Healthy and Productive Work: Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Initiative Objectives/Scope

1. What are the two stages of the Healthy and Productive Work initiative?

A two-phased approach will be used to fund teams responding to this call for applications.

Phase 1 of the initiative will provide Partnership Development Grants (PDG) to support new and/or existing partnerships to foster new research and related activities.

In Phase 2, all HPW Partnership Development Grant holders will be invited to submit an application, on behalf of their host institution, for a Partnership Grant which will provide support for partnered initiatives that advance research and related activities pertaining to the Healthy and Productive Work joint initiative. Note that under this initiative, successful HPW Partnership Development Grant award holders will be permitted to forego the usual SSHRC Letter of Intent (LOI) process and submit a full Partnership Grant application directly.

2. What are the objectives of this initiative?

The goal of the initiative is to develop, implement, evaluate and scale-up innovative, evidence-informed and gender-responsive solutions to foster the labour force participation of men and women with health issues (e.g., injuries, illnesses, chronic diseases, mental health challenges, and other conditions) and disabilities, as well as older workers and workers with caregiving responsibilities outside of their paid work. We aim to accomplish this by bringing together researchers, workers, employers, policy-makers, regulators, clinicians, insurers, service providers, workplace safety and insurance boards, unions, professional associations, and other stakeholders across sectors.

To achieve this goal, the objectives of Phase 1: Partnership Development Grants are to:

  1. Foster relationships between researchers and stakeholders;
  2. Promote knowledge sharing and collaborative problem identification; and
  3. Support activities to facilitate the development of a Partnership Grant proposal.

3. Is this a health or social science focused initiative?

The Healthy and Productive Work Initiative reflects the interplay between health and social sciences in responding to the growing interest in maintaining a healthy, productive and inclusive Canadian workforce. CIHR and SSHRC have partnered together to launch the Healthy and Productive Work initiative. An eligibility criteria is that applicants MUST reflect expertise in BOTH health AND social science and/or humanities domains.

4. Is this initiative focused on workplace health and safety?

This initiative does not particularly focus on workplace health and safety, although this can be one topic among others that would be within the scope of the initiative. The Healthy and Productive Work initiative aims to connect health and social scientists along with non-academic partners, such as workers, employers, policy-makers, regulators, clinicians, insurers, service providers, workplace safety and insurance boards, unions, and professional associations to develop, implement, evaluate and scale-up innovative and evidence-based solutions to respond to the different challenges women and men experience.

5. What is meant by “interventions”?

The Healthy and Productive Work initiative focuses on interventions which may include but are not limited to accommodations, tools and policies that address modifications to work and work environments designed to enable participation in meaningful work. Both formal and informal interventions at various levels will be considered (individual workers, organizations, workplaces, sectors, policy/regulatory, educational institutions, the health care system, etc.). Flexible work arrangements, physical modifications to the work environment, and structured processes intended to enable an employee to return to or remain at work, as well as policy interventions aimed at supporting accommodation, are all meaningful examples.

6. Do we require an intervention in order to apply, or is the intention to discover and scale up interventions and evaluate their implementation?

Applicants do not need to have an intervention in place to apply for a Partnership Development Grant. The intent is to fund health and social scientists together with non-academic partners to develop, implement, evaluate and scale-up innovative solutions to address the different challenges women and men face in achieving healthy and productive work.

7. Is it possible that projects funded at the Partnership Development Grant phase would merge/combine efforts at the Partnership Grant phase?

Yes, this is possible and encouraged when relevant.

8. Why is it required that I engage non-academic partners in my project?

Engaging with non-academic partners, such as industry organizations, is a tenet of the funding opportunity. In order to tackle questions pertaining to the changing skills required by employers to respond to the challenges of accommodating their employees’ needs, partnerships will need diversified experience and partners. Responding to these challenges will demand expertise from across disciplines and fields of research, hence the requirement for linkages with academic and non-academic stakeholders.

General Information

9. How can I learn more about this Initiative and ensure I receive new information as it is released?

Information, news and events relevant to the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative will be posted on the Initiative website.

10. What is a Project Director?

A Project Director is the recipient of a grant and must be associated with an eligible institution.

11. Who is eligible to be a Project Director?

Project Directors must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian University at the time of application. Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian university, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant status within the HPW-PDG funding opportunity.

Postdoctoral fellows/researchers are not eligible to apply as an Applicant on an HPW-PDG.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply for an HPW-PDG.

12. Are there webinars planned?

Currently three webinars are planned to provide potential applicants with information about the Initiative and the application process. Please visit the Initiative webpage to register for a webinar.

