Webinar slides: Healthy and Productive Work

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Gender & Health

Éric Bastien
Deputy Director, SSHRC
Research Grants & Partnerships

October 13, 2015

Webinar outline

  1. Background/Context/Goal
  2. Approach
  3. Eligibility
  4. Evaluation Criteria
  5. Application Process and Requirements
  6. Resources
  7. Questions and Answers


Women and men face different challenges:

  • 105 million work days lost annually to illness and personal/family caregiving (2011)
  • Women take longer to return to work after injury

Workforce aging:

  • 1 in 6 Canadian workers age 55+ (2010)
  • Mandatory retirement is a thing of the past (2011)

Economic burden of chronic conditions in Canada: ~$119 billion/year (2010)

Skills shortages: one of the top 10 barriers to Canada's competitiveness (2013)

A collaboration:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Social Science and Humanities Research Council

Healthy and productive work

Healthy and Productive Work reflects the interplay between health and social sciences in responding to the growing interest in maintaining a healthy, productive and inclusive Canadian workforce.


To develop 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 can 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 develop, implement, evaluate and scale-up innovative solutions.

Objectives of the overall initiative

  1. Develop strong evidence that supports interventions that may include but are not limited to accommodations, tools and policies that address modifications to work and work environments enabling healthy and productive work.
  2. Develop gender responsive approaches and mechanisms for effective implementation, evaluation and scaling up of interventions focused on accommodation and enabling healthy and productive work.
  3. Build capacity and infrastructure for measuring and demonstrating the broader health and economic impacts of these interventions and policies (i.e., benefits for workers/employment-seekers and their families, employers, governments, insurers, unions and associations, and other stakeholders).


  • The initiative has a strong focus on researcher and partner co-development at the beginning and throughout the research process.
  • Two phases:
    1. Partnership Development Grants (deadline Nov 30, 2015)
      • to support the development of partnerships, collaborative problem identification and research project development.
    2. Partnership Grants
      • to support development, implementation, evaluation and scale-up of evidence-informed interventions.


  • Long description

    3 overlapping circles; yellow representing Social Sciences and Humanities, Blue representing Stakeholder Partner, and green representing Health


  • Long description

    Diagram with 2 circles representing the 2 phases of the program; phase 1 is Planning and Development Grants and Phase 2 Partnership Grants; the diagram also indicates that partners are not required in phase 1, but are required in phase 2

Comparing stages

Stage 1: PDG Stage 2: PG
Individual Grant Institutional Grant
2 Years 5 Years
$75,000/year $325,000/years 1-4
$125,000/year 5 for dissemination
No mandatory matching funds Minumum of 35% matching funds over the 5 year grant period
Developing Formal Partnership Established Formal Partnership
Greater Emphasis on the Challenge: The IDEA Greater Emphasis on the Feasibility: The GOVERNANCE

Funds available

  • The total amount available for Phase 1 is $3.0M (approximately 20 Partnership Development Grants at $75K/year for two years).
  • Total amount (anticipated) available for Phase 2 Partnership Grant funding will be $11.4M (approximately 8 Partnership Grants at $325K per year over four years, plus an additional year at up to $125,000 for connection activities (e.g., workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums or other events or outreach activities).

Application process and requirements

  • SSHRC's Partnership Development Grant (PDG) competition is being used for HPW applications
  • Applications are to be made through SSHRC's Web site
  • CIHR will be copied on all materials

What are HPW Partnership Development Grants?

  • A SSHRC funding opportunity designed to support the development of partnerships
  • The objectives of Phase 1: Partnership Development Grants are to:
    • Foster relationships between researchers and stakeholders;
    • Promote knowledge sharing and collaborative problem identification; and
    • Support activities to facilitate the development of a Partnership Grant proposal.
  • 2 year duration
  • $75,000 per year
  • Partnership Development Grant holders funded through the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative will be invited to submit a formal proposal to SSHRC's Partnership Grants in 2017.

Partnership in the context of PDG-HPW

  • 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.
  • The team MUST reflect expertise in BOTH health AND social science 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.

What is expected of partners?

  • Partner organizations must provide Letters of Engagement as evidence attesting to the commitment that has been agreed upon
  • Cash and/or in-kind contributions: partner contributions do not need to be confirmed at the Partnership Development Grant phase (however, this may strengthen an application)
  • While not mandatory, partner contributions do speak to the quality and genuineness of the formal partnership, which is an adjudication criteria.

Partner letters of engagement

Each confirmed partner organization should include a Letter of Engagement on official letterhead including 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.

Examples of matching funds


  • Cost of course replacement
  • Cost of lab space
  • Paid student workers
  • Worker time contribution from partners


  • Any funds originating from the Tri-Agencies
  • Co-applicants absorbing costs
  • Team member time
  • Individual contributions

Applicant eligibility

  • For Partnership Development Grants, applications must be submitted by the applicant (project director) on behalf of the partner organizations of the formal partnership.
  • Applicant (project director) must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian university at the time of application. 
  • Students and Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to participate as Applicants or Co-applicants, but can be collaborators or hired as students on the grant.

