Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
For More Information
See the Announcement Opportunity (AO)
In the future, human exploration of space is expected to extend beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the orbit and surface of the Moon, and ultimately to distant targets such as Mars. The resulting expeditions will require extended periods of exposure to weightlessness and space radiation, with confinement and isolation in the extreme environment of space, all of which are linked to substantial health and performance risks.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is interested in human spaceflight and maintains a highly qualified Canadian astronaut corps capable of participating in space exploration missions. Also, in support of the vision and priorities of the new Space Strategy for Canada, the CSA aims to enable scientific opportunities and global partnerships, and to harness space to solve everyday challenges for Canadians.
To achieve this, the CSA's Health and Life Sciences (HLS) group conducts activities to generate knowledge in fields that sustain human space flights, mitigate health risks and develop countermeasures for those missions. Since time and resources on the International Space Station (ISS) are limited, CSA aims to broaden science opportunities in order to enhance and supplement flight investigations on the ISS and to optimize utilization of CSA ISS resource allocation.
The intent of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to provide financial support to researchers at Canadian Universities and post-secondary institutions to conduct science investigations that will lead to a better understanding of human spaceflight risks while contributing to improve remote medicine and health benefits here on Earth.
More specifically, this AO is divided in two different categories, as defined below:
Topic 1 (DM):
Topic 1 (DM) solicits proposals for scientific analysis, using databases or samples derived from existing collections to improve the understanding of the risks of spaceflight or for initial validation of new countermeasures. The studies selected for this Topic are expected to be precursors of Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space research platforms.
Several agencies and institutions have supported the establishment of dedicated databases and sample repositories collecting the results from space-related studies on human subjects and non-human model organisms. These studies include investigations in space and on Earth using analogue populations or other relevant models of spaceflight. In addition to the use of publicly-available datasets and repositories, researchers can also use datasets from previous flight or analogue experiments, either archived by the original investigator at his/her institution, or with an intent to obtain data or samples from the original investigator. Applicants must provide in their proposal justification of the intended use of datasets or samples, to test or generate new hypotheses regarding the effects of spaceflight on human health, or to enhance the value of existing data, through development of new insights in regard to the original datasets or samples.
Topic 2 (RM):
The focus of research to be funded under this Topic 2 (RM), will be on non-human subject research models using animals, organoids, cell culture, or microorganisms to investigate space-related health risks. The CSA encourages innovative approaches, such as synthetic biology (i.e. modification of living systems) that support health risk reduction, diagnosis or health care during space missions (prevention, detection or treatment of acute or chronic health issues, infectious disease, radiation exposure, stress, etc.). However, the core of the proposed studies must focus on living systems.
Well-designed non-human subject research model studies are valuable for improving the understanding of the risks of spaceflight or for initial validation of new countermeasures. The studies targeted in this Topic are expected to lead to countermeasures related to human spaceflight health risks, and to be precursors of Canadian investigations on the ISS or other space research platforms. In other words, there must be a solid conceptual link between the proposed work and future studies that require access to space. Proponents must also substantiate the validity of the link between the chosen experimental system(s) and human biology.
Researchers can propose research methodology relevant to weightlessness (for example: centrifuges, clinostats, rotating bioreactors) or space radiation. The costs of access and travel to facilities (e.g. purchase of clinostats or access to beam facilities for radiation studies) must be included in the applicant's budget.
Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
Maximum Project Value
Maximum amount per grant: two funding categories:
- Topic 1 (Data and Sample mining (DM)): up to $70,000 for a maximum duration of one (1) year.
- Topic 2 (Research Model (RM)): up to $150,000 for a maximum duration of two (2) years.
The number of projects funded under this AO will depend on funding availability.
There is no limit on the number of proposals submitted per investigator. However, considering the limited funding in this AO the CSA will only fund one project for a researcher as a PI in this AO in DM, and only one in RM. However, it is possible for an investigator to be selected for funding in Topic 1 (DM) and to be selected for Topic 2 (RM).
To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.
Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.
For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 2:00 PM (EDT),
At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address (email@example.com) or the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box available at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/resources/gc/comments-form.asp
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.
How to Apply
Required documentation can be uploaded electronically or sent by mail.
The application must include the following:
- The full proposal, with a completed original application form (Word, 119 KB) signed by the duly authorized representative;
- For electronic submission, digital signature is required;
- For applications sent by mail, one original paper copy of the full proposal, with a completed original application form (Word, 119 KB) signed by the duly authorized representative is required. In addition, a copy of the application (identical to the signed paper copy) in a PDF file (on a USB flash drive) is required. If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft version, the hard copy takes precedence;
- A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (must be confirmed by the organization's Office of Research);
- Hospitals and research institutes affiliated with universities shall provide official documents establishing the nature of the institute and the affiliation with the university. Examples of eligible institutions can be found at the CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC websites; however, other institutions may also be eligible (CSA can be contacted for confirmation);
- Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
- Letter of support from Co-Investigators, confirming their intent to participate to the study, including information on the potential source of funds, if applicable;
- Letters from providers of any other data that are not openly accessible confirming the availability of the data;
- The CSA require that ethical principles from the Tri-Council are followed by projects selected for funding. Applicant need to ensure that institutional ethical certification requirements have been met and a letter signed by the chairperson of the local Research Ethics Board (REB) or Animal Care Committee (ACC) regarding approval of the experimental protocol will be required for funding;
- A Data Management Plan shall be provided with the proposal that addresses:
- Types of data products;
- Short term data preservation approach;
- Long term data preservation/archiving approach;
- Formats for data and metadata;
- Sharing and Reuse of the data, when applicable;
- Roles and Responsibilities for data management within the team.
- Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form)
- For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).
The application, uploaded electronically or sent by mail (signed original and electronic version on a USB flash drive), must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the applicant.
Process for electronic submission:
- The applicant must complete an account creation request at the Electronic Proposal Portal. Upon receipt, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Please note that Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox and, Internet Explorer with some restrictions.
- Applications must be submitted (successfully uploaded) by applicants no later than 2:00 PM (EDT), . Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account well before the submission deadline to ensure any technical difficulties are fixed. If such difficulties cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their documentation by mail.
- Incomplete or late applications shall not be considered. A late application has an electronic timestamp on the CSA system after the deadline above.
Process for application sent by mail:
Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:
Announcement of Opportunity for HLSA Data and Sample Mining or Research Models
c/o Nancy Lévesque
Astronauts, Life Sciences and Space Medicine
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
- Proposals must be received at the CSA no later than 2:00 PM (EDT), .
- Applications sent by email will not be accepted.
- Incomplete applications may not be considered.