ALS Canada-Brain Canada Discovery Grant Program 2024


Brain Canada and the ALS Society of Canada

For More Information

For more information about eligibility criteria and how to apply please visit the Brain Canada Foundation website.

Please also refer to the attached Terms of Reference: ALS Canada-Brain Canada Discovery Grant Program 2024.


The purpose of the 2024 Discovery Grant Program is to invest in the best possible projects that are:

a) focused on identifying causes of or treatments for ALS and/or related neurological diseases, including primary lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy and ALS/FTLD (frontotemporal lobar dementia), or

b) research focused on avenues to maximize function, minimize disability and optimize quality of life through symptom management and support to persons or families living with ALS. Examples include, but are not limited to, management of secretions and cramps, psychological interventions to address mental health issues, nutritional interventions, respiratory care, engineering applications to reduce physical limitations and programs to address the needs of caregivers.

Discovery Grants are designed to support teams of multiple investigators and especially encourages multidisciplinary teams with individuals from outside the field who can combine their expertise in novel or innovative ways.

The program consists of two streams, which both consist of novel or innovative research approaches, supported by sound rationale and a feasible experimental plan, and maintain the high-risk/high-reward mindset:

  • Stream 1 is aimed at nurturing novel ideas looking to obtain preliminary data or to pursue ideas supported by very early data signals. Preliminary data may enhance competitiveness but is not necessarily required. Up to six awards of $125,000 will be awarded in this cycle. The one-time award is intended to be used for research projects over a 24-month period.
  • Stream 2 consists of more ambitious projects that are supported with some level of preliminary data to justify the larger investment. Up to two awards of $300,000 will be awarded in this cycle. The one-time award is intended to be used for research projects over a 36-month period.

Consideration will also be given to projects in either stream that are rooted in excellence and seek funds to bridge key projects to multi-year external funding.

For either stream, funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research project for which they were awarded and should be directly attributable to the project. Indirect or overhead costs are not eligible. Please note that no more than 50% of the award funds can be allocated to research expenses incurred outside of Canada.

Alternative durations for the award can be requested by the Principal Investigator (PI), but an accelerated spend must be well justified.


For both streams, a minimum of 2 independent investigators are required, from different institutions or distinct departments within the same institution. A lead investigator must be named who will assume the administrative and financial responsibilities for the team grant. The lead investigator’s institution will be deemed the host institution for the grant and will receive the funding disbursements from Brain Canada. The PI must hold an independent academic position at a qualifying Canadian institution, defined according to CIHR guidelines. Such an individual normally holds the rank of assistant/associate/full professor or equivalent, can initiate and direct their own independent lines of research as principal investigator; has full responsibility for running their laboratories; has full control of their research funds; and is permitted to supervise trainees (if applicable, as per their institution’s policy). Postdoctoral fellows or adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply. Evidence clearly shows that increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research environments enhances excellence, innovation and creativity. ALS Canada and Brain Canada are committed to excellence through equity, and we encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply to our funding opportunities. 

For option a) above, each co-investigator must be an independent researcher who has a PhD or equivalent or a health professional degree (MD, OT, PT, etc.). Clinical researchers should have completed residency training which includes research experience or the individual should have previous research experience.

For option b) above, the Principal Investigator must hold a degree recognized by a professional order with experience treating or working with people living with ALS. In the event that the PI does not hold an academic position, justification must be provided for assessment by an ad hoc sub-committee of the ALS Canada Scientific and Medical Advisory Council. Applicants may submit more than one application to the competition, provided that the proposed projects are sufficiently different and there is no overlap in funding. Applications must be entirely independent from each other; results or experiments from one project cannot be used to inform the other. Applicants must be able to initiate the project in January 2025, when funding begins. In situations where institutional oversight or contracts with independent parties are required to begin operations (such as Research Ethics Board approvals, etc.), the applicant’s action to prompt these processes must be initiated before this date. 

Indirect Costs



If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit a copy of application along with a complete OR5 form to

External Deadline

Complete applications should be submitted via email to the ALS Canada Research Team (, as a single PDF file by 1:00 PM ET on July 11, 2024. Applicants should request delivery and read receipts. An email acknowledging receipt of the application will be sent. 

How to Apply

For details on the application process and required documents please refer to the attached Terms of Reference: ALS Canada-Brain Canada Discovery Grant Program 2024.


For Questions, please contact

ALS Canada Research Team: 

Office of Research

Laurie Gallinger, Awards & Agreements Officer
Research Services Office

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