Completing the PDG application form - proposal eligibility

  • Applications MUST select the HPW initiative from a drop down when applying. Otherwise, they will be processed as regular PDG applications.
  • Applications MUST only present 2 year budgets
  • Applications may only request up to $75,000 per year to a MAXIMUM of $150,000 in funding.

Completing the PDG application form – selecting partnership approaches

Applicants will be required to select one or more possible partnership approaches from a drop-down menu.

  • Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research partnerships
  • Cross-sector co-creation of knowledge and understanding
  • Networks for research and/or related activities
  • Partnered knowledge mobilization

Completing the PDG application form - participants and partners in a PDG-HPW

Individuals = Participants

  • Project director
  • Co-applicants
  • Collaborators

Organizations = Partners

  • Host institution
    • Eligible Canadian universities
  • Partner organizations
    • One or more Canadian universities and one or more non-academic partner organizations from the public, private, and/or not-for-profit sectors

Completing the PDG application form - CVs

  • The Common CV (CCV) will not be accepted for the HPW PDG, only SSHRC CV will be accepted.
  • Participants (i.e., co-applicants and collaborators) will receive an automatic e-mail from SSHRC’s system inviting them to participate in the application.
  • If Co-applicants accept the invite, they must upload their CV to the Accept Invitation form
  • While collaborators will be required to accept the invite, they are not required to complete SSHRC CVs

Completing the PDG application form – budget request

  • The maximum annual investment per project will be $50,000 from CIHR and $25,000 from SSHRC, for a total of up to $75,000 a year for two years.
  • 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.
  • Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Use of Grant Funds

Evaluation process

  • All applications are reviewed by a multidisciplinary merit review committee with expertise from the academic and non-academic communities (e.g., from the public, private or non-profit sectors).
  • The HPW Initiative has its own evaluation criteria (i.e., Challenge, Feasibility, and Capability) included in the HPW description website.

Other requirements:

  • Applicants are required to demonstrate the use of Sex and Gender - Based Analysis in applications
    • inclusion of a sex and gender champion and the appropriateness of their expertise and role
  • Applicants are encouraged to involve citizens where appropriate, and to provide in their research proposal a brief description of how they intend to involve them when applicable. Please see CIHR's Citizen Engagement Framework for more information

Evaluation: Challenge

The aim and importance of the endeavour (50%)

  • originality, significance and expected contribution to knowledge;
  • appropriateness of the literature review;
  • appropriateness of the theoretical approach or framework;
  • appropriateness of the methods/approach (including the co-creation of knowledge);
  • quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, and opportunities for them to contribute;
  • potential for the project results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community; and
  • potential for long-term viability and identification of progress indicators.

In addition to the above, the following will be taken into consideration in the Challenge score:

  • As part of the various sub-criteria focusing on appropriateness, include an evaluation of the proposal's appropriateness for this initiative and to what degree it meets the initiative's objectives, including the extent to which the proposal addresses a clear need as defined by a stakeholder or knowledge user (e.g., workers, employers, policy-makers, regulators, clinicians, insurers, service providers, workplace safety and insurance boards, unions, professional associations, and/or others).
  • Potential for the project results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the health research community, in addition to social sciences and humanities.
  • The quality of the sex- and gender-based analyses

Evaluation: Feasibility

The plan to achieve excellence (20%)

  • probability that the objectives will be met within the timeframe proposed;
  • 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;
  • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs;
  • indications of other planned resources, including plans for leveraging of cash and in-kind support from the host institution and/or from partner organizations;
  • quality and appropriateness of knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange and engagement with stakeholders within and/or beyond the research community, where applicable; and
  • appropriateness of the strategies for conducting the activity/activities proposed.

Evaluation: Capability

The expertise to succeed (30%)

  • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs of the applicant and/or team members relative to their roles in the partnership and to their respective stages of career;
  • evidence of other knowledge mobilization activities (e.g. films, performances, commissioned reports, knowledge syntheses, experience in collaboration/other interactions with stakeholders, contributions to public debate and the media) and of impacts on professional practice, social services and policies, etc.;
  • evidence of contributions to the development of talent;
  • experience in formal partnerships; and
  • potential of the applicant/co-applicant to make future contributions.

In addition to the above, the following will be taken into consideration in the Capability score:

  • evidence that the team leadership reflects expertise in BOTH health AND social science and/or humanities domains.
  • inclusion of a sex and gender champion and the appropriateness of their expertise and role.

Relevance review

  • 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 social sciences and/or humanities will not continue on to merit review and will be withdrawn.


  1. Knowledge Translation / Knowledge Mobilization
    Integrated knowledge translation and knowledge mobilization related resources are available on the SSHRC and CIHR web sites
  2. Partner Linkage Tool - to facilitate collaborations across research disciplines as well as researcher-partner linkage
  3. Frequently Asked Questions

For more information…

For questions on funding guidelines, how to apply, and the peer review process contact:

Gianni Rossi, Program Officer
Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council
Email: Gianni.rossi@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

For questions about this initiative and research objectives contact:

Jennifer Campbell,
Project Lead, Major Initiatives
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Email: hpw-spt@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Questions and answers

Use the "Chat" mechanism to type in your questions. Please select "send to all participants".

Date modified: