Call for Proposals - Description of the Application Process for the Dementia Community Investment

This invitation to submit an application is now closed.

Budget 2018 - Dementia

Budget 2018 announced $20 million over five years, starting in 2018/19, and $4 million per year ongoing, to support community-based projects that address the challenges of dementia. Through the Dementia Community Investment, this new funding will seek to optimize the wellbeing of people living with dementia (PLWD) and/or family/friend caregivers.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is pleased to invite organizations to submit applications for programs and initiatives that address the objectives and priorities of the Dementia Community Investment. This solicitation is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI). Applicants with LOIs best aligned with the overall requirements of the funding program will move onto the second stage of the application process under which they will receive an Invitation to Submit a Funding Request (ISFR). The ISFR will ask for more detailed information on the applicability of the proposed project as well as the applicant's capacity to successfully conduct the proposed work. Applicants with late, ineligible, incomplete or unsuccessful LOIs will not receive an ISFR.

It is anticipated that via this two-step process, up to 12 projects will ultimately be selected and that there will be periodic intake of new projects through a similar process every two years.

Section 1: Context

Dementia is the loss of mental function affecting daily activities, caused by brain diseases and brain injury. PHAC estimates that over 402,000 Canadians aged 65 years and older were living with some form of dementia in 2013/14, and two-thirds were women. As the proportion of seniors relative to the Canadian population continues to grow we will see more Canadians living with dementia. Although most prevalent in older Canadians, dementia impacts individuals of all ages who may also experience young onset dementia or be in a caregiving role. A dementia journey changes as the condition progresses and stakeholders have indicated that it is important to identify ways to enable quality of life and dignity for people at these different stages, as well as adequate supports for their caregivers.

People living with dementia and family/friend caregivers face a number of challenges including stigma, distress, social isolation, difficulty accessing support and financial pressures. Recent consultation, during the National Dementia Conference in May 2018, included calls for: collaboration and partnerships, inclusive of PLWD and family/friend caregivers; addressing stigma associated with dementia; sharing and scaling up of best practices; and consideration of diversity factors (e.g., cultural, ethnicity and linguistic considerations, rural and remote communities, gender differences, developmental disabilities).

Purpose of the Dementia Community Investment

The purpose of the Dementia Community Investment is to support community-based projects that will optimize the health and wellbeing of PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers, who are predominately women, by providing, opportunities to gain knowledge, resources and skills. Projects must directly benefit PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers; take place in community-based settings; and engage PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers in project design and/or implementation to be considered for funding.

Section 2: Objectives

This funding opportunity seeks to support the implementation, evaluation and scaling up of programs or initiatives which support the following objectives*:

  1. Optimize the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia (PLWD) and/or their family/friend caregivers.

    For example, this may include:

    • Resources or tools that equip family/friend caregivers to support PLWD while minimizing the impact on their own quality of life.
    • Resources or tools that offer information and strategies to support self-care in a dementia context.
    • The integration of dementia-friendly approaches within age-friendly communities.
  2. Promote awareness of dementia and its risk factors by supporting innovative approaches that tackle stigma and promote compassion and support.

    For example, this may include initiatives that:

    • Sensitize Canadians to stigmatizing behaviours while expanding awareness of potentially modifiable risk factors.
    • Resources or tools to build community capacity to engage and support PLWD and family/friend caregivers.
  3. Undertake intervention research to assess the effectiveness of the program or initiative and promote/apply this knowledge to support expansion of the project's reach to new communities, sectors, populations and/or jurisdictions.

*Note: Proposed projects must align with objective# 3 in addition to addressing objectives #1 and/or #2.

Section 3: Principles

LOIs will be assessed based on the principles outlined below. Applications that align most closely with the following principles will be prioritized:

