Collaboration between CIHR and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

May 13, 2020

The COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research application period has now closed and we would like to thank Canada’s health research community for responding so quickly to this call. Over 1,500 applications were submitted to this competition, which will now move to the peer review phase.

In the weeks and months ahead, the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which was launched by the Prime Minister on April 23, will be issuing its own calls for expressions of interest. Given that some of the work that falls within its mandate is also within the scope of the current CIHR competition, CIHR and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force have agreed to collaborate in supporting a subset of grants in the current CIHR competition.

To maximize efficiency and speed the response to COVID-19 in Canada, all grants currently submitted in the May 2020 Rapid Research competition will be adjudicated per usual through CIHR to ensure consistency and excellence in peer review. For those grants that are determined by peer review to be fundable – and that fall partly or fully within the early priorities of the Immunity Task Force – funding may be shared between CIHR and the Task Force or be assumed fully by the Task Force, thus mitigating the need for further review.

As noted, the Task Force will be issuing its own calls in the future, but also anticipates areas of research where an integrated call for proposals will be planned with CIHR. We accordingly look forward to subsequent cooperative funding opportunities as the activities of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force evolve. 

Dr. Michael Strong
President, CIHR

Dr. David Naylor
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

Dr. Catherine Hankins
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

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