New funding for the rapid research response to COVID-19

April 30, 2020

IDRC is participating in a new rapid research funding opportunity to fight COVID-19. 

The funding is aimed at the research community in Canada and the Global South and is currently valued at approximately CA$107.9 million. 

Part of the Government of Canada’s effort to mobilize the global science community to fight the pandemic, the funding will enable researchers to accelerate the development, testing, and implementation of medical and social countermeasures to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its negative consequences in Canada and around the world. This includes low- and middle-income countries, many of which have called for international support to respond to the acute impact of the pandemic and to build conditions for a more resilient future.

The funding opportunity is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), which will also host the application process.  As a major partner, IDRC is contributing CA$7 million to support applications with researchers based in low and middle-income countries, as defined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (all countries noted in list).

Please note: 

  • The Principal Applicant for any grant must be appointed at a CIHR eligible institution at the time of application, which means that the Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher in Canada. 
  • For teams in which research will be conducted in more than one low- or middle-income country, there must be at least one researcher listed as a Principal Investigator based in each country
  • For teams involving sub-grantees (indirect beneficiaries of IDRC funds), these sub-grantee institutions must be identified and described by the Principal Applicant.

IDRC’s funding will be directed to collaborations with researchers from low- and middle-income countries. All funding will enable rapid and timely research responsive to the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and around the globe, which is focused on slowing and stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2. 

The objectives are, but not limited to:

  • Enhance local, national, and/or international collaborative efforts, including in low- and middle-income countries, to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the related negative consequences.
  • Provide evidence to inform clinical and health system management and public health response, and/or decision-making and planning within and across jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.
  • Develop, test, and study the implementation of effective interventions to prevent, detect, treat, and manage COVID-19 at the individual and/or population levels by reorienting or amplifying existing research platforms, networks, and trials as well as funding new research projects within existing and established research infrastructure.
  • Enable Canadian engagement and coordination in national and international large-scale trials and better enable harmonized data collection, sharing of data, quasi-experimental and observational studies, and rapid large-scale evaluation of impact.
  • Accelerate the availability of high-quality and real-time evidence to support Canada’s rapid response to the global pandemic in order to better prevent, detect, treat, and manage COVID-19. 
  • Funding will support clinical trials, observational studies, implementation science, or other relevant study designs to scale-up promising existing projects, reorient current research, or initiate new rapid response research to address COVID-19 in the identified research areas that include understanding the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, ethics, and implementation of: 
    • vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutics;
    • clinical management and health system interventions; and
    • social, policy, and public health responses and related indirect consequences.

Data produced as a result of this funding must be shared in line with the Joint statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak.

The funding opportunity is now available on ResearchNet (application deadline: May 12, 2020).

Learn more

Application deadline:

May 12, 2020

Anticipated notice of decision:

June 2, 2020