13. Who do I contact with questions regarding this initiative?

For questions regarding the scope, objectives or program, please contact:

Jennifer Campbell
Project Lead, Major Initiatives
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Telephone: 613-941-0805

For questions about SSHRC’s Partnership Development Grant application process, funding guidelines and peer review process please contact:

Gianni Rossi
Program Officer, Research Grants and Partnerships Division
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Telephone: 613.947-9652

Eligibility Requirements

14. My institution is not on the SSHRC list of eligible institutions or the list of CIHR eligible institutions authorized to administer grant and award funds. Can I still apply?

Funding will be distributed by both CIHR and SSHRC. As a result, the institution the Project Director is affiliated with must be eligible to receive funds from BOTH CIHR and SSHRC. Any institution that does not currently have SSHRC or CIHR eligibility to administer funds must contact CIHR and SSHRC well before the application deadline to begin the institutional eligibility process. Applicants unsure of their institution’s current eligibility status can consult a list of SSHRC eligible institutions and CIHR eligible institutions authorized to administer grant and award funds.

15. Does the Sex and Gender Champion have to be an expert on sex and gender issues?

No. The purpose of a Sex and Gender Champion is to nominate a minimum of one person on the team to ensure that a Sex and Gender-based Analysis was conducted and included in the research design. Sex and gender considerations are identified through a literature review and the designated Sex and Gender Champion does not have to have knowledge of this in advance. To help Sex and Gender Champions conduct a Sex and Gender-based Analysis, a checklist was developed and we encourage applicants to consult this resource.

16. What if I haven’t secured a partnership in time for the November 30, 2015 application deadline for Partnership Development Grants?

Applicants must have at least one non-academic partner identified when applying for a Partnership Development Grant in order to be eligible. When the Project Director is filling out the application forms, he or she will be asked to add the contact information of the institutional contact of the partner organizations that will be participating on the project. The application system will automatically send this contact person an invitation email, with a link to the SSHRC web portal and instructions on what must be completed. As part of this process, the partner institutional contact will enter some basic biographical information as well as a Letter of Engagement, indicating the nature of the organizations involvement and the level of support offered to the proposal. During the term of the PDG, other partners can be added, and/or the partner may change.

17. Can I apply if I already hold a SSHRC grant?

Yes; however the Healthy and Productive Work–Partnership Development Grant follows SSHRC’s multiple applications rules. For more information, please refer to the SSHRC Multiple Application regulation website.

It is also important to note that, if an individual already holds a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, then they are not eligible to apply until they have completed the active grant (i.e. submit a final achievement report). They can however be a Co-Applicant.

18. The Healthy and Productive Work Initiative has two stages. Can I apply to the stage 2 (Partnership Grants) if I am not successful at stage 1 (Partnership Development Grants)?

No, only applicants funded in phase 1 (Partnership Development Grants) will be considered at phase 2 (Partnership Grants).

19. How will the merit review process for Phase 1 and Phase 2 be done?

CIHR and SSHRC will manage a joint merit review process for applications submitted to this joint Initiative.

Under this initiative, CIHR and SSHRC will provide funding for applications that are relevant to (in alignment with) the objectives described in the Objectives section of the Funding Opportunity. As such, prior to merit review, CIHR and SSHRC will have access to full applications and nominative information to conduct a relevance review.

Applications deemed not relevant to the Initiative objectives or without a clear focus on BOTH health and AND social sciences and/or humanities will not continue on to merit review and will be withdrawn.

Specific details on the review process please consult SSHRC’s Merit Review website for more information on the procedures.

Application Process

20. Can I use the Common CV as part of my Partnership Development Grant application?

No, applicants must use the SSHRC CV, found in an applicant’s user profile.

21. What application forms/processes will be used for this funding opportunity?

While the HPW Initiative is a joint funding opportunity between SSHRC and CIHR, applicants are required to use SSHRC’s existing application processes for Partnership Development Grants.

The applicant must complete and verify the online Partnership Development Grants application form and create or complete his/her SSHRC web-based curriculum vitae (CV). The complete application, including the electronic attachments (uploads) and the CVs (applicant/project director and co-applicants), can be viewed and printed, but must be submitted electronically to the postsecondary institution's research administrator or financial administrator at the not-for-profit organization.

Applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Complete all mandatory fields (boldfaced labels).
  2. Attach all mandatory electronic uploads (application).
  3. Ensure that all co-applicants have submitted their "Accept Invitation Form".
  4. Ensure that invited partner organizations have submitted their "Accept Invitation Form."
  5. Verify and correct the data until the Verification Report indicates successful verification.
  6. Click "Submit" (Submit to Research Administrator) for institutional approval.

The research administrator at the applicant's institution will review the application and, if approved, will forward it to SSHRC. If changes are required, the research or financial administrator will send a message to the applicant using the Message Centre function. The applicant can access the Message Centre by clicking "Messages" in the top navigation bar of his/her Portfolio. Research/financial administrators will be able to forward applications until 8 p.m. (eastern), November 30, 2015. After 8 p.m., the "Submit" (Submit to Research Administrator) button will disappear from the applicant's Portfolio, the "Forward" (Forward to SSHRC) button will disappear from the research/financial administrator's Portfolio and no further changes and submissions will be possible.