  • LOIs must consider and, as appropriate, address the distinct stages of dementia as they relate to the experiences of PLWD and family/friend caregivers.
  • LOIs must demonstrate a person-centered approach. This is a philosophy that recognizes that individuals have unique values, personal histories and personalities. In the context of this funding opportunity, this means placing 'the person' at the centre of the proposed program or initiative; recognizing family/friend caregivers as key members of a care team; integrating the perspectives of PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers into the project; and engaging them in project design and/or implementation.
  • LOIs must incorporate a health equity lens. Heightened efforts to address the needs of populations that may be more susceptible to potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia and/or experiencing barriers to accessing supports (e.g. Women, First Nations, Inuit, Métis; Official Language Minority Communities; LGBTQ; rural/remote populations) can help reduce health inequities between different populations in Canada. Projects that seek to address the needs of such populations will be prioritized. Applicants must demonstrate how equity, including consideration of sex and gender, as well as other identity factors such as age, education, language, geography, ethnicity, culture and income, have been incorporated into the design, implementation and evaluation of the proposed project.
  • LOIs must demonstrate multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration. Dementia is a complex condition that requires multi-sectoral engagement or involvement with organizations from various sectors (e.g. not-for-profit, academic, private, education, organizations within and outside the health sector, Indigenous organizations working with First Nations, Inuit or Métis, and other levels of government). Projects are informed by, and benefit from, in-kind and/or financial support by partners from various sectors.
  • LOIs must demonstrate that the proposed program or initiative is evidence-based. Proposed projects must be anchored in meaningful data and/or evidence that demonstrate the potential to have a positive impact on the wellbeing of PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers. Applicants that are invited to submit an ISFR will require robust project evaluation and knowledge translation plans to assess the outcome and impact of planned activities and contribute to the evidence base about effective approaches to promote the wellbeing of PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers. Disaggregation of such evidence by gender and other identity factors will be strongly encouraged. Partnerships with academics or other researchers are encouraged to support this work.
  • LOIs must demonstrate, where applicable, cultural sensitivity. Understanding the cultural contexts of populations is an essential element in designing and delivering culturally sensitive community-based programs. Cultural contexts and values have a strong influence on health-related behaviours. In their LOI, applicants must demonstrate how their proposed project would take into consideration the cultural context of the populations that they are targeting.

Section 4: Other Considerations in the Development of the LOI

Official Language Requirements: The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be available in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

Gender-based Analysis Requirements: The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ incorporates consideration of gender as well as other identity factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income in the development of policies and programs. Applicants are expected to incorporate these considerations into their LOI submission.

Research Ethics Approval: All projects that involve research with humans must be approved by a research ethics board that adheres to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. In addition, project leads should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement website before the research portion of the project begins. Research is defined as an activity designed to test a hypothesis or answer a specific research question, permit conclusions to be drawn, and extend knowledge through the use of scientific methods and standardized protocols, systematic collection or analysis of data, or other types of inquiry.

Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Communities: The impact of colonization on First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada has had a devastating impact on health and wellness. As a result, First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada face specific challenges and have unique experiences with the social determinants of health. Organizations and research teams led by First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and organizations with strong partnerships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities (including demonstrated collaboration) are encouraged to submit LOIs. Applicants are encouraged to reference socio-ecological models or frameworks that best meet the needs of their population (e.g., First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Model[1] , Social Determinants of Inuit Health[2] or other culturally appropriate models/frameworks). In addition, various approaches to research will be considered including research methodologies used by First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Section 5: Applicant Capacity

Applicants must demonstrate that they and/or their collaborators bring the following organizational capacities and expertise to the project:

  • Experience or expertise related to dementia and supporting PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers.
  • Confirmed access to the target population for which the project is proposed (e.g., a partnership with a community organization).
  • Capacity to engage PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers in the design and/or implementation of the project.
  • Evaluators or researchers with appropriate subject matter, knowledge and sensitivity.
  • Experience and capacity to conduct intervention research.

Section 6: Funding Details and Requirements

Applications must align with one of two funding tracks:

  1. Emerging Intervention:

    These projects must be based on best practices, evidence and/or strong theoretical underpinnings and seek longer-term funding to further develop, refine, adapt, implement and study the proposed program or initiative with a view to expanding to new communities, sectors and/or population groups over time.

    Duration: up to four fiscal years, beginning in 2019/20 and concluding in 2022/23

    Amount: up to $250,000/ year ($190,000 in 2019/20)

    Funding maximum: $940,000

  2. Advanced Intervention:

    These projects must have a high quality evidence base indicating effectiveness; have demonstrated quality and diversity of partnerships; and have demonstrated organizational infrastructure to support sustained scale-up of the intervention beyond federal funding. Applicants will seek to expand the reach and impact of the intervention, to new communities, sectors and/or population groups, over a shorter-term timeframe.

    Duration: up to two fiscal years, beginning in 2019/2020 and concluding in 2020/21

    Amount: up to $400,000/ fiscal year ($300,000 in 2019/20)

    Funding maximum: $700,000

Section 7: LOI Submission Process and Deadline

The full application process will consist of two stages. The first stage is the submission of an LOI which outlines the proposed project. Applicants with LOIs deemed to best fit the overall requirements of the Dementia Community Investment will move onto the second stage of the application process and will receive an ISFR. Applicants with late, ineligible, incomplete or unsuccessful LOI submissions will not receive an ISFR.

LOIs must be completed using PHAC's LOI template, and respect the character limit associated with each section. The required format is Microsoft Word. Appendices that demonstrate the evidence-base, such as literature reviews, needs' assessments, and past evaluation results will not be accepted at this point in the application process.

To obtain a copy of the template, or for additional information about this Call for Proposals, please contact:

The deadline for submission for this LOI is December 10, 2018. Funding will be subject to budgetary and project considerations.

