BHCIA Research Initiative: Strategic Programs

1. Knowledge Creation

a) Research Initiative Area: Risk Reduction

Knowledge Synthesis and Mobilization Grants: Brain Health and Reduction of Risk for Age-related Cognitive Impairment

CIHR and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of the Knowledge Synthesis and Mobilization Grants funding opportunity to support the development of knowledge syntheses, using an equity, diversity and inclusion lens, to assess the current state of knowledge and evidence base, and identify strengths and gaps in research areas related to the promotion of brain health and risk reduction for age-related cognitive impairment. This will include a specific focus on knowledge mobilization practices throughout the research process to increase the usefulness and uptake of findings to relevant stakeholders, including partners and knowledge users, as well as the creation of culturally appropriate, equitable and inclusive targeted knowledge mobilization (KM) products.

Operating Grants: Mechanisms in Brain Aging and Dementia

CIHR and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of the Operating Grants funding opportunity, to advance the understanding about risk reduction and protective factors involved in promoting cognitive health and mitigating the changes that occur in the onset and progression of cognitive impairment and dementia in aging, while considering the intersection of different factors, including the social determinants of health and other structural and systemic barriers. The intent is also to build training and mentoring capacity for the next generation of researchers in the field.

b) Research Initiative Area: Improving Health and Wellbeing of Care Partners

Implementation Science Team Grants: Evaluation of Programs, Services and Innovative Models of Care for People Impacted by Dementia

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and its partners are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Implementation Science Teams Funding Opportunity, as a part of the Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging (BHCIA) Research Initiative. This funding opportunity aims to improve existing programs, services, and/or models of care, build capacity in implementation science approaches among research teams, build partnerships and collaborations across sectors and jurisdictions, and foster knowledge mobilization activities throughout the research process.

2. Knowledge Mobilization

Canadian Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging Research Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Hub

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Canadian Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging Research Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Hub. The KM Hub is a key part of CIHR’s new Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging (BHCIA) research initiative. The BHCIA KM Hub will serve as a national, centralized research resource for researchers, knowledge users, including persons with lived and living experience (PWLLE) of dementia and their care partners (i.e. family, friends, care givers and care providers), and will foster collaboration amongst the broader cognitive impairment in aging and dementia community. The KM Hub, building upon an existing infrastructure, will promote and amplify new research findings, facilitate the application of evidence to practice and contribute towards a growing, pan-Canadian learning and collaborative community with a shared commitment to brain health and cognitive impairment in aging research.

3. Training and Capacity Building

Health Research Training Platform (HRTP)

The CIHR Institute of Aging and partnering Institutes support this training and capacity building funding opportunity. The HRTP is intended to support the development of interdisciplinary, inter-jurisdictional, and intersectoral research training platforms that will attract a diverse cadre of trainees and early career researchers (ECRs), and equip them with the foundational skills and knowledge required for a wide range of careers within and outside of academia.

Wilfred and Joyce Posluns' Chair in Women's Brain Health and Aging

A partnered initiative between the Posluns Family Foundation, the Women's Brain Health Initiative, the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, the Ontario Brain Institute, and CIHR. Posluns' Chair supports an academic Chair in Women's Brain Health and Aging. The Chair was renewed for a second phase in 2022 and is focused on supporting an outstanding research program in women's brain health and aging through: the study of cognitive aging and disorders; building capacity for research on brain health and aging that accounts for sex and gender; and, the translation of research into gender and sex responsive policies and interventions that improve brain health and promote wellness in aging. The Chair was awarded to Dr. Gillian Einstein, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Gender and Health, Psychology Department, University of Toronto.

Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) New Investigator Operating Grants

The CIHR Institute of Aging partners on the ASRP New Investigator Operating Grants led by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. These prestigious funding opportunities are designed to build research capacity by launching the careers of outstanding researchers who are entering their first phase of an academic appointment. The intent is to help the grantee establish their laboratory and generate enough preliminary data to support fully competitive research grant proposals in national and international funding competitions.

Brain Canada Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program

The CIHR Institute of Aging partners on the Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Grants Program led by Brain Canada Foundation. This is to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change our understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction and their impact on health. The ultimate goal is to reduce the social and economic burden of neurological and mental health problems through prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment.

The Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Grants Program has the potential to be transformative at a time when it is well recognized that there is a significant funding gap to support and retain our brightest early-career investigators, who are well positioned to build capacity for Canadian brain research. By providing early-career researchers with funding at a critical point in their careers, we can build Canada's pipeline of future leaders and a foundation of research excellence and innovation.

CIHR Research Excellence, Diversity, and Independence (REDI) Early Career Transition Award

CIHR is committed to supporting the career development of the next generation of health researchers. First launched in 2022, the CIHR Research Excellence, Diversity, and Independence (REDI, pronounced "ready") Early Career Transition Award is available to post-doctoral researchers, clinicians, and research associates from specific underrepresented groups to help them launch their research faculty careers in Canada. This transition award is intended to foster the development of independent research scientists who would benefit from tailored, mentored career development in Phase 1 before transitioning to Phase 2 to establish and sustain their independent research program in academia. It is anticipated to be a recurring award with expanded eligibility in future iterations.

CIHR Health System Impact (HSI) Program

CIHR Health System Impact (HSI) Program provides highly qualified PhD trainees, postdoctoral researchers, and early career researchers in health services and policy research/related fields with the opportunity to develop embedded research projects/programs that address the most pressing problems faced by health system organizations and to support evidence-informed decision-making.

Health System Impact Fellowship

CIHR Fellowship Program

These awards provide support for highly-qualified candidates at the postdoctoral (post-PhD) or post-health professional degree stages to add to their experience by engaging in health research either in Canada or abroad.

CIHR Fellowship – Priority Announcement

4. Other Strategic Funding Opportunities

EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)
JPND is the largest global research initiative focused on addressing the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases. CIHR has participated in over 10 launches related to JPND since 2011.

Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN)
The overall aim of the COEN initiative is to build collaborative research activity in neurodegeneration research across borders, focusing on building capacity and excellence. CIHR was one of the founding members of this initiative along with Deutsche Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE, Germany) and the Medical Research Council (MRC, United Kingdom). COEN aligns with the broader Joint Programming Initiative in Neurodegeneration (JPND), although it operates as an independent entity.

Summer 2024 Institute Community Support (ICS) Program: Planning and Dissemination Grants
The BHCIA Research Initiative is sponsoring one ICS grant focused on planning activities, for the successful applicant to conduct an environmental scan mapping out the Canadian dementia research landscape, including a synthesis on what research has been funded, highlighting what evidence is available, and identifying research and innovation gaps.

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