University of Guelph - COVID-19 Research Development & Catalyst Fund

Updated Information

NEW Internal Deadline: Monday, May 4, 2020 9:00am. 

We aim to announce decisions by Monday, May 11, 2020.


University of Guelph - Office of Research


  • Provide seed funding for the rapid development of research grant applications to future, potential funding programs focused on contributing to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and/or its negative consequences on people and communities; or
  • Provide funding to catalyze small-scale, time-sensitive research projects focused on contributing to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and/or its negative consequences on people and communities.

Potential Research Areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemiology of COVID-19 outbreaks and virus spread
    • Surveillance of animals (including wildlife)
    • Disease modelling
    • Disease and surveillance data gathering and use
    • Development of AI-empowered digital surveillance systems and decision support systems
  • Biological Interventions for control of COVID-19
    • Pathogenicity, transmission, and zoonotic source of COVID-19
    • Development of diagnostic tools
    • Development of candidate vaccines
    • Development of candidate therapeutics
  • Public health, social, economic and policy angles of COVID-19 pandemic
    • Cultural dimensions of the pandemic
    • Development of effective public health communication strategies
    • Development of strategies to combat misinformation, stigma, and fear
    • Economic impacts of the pandemic, e.g., hospitality and tourism
    • Studying international relations, global coordination, response systems and crisis management
    • Understanding the social dynamics of transmission and vulnerability
    • Understanding impact on food production and safety, food distribution and food security
    • Understanding public behavior in response to the pandemic and potential future countermeasures, e.g. vaccination
    • Studying gender-specific and indigenous angles of the COVID-19 pandemic


All complete applications will be reviewed by the Office of Research and College representatives.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The following evaluation criteria will be used:

  1. Quality of project:
    1. Extent to which the application responds to the program objectives;
    2. Appropriateness of the proposed approach and timeliness; and
    3. Appropriateness of the budget and justification for amount requested.
  2. Quality of Applicants:
    1. Track record of team members in fields related of proposed research;
    2. Ability of the project team to carry out the proposed activities; and
    3. Ability of team to quickly mobilize necessary resources.
  3. Impact of the Research:   potential to contribute to the global response to COVID-19 and elevate University of Guelph's external research reputation (e.g., acquisition of Tri-Agency funding).

Considerations will be given to gender and equity inclusion in the research team and/or the research topic, as well as to disciplinary diversity of the research programs to be funded.

Sex and/or gender issues exist in most COVID-19 research areas and, therefore, sex and/or gender issues will be a component of this research initiative. Applicants are to consider sex as a biological variable and gender as a socio-cultural factor in their research.

Reporting Requirements:

At the end of the project, a short report is required describing outcomes and impacts.


Applicants must be eligible to hold research funding at the University of Guelph.

Funding Availability

  • The Office of Research will provide up to a maximum of $10,000 in seed funding for eligible projects that are approved by the College(s) to proceed under the University of Guelph Guidance note for research continuity, scale back, and shut down.
  • Matching funds from the College(s) are required.
  • Approvals are subject to the availability of Office of Research funds.
  • Funding must be used by August 31, 2020.

Maximum Project Value

Eligible Expenses include:

  • Salary support for research staff, postdocs, students, and other trainees
  • Knowledge translation and mobilization activities
  • Supplies

Ineligible Expenses:

Due to the time-limited nature of this funding program, infrastructure and significant research equipment purchases are generally not considered eligible expenses unless well justified, nor is teaching release.

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

You must include:

  1. A complete application form
  2. PI and Co-PI(s) CV's (in any format)
  3. An OR-5

We aim to announce decisions by Monday, May 11, 2020.

Project spending deadline will be Monday, August 31, 2020.

How to Apply

Send all documents to by Monday, May 4, 2020.

You must include:

  1. A complete application form
  2. PI and Co-PI(s) CV's (in any format)
  3. An OR-5


For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Patricia Van Asten, Awards & Agreements Officer, Strategic Research Programs
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56927

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