Background/Question/Methods A call for proposals went out last summer to fund Arctic research in Canada. Two things stood out about this climate change funding program. One was the large contribution from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation councils and the other was the requirement for each project to have a funded Inuit research partner, either as principal or co-investigator. The Canada-Inuit Nunangat-United Kingdom Arctic Research Programme (CINUK) approaches change in the traditional lands and waters of Inuit in Canada from both a local and an international perspective. The program sought to highlight the qualities sought in the National Inuit Strategy for Research, particularly the promotion of local relevance, the respect for indigenous rights and knowledge and the capacity for long term relationships. The need to form cross-cultural and international research teams occasioned the hosting of a series of online workshops and a collaboration platform. In the letter of intent stage, the identification of authentic Inuit research partners was important for permitting each team to be invited to submit a full proposal. Key to this approach was a common set of criteria for projects that would be evaluated with equal weight by regional Inuit and subject expert committees.
Results/Conclusions The online workshops and platform served to introduce the Canadian and United Kingdom research communities to each other but were not effective in forming new relationships with Inuit communities. Fortunately, many of the academic researchers brought long-term relationships to the table and a sufficient number of communities were informed of the program and able to identify academic partners. The letters of intent were due in August, 2021 and 42 of 48 projects were able to proceed to the full proposal stage. There was a distinct preference for projects on ecological and physical trends as opposed to those developing adaptations to the effects of climate change. Food security was an over-riding concern for the communities. The heart of the process was the review of the full proposals by four teams of Inuit reviewers representing the regions of Inuit Nunangat and by four teams of subject experts. Though academic reviewers were expected to review proposals as part of their work, funding was arranged to allow Inuit reviewers to participate fully. The skill of the co-chairs and the listening spirit of the reviewers allowed the group to bridge cultural differences in selecting the dozen projects to fund.