Pre-announcement: Mental Health in the Early Years Implementation Science Team Grants

This funding opportunity is now available on ResearchNet
Application deadline: June 23, 2022

Overview and Purpose

Early childhood, from age 0 to 5, is a critical period for brain growth and socio-emotional development that lays the foundation for mental health across the lifecycle. Interactions with caregivers as well as health and social services during these early years shape the developing brain and provide the opportunity to promote positive socio-emotional development and mental health, and to identify and treat young children at risk of developing or living with a mental health issue.

The goal of the Mental Health in the Early Years (MHITEY) Implementation Science Team Grants funding opportunity is to fund implementation science research that enhances our understanding of how to improve the systematic and equitable implementation of evidence-based interventions for young children (i.e., girls, boys and gender diverse children ages 0-5) and their caregivers that address one or more of the following areas:

  • Promotion of positive socio-emotional development and mental health in early childhood;
  • Prevention of the development of early childhood mental health issues; and
  • Treatment of young children living with or at risk of developing mental health issues through integrated, coordinated and person-oriented care.

Given the critical role that caregivers play in early childhood, interventions that include a perinatal and/or caregiver focus will also be eligible, as long as the outcomes of the intervention include enhanced mental health and wellbeing of children ages zero to five (0-5).

The implementation science approach of this funding opportunity will improve our knowledge of how to implement and locally adapt early years mental health interventions across diverse settings and sectors with greater acceptability, wide-scale adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, cost-effectiveness, penetration and sustainability. The resulting evidence will contribute to strengthened programs, services and policies for a more equitable, culturally safe, coordinated and integrated approach across a wide range of stakeholders to improve early years mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and care.

The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:

  • Identify solutions to strengthen the implementation of culturally safe interventions (i.e., programs, services, policies) for diverse populations to enhance early years mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and care.
  • Advance the field of implementation science related to equitable, coordinated, and sustainable implementation of culturally safe interventions that enhance mental health in the early years.
  • Catalyze interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaborations related to early childhood mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and care, for meaningful engagement and collaboration.
  • Build and foster implementation science research and knowledge mobilization capacity among researchers and knowledge users working to enhance mental health in the early years.
  • Ensure meaningful representation and participation of individuals who have historically faced barriers in the research ecosystem, including but not limited to those marginalized by gender, Indigenous Peoples, racialized minorities, persons with disabilities, and members of LGBTQ2S+ communities.
  • Strengthen research excellence and ensure maximum research impact through consideration of diverse biological and/or socio-cultural identity factors in research design, including diverse research methods such as those based in Indigenous ways of knowing and engagement of people with lived/living experience.

Priority Areas and Funds Available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $6,250,000, enough to fund approximately five (5) grants. The maximum amount per grant is $250,000 per year for up to five (5) years, for a total of $1,250,000 per grant. Two (2) of the five grants will support projects that align with the overall purpose of this funding opportunity. The other three (3) grants will support one project in each of the following priority areas:

  • CIHR-Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH): Early years mental health programs, services and/or policies for First Nations, Inuit, Métis and/or Urban Indigenous Peoples
  • CIHR-Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA): Preventing and responding to post-traumatic stress through interventions in early childhood and/or the perinatal period
  • CIHR-Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR): Transforming Health with Integrated Care (THINC) initiative: Transforming mental health in the early years with integrated care


CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (CIHR-IHDCYH) in partnership with the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR), and the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).

Anticipated Timeline

These dates are estimates and subject to change.

  • Program Launch: March 2022
  • Application Deadline: June 2022
  • Notice of Decision: November 2022

Contact Information

For general inquiries please contact:

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178


The information contained herein is anticipatory only and does not represent an official funding commitment by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Accordingly, the information contained herein may differ from the official funding opportunity, if and when, that will be published on ResearchNet.

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