CIHR Catalyst Grant: Cannabis Research in Urgent Priority Areas


The Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA), the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), and the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH), in partnership with the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


The purpose of this current funding opportunity is to strengthen the evidence base and expand cannabis research in these identified areas, to build cannabis-related research capacity and/or to inform the development of future larger scale research projects. Specifically, this funding opportunity will support projects relevant to the following:

  • Neurodevelopment: Neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with cannabis use (e.g., resulting from use and/or exposure during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding on the fetus, child and youth).
  • Prevention, harm reduction and treatment of problematic cannabis use: Research into effective interventions to prevent problematic use, to reduce the harms of use and to treat the full spectrum of problematic cannabis use.
  • Potency and product safety: Toxicity/potency, product standards and the balance of cannabinoids to minimize harms and maximize benefits.
  • Social determinants of health and key populations: Research into how use and related health and psychosocial effects vary by sex, social determinants of health(e.g., gender, income, housing, social support, etc.) and/or sub-population (e.g., youth, older adults, Indigenous peoples, pregnant people, workplace users, those with co-morbid conditions, those using prescribed cannabis, etc.). Beyond the explicit topic, "Social determinants of health and key populations", applicants are encouraged to critically assess the state of knowledge on the biological and social determinants of health and/or on sub-population(s) across all research areas.
  • Mental health: Relationship between cannabis use and mental health (e.g., post-traumatic stress, psychosis, anxiety, depression, addiction, co-morbid conditions, etc.), including both potential harms and/or benefits.
  • Cannabis and other drug: substance use: Research into the health outcomes of cannabis use and other drug/substance use (i.e., polysubstance use), includin the use of recreational and/or prescribed cannabis in the context of illicit and/or prescribed opioids.
  • Cannabis and pain management: Research into the potential therapeutic use of cannabis (recreational or prescribed) for pain management.


For an application to be eligible:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher appointed at an eligible institution (see Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines).
  2. While not a requirement for eligibility, teams are encouraged to include knowledge user(s) when appropriate. However, for any research applications involving First Nations, Inuit, Métis and/or Urban Indigenous populations, the research team must include at least one knowledge user who self-identifies as First Nations, Inuit, or Métis.

Funding Availability

The total amount available is $ 3,000,000, enough to fund approximately 24 grants.

Maximum Project Value

The maximum amount per grant is $ 125,000 per year

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

up to one year

Special Notes

More information can be found Catalyst Grant : Cannabis Research in Urgent Priority Areas


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

External Deadline

Registration: Applicant to complete Registration, by following the instructions in the Grants - Registration Guidelines along with any additional instructions found below under “Specific Instructions”.

Registrations must be submitted by applicants using ResearchNet.

All application participants, with the exception of Collaborators, will require:

Internal Deadline

Application: Applicant to submit copy of application, routing slip, Participant signature page(s) and Institution Paid signature page along with a complete OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Application: Applicant to complete Full Application, following the instructions in the Grants – Application Guidelines along with any additional instructions found below under “How to Apply - Specific Instructions”.

Application must be submitted by applicants using ResearchNet.

Information For Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For Questions, please contact

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Office of Research

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

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