Hacking the Knowledge Gap
Trainee Award for Innovative Thinking to Support LGBTQI2S Health and Wellness (2017/18)

Timeline and Funding

Application deadline Applications accepted on an ongoing basis until October 24, 2017.
Notification of decision December 18, 2017.
Funding per award $25,000 per award

Table of Contents

  1. Description
  2. Available Funds
  3. Eligibility
  4. Allowable Costs
  5. Review Process and Evaluation
  6. How to Apply
  7. Contact Information

1. Description

As part of the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health’s Hacking the Knowledge Gap, this initiative is designed to support trainees in the development of knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) skills and experience in areas relevant to IGH’s mandate. Specifically, this award will support grantees to attend and participate in in a two-day event designed to foster creative problem solving around KTE challenges relevant to the 2017/18 Theme of Innovative Thinking to Support LGBTQI2S Health and Wellness.

Individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Two-Spirited) face disparities in the prevalence of certain health concerns as well as barriers to accessing appropriate care. The evidence shows that improving access to health care that is appropriate, inclusive and patient-centered can help close this serious health equity gap. However, health systems and medical education are often slow to adapt. By working to close knowledge-to-action gaps, researchers can contribute to health system impacts and, ultimately, improved health outcomes.

This Design Jam format will support participants from different backgrounds and perspectives in applying design thinking methodology to spark innovation and maximize the impact of KTE strategies, products and tools that can help close the knowledge-to-action gap in LGBTQI2S health.

How it works:

  1. Trainees apply with an identified knowledge-to-action gap that could benefit from a collaborative, design thinking approach.
  2. Successful grantees attend the Design Jam, where a solutions-focused environment will bring together trainees, mentors, knowledge users, individuals with lived experience and professionals with a variety of KTE, communications, marketing and design expertise with whom researchers may not ordinarily have the opportunity to work.
  3. Over the course of the two-day event, teams work towards creating an innovative KTE solution to address the identified knowledge-to-action gap.
  4. At the end of the event, teams will pitch their solutions and receive feedback from an expert panel. Prizes will be awarded that can support continued work on the projects developed at the Design Jam.
  5. After the Design Jam, grantees have one year to use the remainder of their grant funds towards continuing work to develop and implement or disseminate the KTE solution developed at the event (see Allowable Costs for more information).

Note: IGH and partners are in the process of soliciting sponsorships from Canadian design, marketing, media and PR agencies. If these sponsorships are secured, it will mean Design Jam participants may be able to work with these agencies on their KTE initiatives at a significantly reduced cost (in the past, we have secured as much as one-to-one matching from an agency.) While we encourage grantees to explore partnerships with participating agencies, they are under no obligation to hire them. Furthermore, as with all other CIHR funding, award expenditures are subject to the procurement policies of each grantee’s home institution. Grantees are thus encouraged to clarify these rules prior to attending the Design Jam so they can be transparent with team members and potential partners about collaborations following the event.

Trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and recent graduates) who bring a significant focus on LGBTQI2S health in their research are eligible to apply for this $25,000 award. "Significant" means that some aspect of LGBTQI2S health is an integral part of the applicant's program of research. Applicants are also required to successfully complete one of IGH’s interactive online training courses on integrating sex and/or gender into health research.

Awardees will be required to submit an elaborated Design Jam problem statement, explain what they can contribute to the Design Jam and what they expect to gain from participating in the event.

The KTE Design Jam will take place in Vancouver, on February 23rd and 24th, 2018.

Research Areas:

This request for applications will support applications that identify a knowledge-to-action gap related to LGBTQI2S health and one of the following research themes:

  • Access to inclusive and patient-centred care.
    This theme relates to disparities and gaps in appropriate patient care for those who identify as LGBTQI2S, including consideration of relevant intersecting factors such as ethnicity, Indigeneity, age, refugee or immigration status, (dis)ability, etc. Topic examples could include but are not limited to: inclusive and knowledgeable patient care, invisibility in health-care settings, hormones, cancer and sexual and reproductive health.
  • Mental and emotional health and wellness.
    Holistic mental and emotional health and wellness is a key component to maintaining the health and wellbeing of individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S. Topic examples could include but are not limited to: HIV-related stressors, resiliency, substance use, supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of LGBTQI newcomers and refugees, body image and eating disorders and discrimination.
  • Self-advocacy and bodily autonomy.
    Self-advocacy and bodily autonomy are foundational to making informed decisions about personal health. Those who identify as LGBTQI2S continue to experience a lack of agency in determining their health-care services and outcomes. Topic examples could include, but are not limited to: non-medical ways of transitioning, restrictive health system processes, bio-ethics and end-of-life planning.