Most institutions and organizations have an internal deadline date that is earlier than the application deadline date. Make sure you allow enough time to obtain feedback from your administrator before the application deadline.

Acknowledgement of Receipt of Applications

After SSHRC receives your completed Partnership Development Grants form, the data provided in your application and CVs are transferred to SSHRC's corporate database. SSHRC will acknowledge receipt of your electronic application form, and will assign you an application number. Please cite this number in all correspondence with us.

All applicants must comply with SSHRC’s Regulations Governing Grant Applications. For more information on How to Apply please consult SSHRC’s website.

22. In completing the Partnership Development Grant application, the option to select an “Insight” grant or a “Connection” grant is listed. How do I know which one is appropriate?

As part of the PDG application process, SSHRC asks applicants to identify which of these programs their proposal ties most closely to. This can be Insight only, Connections only, or a combination of Insight and Connection. For the purpose of the Healthy and Productive Work initiative, because the intent of the funding opportunity is to support research partnerships that develop knowledge and then propose interventions, applicants should indicate Insight in the first box and Connection in the second box. Please note that this information is tombstone data incorporated into the application forms and will not factor into the adjudication of the proposals in anyway.

23. How do I complete the budget request portion of the PDG Application Form?

The maximum annual investment per project will be $50,000 from CIHR and $25,000 from SSHRC. Although a single budget must be included in the application, applicants are advised to note that the rules of eligible expenses vary by granting agencies and should consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for the most up to date regulations. Applicants are not normally asked to indicate from which organization the funding to cover a specific expense will come unless a particular item is an ineligible expense at one organization and not the other.

24. What will the composition of the merit review committee(s) be?

The merit review committee will be multifaceted, representing a variety of stakeholder groups such as researchers (health and social sciences and humanities), workers, employers, policy-makers, regulators, clinicians, insurers, service providers, workplace safety and insurance boards, unions, and professional associations.

25. What evaluation criteria will be used?

The evaluation criteria that will be used are listed in the funding opportunity.

26. What is meant by “gender-responsive” and how will my application be assessed in this regard?

Gender-responsive refers to policies, programs, intervention, or an approach that responds to the needs of women and men. It is not enough to disaggregate data by sex and/or ensuring sex/gender does not confound your study’s results. Women, men and gender diverse people’s needs to be taken into account by conducting a literature review to see if there are different barriers to people based on their sex/gender. The research question, proposed methodology, analysis and reporting should reflect these differences and recommendations should be made on how women and men’s needs can be addressed. The quality of the Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis will be assessed based on the requirements outlined in the Integrating Sex and Gender Checklist for applications to Healthy and Productive work. Applicants can assess the extent in which they incorporated sex/gender considerations into their application by consulting the Sex/Gender-responsive assessment scale.

27. Some types of SSHRC applications can be submitted as an individual or an institution. Will this option also be available for this new program?

All Partnership Development Grant (PDG) applications are from Individuals. Applicants successful in the Partnership Development Grant phase will be invited to submit a formal Partnership Grant application in 2017. The Partnership Grant application will be an Institutional application submitted by the host institution.

28. Will there be a Letter of Intent (LOI) stage (at either phase)?

There is no LOI at either phase.

29. What happens if my application is not deemed to be relevant at the relevance review stage?

Applications deemed not relevant at the relevance review stage will be withdrawn from the competition.

Relevance will be assessed against the Initiative objectives and the requirement that the team must reflect expertise in both health and social science and/or humanities domains.


30. What level of funding is available for the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative?

The total amount available for Phase 1 (Partnership Development Grants) is $3,000,000, which will result in funding approximately 20 grants. The maximum value per grant is $75,000 per year for up to two years.

It is anticipated that the total amount available for Phase 2 Partnership Grant funding will be $11,400,000, which will fund approximately 8 Partnership Grants. The maximum value of each grant is expected to be $325,000 per year over four years, plus an additional year valued at up to $125,000 for connection activities (e.g., workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums or other events or outreach activities).

31. Can the grant funds be used to offset costs associated with non-academic partner collaboration in the research project?

Grant funds can be used to offset the direct costs associated with research and research related activities so long as the costs are eligible according to the TAFAG. If you have any questions, please contact:

Gianni Rossi
Program Officer | Research Grants and Partnerships Division
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Telephone: 613.947-9652

32. Who will be the recipient (University, partner, etc.) of the Partnership Development grant?

The Project Director is the recipient of the Partnership Development Grant and must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian university at the time of application. CIHR and SSHRC do not provide grant funds directly to the recipient but rather to the recipient’s institution. The institution, often referred to as the “Institution Paid,” holds the funds and administers an account from which the recipient can draw upon.

