H&S: Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award


Brain Canada and Heart & Stroke



For More Information

For additional information, please see the application guidelines:

  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


Brain Canada and Heart & Stroke are pleased to officially launch the Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, integrative research competition that will investigate the complex interactions between the heart and the brain by leveraging the power of collaboration and innovation in Canada’s research community. This new funding opportunity will bring together researchers across biomedical, clinical, health services, and social, cultural, environmental and population health fields to generate new knowledge and meaningful action that will directly benefit people in Canada.


  1. The IMPACT Team will be comprised of a strong community of researchers, institutions, and disciplines recognizing and adopting an integrative approach to studying heart disease, stroke and vascular cognitive impairment. The NPI and Module PI are encouraged to carefully consider the membership of the Modules as well as the composition of the resulting IMPACT Team to reflect the required multidisciplinary, multi-institution and national scope of the IMPACT Award and the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
    1. The IMPACT Team must cover three of the four Themes of Health Research (See Section D).
    2. NPI and Module PIs must be drawn from researchers located in at least three (3) institutions located in at least three (3) provinces or territories.
    3. The IMPACT Team must act as a cohesive unit, and not a loose collection of disparate groups. The activities within each Program Module must be linked, integrative, and build on the overall IMPACT Program Proposal objectives.
    4. The IMPACT Program Proposal must include a clear plan for the integration of relevant determinants of health – for example, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, culture, and socioeconomic status, and/or other factors – into the research question, analysis, results and reporting as appropriate.
    5. The IMPACT Program Proposal must describe how People With Lived Experience (PWLE) are engaged as meaningful and active collaborators and as knowledge users.
    6. Any research applications involving Indigenous Peoples must include a knowledge user, team member or collaborator who self-identifies as Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and/or Métis) or otherwise provide evidence of having meaningful and culturally-safe collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. Submission Guidelines – 2020/21 IMPACT Award Program: Heart-Brain Connection 6
    7. Any research applications involving special populations must include a knowledge user or team member who self-identifies as that population or otherwise provide evidence of having meaningful and culturally-safe involvement with that population.
  1. All Team members who are independent researchers (NPI, Module PI, co-PI, and co-I but not Collaborators) must be based at a Canadian research institution and be eligible to receive funding from the federal granting agencies as a PI.
    1. The NPI, Module PI, and co-PI must have an MD, PhD, PharmDDVM, or equivalent health sciences degree with a full-time independent academic or faculty appointment (i.e., at minimum, at the Assistant or Clinical Assistant Professor level) in Canada by the Letter of Intent submission deadline.
    2. Teams must build capacity in brain and heart vascular research by including researchers at all stages of their careers, as well as trainees.
    3. Any adjunct or emeritus applicants must submit a letter from their Dean/Chair/Division Director to clarify the independent researcher nature of their specific appointment (i.e., autonomy regarding their research activities, amount of protected time available, local infrastructure in place).
    4. A minimum of 50% protected research time is required for the NPI and Program Module PIs.
  1. At the Letter of Intent stage, all independent researchers of the research team must have successfully completed:
    1. Sex and Gender Considerations online training that is offered through the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, and submit a Certificate of Completion for the module(s) most closely aligned with the type of research to be conducted.
    2. CIHR Unconscious Bias training module. 

Funding Availability

Two Canadian research teams

Maximum Project Value

Maximum of $2.9 million per grant/team

Project Duration

Up to 4 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.

External Deadline

Registration - Required:  Heart & Stroke and Brain Canada will perform a relevance and eligibility review at the Registration stage to identify applications that are relevant to and in alignment with the objectives and research areas of this funding opportunity and meet the eligibility criteria.

Nominated Principle Applicant (NPI) to complete and submit registration form and email to research@heartandstroke.ca

External Deadline

Letter of Intent: NPI to submit LOI directly to sponsor via email to research@heartandstroke.ca

Requirements for the Letter of Intent are found in Section A.5.2 in the Application Guidelines. The LOI form will be available by the end of March 2021.

The teams invited to submit a full application will be provided with an application planning grant of up to $10,000 per team to develop their full application. A budget justification for these grant development funds will be submitted with each LOI. 

Internal Deadline

Full Application if Invited:  NPI to submit a copy of complete application along with an OR5 form to: research.services@uoguelph.ca

External Deadline

Full Application if Invited: Details of how to submit the IMPACT Award will be made available in the LOI notification letters and posted on the Heart & Stroke website “For researchers” section.

For Questions, please contact

Research Department Heart & Stroke

110-1525 Carling Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 8R9

Tel: (613) 691-4041

E-mail: research@heartandstroke.ca

Website: http://www.heartandstroke.ca/research


Office of Research

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

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