All LOIs must be submitted via email to:

Applications will be acknowledged by email. Please ensure that your email address is included in your LOI application.

Applicants whose LOIs are successful will receive an ISFR to elaborate on the project proposed in the LOI. Deadlines and submission instructions will be provided at that time.

Section 8: Eligibility

Eligible Recipients

The following types of organizations are eligible for funding:

  • Not-for-profit voluntary organizations and corporations
  • For-profit organizations, provided they partner with a not for profit organization
  • Unincorporated groups, societies and coalitions
  • Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and agencies
  • Organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments (regional health authorities, post-secondary institutions etc.)
  • Indigenous organizations working with First Nations, Inuit or Métis

Partnerships between organizations with complementary areas of expertise are strongly encouraged.

Projects involving partnerships which span more than one province/territory or have the potential to be scaled up to other provinces or territories are encouraged.

Only Canadian organizations may apply for funding under this solicitation process.

Eligible Expenses

Eligible costs include such expenses as:

  • personnel
  • travel and accommodations
  • materials
  • equipment
  • rent and utilities
  • evaluation/dissemination
  • "other" costs related to the approved project

A detailed budget is required as part of the full proposal in stage two of the application process.

No project expenses may be incurred prior to the signing of a Contribution Agreement by all parties.

Ineligible Activities and Expenses

The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

  • pure research in any discipline
  • provision of services that are the responsibility of other levels of government
  • costs of ongoing activities for the organization
  • stand-alone activities, which could include conferences, symposia, workshops, audio visual production or website/smartphone application development and maintenance. Such activities are considered stand alone when they are unrelated to the delivery, evaluation and dissemination of the program or initiative
  • capital costs such as the purchase of land, buildings, or vehicles
  • ongoing operational support or overhead/administrative fees expressed as a percentage of ongoing activities of an organization
  • unidentified miscellaneous costs
  • travel and hospitality expenses that exceed the National Joint Council rates
  • renting charges for space and computer use when already owned by the recipient organization
  • membership fees

Section 9: Contact Us

To obtain additional information about this invitation to submit an LOI, please contact:

PHAC is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of this invitation to submit an LOI.

PHAC also reserves the right to:

  • reject any submission received in response to this invitation;
  • accept any submission in whole or in part; and
  • cancel and/or re-issue this invitation to submit a LOI at any time.

Please note that PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation and/or submission of a LOI or a full proposal in response to this invitation.

Section 10: Glossary of Terms

Age-Friendly Communities: In an age-friendly community, the policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to help seniors "age actively." In other words, the community is set up to help seniors live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved. Alignment between dementia friendly approaches and age-friendly communities -drawing on existing initiatives, partnerships, networks and knowledge sharing mechanisms and platforms - are encouraged. Refer to the following link for more information:

Dementia: Dementia is a loss of mental function that affects daily activities. It is caused by a loss of cells in the brain and the breakdown of important nerve connections. This process is known as neurodegeneration. Symptoms can include memory loss, behaviour changes, judgement and reasoning problems, changes in mood and communication abilities.

Dementia Friendly: In the context of this funding opportunity, being dementia-friendly means being an inclusive and accessible community environment that optimizes opportunities for health, participation and security, in order to ensure quality of life and dignity for people with dementia, their caregivers and families.

Community-based: The community is the focus for decision-making and action. Families and community groups have a key role in the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of programs. The term "community" may be described as a geographic area or as a group of individuals sharing common interests. In the context of this funding opportunity, the 'community' should engage partners and participants from multiple sectors in the delivery and testing of a program or initiative outside formal/clinical health care settings so as to benefit PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers in the spaces where they spend a significant proportion of their daily lives - their homes, and communities.

Family/Friend Caregiver: Family members, neighbours and friends who take on an unpaid role to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting illness.

Intervention Research: The use of scientific methods to produce knowledge about policy and program interventions that operate within or outside of the health sector and have the potential to impact health at the population level. The intervention research approach focuses on building knowledge on how the intervention process brings about change, the context in which the intervention worked best and for which populations.

Program or initiative: Sometimes referred to as an intervention, is a set of actions and practical strategies that aim to bring about positive changes in individuals, communities, organizations, or systems in a way that produces identifiable and measurable outcomes.

Evidence: Refers to rigorous, scientific research and/or evaluation of the program or initiative, or the application of relevant research to support the relevance and impact of the proposed initiative and/or adaptation of the program or initiative to a new context or audience.

Social determinants of health: The broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that relate to an individual's place in society (such as gender, race, income, education, or employment) and that determine individual and population health.

Assembly of First Nations and Health Canada. First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework. Ottawa (ON): 2015. Available from:

Return to footnote [1] referrer


Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy. Ottawa (ON): ITK; 2016. Page 19, Figure 6. Available from:

Return to footnote [2] referrer

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