Upcoming Opportunity: Rapid research response to the 2019 (2019-nCoV) Novel Coronavirus outbreak

Updated Information

Internal and external deadline dates updated below with application information. 


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

For More Information

Program website

More information to follow once competition information is available. 


The Government of Canada would like to inform the research community of a pending launch of a rapid research response to contribute to global efforts to contain the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

This research response is aligned with the efforts of international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLoPID-R). This is a collaboration between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

We are providing preliminary information at this time to allow the research community to mobilize and respond to an expedited process given the situation. The focus of this call may be further refined based on international needs, discussions with expert groups, and emerging priorities, for example, following the upcoming WHO meeting ‘2019 Novel Coronavirus Global Research and Innovation Forum: towards a research roadmap.’ Alignment of proposals to identified priorities will also be considered as part of the assessment process.


The specific objectives of the Canadian 2019-nCoV rapid research funding opportunity are to: 

  • Contribute to the global response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak; 
  • Enhance local, national and/or international collaborative efforts to mitigate the rapid spread of 2019-nCoV and its potential negative consequences; 
  • Strengthen the understanding of the impact of 2019-nCoV on individuals and communities; and
  • Provide evidence to inform clinical and public health response, and/or decision-making and planning at national and international levels.

Proposed topic areas

  • Medical countermeasures research:
    • Pathogenicity, transmission, and zoonotic source of the Novel Coronavirus;
    • Development and evaluation of diagnostic tools for early case detection and surveillance;
    • Development and evaluation of candidate vaccines;
    • Development and evaluation of candidate therapeutics;
    • Clinical characterization and management; and
    • Clinical trials design and ethical considerations.
  • Social and policy countermeasures research in health:
    • Cultural dimensions of the epidemic such as, examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease;
    • Studying the public health response;
    • Developing strategies to combat misinformation, stigma, and fear;
    • Studying logistical (e.g., infrastructure, transport, evacuation) and economic impacts;
    • Studying international relations, global coordination, response systems and crisis management; and
    • Considering the social dynamics of transmission.

Funds available

As the Government of Canada response to 2019-nCoV is evolving rapidly, the total amount of funding available and further details will be included in the full request for applications.

  • For the medical countermeasures, the maximum amount per grant is $1,000,000 over two years.
  • For the social and policy countermeasures research, the maximum amount per grant is $500,000 over two years.

Preliminary application details

  • Alignment of proposals to identified priorities will be considered as part of the assessment process.
  • The Research Proposal will be a maximum of 5 pages for English applications and 6 pages for French applications and must address the following evaluation criteria:
    1. Quality of project:
      1. Extent to which the application responds to the objectives;
      2. Appropriateness of the proposed approach; and
      3. Appropriateness of the budget and justification for amount requested.
    2. Quality of Applicants:
      1. Track record of team members in fields related to proposed research;
      2. Ability of the project team to carry out the proposed research; and
      3. Ability of team to quickly mobilize necessary resources.
    3. Impact of the Research:
      1. Alignment to research areas;
      2. Potential to contribute to the global response to 2019-nCoV. 
  • CVs will be required for the Nominated Principal Applicant and Principal Applicants.
  • CVs will be encouraged for Co-Applicants and Knowledge Users.
  • The CV required for this competition will be the CIHR Biosketch CV (completed through the Canadian Common CV) or the Applicant Profile CV (a 3-page CV to be completed in Word). The Applicant Profile CV template will be available shortly. Applicants can utilize either CV type.
  • A one page summary will be required that addresses how the research proposed is aligned with the objectives of this call and one of the research areas.

Additional information on proposed topic areas and preliminary application details is now available online.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit copy of application including routing slip and signed institutional signature page, support letters along with a complete OR5 form toresearch.services@uoguelph.ca.

Expected key dates

  • Peer review begins: Week of February 17, 2020
  • Anticipated notice of decision: Week of February 24, 2020
  • Funding start date: February 1, 2020
External Deadline

Applicant to submit complete application to sponsor via ResearchNet.  

The funding opportunity can be found on the CIHR website.

For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

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

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