Important: Applications must not include a proposed approach to addressing the identified knowledge-to-action gap. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with inter-disciplinary teams at the Design Jam to develop solutions collaboratively. Coming to the event with ideas is encouraged. Coming with a developed plan will impede participants’ ability to learn from the unique format and methodology of the event and will also reduce the degree to which solutions are user focused and co-designed.

It is important to note that while funded trainees will be working in an area that aligns with their research interests, they may not necessarily have the opportunity to address the specific gap outlined in their application. Significant overlaps between applications may occur or other pressing challenges may be identified by IGH and partners, who will assign teams based on skills and relevant research interests. Grantees may also be put on teams with fellow grantees who share similar research interests.

2. Available Funds

The total amount available for this program in fiscal year 2017-18 is $425,000 for one year (enough to fund approximately 17 prizes of $25,000).

3. Eligibility

To be eligible for this award, applicants must:

  • Submit a certificate of successful completion from one of the Institute of Gender and Health’s interactive online training modules.


  • Be registered in a Masters, Doctoral or medical residency program at a CIHR eligible institution.


  • Hold a postdoctoral fellowship at a CIHR eligible institution.


  • Have graduated from a Masters, Doctoral or medical residency program at a CIHR eligible institution within no more than 6 months of the application deadline for this award.

4. Allowable Costs

Applicants must budget for costs associated with travel to attend the Design Jam in Vancouver, which will take place all day February 23rd and 24th, 2018.

The grant will fund applicant travel and contributions to collective work developed during the Design Jam over the course of the one-year grant period.

After travel costs to attend the Design Jam, the remaining grant funds must be allocated as follows:

  • A minimum of 80%: costs directly associated with continuing work on the initiative developed during the Design Jam. These costs may include:
    • Production of KTE products (e.g. contracting third parties for writing, website design, audio-visual production, graphic design, etc.)
    • Costs to support dissemination (e.g. printing of written materials and postage, purchasing media placements, etc.)
    • Language translation as needed to meet the needs of target audience(s)
  • Up to 20%: Costs associated with attending in-person or virtual meetings with team and/or contracted third parties to continue work on the KTE initiative developed at the Design Jam.
  • Up to 20%: Costs associated with presenting results of the collective work in an academic context. (e.g. travel to attend a conference or academic meeting, conference fees, poster development, open access fees, etc.)

5. Review Process and Evaluation

Applications will undergo an initial relevance assessment by IGH staff to ensure they are both eligible and complete. Only eligible and complete applications will proceed to the application review stage.

To be considered relevant to this request for applications, the proposal must:

Once applications have been deemed relevant, they will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the area of LGBTQI2S health research being addressed.
  • Identification of a knowledge-to-action gap (area where knowledge translation is needed), not a knowledge gap (area where more research is needed).
  • Clearly articulated explanation of how addressing the identified knowledge-to-action gap at this event has the potential to benefit the health of individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S.
  • Clear articulation of how the identified knowledge-to-action gap applies to one of the identified research themes (see descriptions above) and the applicants’ strong understanding of research evidence related to this area of research:
    • Theme 1: Access to inclusive and patient-centred care
    • Theme 2: Mental and emotional health and wellness
    • Theme 3: Self-advocacy and bodily autonomy
  • Identification of potential risks (e.g. reinforcing stigmas or negative stereotypes), and commitment to avoid or reduce potential negative consequences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to open collaboration, in keeping with Design Jam principles.

Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate previous interest and experience in LGBTQI2S health and health research.

The evaluation committee will be composed of IGH staff and representatives from partners, Égale Canada, Rainbow Health Ontario and the Michael Smith Foundation. IGH will notify applicants of the competition results by email.

6. How to Apply

  1. Create a cover page for your application with the following information:
    • Name
    • CIHR PIN
    • Email
    • Level of studies
    • University
    • Department/program of study
    • Name of supervisor
    • KTE problem statement title
  2. Complete the Institute Community Support (ICS) application form [PDF (626 KB)] according to the following instructions:
    • Complete Section 1. Note: If you do not have a CIHR Personal Identification Number (PIN), please visit the Register with CIHR web page.
    • Indicate "IGH KTE Design Jam Award" in Section 2 a). Note: Do not complete other items in Section 2.
    • Do not complete Section 3.
    • Complete Section 4.
  3. Complete the relevance form [PDF (142 KB)]
  4. Construct a KTE problem statement. Adhering to the structure and headings prescribed below, build a KTE Problem Statement that clearly addresses each of the questions/instructions outlined in each section. Your statement must be written in plain language, understandable to a multidisciplinary audience and be double-spaced, paginated and in a 12-point font. The word limit is 1,000 words (not including a bibliography, if applicable); text in excess of this limit will not be reviewed.

