Research and Funding Opportunities: COVID-19

Past Funding Opportunities
New Funding Opportunities
Additional Resources

Past Funding Opportunities

University of Toronto, Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative - UPDATE

Congratulations to all the chosen projects, including those belonging to our DOM faculty:

Ahmed Bayoumi of the department of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Unity Health Toronto –The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic response for people who are marginalized

Laurent Brochard of the department of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Unity Health Toronto – Careful ventilation in patients with ARDS induced by COVID-19

Angela Cheung of the department of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and the University Health Network – The Ontario COVID-19 prospective cohort study

Paul Dorian of the department of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Unity Health Toronto – Evaluation of a small gas-powered and patient-responsive automated resuscitation/ventilation

Jordan Feld of the department of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and the University Health Network – Interferon lambda for immediate antiviral therapy at diagnosis: a phase II randomized, open-label, multicentre trial to evaluate the effect of peginterferon lambda for the treatment of COVID-19

Allison McGeer of the department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Mount Sinai Hospital – Working on control of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care.

Department of Medicine, COVID-19 Funding Opportunity - Update

Thank you to all applicants for their efforts and submissions. The following projects were selected – congratulations!

Risk of death or respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19 who received an ACE inhibitor, ARB, or NSAID: A Multicenter Cohort study [COVID-ACE/ARB/NSAID]
Principal investigators: Dr. Michael Fralick, Dr. Kieran Quinn
Co-investigators: Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir, Dr. Kali Barrett, Dr. Allan Detsky, Mr. Alexi
Gosset, Dr. Lauren Lapointe-Shaw, Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, Dr. Reena Pattani, Dr. Nathan
Stall, Dr. Christopher Yarnell, Dr. Jonathan Zipursky
Collaborators: Kenneth Rothman, Dr. Derek McFadden, Dr. Tor Biering-Sørensen

Machine Learning Prognosis and Predictors of Poor Outcomes in Hospitalized COVID-19 patients
Co-PIs: Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi, Dr. Amol Verma, Dr. Fahad Razak
Co-Is: Dr. Angela M. Cheung, Dr. Margaret Herridge, Dr. Michael Fralick

Association between respiratory viral infection, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use, and adverse outcomes among older adults: A population-based analysis from Ontario, Canada
Research team: consists of experienced researchers in observational research using population-based databases and registries (Dr. Douglas Lee (University Health Network (UHN)/ICES), Dr. Jeff Kwong (UHN/ICES), Dr. Dennis Ko (Sunnybrook/ICES), Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius (ICES)), early-to-mid career investigators (Dr. Jay Udell (Women’s College Hospital (WCH)/UHN/ICES), Dr. Andrew Ha (UHN), Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir (WCH/UHN/ICES)), trainee (Ms. Bahar Behrouzi, MD/PhD candidate (Faculty of Medicine, U of T)), an experienced statistician in observational research (Dr. Peter Austin (ICES)), and infectious disease experts (Dr. Isaac Bogoch (UHN) and Dr. Allison McGeer (Sinai Health System)).

People-Powered Public Health Data: Using Symptoms to Monitor COVID-19 across Canada
Principal Investigator: Dr. Lauren Lapointe-Shaw, University Health Network
Co-Investigators: Dr. Isaac Bogoch, University Health Network; Dr. Alon Vaisman, University Health Network; Dr. Nathan Stall, Sinai Health System
Dr. David Fisman, University of Toronto; Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, University of Toronto; Dr. Noah Ivers, Women’s College Hospital; Dr. Jessica Liu, University Health Network
Collaborators: Dr. Todd Lee, McGill University; Dr. John Brownstein, Boston Children’s Hospital

Screening for Asymptomatic Coronavirus Disease 2019 in In-Center Hemodialysis Units
Dr. Vikas S. Sridhar, Dr. Amit Kaushal, Dr. Christopher Chan, Dr. Charmaine Lok, Dr. Ron Wald, Dr. David Naimark, Dr. Rulan Parekh, Dr. Bradly Wouters, Dr. Deepali Kumar

New Funding Opportunities

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is pleased to announce nearly $5 million in funding for research facilities and equipment at colleges across the country to help support business innovation. The funding was awarded through the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada College and Community Innovation. More information

The Bodossaki Foundation Distinguished Young Scientists Awards - to support the creative achievements of young Greek academics and scientists, reward their endeavour in the advancement of learning and the creation of sound values in the Greek society.  For the year 2021, the Foundation has decided to award four (4) prizes, of twenty thousand (20,000) euros each, in the following academic fields - Science: Mathematics; Life Sciences: Biomedical Sciences; Applied Science: Alternative and Renewable Energy, Environmental and Natural Resource Management, Low Carbon Technology, Energy Efficiency and Conservation; and Social - Economic Sciences: Economic Science, Political Science, Law.

Fast-Grants: Fast Funding for COVID-19 Science

If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, you are invited to apply for a Fast Grant. Fast Grants are $10k to $500k (USD) and decisions are made in under 48 hours. If the grant is approved, you'll receive payment as quickly as your university can receive it.

Complete the application - it should take less than 30 minutes by clicking the following link:

Who is eligible to apply for a Fast Grant?  You must be:

• A PI at an academic institution;
• Already working on a project that could help with the COVID-19 pandemic within the next six months;
• In need of additional funding to complete the project.

Researchers outside the US are eligible for funding.

