Pre-announcement: Lyme Disease Research Network

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Infection and Immunity (III) and the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) – in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada – are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a new Request for Applications (RFA) for a Lyme Disease Research Network, as announced by the Minister of Health in May 2017.

Anticipated timelines

  • Program Launch: October 2017
  • Application Deadline: March 2018
  • Notice of Decision: June 2018
  • Funding Start Date: June 2018


Lyme disease (or Lyme borreliosis), a multisystem infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia and transmitted through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (Ixodes species), is one of the most reported vector-borne diseases in North America. It is an emerging illness in Canada due to various factors, including the migration of ticks northward as the climate warms and as host vectors migrate.

Funds available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $4 million, enough to fund one research network grant at a maximum of $1 million/year for four years (five fiscal years).

The specific objectives of the Lyme Disease Research Network grant are to:

  1. Build a national network on Lyme disease to facilitate and support national collaboration among Lyme disease stakeholders (researchers, clinicians, and patients) in resource and knowledge sharing:
    • Mobilize, strengthen and build capacity in the Lyme disease research community.
    • Develop innovative multidisciplinary curricula and training opportunities for students and professionals.
    • Facilitate and support translation and dissemination of new knowledge from bench to bedside to population in order to:
      • improve clinical science and practice;
      • foster policy changes, leading to transformative and measureable improvements in the development and implementation of evidence-informed practices, policies, services, products and programs;
      • improve patient outcomes, access to care and quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care.
  2. Develop a national cohort of patients in order to understand the association between serological and clinical phenomenology of Lyme disease on a longitudinal basis (including a biobank creation and maintenance).

Applicants must submit a patient engagement plan as part of the application. The review process will involve patients and patient engagement experts, as well as other stakeholders. Patients must be included in the governance of the Network.

Research Areas

  • Evaluation of current clinical diagnostic tests and exploration of the development of new tools.
  • A better understanding of patients who have experienced various chronic symptoms consistent with Lyme disease.
  • Determination of the impact of different bacterial strains on diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.
  • Research on preventive measures, interventions, co-infections, modes of transmission and/or population health approaches to decrease the risk of occurrence of Lyme disease.


  • Detailed eligibility requirements will be outlined in the RFA.
  • CIHR would like to highlight in this pre-announcement that, in addition to an independent researcher, teams applying must include early career investigators, health care professionals, clinician researchers, and patients/family representatives/informal care providers.
  • The Network must also be national in scope to be eligible.

To Learn More

The complete RFA will be posted on ResearchNet by the end of October 2017. CIHR will hold an applicant webinar after the RFA is launched, with dates and registration information contained in the RFA.

Contact information

CIHR Contact Centre at 613-954-1968 or

Date modified: