Call for proposals: Description of the application process for the Knowledge Hub for the Dementia Community Investment

This invitation to submit an application is now closed.

Budget 2018 announced $20 million over 5 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 (DCI), this funding will seek to optimize the wellbeing of people living with dementia (PLWD) and family/friend caregivers and increase knowledge about dementia and its risk factors.

To further support the objectives of the DCI, the Public Health Agency (PHAC) is pleased to invite organizations to submit applications to create and lead a Knowledge Hub for the community-based projects funded by the DCI. The Knowledge Hub will be responsible for facilitating a community of practice for the DCI community-based projects and translating and disseminating program findings, lessons learned and best practices to the dementia policy and program community across Canada.

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Dementia is the loss of mental function affecting daily activities, caused by brain diseases and brain injury. In 2015/16, over 419,000 or 6.9% of Canadians aged 65 years and older had dementia and two-thirds were women. As the proportion of seniors relative to the Canadian population continues to grow, the number of Canadians living with dementia will increase.

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 caregivers.

PLWDs and family/friend caregivers face a number of challenges, including:

Purpose of the Knowledge Hub for the Dementia Community Investment

Broadly, the purpose of the Knowledge Hub for the DCI is to facilitate a community of practice for community-based projects funded by the DCI, and to translate and disseminate their program findings and best practices to the dementia policy and program community across Canada. The Knowledge Hub project must engage with PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers in project design and/or implementation to be considered for funding.


This funding opportunity seeks to support the creation of a Knowledge Hub with 4 main objectives:

1. Facilitate a community of practice

The Knowledge Hub will be responsible for creating and facilitating a community of practice for the community-based projects funded by the DCI. A community of practice will enable the projects to share information, learn from each other's experiences, and potentially facilitate collaboration between projects as appropriate. The community of practice will not be open to the public.

Given that projects will be located across the country, an online platform as well as face-to-face meetings may be necessary to establish a well-functioning and active community of practice.

2. Support community-based project capacity

All community-based projects under the DCI are required to undertake intervention research to build evidence of what works and what does not work for PLWD and family/friend caregivers.

As part of facilitating a community of practice, the Knowledge Hub will offer, as needed, support, guidance, training, etc. to community-based projects in areas identified by the Knowledge Hub and/or by community-based projects. In this role, the Knowledge Hub will need to tailor support according to differing project needs.

3. Knowledge translation and dissemination

As part of this objective, the Knowledge Hub will:

4. Provide analytical support to PHAC on DCI priorities and directions

This role will be defined by the Knowledge Hub and PHAC and will be largely based on project findings, lessons learned, etc. It could include, for example, conducting a gap analysis to identify areas that subsequent solicitations could seek to address.


The following principles must clearly inform the content of your proposal for this funding opportunity.

Health equity

Health equity is fostered by the absence of unfair/unjust, systematic and avoidable differences in health status or social determinants of health between population groups. It includes consideration of sex and gender, and other factors, such as:

PHAC promotes a health equity approach that increases access to opportunities and conditions conducive to health for all.


A person-centred approach 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 and engaging PLWD and/or family/friend caregivers in the project.


Evidence refers to rigorous, scientific research and/or evaluation of the intervention, or the application of relevant research and/or strong theoretical underpinnings to support the relevance and impact of the proposed intervention and/or adaptation of the intervention to a new context or audience.

Cultural safety

Promoting and improving cultural safety involves working across ethnic and other diverse factors to help systems and organizations ensure that service environments are safe for all, regardless of culture. Cultural safety is particularly important for Indigenous peoples but is relevant across cultures.


Eligible recipients

The following types of organizations are eligible for funding:

Partnerships between organizations with complementary areas of expertise are encouraged.

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

Eligible expenses

Eligible costs include such expenses as:

A detailed budget is required as part of the proposal.

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:

Other considerations for proposal development

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. The project must be available in one or both official languages. 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 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.

Applicant capacity

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

Funding details and requirements

The Knowledge Hub recipient will receive a maximum of $300,000 annually for up to 4 years beginning in early 2020. The budget for the first year may be less than the subsequent years, as it is a truncated fiscal year. At the end of the 4-year period, PHAC will assess the value and effectiveness of the Knowledge Hub with the possibility for renewed funding.

Submission process and deadline

The application must be completed using PHAC's invitation to submit a funding request (ISFR) and budget templates, and respect the character limit where identified. The required format is Microsoft Word. Only those appendices requested in the ISFR will be accepted.

To obtain a copy of the template, or for additional information about this call for proposals, please contact

The deadline for submission is 12 pm (EST) on September 20, 2019. Funding will be subject to budgetary and project considerations.

All ISFRs must be submitted via email to

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

Applicants whose ISFR are successful will receive a notification via email.

Contact us

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

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

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 invitation.

Glossary of terms

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:

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.

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