33. Will successful applicants have a salary supplement?

No salary supplement will be provided to successful applicants.

Partnership Requirements & Information

34. What are the partner requirements in the context of the Partnership Development Grant phase?

A formal partnership is defined as a bilateral or multilateral formal collaboration agreement between one or more eligible Canadian universities and one or more non-academic partner organizations from the public, private, and/or not-for-profit sectors. Partnerships must also be multidisciplinary and involve researchers from the health and social sciences and/or humanities domains. Partner organizations agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit aligned with the goal and objectives of the HPW.

Funded partnerships must enable reciprocal flow and uptake of research knowledge between researchers and stakeholders (both within and beyond academia) by integrating stakeholders throughout the entire research process. Researchers and stakeholders must collaborate to develop the research questions, decide on methodology, collect data, interpret the findings, and disseminate the research results. This collaboration should increase the likelihood of adoption and uptake of research results.

Partner organizations must provide Letters of Engagement as evidence attesting to the commitment that has been agreed upon and any cash or in-kind contributions.

It is the responsibility of each invited partner organization contact to complete, verify and submit their Accept Invitation form, including their Letter of Engagement. Each letter should be written on official letterhead and include the following:

  • a statement that the partner organization has read and agrees in principle with the objective(s) of the proposal;
  • the exact nature of the involvement of the partner organization during the lifespan of the project;
  • the nature of the partner organization’s participation in the governance structure of the partnership, if appropriate;
  • precise details on the financial and/or in-kind contributions to be provided by the partner; and
  • the expected outcomes that the partner organization wishes to achieve.

Thus, applicants for the HPW-PDG must demonstrate the quality and commitment of their formal partnerships through relevant documentation to allow for an informed evaluation of the quality and level of commitment of the proposed formal partnerships.

35. What is “in it” for the companies or other non-academic partners? Why would they want to get involved in a project team?

Benefits for partners include:

  • Access evidence-informed and gender-responsive solutions to today’s work and labour market health challenges.
  • Collaborate with researchers and various stakeholders including employers, workers, policymakers, insurance companies, and workplace service providers.
  • Co-develop and evaluate interventions to accommodate workers.
  • Increase understanding of best practices.
  • Improve productivity and labour force participation.
  • Reduce economic losses.

Funded partnerships must enable reciprocal flow and uptake of research knowledge between researchers and stakeholders (both within and beyond academia) by integrating stakeholders throughout the entire research process. Researchers and stakeholders will collaborate to develop the research questions, decide on methodology, collect data, interpret the findings, and disseminate the research results. This collaboration should increase the likelihood of adoption and uptake of research results.

36. As an organization interested in partnering how can I let researchers know I would like to be involved?

A Partner Linkage Tool is available on the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative website. The table shows information about researchers and individuals who are interested in sharing information and/or forging collaborations in relation to the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative.

The table will be updated weekly, on Wednesdays, until the application deadline (2015-11-30). The information will remain available until November 2017, and may be updated periodically on an as-needed basis.

37. Is it possible to change the Project Director/Co-Applicants/Collaborators once my Partnership Development Grant application is funded?

Yes, you can change the Project Director and add/change Co-Applicants and Collaborators. once your Partnership Development Grant application is funded.

38. When will Partners know who the successful applicants are can how can they connect with them?

Once the adjudication process is completed, Project Directors will be informed of the decision through via their host institution. The Research Grants Offices will connect with the SSHRC Secure Site and download the decisions for all applications submitted by their institution. These decisions will be posted in May, 2016.

Following the electronic decision, SSHRC will be sending, via regular mail, a formal document to the Project Director. This document will contain: the formal adjudication decision, a scoring rubric used by the adjudication committee, any additional committee comments, and in the case of a successful grant, a Notice of Award.

Once this letter has been received, the Project Director may disclose the results of the adjudication process.

It is important to note that formal announcements must wait for Ministerial Approval. CIHR and SSHRC will be able to provide guidance at this time.

39. Are there any rules around intellectual property?

Rules around intellectual property are negotiated between the grantees and their Institution.

40. What are the requirements for partner leveraging (cash/and or in-kind)?

During the first phase of the HPW Initiative (PDG stage), cash and/or in-kind contributions from partner organizations are not mandatory, however it is important to note that as part of the peer review process the evaluation of feasibility includes an assessment of:

  • quality and genuineness of the formal partnership and associated management and governance arrangements and leadership, including involvement of partner organizations and others in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities;
  • indications of other planned resources, including plans for leveraging of cash and in-kind support from the host institution and/or from partner organizations

For the second phase (Partnership Grant phase), projects must demonstrate over the course of the 5-year grant period, that they have achieved a minimum of 35% matching funds.

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