Call for spring 2022 letter of intent: Dementia Community Investment

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Launched in 2018, the Dementia Community Investment funds community-based projects that seek to:

Projects could, for example, provide people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers with opportunities to gain knowledge, resources and skills. Projects that do not directly benefit people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers will not be considered for funding.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is pleased to invite organizations to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for projects and initiatives that address the objectives and priorities of the 2022 spring Dementia Community Investment solicitation (see Section on Objectives). This solicitation is the first step in a two stage process beginning with an LOI. Successful applicants will be notified and proceed to a full application in Fall 2022. It is anticipated that four or five projects will be funded through this call for proposals.


Dementia is a major neurocognitive disorder that leads to the loss of mental function, which affects daily activities and is caused by brain diseases and brain injury. More than 452,000 seniors (65 years and older) are living with diagnosed dementia in Canada. About two-thirds of Canadian seniors living with diagnosed dementia are 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 all stages.

Increasing knowledge about dementia and related risk/protective factors is key to enhancing well being for people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers. A growing body of evidence supports 12 potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia, including smoking, excessive drinking, physical inactivity, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, low social contact, hearing impairment, traumatic brain injury, lower levels of education, and air pollution. Together these risk factors have been estimated to account for 40% of worldwide dementia, which would theoretically be prevented or delayed.

This call for proposal focuses on enhancing well-being by improving health behaviours of people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers.


The objective of this current funding opportunity is to support 1-2 emerging, community-based projects that have a focus on improving health behaviours associated with risk/protective factors that may help to prevent and/or delay the onset and progression of dementia among project participants. Applicants are encouraged to focus on higher risk older subpopulations (55+), particularly those with co-occurring modifiable risk factors.


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

Applicants must consider and, as appropriate, demonstrate engagement of people with lived experience. Projects must engage target populations in the planning, implementation, delivery and/or evaluation of initiatives to ensure their perspectives are integrated. Compensation for people with lived experience is encouraged in proposed project budgets.

Applicants must demonstrate a person-centered approach. Projects recognize that individuals have unique values, personal histories and personalities. In the context of this funding opportunity, this means placing 'the person' at the center of the proposed program or initiative and engaging people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers in the project.

Applicants must incorporate a health equity lens. Health equity is fostered by the absence of unfair/unjust systematic and avoidable differences in health status or social determinants of health among population groups. It includes considerations of:

Efforts to address the needs of populations that are at higher risk for poor health outcomes can help reduce health inequities among populations.

Applicants must demonstrate multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration. People living with dementia and family/friend caregivers engage with a diversity of sectors. In many instances, interventions are most effective when they bring together in a coordinated way these various organizations to support these populations. Multi-sectorial engagement or involvement can include, for example:

Special consideration will be given to projects that can demonstrate collaboration with other organizations through letters of support and have the ability to leverage in-kind and/or financial contributions. However, letters of support are not mandatory requirements for this solicitation.

Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed program or initiative is evidence-based. This refers to rigorous, scientific research, data, and/or evaluation of the intervention, or the application of relevant research to support the relevance and impact of the proposed intervention and/or adaptation of the intervention to a new context or population.

Applicants must demonstrate the proposed project is community-based. Community members play an integral role in designing, developing and delivering proposed projects. In addition, implemented resources and supports can be accessed from community settings such as homes, workplaces, and community organizations that serve people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers. Applicants are reminded that funded projects are not permitted to provide services and supports that are the responsibility of other jurisdictions such as:

However, projects may involve linkages with health care providers as appropriate.

Applicants 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.

Other considerations for application development

Official language requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to:

Funding recipients are expected to report on their actions with regard to official language minority communities. Projects must be available in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

Working within First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities

The impact of colonization on First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada has had a devastating impact on their 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 are encouraged to submit an LOI if they are:

Applicants are encouraged to reference socio-ecological models or frameworks that best meet the needs of their population, such as:

In addition, various approaches to intervention research will be considered, including appropriate research methodologies for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Gender-based analysis requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ incorporates in the development of policies and programs the consideration of gender as well as other identity factors, such as:

Applicants are expected to incorporate these considerations into their LOI. For more information on GBA+ consult the website for Women and Gender Equality Canada.

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, the project lead should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement website before the research portion of the project begins. Research is defined as an activity designed to:

External review

LOIs may be reviewed by external reviewers, such as:

By submitting an LOI, the applicant agrees to possible external reviews of their proposed proposal.

Applicant capacity

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


Footnote *

Note: Applicants who are not community-based organizations must demonstrate a significant partnership with a community-based organization and a minimum of two years of experience working with people living with dementia and their family/friend caregivers

Return to footnote * referrer

Funding details and requirements

Applicants must propose emerging interventions.

To be an emerging intervention, projects must be either based on best practices, evidence and/or strong theoretical underpinnings and seek to further develop, refine, adapt, implement and study the proposed program or initiative with a view to measuring impact and expanding to new communities, sectors and/or population groups over time.

Duration: up to 4 fiscal years, beginning in April 2023/2024 and concluding in 2026/2027.

Amount: up to $250,000 per fiscal year.

Funding maximum: $1,000,000.


Eligible recipients

The following types of organizations are eligible for funding:

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

Eligible expenses

Eligible costs include such expenses as:

A detailed budget is not required as part of this LOI process, however, applicants invited to submit a funding request will be asked to provide a budget at that time

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

Ineligible activities and expenses

The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

Submission process and deadline

Contact us

To obtain additional information about this LOI process, please contact

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

PHAC also reserves the right to:

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

Glossary of terms


Dementia refers to a set of symptoms and signs associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that affects daily activities. It is caused by various brain diseases and injuries. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia constitute other common types. Symptoms of dementia can include:


Community members play an integral role in designing, developing and delivering proposed projects. Implemented resources and supports can be accessed from community settings such as homes, workplaces and community organizations that serve people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers.

Family/friend caregiver

Family members, neighbours and friends who take on an unpaid caring role to support someone with a:

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 and the context in which the intervention worked best and for which populations.

Program or initiative

Sometimes referred to as an intervention. It 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.


Refers to rigorous, scientific research and/or evaluation of the intervention, or the application of relevant research to support the relevance and impact of the proposed intervention and/or adaptation of the intervention to a new context or population.

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 largely determine individual and population health.


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

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

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