Whirling Disease Innovative Research & Learning Grant Program 2018-19

Updated Information

Indirect costs have been added - 25%


Alberta Environment and Parks


Whirling Disease Innovative Research and Learning (WhIRL) Grant Program


In 2016, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) committed to the Whirling Disease Program, dedicated to determining the distribution of the parasite, supporting education and outreach initiatives, and providing mitigation strategies to help prevent the spread of the parasite. As a part of that commitment, the Whirling Disease Innovative Research and Learning (WhIRL) Grant Program was created to fulfill AEP’s obligation to dedicate funding to research initiatives. The intent of the program is to provide AEP with current knowledge and management tools to help protect populations of native salmonids and improve aquaculture practices in the presence of the whirling disease parasite within Alberta. The WhIRL Grant Program will provide up to $1 million in grant funding to successful applicants to research whirling disease within Alberta.

Research can be of a wide diversity of disciplines but should focus on the distribution, mitigation, and education of whirling disease within Alberta. Grants will be considered for research topics that fall within a wide range of categories and may involve researchers from many disciplines, agencies and jurisdictions. Research categories identified as short-term priorities for whirling disease research include: diagnostic methods; distribution and dissemination; ecology; education and outreach; management strategies; mitigation and decontamination; oligochaete research; other relevant studies; parasite research; salmonid research; socioeconomic/cultural studies; surveillance methods.


The WhIRL Grant Program is available to applicants in North America who meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Applicant is a faculty member of a recognized post-secondary institution OR member of a  non-government organization with research experience; 
  • Applicant has previously published in peer reviewed journals; 
  • Applicant is willing to work collaboratively with AEP staff; and 
  • Applicant’s project must have clearly demonstrated timelines and deliverables within the proposal.

Funding Availability

Grants up to $1,000,000 total for 2018-19 has been allocated for immediate initiatives focused on research of whirling disease in Alberta.  The program envisions a resource shared agreement between AEP and the Applicant, whereby AEP covers the cost of the project and may provide in-kind support and the Applicant provides the personnel and established facilities required to complete the project. Proposed projects will be eligible for a grant with respect to: personnel wages; resources (equipment, consumables, etc.) necessary to complete the project under AEP's discretion (capital assets and durable items will not be considered for funding; and additional AEP staffing or resources may be available as in-kind support.

Indirect Costs

25% - Please include a separate line item in the budget for these costs and the committee will take these into account when evaluating the proposal. 


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

Internal Deadline

Please submit your proposal, along with an OR-5 Form to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

External Deadline

Deadline for proposal submission (in hand) is September 1, 2018, no later than 2:00pm Alberta Time (4:00 pm EST).

How to Apply

Apply for a WhIRL grant by submitting a digital copy of the Grant Application Form  detailing a brief summary of the proposed research idea.  Applicants will also be required to submit a detailed research proposal and CV.  The research proposal should outline the project's estimated time line and budget, a clear hypothesis, a demonstrated awareness of the key research that relates to the project.

For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Kristin Zimmermann, Senior Grants & Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56257

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