    KTE Problem Statement Components:

    1. Title
      • Assign a title to your KTE problem statement
    2. Synopsis of research
      • Describe the graduate thesis or postdoctoral project linked to your identified knowledge-to-action gap. How is this work substantively focused on the health of individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S and/or communities? What is the significance of your research in the context of the literature?
    3. Knowledge-to-Action Gap
      • Identify the Gap: Briefly identify a significant gap between research evidence (knowledge) and current practice or awareness (action) in one of the identified research areas. I.e. Identify an area where research knowledge exists but has not yet adequately filtered into the public sphere, clinical practice, behaviour, etc. The objective here is NOT to identify a knowledge gap (i.e area where more research is needed) but rather to identify a gap between knowledge and action. Support and substantiate the existence of this gap through a review of the literature. Clearly articulate how your identified gap applies to one of the research themes (see descriptions above) and demonstrate your strong understanding of research evidence related to this area of research.
      • Importance and Potential for Impact: Describe the significance of this gap to health outcomes for individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S and the potential for improved health outcomes if this gap were to be successfully addressed. Explain how your identified gap would benefit from being included in the event. Identify any potential risks of work (e.g. reinforcing stigmas or negative stereotypes) and how these consequences might be mitigated.
      • Lessons Learned: Identify previous efforts to close the gap and where they fell short (if applicable).
      • The Challenge: Identify 3-5 key barriers to closing the knowledge-to-action gap you have identified.
    4. Design Jam Participation
      • Describe what you expect/hope to get out of the Design Jam and what skills, experience, expertise and lived experience you could contribute.
      • Indicate that you are committed to attending the Design Jam event in Vancouver from February 23-24, 2018 and understand that the award is conditional on your attendance for the entire event.
      • Indicate that you are committed to attending and participating in the Design Jam even if your specific problem statement is not addressed.
      • Indicate that you understand that grant funds other than those covering attendance at the Design Jam are to be spent on developing and disseminating the solutions developed at the event in accordance with the parameters set out in the allowable costs section above.
  5. Indicate the anticipated costs of attending the event (travel, accommodation, meals, caregiving costs, if applicable). After the Design Jam, remaining funds will be dedicated to continuing work over the course of the one-year grant period. A detailed account of how these funds were spent in support of the KTE initiative must be included in the end-of-grant report.
  6. Create an applicant CV including training, publications, grants and other knowledge translation activities (3 pages maximum). This can be formatted as a Word document. This competition does not require completion of the Common CV.
  7. Provide a transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) for your current or, in the case of postdoctoral fellows, your most recent program of study.
  8. Complete one of IGH’s training modules and attach your certificate of completion.
  9. Obtain a signed letter of support (2 pages maximum) from your primary supervisor for the thesis or postdoctoral project linked to the proposed KT problem statement. This letter should address your interest in LGBTQI2S health and how you might benefit from attending the Design Jam. The letter of support can be included with your application package or sent directly to IGH by your supervisor.
  10. Email your application to: Rachel.macneill@criugm.qc.ca. Receipt of emails will be acknowledged.

A complete application consists of:

  • A cover page;
  • A signed ICS form [PDF (626 KB)];
  • A completed relevance form [PDF (142 KB)];
  • A problem statement with all listed components (see above);
  • A travel budget (travel, accommodation, meals, caregiving costs, if applicable)
  • An applicant CV (3 pages maximum);
  • A transcript for your current or, in the case of postdoctoral fellows, your most recent program of study;
  • A certificate of completion of one of IGH’s training modules;
  • A letter of support from your primary supervisor (2 pages maximum).

Late applications or applications with missing documents will not be accepted. Applicants are responsible for ensuring the completeness of their applications.

Funded Design Jam Award applications must be received by 23:59 EST October 24, 2017.

Recipients of this award are required to:

  • Provide IGH with a final report on the outcomes of the KTE initiative suitable for publication in IGH communications products and/or on the IGH website. IGH will provide recipients with a final report template at a later date;
  • Provide IGH with a copy of any products created as part of the funded KTE initiative, such as print materials, videos, website links, and so forth, and grant IGH unrestricted license to distribute these products under the condition that the Intellectual Property of the rightful party is acknowledged;
  • Acknowledge the support of IGH in all academic materials, including open access publications, and, where appropriate, include the CIHR logo. IGH will provide successful applicants with official logos and guidelines for acknowledgement.

Contact information

For more information about this funding opportunity, please contact:

The Institute of Gender and Health

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