Government of Canada and provincial partners invest more than $109M in COVID-19 research – Details about the funded projects


To continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and around the world, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, along with provincial partners, launched a second rapid research funding competition on April 23, 2020. This follows an initial investment of $55.3M to support 100 research projects announced in March.

A total of 926 researchers volunteered their time and expertise to peer review 1,488 applications so that the funding competition could be completed rapidly. This resulted in 139 research teams across Canada receiving funding to do research that will inform decision-making on how to improve testing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

The Government of Canada is providing the funding for this research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in partnership with Alberta Innovates (AI), Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Research Manitoba (RMB), Research Nova Scotia (RNS), Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF)Footnote 1.

  • CIHR is contributing $102.6M
  • CIHR Institute of Aging is contributing $300,000 of the $102.6M from CIHR to fund research relevant to their areas of interest, including vaccine-related research, treatment and clinical trials that include older adults, ethics, etc.
  • IDRC is providing $6.6M to support projects with investigators from research institutions based in low- and middle-income countries
  • The following provincial research funders are contributing funding to support applications with principal or co-applicants from research institutions based in their respective provinces:
    • MSFHR (British Columbia) is providing $150,000
    • AI is contributing $100,000
    • RMB is providing $100,000
    • RNS is providing $100,000
    • SHRF is contributing $50,000

The total investment for this research is $109.7M.

The investment will support 139 projects across various research areas to ensure a balanced research response:

  • Clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and other relevant study designs to scale-up promising existing projects to address COVID-19.
  • Vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutics, such as testing existing therapeutics to prevent and treat COVID-19, point of care diagnostics that can be applied at home or in remote locations, and application of anti-viral therapeutics for patients predicted to have unfavourable outcomes.
  • Clinical management and health system interventions, such as resource allocation decision-making, interventions to address surge capacity in health care, management of COVID-19 in cases with co-morbidities, and interventions to mitigate the impact on non-COVID care.
  • Social, policy, and public health responses and related indirect consequences, such as population-level containment strategies, public health communications and citizen engagement, impacts of external decisions on self-determination and self-governance of Indigenous Peoples, and real-time data development for predictive studies to inform policy-making.

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