Government of Canada creates Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies

News release

January 14, 2022 — Ottawa, ON — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canada’s health research community responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic from the time the first cases were identified in late 2019. Over the past two years, researchers across the country have rallied together to create new scientific knowledge and provide critical evidence to guide Canada’s response to the pandemic and keep Canadians safe. As the pandemic evolves, they continue to work on issues facing Canadians and their work is and will continue to help with our recovery from this pandemic. The Government of Canada has supported the research response to the pandemic with investments of nearly $280 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to have an emergency-ready health research system in place. To further strengthen Canada’s research capability, today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the creation of the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies with an ongoing investment of $18.5 million per year. The Research Centre, which will be housed within CIHR, will collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, as well as stakeholders domestically and internationally. It will focus on growing Canada’s capacity to research and mobilize knowledge to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from existing and future pandemics and public health emergencies.

While work is underway to establish its governance structure and recruit personnel, the Research Centre has supported several COVID-19 research initiatives. This includes support for the COVID-19 Evidence Network, which produces summaries of the best available science on COVID-19-related issues for decision makers, and support for research projects that will help understand and address the wider health impacts of the pandemic.


“By investing in the creation of the Research Centre, we are ensuring that Canada continues to strengthen its emergency-ready health research system. This will allow us to support sustained and coordinated research activities and ensure that Canada is a step ahead of any future health emergencies.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“CIHR is a natural home for the Research Centre. We will leverage a comprehensive network of health researchers across the country and strong relationships with Canadian and international research agencies. By working together, we will create the knowledge required to prepare for future health emergencies and mount an effective, coordinated response.”

Dr. Michael Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick facts

  • Even though global pandemics are rare events, health emergencies of concern are on the rise, and the disruption and devastation they cause require swift, evidence-informed action.

  • The Government of Canada’s creation of the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies at CIHR represents a proactive approach to protecting human health, ensuring that lessons learned from research responses to health emergencies better prepare us for the next one.

  • The Research Centre will focus on supporting high-quality research and mobilizing solid research evidence into better plans, policies, and practices to address health emergencies and support equitable recovery.

  • CIHR has received ongoing funding of $18.5 million per year to support the Research Centre.

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Marie-France Proulx
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
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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