CIHR: Operating Grant : COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity

Updated Information

New External Deadline: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 8:00 pm


Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For More Information

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

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


Funding will support clinical trials, observational studies, implementation science or other relevant study designs to scale-up promising existing projects, reorient current research, or initiate new rapid response research to address COVID-19 in the identified research areas that include understanding the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, ethics, and implementation of:

  • vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutics;
  • clinical management and health system interventions; and
  • social, policy, and public health responses and related indirect consequences.

Projects focused on scale-up or reorientation could include, but not be limited to, projects from the first COVID-19 rapid response competition, as well as efforts to amplify or adapt existing national and international clinical trials and related research networks and platforms. International collaborations and/or multi-site/multi-jurisdictional research is expected.

Proposals are encouraged to consider priority populations that may face unique contexts and/or challenges including:

  • older adults
  • children and their families
  • homeless and underhoused populations
  • populations living in institutional or communal settings (including long term care facilities)
  • immunocompromised citizens and/or those living with serious chronic conditions
  • those who face unintended systematic bias(es) within the healthcare system
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities
  • populations living in remote settings
  • refugees
  • people in countries with weaker health systems

For research projects involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples: Appropriate consideration of TCPS 2: Chapter 9 - Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada, and demonstration of meaningful and culturally safe practices, plans and activities throughout the research project.


For an application to be eligible:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher.
  2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be appointed at a CIHR eligible institution at the time of application (see the CIHR Application Administration Guide – Part 4).

For an application to be eligible to receive funding from the IDRC:

  1. The team must include researchers that are based in Canada and researchers that are based in low and middle income countries (LMIC), as defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (all countries noted in list).
  2. For teams in which research will be conducted in more than one LMIC country, there must be at least one researcher listed as a Principal Applicant based in each country.
  3. For teams involving sub-grantees (indirect beneficiaries of IDRC funds), these sub-grantee institutions must be identified and described by the Principal Applicant.

Applicants are encouraged to consider an appropriate representation of groups underrepresented in science, and a diversity of experiences, on research teams. Additional guidance can be found on the Best practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research webpage.

Funding Availability

Approximately $107.9M of funding is available.

Maximum Project Value

The maximum amount per grant - clinical trial research is $5,000,000 
The maximum amount per grant - all other types of research is $2,500,000 

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

1 year

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, routing slip and signature pages along with complete OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Applicant to submit online application along with routing slip and signed signature pages via ResearchNet.

To complete your Full Application, follow the instructions in the Grants – Application Guidelines along with any additional instructions found below under "Specific Instructions".

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

For all inquiries, please contact

Office of Research

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

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