When can I apply? Fast Grants open at 12:00 Pacific Time on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. We will wait until Sunday, April 12 before we award our first grants in order to give our reviewers time to calibrate. Subsequent decisions will be made within 48 hours.

What conditions apply?  

• You must use the grant to work on COVID-19-related science.
• For six months, you must send us monthly updates, summarizing your progress. These updates can be as simple as a single-paragraph email.
• You must upload all manuscripts reporting work supported by the grant to a preprint server such as bioRxiv or arXiv upon submission to a peer-reviewed journal.
• In line with Gates Foundation policy, will pay at most 10% in overhead costs to the university.

For detailed program and application information, please visit:

Please note: As indicated above, the applicant must also upload and submit the application through the university's My Research Application (MRA) System. The MRA approval process should be started well in advance in parallel to ensure a successful submission since it can take several business days to complete the approval process.

Harrington Discovery Institute; HDI Covid Response Grant

Harrington Scholar Award for Coronavirus - Advancing Therapies for Treating Coronavirus and Future Deadly Viruses

Announce Selected Projects - May 2020

Ted Rogers Centre For Heart Research Innovation Funds to support research on the Cardiovascular Complications of COVID-19 Updates

NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships 2020 Updates

CIHR Operating Grant: COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity (May 2020) Updates

Additional Resources

Research Workshops

Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) at the University of Toronto are large-scale, cross-divisional initiatives that support interdisciplinary teams of our researchers and partners to address grand challenges and pursue bold ideas that require true collaboration and the integration of various disciplinary research approaches. The institutional goal is to improve our capacity to seed, develop, implement and support such initiatives.
ISI Workshops provide opportunities for researchers to come together to lay the foundations of these initiatives. The following workshops have been scheduled over the next few weeks. If you would like to receive more information about a workshop, please click here.

The Centre for Research & Innovation Support (CRIS) has published the next issue of Spotlight: Resources for Conducting COVID-19 Research.

This issue includes an up-to-date list of current COVID-19 funding opportunities; a listing of robust sources of published, pre-print, and synthesized research; data sets and visualizations; and more. Visit the CRIS Spotlight page to access these resources.

CanCOVID - New Canada-wide COVID-19 collaboration network: Accepting registrations

CanCOVID is an expert network of Canadian COVID-19 researchers, clinical collaborators, and healthcare stakeholders from across the country. It is accepting registrations from recognized experts in the COVID-19 research and response community.

The CanCOVID network membership is by invitation. To be considered a recognized expert, you must have professional affiliation with a university, hospital, clinic, government office, non-profit association or business. All prospective members will be vetted, including verifying email addresses and professional affiliations.

Post Doctoral and PhD Trainees will qualify for membership ONLY if serving as representatives for faculty supervisors who are actively researching COVID-19, or if they can demonstrate substantial prior research experience on COVID-relevant topics.

Researchers who meet the above criteria can register to join the network at

For more information, visit the CanCOVID website www.cancovid.caor follow us on Twitter @CanCOVID.

CIHR Updates and Clarifications

Below are clarifications from CIHR regarding the Spring 2020 project grant competition and the upcoming Fall 2020 project grant competition.

Spring 2020 Project Grant Competition:

  • CIHR’s emergency funding for COVID-19 research was not taken from the Project Grant envelope. It is specifically a component of the Government of Canada response to this crisis
  • CIHR will be using up to $31 million of the Spring 2020 Project Grant money for the one-year financial extensions.
  • The remaining approximate $244 million will be reinvested into the Project Grant Program to help mitigate the effects of increased application pressures for future competitions.
  • CIHR has received recommendations to invest that money in the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition. The exact use of the money still needs to be determined.
  • CIHR decided to use the window of expiry dates (June 30, 2020 March 30, 2021) to determine eligibility for funding extensions. Grants expiring on March 31, 2020 were excluded because, from a continuity of funding perspective, these individuals could applying to the Fall 2020 competition as there grant expires March 31, 2021 and the grants start April 1, 2021.

Fall 2020 Project Grant Competition:

  • CIHR intends to have a Fall 2020 Project Grant competition.
  • CIHR is aware of the impacts from COVID-19 and is considering various options for this competition
  • Because of this, the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition could look very different to what has been done in the past. In the likely scenario where face-to-face peer review is not possible for the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition, CIHR is considering options including remote - CIHR intends to engage the community in this process and has suggested the creation of a working group comprised of UDEC and UD members and others to consider and provide input towards various options.

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s One-Year Grant Renewal:

  • On April 8 the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced that all active Discovery Grant recipients can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level. We have received several inquiries about whether CIHR could also take this approach.
  • CIHR has decided that it will not offer one-year extensions to all of its investigator-initiated grant holders for the following reason, the actual total cost for NSERC to provide this extension to all of its Discovery grants is significantly less than what it would cost CIHR;
  • There are many important differences between CIHR and NSERC’s approach to funding, however, when considering total cost it is important to note that the success rate and renewal rate of NSERC’s Discovery Grants are significantly higher than CIHR’s Project Grants, with about 85% of Discovery Grant applicants successfully renewing their grant. This makes the total cost of extending these grants significantly different and, while the approach has some merit, one main reason why it is not plausible for CIHR.

Support for Students

CIHR COVID-19 Support
Additional Support for Research Trainees

University of Toronto

U of T provides emergency grants to students to cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19. Graduate students can apply for emergency assistance in the form of loans or grants