Upcoming Funding Opportunity – Team Grant: GACD Mental Health – Canada-China

Dear colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a new global health research funding opportunity to be jointly offered by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Building on previous Canada-China research programs, this funding opportunity aims to promote the development of Canadian-Chinese scientific cooperation between universities, hospitals, research institutes and affiliated research organizations in both countries by supporting collaborative teams working on implementation research projects in the field of global mental health.

This funding opportunity is also part of the fourth joint call of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), which is a globally coordinated effort of thirteen health research funding agencies to support implementation research on the prevention and management of chronic diseases. Previous GACD calls have focused on hypertension, diabetes and lung disease. This latest call is focused on mental disorders.

More specifically, this funding opportunity focuses on implementation research on the full range of child, adolescent and adult age onset mental disorders, including, but not limited to, dementia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, alcohol- and drug-use disorders, etc., in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and/or in vulnerable populations in high-income countries.

Canadian and Chinese researchers have a long and rich history of collaboration across a broad range of scientific disciplines. CIHR is very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with NSFC on this global health initiative, to build on past success and further advance international scientific cooperation between our two countries. By bringing together the burgeoning implementation and mental health research communities in both countries, there is a tremendous opportunity to have a big impact on addressing mental disorders affecting not only our two countries but the world at large. Along this vein, the funding opportunity also enables the involvement and co-leadership of researchers from other countries to further expand the available expertise as well as impact of funded research projects. For example, Canadian researchers already working in particular LMICs can apply to pursue the next phase of their research programs in the LMICs they know best and expand the project to consider populations in China in collaboration with Chinese colleagues. Alternatively, they can take this opportunity to break new ground on how to advance mental health for the 1.4 billion people in China.

This funding opportunity is expected to be officially launched in December 2016 with a likely application deadline around April 2017. Some further information is provided below in order to give as much time as possible to facilitate the early establishment of teams and planning of applications.

Steven J. Hoffman JD PhD LLD
Scientific Lead for Global Health
Scientific Director, Institute of Population and Public Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Funds Available

CIHR and NSFC financial contributions for this initiative are subject to availability of funds. Should CIHR or NSFC funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, CIHR and NSFC reserve the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity.

  • The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $7,525,000 from CIHR and 35 million RMB from NSFC, enough to fund approximately seven team grants.
  • For Canada-based researchers, the maximum amount per grant is $215,000 per year for up to five years.
  • For China-based researchers, the maximum amount per grant is 1 million RBM per year for up to five years.


The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:

  • Fund collaborative research teams that will generate new knowledge on interventions and their implementation for the prevention and management of mental disorders;
  • Establish a Global Research Network of teams involved in implementation research on mental health in order to enhance collaboration and reciprocal learning across countries;
  • Strengthen capacity for implementation research on interventions to prevent and/or manage mental disorders.

Relevant Research Areas

CIHR and NSFC will provide funding for applications that are determined to be relevant to the following criteria:


Eligibility to Apply

Each application must include at least one Principal Applicant (including the Nominated Principal Applicant) from each of Canada and China.

Canada-based applicants: Eligibility criteria for all CIHR research funding programs apply. The business office of the institution of an eligible Nominated Principal Applicant generally administers CIHR funds. Refer to the Individual Eligibility Requirements regarding the eligibility requirements for individuals and institutions.

For the Canadian component of the application to be considered eligible:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher.
  2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be appointed at an eligible institution (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines) at the time of application.
  3. The team must include the engagement of at least one decision-maker and/or policy maker, who must be listed as either Principal Knowledge User or Knowledge User.
  4. For teams in which research will be conducted in one or more LMIC other than China (as defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee [ PDF (21.63 KB) - external link ]), there must be at least one independent researcher (listed as a Principal Applicant or Co-applicant) or knowledge user (listed as Principal Knowledge User or Knowledge User) based in each LMIC country.
  5. For teams working with Canadian indigenous populations, there must be at least one team member listed as Principal Applicant, Co-applicant, Principal Knowledge User or Knowledge User from a Canadian indigenous community.

China-based applicants: Must meet the qualifications for applying to programs and international cooperation programs of NSFC. Please refer to NSFC website (in Chinese only) regarding the eligibility requirements.

Further details on the areas of research to be funded and review criteria will be available in the full funding opportunity expected to be available in ResearchNet in December 2016.

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