Pre-announcement: Operating Grants – Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

This funding opportunity is now available on ResearchNet.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is pleased to pre-announce the launch of the Operating Grant: Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Funding Opportunity. This funding opportunity is led by CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) with funding provided by the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS).


The focus of the Operating Grant: Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders is to support phase 1 or 2 clinical trial research into the safety and early efficacy of using psilocybin, in combination with a psychotherapy, to treat substance use and mental health disorders (please see below for the specific research areas of interest).

In Canada and globally, there is growing interest in using and evaluating the therapeutic potential of psilocybin combined with psychotherapy. Although current evidence is encouraging, it is preliminary and more research is needed. This funding opportunity will strengthen the current safety and efficacy evidence base for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and build capacity for psychedelic-related research in Canada.


The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:

  • Generate new data and evidence relating to the therapeutic efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for substance use and mental health disorders;
  • Facilitate the consideration and application of new evidence to inform ongoing and future development of policies, practices and programs related to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy;
  • Strengthen research excellence and ensure maximum research impact through the consideration of diverse biological and/or socio-cultural identity factors in research design, and diverse research methods such as those based in Indigenous ways of knowing.

Research Areas

This funding opportunity will support phase 1 or 2 randomized clinical trials relevant to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of the following research areas:

  • Substance use dependence or substance use disorders
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or treatment resistant depression
  • End-of-life psychological distress in patients with advanced-stage cancer

To be relevant to this funding opportunity, proposals must include the administration of psilocybin in conjunction with psychotherapy that is delivered by a clinician or professional who has received formal training in psychotherapy and is registered with their applicable regulatory college (e.g., social worker, nurse, psychologist, etc.). The psychotherapy component is essential for minimizing risks and maximizing potential therapeutic benefit. It will be mandatory for the team composition to reflect this requirement.

This funding opportunity is intended to support new randomized clinical trials and is not intended for the expansion or support of current trials.

Funds Available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $3,000,000, which is enough to fund three grants over two years. CIHR and partner(s) financial contributions for this initiative are subject to availability of funds.

Anticipated Timelines*

Program Launch: Spring 2022
Applicant Webinar(s): Spring 2022
Application Deadline: Fall 2022
Notice of Decision: Winter 2023
Funding Start Date: Winter 2023
*These timelines are estimates and subject to change.

Contact Information

For general inquiries please contact:

CIHR Contact Center

Disclaimer: The information contained in this pre-announcement is subject to change and does not commit CIHR or partners to the requirements outlined in this version. The final funding opportunity will be published on the CIHR Funding Opportunity Database in ResearchNet in May 2022.

Date modified: