CIHR COVID 19 Vaccine Confidence - Operating Grant 2021


The CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health, in collaboration with the CIHR Institutes of Health Services and Policy Research, the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples Health, and the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity.

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the CIHR COVID 19 Vaccine Confidence website for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support research that will inform effective strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccine confidence and in turn, uptake, among populations experiencing systemic inequities, conditions of marginalization, Indigenous Peoples and/or among populations who are historically under-vaccinated. This research initiative encourages the consideration of structural, contextual, intersectional5 and historical barriers influencing risk perceptions and health behaviours related to vaccination across multiple levels (e.g., individual, community, population). Given the wide-ranging reasons for vaccine hesitancy, there is a strong need for community-based, evidence-informed, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approaches that integrate the social sciences. Collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders (eg. communities, knowledge users, healthcare providers, thought leaders, and Indigenous Leaders, Elders and Knowledge Keepers) to leverage existing resources and capacity within communities will be needed. Therefore, this funding opportunity is designed to support community-based research approaches, such as (but not limited to):participatory action research (PAR), Indigenous methodologies, empowerment evaluation approaches, community asset mapping, and citizen science.

The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to advance knowledge and strategies on how to increase vaccine confidence in populations experiencing conditions of marginalization, Indigenous Peoples and/or populations who have historically been under-vaccinated, including how to address structural, contextual, intersectional and historical barriers to vaccination by:

  1. Addressing knowledge gaps related to understanding the causes and contributing factors to lower vaccination confidence associated with COVID-19, and provide communities, healthcare providers, and public health and health system leaders with actionable evidence to improve vaccine confidence and uptake in clinical and/or community contexts; and
  2. Designing, implementing and/or evaluating promising interventions to increase vaccine confidence, including a focus on which approaches are most effective, in which populations and contexts, and why (implementation science approach).

First Nations, Inuit and Métis including Urban Indigenous communities

For applications addressing vaccine confidence among Indigenous Peoples applicants are encouraged to use a distinctions-based approach and to identify structural, contextual, and historical barriers that explain inequities in uptake and inform strategies for meaningful and culturally safe solutions. Projects must prioritize First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and communities, including Urban Indigenous communities, in leading their own research, and include an approach based on Indigenous knowledge systems.

Applicants whose proposed research will involve Indigenous Peoples should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2 - Chapter 9 Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada) for guidance on research design.


For an application to be eligible:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be:

    1. An independent researcher knowledge user affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution and/or its affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other non-profit organizations with a mandate for health research and/or knowledge mobilization) at the time of funding.

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      If the Nominated Principal Applicant is a knowledge user, there must be at least one Principal Applicant who is an independent researcher.

      an individual affiliated with an Indigenous non-governmental organization in Canada with a research and/or knowledge mobilization mandate.


    2. an Indigenous non-governmental organization in Canada with a research and/or knowledge mobilization mandate.

  2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must have their substantive role in Canada for the duration of the requested grant term.

  3. The team must involve, at least one knowledge user (either a public health authority, health system decision-maker, health professional, policy-maker or community leader) as a Principal Knowledge User.

  4. For applications by and with Indigenous Peoples (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis) the research team must include:

    • 4.a.1. At least one Principal Applicant (may be the Nominated Principal Applicant) who self-identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis and/or can provide evidence of having meaningful and culturally safe involvement with Indigenous Peoples.

      • More information on how to complete the Indigenous self-declaration form (Mandatory for applications by Indigenous Peoples) can be found in the How to Apply section under Download Supplemental Application Material

    • 4.a.2. an Indigenous Elder and/or an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper* identified on the application as a Principal Knowledge User or Knowledge User.

      * A Knowledge Keeper (also known as a Knowledge Holder or Knowledge Guardian) is an Indigenous person, regardless of age, who possesses the Indigenous cultural knowledge necessary for the proposed research project or activities, as recognized, validated, and authenticated by the Indigenous community.

  5. The NPA must have successfully completed one of the sex- and gender- based analysis online training modules through the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health and submit a Certificate of Completion (see How to Apply section). Please select and complete the training module most applicable to your research project. For additional information on sex, gender and health research, applicants are encouraged to review the "How to integrate sex and gender in research" section on the CIHR website.

  6. An individual or organization can only submit one application as a Nominated Principal Applicant within this competition. If the Nominated Principal Applicant submits more than one application, CIHR will automatically withdraw the last application(s) submitted based on time-stamp of submission.

Funding Availability

CIHR will provide a total amount of $2,400,000, enough to fund approximately 12 grants.

Maximum Project Value

The maximum amount per grant is $200,000 or $100,000 per year

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Two years

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 the complete application, routing slip and signature pages(s) along with an OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Applicant to complete and submit Full Application, follow the instructions in the Grants – Application Guidelines, along with any additional instructions found under “Specific Instructions”  in the How to Apply section of the guidelines

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


Office of Research

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

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