CIHR: Mental Health and Substance Use Responses to COVID-19

Updated Information

Internal Deadline for Knowledge Synthesis: May 4, 2020 midnight

External Deadline for Knowledge Synthesis: May 7, 2020  8:00pm


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)


Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the program's websites


The Government of Canada would like to provide information on two anticipated competitions to continue to mobilize high-quality science to fight COVID-19, and to mitigate the downstream impacts of public health countermeasures

Knowledge Synthesis Grants: Funding to support rapid knowledge synthesis and related knowledge mobilization of current needs in mental health and substance use in the COVID-19 context. This could include, for example, examination of the impact in at-risk populations, development of guidelines, and evidence related to effectiveness of services or implementation of interventions. Knowledge syntheses can draw on a wide range of evidence, including from other public health emergency or disaster response contexts, to be assessed for transferability to COVID-19. Applicants are strongly encouraged to engage knowledge users throughout their activities. Knowledge mobilization plans should describe the application of this knowledge under current contexts (e.g., ensuring alignment with the potential needs of decision makers and other knowledge users). Knowledge syntheses and knowledge mobilization plans are expected to be completed within one month of funding. Successful grantees will have the opportunity to continue to update their knowledge syntheses over the course of the grant (6 months from the funding start date).

           Expected key dates for Knowledge Synthesis Grants

  • Launch of the full request for applications: week of April 27, 2020
  • Application deadline: week of May 4, 2020
  • Peer review completed: week of May 18, 2020
  • Anticipated notice of decision: week of May 18, 2020
  • Funding start date: May 1, 2020

Operating Grants (under development): Funding to support implementation science and population-level intervention research to address the impacts of COVID-19 and containment measures on mental health and substance use. Application to the knowledge synthesis grants competition will not affect an applicant’s eligibility to apply to the operating grant program.

  • The operating grants are expected to be launched within a month after the launch of the knowledge synthesis grants



Maximum Project Value

Knowledge Synthesis: $50,000 per grant

Please note that the source of funds for these competitions will not be from the cancellation of the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition but are a part of the strategic whole of Government of Canada efforts against COVID-19.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

6 months

Special Notes

Please refer to the Office of Research COVID 19 web-page for directives related to research activities at the University of Guelph.


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

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit a copy of application, signature pages along with signed OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Applicant to submit directly to sponsor.  More information will be available at a later date.

Preliminary application details are being provided for the knowledge synthesis grants at this time:

  • The Research Proposal will be a maximum of 3 pages for English applications and 4 pages for French applications.
  • A one page summary will be required that addresses how the proposed knowledge synthesis is aligned with the identified research areas.
  • CVs will be required for the Nominated Principal Applicant and Principal Applicants.
  • CVs will be encouraged for Co-Applicants and Knowledge Users.
  • The CV required for this competition will be the CIHR Biosketch CV (completed through the Canadian Common CV) or the Applicant Profile CV (a 3-page CV to be completed in Word). The Applicant Profile CV template will be available shortly. Applicants can utilize either CV type.
For Questions, please contact

For all inquiries, please contact

Office of Research

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

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