Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Challenge Questions Initiative


Ontario Ministry of Health


COVID-19 Challenge Questions Initiative 

For More Information

For more information about the initiative and the full list of Challenge Questions on the OHDP website, please visit: https://computeontario.ca/covid-19-health/


The objective of the initiative is to accelerate the generation and translation of research and data analytic insights into action.

The initiative has been established to ensure that researchers accessing the Ontario Health Data Platform (OHDP) address high priority COVID-19 research questions that are aligned with government priorities.

Research Areas and Challenge Questions have been developed through consultations with key Ministry COVID-19 advisory committees and with practitioners, researchers, data experts, policy knowledge users, and patients/family advisors.  The Challenge Questions are grouped into seven broad research areas:

Vaccination Strategy

Therapeutic Treatment Options and Outcomes 

Pandemic Waves

Testing and Surveillance Strategies

Population Level Prevention and Containment 

Health System Resourcing

Health Equity and Vulnerable Populations


This initiative is open to researchers across Ontario, including researchers in Ontario-based universities and other academic institutions, researchers in Ontario-based non-profit organizations, and those currently not using the Ontario Data Health Platform.

Funding Availability

Although there is no funding associated with this initiative, researchers receive prioritized access to the OHDP.  New data sets needed to address the Challenge Questions will be prioritized for addition to the OHDP and researchers will receive provincial recognition and exposure to decision makers.

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

Expressions of interest received by October 30th will form the first batch of responses that will be considered by ministry program areas and COVID-19 advisory committees.

Expressions of interest will be considered on a rolling basis, so researchers are encouraged to submit anytime.

How to Apply

Researchers interested in answering a Challenge Question are asked to submit an Expression of Interest. Applications for OHDP data access can be also submitted through the OHDP website.

Please note, access to the OHDP is not required to answer a Challenge Question.

For Questions, please contact

Inquiries related to the Challenge Question Program should be directed to the Research Analysis and Evaluation Branch at the Ministry of Health through  researchunit@ontario.ca

General OHDP inquiries can be directed to  info@ohdp.ca

Inquiries related to submitting an OHDP application should contact  applicationsupport@ohdp.ca

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