Digital Citizen Contribution Program
The Digital Citizen Contribution Program supports the priorities of the Digital Citizen Initiative by providing time-limited financial assistance for research and citizen-focused activities. The Program aims to support democracy and social inclusion in Canada by enhancing and/or supporting efforts to counter online disinformation and other online harms and threats.
Current open call
This call for proposals is seeking citizen-focused activities projects, research projects, or projects combining elements of both project types. Eligible projects must meet at least 1 of the following priorities:
- develop and publish tools to support digital media and civic literacy skills among people in Canada outside of educational institutions and/or among seniors in Canada
- develop and publish tools to help people in Canada identify content created and spread by bots and/or artificial intelligence
- develop and publish tools to prevent and address online violence against women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and other forms of technology facilitated violence
- create resources to support children and parents in Canada to address and prevent cyberbullying
- build technical capacity and expertise among small and medium sized civil society organizations seeking to address mis-/disinformation, hate speech and cyberbullying
- develop and publish tools to build resilience to mis-/disinformation stemming from foreign governments, such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, targeting people in Canada, including diaspora communities
- conduct research, testing and/or evaluation of tools or interventions related to any of the above priorities
Under this call for proposals, the Program is offering successful recipients up to $380,000 per approved project.
Note that the Program may award up to $1,000,000 in funding for some projects with budgets of over $1,000,000. Applicants must indicate on their application form if they are requesting this higher amount and demonstrate that they have the capacity and the resources to undertake such a project.
Funding is available for projects taking place in between the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 fiscal years. You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months. You must then show that there is a need for a multi-year commitment and that you have the capacity to complete the project. This is demonstrated with a realistic project timeline and budget projections as well as sound governance.
Projects must start in the 2023-2024 fiscal year and all funds received from this call for proposals must be spent by March 31, 2025.
The application deadline and details on how to apply can be found below.
Who can apply
The following organizations are eligible for funding:
- a national, provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous, community or professional organization, society or association which has voluntarily associated itself for a not-for-profit purpose, and which has the mandate to represent its membership or community
- a not-for-profit organization, including non-governmental or umbrella organizations, non-profit corporations, community groups, regulatory bodies or apprenticeship authorities, or associations serving the private sector
- a university or educational institution
- an individual researcher, acting in his or her personal capacity
- a research institution with an established record in relevant field(s), intending to undertake work in a Canadian context
- a for-profit Canadian and Canadian-owned institution with a record of developing and delivering programming, and performing research or related activities relevant to the goals of Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Initiative, provided that the nature and the intent of the activity is non-commercial
Federal institutions, including any department, branch, office, board, agency, commission, corporation or other entity that receives an annual appropriation from Parliament, are not eligible for funding under the Program.
2023-2024 intake deadline
The deadline to submit an application for this call for proposals is November 28, 2023 (11:59 pm local time).
How to apply
- Contact the Digital Citizen Contribution Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage to request an application package, including the application guidelines and the general application form
- Read the application guidelines in their entirety before completing your application
- Submit your completed application by email to email@example.com
- You must meet all the eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes all of the following documentation:
- a signed and completed General Application Form
- a balanced (no surplus or deficit) itemized budget for the life cycle of the project, disclosing all revenues from all sources (confirmed and potential), including in-kind support, as well as all expected expenses of the project
- a project workplan which defines the activities the project will undertake to achieve its anticipated outcomes
- the sub-components of the Application Form
- a Direct Deposit Form (if you have not yet completed one)
- the Unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Responsibility Form (only in the case of an unincorporated group)
- proof of legal status and signing authority, which can include letters patent, incorporation documents
- most recent financial statements (annual audited statements if available)
You can find information on our funded projects on the Open Government Proactive Disclosure for Grants and Contributions page.
All projects funded by the Digital Citizen Contribution Program through open and targeted calls for proposals from January 2020 to February 2021 are listed in this backgrounder.
First research projects call for proposals
This call for proposals sought projects that met at least 1 of the following priorities:
- research projects, where activities have a positive domestic impact on Canada or Canadians, and include primary research, such as surveys, interviews, field experiments or lab-based experiments, as well as secondary research such as literature reviews and meta-analyses; production and analysis of datasets; and creation of tools such as software programs to support research
- evaluation projects, where activities will seek to evaluate the impact of existing Canadian or international programming and research addressing disinformation and other online harms
This call for proposals closed on November 1, 2019.
