Brain Canada & ALS Canada - Discovery Grants 2021


 Brain Canada and the ALS Society of Canada 

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the Brain Canada website for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


The purpose of the 2021 Discovery Grant Program is to invest in the best possible projects that are i) novel or innovative research approaches, supported by sound rationale and a feasible experimental plan, but not necessarily preliminary data, ii) 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 iii) research focused on avenues to maximize function, minimize disability and optimize quality of life through symptom management, and support to families and 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.

The Discovery Grant Program is 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.

More information can be found in the 2021 Terms of Reference.


A minimum of two 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.

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 options i and ii in description above, each co-investigator must be an independent researcher who has a PhD or equivalent, or a health professional degree (MD). Clinical researchers should have completed residency training which includes research experience, or the individual should have previous research experience. The PI must hold an academic position at a qualifying Canadian institution, defined according to CIHR guidelines.

For option iii above, the Principal Investigator must hold a degree recognized by a professional order with experience treating or working with people living with ALS. The PI must hold an academic position at a qualifying Canadian institution, defined according to CIHR guidelines. 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.

Please note that academic appointments must be in place and begin by the funding start date of January 1, 2022.

Funding Availability

Up to eight awards will be funded

Maximum Project Value

$125,000 per award

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

over 24 months

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


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 completed OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Applicant must submit the application as a single PDF via email to the ALS Canada Research Team ( An email acknowledging receipt of the application will be sent. 

More information on application requirements and how to apply can be found in the ALS Canada -  Brain Canada Discovery Grant Program 2021 Terms of Reference document.

For Questions, please contact

Brain Canada Foundation
Catherine E. Ferland, PhD Acting Chief Research and Programs Officer
1200 McGill College Avenue,
Suite 1600 Montreal, QC
H3B 4G7
Tel: 514-989-2989 ext. 110

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52832

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