Notice of upcoming COVID-19 research funding opportunity
CIHR, in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, would like to provide information to the research community on an upcoming rapid funding opportunity that is part of the Government of Canada's continued response to address the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Operating Grant: COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutic Study competition will launch the week of May 2, 2022.
We are providing preliminary information to allow the research community to prepare and respond to an expedited process.
Operating Grant: COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutic Study
Canada has invested substantially in COVID-19 therapeutics alongside its portfolio of vaccines, screening approaches, and broader public health measures. Toward the end of 2021, the Government of Canada announced purchase agreements to access emerging antiviral medications as treatment options for patients who present with mild to moderate COVID-19 and who are at high risk of developing serious disease. To effectively roll out these new antiviral medications, there is a pressing need to further study the outcomes, including effectiveness, comparative effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of administering these treatments - as well as any other treatments which may become available - to non-hospitalized patients in the Canadian health care system. This funding opportunity is also intended to support research conducted across multiple provinces and territories and/or regions to ensure appropriate pan-Canadian representation and collaboration to achieve set outcomes.
The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:
- Support an adaptive platform trial that is aimed at evaluating the effectiveness (including comparative clinical and cost-effectiveness), practical challenges, and outcomes of administering treatments for COVID-19 to non-hospitalized patients in Canadian healthcare settings using well-structured studies and well-defined outcome measures (e.g., the Core Outcomes Set (COS) for Trials in People With Coronavirus Disease 2019).
- Generate evidence on treatment effectiveness on diverse populations. These can include: communities marginalized by race; First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous Peoples; communities historically excluded from research; those experiencing health inequities; persons with disabilities and individuals across diverse health status (e.g. vaccination status, high risk populations, individuals with comorbid conditions); those experiencing gendered impacts of the pandemic; and those in life stages that have been underrepresented in research. Across all populations, researchers are encouraged to consider a lifecycle approach (from preconception to older adulthood) where relevant and appropriate to the known safety profile of the treatments.
- Provide rapid evidence to inform clinical and health system management and public health response, and/or decision-making and planning within and across jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.
Key Design Components
Applications must incorporate all of the following key design components:
- Governance: A governance plan that ensures a mechanism for establishing ongoing research priority-setting process, including the engagement of key stakeholders from government(s), academic, clinical, not-for-profit, and other relevant sectors, as well as plans for oversight with external advice. The governance plan should include concrete strategies that upholds principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
- Resource Sharing: Must include a plan to ensure active, meaningful collaboration and coordination across relevant groups or networks in order to ensure robust pan-Canadian engagement.
- National and International Linkages: A plan for liaison activities with relevant organizations, research groups, and/or clinical trials networks focused on COVID-19 treatments and related knowledge mobilization activities to maximize the impact and international visibility of study outcomes to the benefit of decision-makers and Canadians.
- Patient and Citizen Engagement: The research must include mechanisms for meaningful engagement of patients/citizens/informal care providers in core activities and governance. For information regarding principles of engagement, including approaches to compensation of patients/citizens, please refer to the SPOR Patient Engagement Framework.
- Knowledge Mobilization: The research must provide a detailed plan to mobilize knowledge being generated to maximize the impacts of research for decision-making.
Availability of Funds
The Government of Canada's financial contributions are subject to availability of funds. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. Should the Government of Canada funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, the Government of Canada reserves the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity.
- The maximum amount available for this grant is up to $10 million for up to one year to support the design, implementation and conduct of the study.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada will provide relevant treatments.
- A supplement or a renewal may be possible based on the evolution of the pandemic, or if additional treatments are readily available for study.
Expression of Interest (EOI)
A collaboration call will be scheduled on May 9, 2022, at 2pm ET, to explore collaborations across teams with the aim of maximizing the reach and impact of the research.
- Applicants are required to submit an EOI to email@example.com no later than 8:00 p.m. (ET) on May 5, 2022 to confirm their intent to participate to the call. The email subject line must be "COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutic Study - EOI".
- The applicant must include an up to 250-word summary, in a PDF format, that describes their relevant and recent experience in managing clinical trial groups/networks and planned approach to engage member groups/networks across diverse areas to collaborate on the evaluation of COVID-19 treatments in non-hospital settings.
- Email submission of the EOI affirms that you have read and agree to respect all the policies of these Agencies that are relevant your project, including the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In cases of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose any information relevant to the breach that is in the public interest, including your name, the nature of the breach, the institution where you were employed at the time of the breach, the institution where you are currently employed, and the recourse imposed against you.
- Email submission of the EOI also affirms your consent for CIHR to coordinate a call with other applicants to explore collaborations across teams (including sharing the submitted summary with other potential applicants).
Requirements for the application process will be outlined in the Funding Opportunity.
These dates are estimates and subject to change.
- Funding Opportunity Launch: Week of May 2, 2022
- Application Deadline: May 17, 2022
- Notice of Decision: June 9, 2022
- Funding Start Date: June 1, 2022
Peer Review Recruitment
Recruitment for peer reviewers will begin immediately, and international reviewers are welcomed. If you are interested and available to volunteer as a peer reviewer, please reach out to CIHR at CTFPeerReview-FECEvaluationparlespairs@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
For general inquiries please contact:
CIHR Contact Centre
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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