Government of Canada invests in new COVID-19 research projects across the country

News release

Researchers target priority areas to address COVID-19 and improve health outcomes

March 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

One year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Canada salutes its health researchers for mobilizing quickly to contribute to global efforts to prevent, detect, treat and stop the spread of COVID-19. We have seen progress on many fronts including the rollout of the first vaccines, but the pandemic continues to rapidly evolve and negatively affect people, communities and health systems. Additional research is needed to understand and address persistent issues related to COVID-19 and the threat of future coronavirus and other infectious disease outbreaks.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced an investment of approximately $25.2 million in 52 research projects to further improve our understanding of COVID-19 and tackle persistent evidence gaps linked to this disease. Led by researchers across the country, the new COVID-19 projects will focus on topics such as variants of the virus, vaccine development and uptake, testing, mental health, and the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is having specific impacts on women, racialized populations, and Métis, Inuit and First Nations Peoples. This investment will enable research teams to target priority areas and advance our knowledge and management of COVID-19 related issues. The findings will serve to provide decision-makers with guidance to improve the health of our populations.

The Government of Canada is providing the funding for this research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This latest funding builds on previous investments from CIHR and complements a recently launched competition to further address persistent research gaps in our knowledge and emerging priorities related to COVID-19. 


“I congratulate the successful research teams, whose work will address the most pressing COVID-19 issues facing Canadians and the world today. The new research will help inform and accelerate our efforts to improve the health of all populations. Investing in science is a top priority for our government so that we can keep Canadians safe and healthy during and following this pandemic.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is in addition to the approximately $200 million CIHR has invested to date in 400 other COVID research projects.

  • CIHR recently launched another competition to invest up to $119 million more in COVID-19 research to bridge gaps in our understanding of the virus and its impact on communities and help us build back better. 

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Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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