CIHR Operating Grant: Collaborative Health Research Projects (NSERC Partnered) 2019-2020

Updated Information

Special note: CIHR will be hosting the following webinar to support participants with the requirements of this funding opportunity and to answer questions on how to apply. The webinar will take place on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Register 


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). 

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the program's websites for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


The Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) Initiative supports innovative, interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects, requiring participation from the natural sciences or engineering community together with the health sciences community. The initiative requires the translation of the research results to knowledge/technology users (KTUs) and related stakeholders outside the academic or training environment. As such, the proposed research projects must have a strong focus on knowledge translation (KT) and lead to health and economic benefits for Canadians through more effective health services and products and/or a strengthened health care system. KTU organizations should be meaningfully engaged throughout the research process, as appropriate, to inform research planning and design. For more information on KT at CIHR, please see About KT. Applicants are also encouraged to refer to CIHR’s Guide to Knowledge Translation Planning at CIHR: Integrated and End-of-Grant Approaches. For additional guidance regarding knowledge/technology users, please consult CHRP - Frequently Asked Questions.

Projects must include training opportunities for trainees in collaborative and interdisciplinary research of relevance to health, preparing them for employment opportunities in the private, public or not for profit sectors. Given that interactions between personnel from academic institutions and other sectors contribute to knowledge sharing and the development of trainees, CIHR and NSERC encourage secondments, cross-appointments, co-supervision of students, internships, reciprocal laboratory visits and joint workshops.


  • The application must include at least two (2) Principal Applicants (including the Nominated Principal Applicant), one from the natural sciences or engineering community, and one from the health sciences community.
  • At least one project participant, other than the Principal Applicants, must be a trainee
    • The number of trainee(s) should be commensurate with the size of the project.
  • The application must include a partnership with at least one (1) eligible, non-academic knowledge/technology user (KTU) organization with an expressed interest and demonstrable ability to use the end products of the research. See Eligibility of Partner(s) below.
  • The application must include at least one (1) representative from the Principal KTU organization (see Eligibility of Partner(s) below) in the applicant role of “Principal Knowledge User”.* This person must have the authority to represent their organization, and their role may vary accordingly (e.g. chief scientific officer at a company, decision maker at a hospital, provincial government policy maker, etc.).
  • All Principal Applicants (including the Nominated Principal Applicant) must have successfully completed one of the sex- and gender-based analysis training modules available online 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. 

*In cases where an individual could assume roles in the project as either a researcher-applicant or a representative from the KTU organization, the individual must choose the most appropriate function and may only assume one role in the application.

Eligibility of Partner(s):

The guidelines for the partnership are:

  • One (1) organization must be designated as the Principal KTU in the Letter of Intent (LOI). Other KTUs may be described in the LOI Knowledge Translation plan, as appropriate. KTUs can be from the private, public or voluntary sectors.
  • At both the LOI and full application stages, applicants must demonstrate the capacity of the Principal KTU organization to use the knowledge generated by providing relevant details in a Knowledge Translation plan. Failure to do so may result in withdrawal of the application. Activities focused on sharing the research findings or brokering relationships with stakeholders are not typically sufficient for the Principal KTU role.
  • The Principal KTU must be actively involved in all stages of the project, therefore in-kind contributions are required. Contributions from the Principal KTU cannot be in the form of discounted prices. Cash contributions are not a requirement but may be appropriate.
  • The Principal KTU established at the Letter of Intent stage must be maintained in the full application; change of Principal KTU will be permitted on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may add additional KTU organizations to their full application;
  • The Principal KTU must be Canadian*;
  • Multinational organizations may be eligible as Principal KTU if it is clear within the application that they have Canadian-based activities that meet the criteria above and if the funded activity leads to research results that will be exploited in Canada.
  • Applicant ownership of the partner organization is generally not permitted; exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if an arm’s length relationship between the applicants and partner organization can be demonstrated. Please refer to NSERC’s Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships. Contact CIHR’s contact centre to inquire further.

Note:  Government research laboratories, foreign research institutions, venture capitalists, technology transfer offices, or potential investors are not eligible as the principal Knowledge/Technology User. Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE, CECR, BL-NCE, or their affiliated entities) are also not eligible. However, these entities can be included in addition to the principal KTU partner at the full application stage to broaden the impact of the Knowledge Translation plan.

*In the case of private sector organizations, this requires a Canadian-based company that carries out research and development (R&D) and/or produces goods or services within Canada, deriving the majority of its revenues from the sale of these goods or services and not from government aid. If a collaboration with a suitable Canadian-based KTU organization is not possible, justification must be provided for collaborating with a non-Canadian organization. The justification must describe how the partnership will benefit the Canadian health care system/services and what economic benefits to Canada will result from the partnership (e.g. potential to strengthen Canada’s industrial base, supply or sustain a supply chain, generate wealth, create employment and/or influence Canadian public policy). Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

For additional guidance regarding knowledge/technology users, please consult CHRP – Frequently Asked Questions.

Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined above will be withdrawn from the competition.

Funding Availability

  • The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $20.4 million. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. 

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Maximum duration is 3 years

Special Notes

CIHR will be hosting the following webinar to support participants with the requirements of this funding opportunity and to answer questions on how to apply.

When: Monday, June 3, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Language: English presentation with questions and answers in English and French
Duration: 60 minutes



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

Internal Deadline

Letter of Intent: Applicant to submit LOI including the routing slip and signature pages to:

OR5 form required at the application stage if invited.

External Deadline

Letter of Intent: Applicant to submit LOI via CIHR online application system ResearchNet

More information on how to complete and submit the Letter of Intent, please see the sponsor website.

Internal Deadline

If Invited: Applicant to submit a copy of complete application, routing slip and signature pages along with a complete OR5 form to:

In order for your eApproval application to be considered complete, you must hit the 'submit' button on or before the internal deadline stated above.

External Deadline

If Invited: This funding opportunity follows the eApproval process. This means that when the applicant submits the application on ResearchNet, it will be directed electronically to the Office of Research Services. The Grants Officer will review your application and submit the application electronically to CIHR on behalf of the applicant.

More information on how to apply, to the CIHR competition website.

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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