Pre-Announcement: Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity

October 25, 2021

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


UPDATED – The Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Rapid Research funding opportunity is now available on ResearchNet (Registration deadline: November 9, 2021, Application deadline: December 7, 2021)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is pleased to pre-announce the launch of the Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity. This initiative is being led by the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), in partnership with the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR), the Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH), and the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). This funding opportunity will provide funding for research and knowledge mobilization for Indigenous communities (i.e., First Nations, Inuit, Métis and/or Urban Indigenous communities), Indigenous organizations and researchers who identify as Indigenous (or researchers who provide evidence of having meaningful and culturally safe involvement with Indigenous Peoples) in Canada who are responding to the unique health and well-being needs of Indigenous Peoples as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. Potential applicants who wish to submit an application as the Nominated Principal Applicants should contact CIHR’s Contact Centre for guidance in creating a ResearchNet account and registering for a CIHR PIN. Potential applicants could also contact CIHR’s Contact Centre should they wish the Contact Centre to assign them a CIHR PIN.


Successful applications will meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • To research, identify, address and/or share best and wise program and policy practices, and/or critical knowledge gaps, including the collection and management and analysis of high-quality and real-time data, related to addressing the immediate impacts and future consequences of COVID-19, among distinct Indigenous populations, communities and individuals;
  • To research and enable a comprehensive and timely understanding of the implications and impact of COVID-19, including emerging variants and the long COVID condition, within distinct Indigenous communities, and their relevance for public health, health systems and policy;
  • To identify, implement, evaluate and/or share culturally safe, distinctions-based and Indigenous-led and/or Indigenous community-led solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, among Indigenous communities;
  • To accelerate distinctions-based and Indigenous-led and/or Indigenous community-led research and knowledge mobilization activities related to COVID-19 within the context of Indigenous health while supporting Indigenous community capacity development in research and knowledge mobilization; and
  • To expand or adapt existing programs and infrastructure, in Indigenous communities to support capacity development of Indigenous communities to design, lead, and meaningfully participate in culturally safe responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic and/or future pandemic preparedness.

This funding opportunity will provide funds for two streams of research:

  1. Research Operating Grants: This stream will fund research related to Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 that is distinctions-based, wellness-oriented, solutions-focused and is local, regional or national in scope. Research supported by this funding opportunity must include both a research component, and a knowledge translation and knowledge mobilization component. The latter component is to ensure that results, lessons learned and/or best and wise practices can be used by Indigenous communities, researchers and decision-makers.
  2. Knowledge Mobilization Grants: This stream will fund grants that design and deliver Indigenous-led and/or Indigenous community-led knowledge mobilization activities that engage Indigenous communities as an integral part of conceptualizing, sharing and mobilizing knowledge among Indigenous communities, researchers, and policy and decision-makers in ways that are context-specific and culturally safe. Knowledge mobilization grants supported by this funding opportunity must be focused on sharing and/or mobilizing the research results and findings from previously funded research to inform the evaluation and/or development and/or uptake of programs, policies, health systems and/or innovative Indigenous-led solutions to community-identified concerns.

Funds available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $6M.

  • The maximum amount per grant for Research Operating Grants is $250,000 for one year.
  • The maximum amount per grant for Knowledge Mobilization Grants is $150,000 for one year.

Anticipated timeline*

  • Launch: Week of October 11, 2021
  • Registration Deadline: Week of November 8, 2021
  • Application Deadline: Week of December 6, 2021
  • Notice of Decision: February 28, 2022
  • Funding Start Date: March 1, 2022

*These timelines are estimates and subject to change.


The pre-announcement of the Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Funding Opportunity is for information only. The information contained herein is subject to change and does not commit the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to the requirements outlined in this version. The final funding opportunity will be published on the CIHR Funding Opportunity Database in ResearchNet in October 2021.