The Intersectoral Action Fund

Updated Information

Update: There is a new internal deadline and a new external deadline. 

Internal Deadline: June 28, 2021- 4:30pm

External Deadline: July 12, 2021- 3:00pm



Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)


The objective of the Fund is to support action on social determinants of health by building capacity in communities to advance intersectoral action, in ways that improve population health and reduce health inequities. Applicants must demonstrate how their proposal aligns with this objective in their application.


The solicitation is guided by the following principles:

Health equity: Projects integrate health equity principles that consider and address unfair and avoidable differences in social determinants of health, health outcomes, and the impact of interventions for different or specific populations groups.

Intersectoral approach: Projects engage with partners and stakeholders from diverse sectors to take action on crosscutting issues, often, but not necessarily in collaboration with the health sector. Together partners explore barriers and facilitators to working together, adopt openness and humility in learning from each other's experiences, and seek win-win scenarios and mutual benefits in collaborative problem solving.

Lived experience: Projects ensure that diverse community members, including people with lived experience, are authentically and meaningfully engaged in the project at the conception, design, governance, and implementation stages. Target populations are meaningfully engaged and resourced to participate in initiatives aimed at improving social determinants of health.
Social determinants of health: Projects focus action on one or more social determinants of health, according to local context and needs. Examples of social determinants of health that may be advanced through intersectoral action include: housing, precarious work, food security, income security, racism and discrimination, education, early childhood development, and others. Projects may choose to focus on determinants that have been particularly impacted by COVID-19, but are welcome to work in other areas. Projects may be undertaken in a range of settings related to social determinants of health, including community health centres, schools and post-secondary institutions, social services, governments, workplaces, community centres, police departments, detention and correctional institutions.


Only applicants in the following categories may be considered for funding:

  • Canadian not-for-profit voluntary organizations and corporations.
  • organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments (regional health authorities, community health centres, schools, post-secondary institutions, etc.).
  • Indigenous organizations, including Indigenous government organizations.
  • regional and municipal governments and agencies.
  • for-profit organizations (must apply in partnership with a not-for-profit organization).

Small organizations are welcome to apply.

For-profit organizations must apply in partnership with a non-profit organization, to ensure the project meets the needs of the community of interest, and is delivered with input from that community and the organizations who serve it. Applicants from for-profit organizations will be asked to demonstrate meaningful and appropriate community partnerships in their request for funding and will be required to submit Letters of Support from community partners with their application.

Eligible activities

Projects must align with one of the following three streams of capacity building for ISA. The stream selected should reflect the primary focus of the proposed project activities. The examples listed within each stream illustrate possible activities, but proposals are not limited to these areas of work.

Stream 1: Identify priority areas for collective action on social determinants of health and wellbeing

Examples: community needs assessment; analyses of how programs, policies, or other issues impact diverse groups, assessments to improve how sectors work together to improve health; translating evidence into policy effectively; develop a community vision, agenda, or action plan.

Stream 2: Foster transformative partnerships to facilitate action on social determinants of health and wellbeing

Examples: hire dedicate staff, initiate peer-to-peer coaching or mentorship for undertaking intersectoral work; support partnerships with new sectors; involve people with lived experience in decision-making processes; establish a network of intersectoral community partners.

Stream 3: Build capacity to take action on social determinants of health and wellbeing

Examples: cross-sectoral training to advance common goals among partners; build internal capacity for data analysis and interpretation, or other essential areas; communicating health information to diverse audiences and sectors, social marketing campaigns that support health equity; develop tools to support leaders to undertake intersectoral work.

Funding Availability

Proposed projects must be within specified funding limits, between $25,000 and $250,000. A large range of eligible funding amounts is permitted so that projects can apply for the amount of funding required to advance a feasible set of activities. Small and large project proposals are welcome.

Indirect Costs

In all cases, project-related administrative expenses (e.g., rental of office space) are limited to a maximum of 15% of total project funding.

Project Duration

Funds will be issued through grants no earlier than fall 2021. It's expected that applicants will complete the proposed project within 12 months. A final report will be due within one month of the project's end.

Special Notes

Official language requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

Gender-based analysis requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ incorporates consideration of gender as well as other factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income in the development of policies and programs. See more information on GBA+.

Ownership of intellectual property

Funding recipients and their community partners will retain ownership and control over data and any tools and resources developed as part of the project, and will be responsible for publishing, disseminating, and mobilizing knowledge from funded projects.


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

Please submit your Funding Request Form, along with an OR-5 Form to

External Deadline

All Funding Request Forms must be submitted by email to: No extensions will be granted. Receipt of Funding Request Forms will be acknowledged by email. Please ensure that your email address is included in your application.

How to Apply

Application process

The application process for the Program requires the completion of a Funding Request Form. To get a copy of the Funding Request Form template and Applicant Guide, please contact

The deadline for submitting completed Funding Request Forms is July 12, 2021, 3 pm EST. All Funding Request Forms must be submitted by email to: No extensions will be granted. Receipt of Funding Request Forms will be acknowledged by email. Please ensure that your email address is included in your application.

Funding decisions will be based on a review of proposals and subject to available funds. Not all applications will be funded.

PHAC is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses. PHAC also reserves the right to:

  • require additional information.
  • reject any submission received in response to this invitation.
  • accept any submission in whole or in part.
  • cancel and/or re-issues this invitation to submit a Funding Request at any time.

All applicants will be notified by email of the results following the end of the review process.

Decisions related to funding for applicants made by PHAC are final.

Please note that PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation and/or submission of a Funding Request in response to this invitation.

Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate all applications for funding. The specific assessment criteria that will be applied are outlined on the Funding Request Form:

  • Suitability and capacity of organization to carry out the proposed work.
  • Whether the project is responding to an issue and/or social determinant of health in the community that can be addressed appropriately through intersectoral action.
  • Quality, clarity, and completeness of the proposal.
  • Coherence between the project's goal(s)/objective(s), activities, target partnerships, and how these will be achieved in light of potential constraints due to COVID-19.
  • Feasibility of the project's goals(s)/objective(s) and activities.
  • Meaningful involvement of diverse populations, organizations, and sectors (including people with lived experience) in the project.
  • Alignment of the project with the Fund's objective.
  • Consider GBA+, and key equity, diversity, and inclusion factors, including Official Language Minority Communities.
  • Whether knowledge generated from the project will be shared with appropriate audiences.
  • Alignment with the objective of the Fund and incorporation of an intersectoral approach.
  • Quality, diversity, and appropriateness of intersectoral partnerships.
  • Commitment to requirements for project reporting and knowledge mobilization.
  • Feasibility of workplan items and its readiness for implementation.
  • Quality of the budget.
For Questions, please contact

For additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact the Public Health Agency of Canada at: with the subject line "Intersectoral Action Fund".

Office of Research

Devon Staaf, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office

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