Second research projects call for proposals
This call for proposals sought projects that met at least 1 of the following priorities, with a maximum funding ask of $100,000/project:
- projects that aim to map/predict the next issues and/or types of online disinformation and other related harms that Canada and/or Canadians might face, how they could be tackled, and by whom
- projects that aim to help better understand the impact of disinformation and related harms on diverse and marginalized communities in Canada, with a gender-based analysis lens
- projects that aim to understand the societal factors and psychological characteristics that motivate individuals to take up the call for online and offline disinformation related activities
- projects that aim to understand the impacts of a lack of exposure to diverse content online, including understanding how users access reliable news and information in Canada, as well as the impacts of algorithmic systems on the content users are exposed to and consume on online platforms
This call for proposals closed on September 18, 2020.
Third research projects call for proposals
This call for proposals sought projects that met at least 1 of the following priorities, and under this call, successful recipients received funding up to $100,000:
- projects that aim to understand the role of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and other system-level factors on mainstream and fringe online platforms as they pertain to the spread, uptake, and impacts of disinformation and related harms, including on user behaviour and content consumption, and their potential uses towards a diverse and healthy information ecosystem
- projects that aim to understand the domestic and transnational spread, evolution, and impacts of online disinformation and related harms through and on diaspora, Indigenous, and non-English primary language communities in Canada using a GBA+ lens, including impacts on societal outcomes
- projects that aim to evaluate existing Canadian or international research and programming related to online disinformation and their effectiveness in furthering positive societal outcomes, such as citizen resilience, social inclusion, media literacy, and participation and trust in democratic processes
This call for proposals closed on May 28, 2021.
Fourth research projects call for proposals
This call for proposals sought research projects that met at least 1 of the following priorities, and under this call, successful recipients received funding up to $100,000:
- projects that aim to evaluate the efficacy of efforts by platforms to counter disinformation and other online harms
- projects that aim to understand the role of non-news and alternative media sources of disinformation
- projects that aim to identify the behavioural and psychological underpinnings of the spread of disinformation and other harmful content in the Canadian context
This call for proposals closed on August 18, 2022.
Special COVID-19 calls
The Digital Citizen Contribution launched 2 special COVID-19 calls for proposals. The first call provided up to $3.5 million in funding to amplify the efforts of 10 organizations supporting citizens to think critically about the health information they find online, to identify mis- and disinformation, and limit the impact of racist and/or misleading social media posts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second call also aimed to amplify the efforts of organizations supporting citizens to think critically about the health information they find online, to identify mis- and disinformation, and limit the impact of racist and/or misleading social media posts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This call provided time-limited financial assistance to 24 projects of up to $40,000 per project.
This call for proposals closed on July 31, 2020.
Special Ukraine Crisis Call
In the light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this special call is aimed to address the growing spread of harmful misinformation and disinformation. The special targeted call was launched to fund initiatives that help people identify misinformation and disinformation online.
The details of this announcement are available on the Government of Canada reinforces support to organizations to help counter harmful disinformation page.
This call for proposals closed on April 1, 2022.
Special Online Safety Awareness Call
The Digital Citizen Contribution launched this special targeted call to raise awareness about tools and services offered by non-Government organizations and platforms that specifically counter online harms, including hate speech, incitement to violence, terrorist content, child sexual exploitation material, and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
This call for proposals closed on February 14, 2023.
- Digital Citizen Contribution Program
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy St
Gatineau QC J8X 4B5
- 1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
- 1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)
Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET).
Guides and help
- Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support – Canadian Heritage
- Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs
Related services and information
- Online disinformation and Digital Citizen Initiative
- Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research
- News Release — Supporting Canadians to Think Critically About Online Health Information
- News Release — Ongoing Support for Research and Media Literacy Projects as Canada Continues to Fight Online Disinformation
- News Release — Government of Canada reinforces support to organizations to help counter harmful disinformation
- Open Government Proactive Disclosure for Grants and Contributions — Digital Citizen Contribution Program
- News Release — Projects launched to help strengthen Canadians’ resilience against harmful online disinformation
- Date modified: