Government of Canada makes significant investment in research to transform public health for Canadians

News release

Researchers will address pressing health challenges and help revitalize public health systems across the country

January 19, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of maintaining a strong public health system to protect the health of Canadians. The Public Health Agency of Canada and its counterparts in provinces, territories, and municipalities across the country play an essential role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, promoting healthy environments, and leading efforts to gather and analyze data to guide decisions and develop programs. The public health system also provides reliable information to help people make choices and adopt behaviours that will support their health and well-being.

Research is a part of the foundations of an effective public health system. That’s why the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, today announced funding of $10 million from the Government of Canada to increase public health research capacity in Canada. This investment includes $8 million for seven new applied public health chairs who will carry out research programs in areas such as infectious diseases, urban and environmental health, and disease prevention. It also includes $2 million for a research funding opportunity that will support projects linked to priorities outlined in the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s annual report for 2021. Together this research investment will better prepare Canada for public health emergencies and help achieve better health for all Canadians.

These research initiatives are being supported through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


“We recognize the vital importance of investing in public health research to better protect the health and safety of all Canadians. The recipients of these applied research chairs will work with public health leaders to design and implement new approaches to addressing the complex health challenges facing Canada and help build a healthier future for everyone.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Building a stronger, more equitable and responsive public health system requires a ‘made-in-Canada’ research agenda. This funding opportunity represents an important step forward that will lead to greater insights on how to build a healthier society, and help to guide public health system transformation in Canada.”

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

“Investments that help Canada build adaptive and responsive public health systems are crucial to the recovery from COVID-19. CIHR is proud to work with our partners to fund research that will improve the health of Canadians and people around the world.”

Dr. Steven Hoffman
Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health

Quick facts

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has tested public health systems in Canada.

  • Research is essential to maintain a strong and effective public health system.

  • The Government of Canada, through CIHR and PHAC, are investing $10 million to increase public health research capacity in Canada. This funding includes $8 million for seven new applied public health chairs and $2 million for new research to address population and public health priorities. 

  • This research investment responds to priorities in the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s 2021 Annual Report.

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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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