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Operating Grant: Understanding and Mitigating the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children, Youth and Families in Canada

Grants to Canada Researchers to Study the Impact
of COVID-19 Restrictions on Children and Youth

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Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

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Grants to Canada researchers to study the long-term consequences of COVID-19 restrictions on families, youth, and children. Funding is intended to collect data in order to understand which populations have suffered the most negative impacts, why, and how to mitigate these impacts.

This funding opportunity will only support projects relevant to children, youth and families in Canada in one (1) or more of the following research areas:

  • The impacts of changes to and/or disruption of supports (including family and peer interactions, including intergenerational, as well as more formal supports), services and programming (both formal programming, including extra-curricular activities,  and nutrition programs, as well as more informal elements such as outdoor play and access to outdoor spaces) that impact mental and physical health, development and well-being. This includes primary environments such as the home and community, healthcare delivery settings, childcare and schools, as well as external interventions (e.g., special education services, child abuse identification and reporting, mental health interventions, physical health and wellness programs, prenatal classes, cultural programming, school-based and extracurricular programming).
  • The effects of changes in federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and local policies and guidelines regarding the delivery of services, supports and programming on physical health and development, mental health, social and emotional development, and cognitive development.
  • The effects of introducing new and/or alternative services, supports and programming, and/or policies and guidelines on physical health and development, mental health, social and emotional development, and cognitive development.
  • Changes in population health status resulting from decreased access to routine healthcare, including childhood vaccinations and routine childhood screening, as well as changes in physical health.
  • Other factors that may be impacting the health and well-being of children, youth and families related to the co-occurring stressful and traumatic events that stem from the current COVID-19 pandemic (including the impact of decisions made regarding grandparents and other at-risk family members within multigenerational households), and/or the restrictions related to associated public health mitigation measures.

The specific objective of this funding opportunity is to:

  • Improve our understanding of, response to, and recovery from co-occurring stressful and traumatic events that stem from the current COVID-19 pandemic, and/or the impacts of restrictions related to associated public health mitigation measures, with respect to children, youth and families in Canada, by addressing one (1) or more of the following four (4) items through research that takes an integrated knowledge mobilization approach to:
    1. Enhance understanding of the nature and breadth of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on children, youth and families, including factors that are protective or exacerbate these impacts;
    2. Accelerate the availability and use of high-quality and real-time evidence regarding the identification and mobilization of practices that have supported the adaptation of existing programs and the development of new programs that support the health and well-being of children, youth and families in Canada; and,
    3. Generate evidence related to diverse population(s), including for instance: equity considerations, health and well-being status (e.g., historically excluded or underserved populations, individuals with complex health needs and/or a disability), sex and gender, and/or racialized or First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous populations.
    4. Identify populations at the highest and high risk for negative outcomes, factors that are associated with this increased greater risk, as well as any factors that have been found to be protective and/or enhance resilience.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196740

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum amount per grant is $150,000.

The following provincial research funders have committed funding as partial support for applications from research institutions based in their respective provinces:
- Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (British Columbia) - $75,000 (for an application with principal or co-applicants from research institutions in British Columbia)
- New Brunswick Health Research Foundation - $30,000 (for an application with a nominated principal applicant from a research institution in New Brunswick)

Term of Contract:

Grants are for one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For an application to be eligible:

1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be:
a. An independent researcher (at the time of funding) or a knowledge user affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution and/or its affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other non-profit organizations with a mandate for health research and/or knowledge mobilization). If the Nominated Principal Applicant is a knowledge user, there must be at least one Principal Applicant who is an independent researcher.
b. An individual affiliated with an Indigenous non-governmental organization in Canada with a research and/or knowledge mobilization mandate;
c. An Indigenous non-governmental organization in Canada with a research and/or knowledge mobilization mandate.

2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be appointed at a CIHR eligible institution at the time of funding (see Administration of Funds).

3. The Nominated Principal Applicant must have their substantive role in Canada for the duration of the requested grant term.

4. The applicant team must include at least one Principal Knowledge User.

5. For applications by and with Indigenous Peoples (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis) the research team must include:
a. At least one Principal Applicant (may be the Nominated Principal Applicant) who self-identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis and/or can provide evidence of having meaningful and culturally safe involvement with Indigenous Peoples.
b. An Indigenous Elder and/or an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper* identified on the application as a Principal Knowledge User or Knowledge User.

6. The Nominated Principal Applicant must have successfully completed one of the sex- and gender-based analysis training modules available online through the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health and submit a Certificate of Completion. Select and complete the training module most applicable to your project. Applicants are encouraged to review "How to integrate sex and gender in research", “Why Sex and Gender Need to be Considered in COVID-19 Research”, and “Meet the Methods Series: Quantitative intersectional study design and primary data collection”, as well as consult the evaluation criteria.

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:
- Application Deadline: 2021-07-27
- Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2021-10-15
- Funding Start Date: 2021-10-01

An individual or organization can only submit one application as a Nominated Principal Applicant within this competition. If the Nominated Principal Applicant submits more than one application, CIHR will automatically withdraw the last application(s) submitted based on time-stamp of submission.

All participants listed, with the exception of collaborators, are required to:
- Have/obtain a CIHR PIN. Instructions:
- Complete the Equity and Diversity Questionnaire. Instructions:

Application Process Details:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For all inquiries, please contact:

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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