH member firm and pension researchers, will evaluate all submissions. Applicants will be notified directly as to the final funding decision.