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Our Approach

We invest in research that is focused
on outcomes that will benefit patients and families.

Our model is based on the principle of bringing together business and science to enable transformations at all the stages of the research process, from basic science to the translation of discoveries and their application to people.

By the end of June of 2019, Brain Canada, through the Canada Brain Research Fund had allocated $250 million in new funding to support 300 projects across Canada involving more than 1000 researchers at more than 115 institutions.

Brain Canada funds all types of research:

Basic science

Preclinical research

Clinical research

Translational research

Population health

Public health

And funds across all brain science:

Among others.

Knowledge Translation

Brain Canada believes that by better connecting research findings and practice, every discovery along the pathway carries the potential to improve lives.

This is seen through Brain Canada’s commitment to funding projects across the entire spectrum of research including knowledge translation and exchange.

Such knowledge translation programs are instrumental in taking the knowledge generated by research and translating it into applications that can deliver benefits to all Canadians.

Funding Process

Brain Canada funding is allocated, first and foremost, on merit. The organization rewards excellence and innovation and is able to take risks to fund high-potential ideas. Funding recipients are selected through open and partnered competitions and rigorous international peer review.

International Peer Review Process

Our international review process is designed to:

  • Reduce conflicts of interest which can result from a Canadian-only panel
  • Allow us to benchmark against international standards of excellence and innovation
  • Create a network of ambassadors and new connections for Canada
Step 1


The Announcement

Brain Canada announces open call for researchers across Canada targeting research institutes, universities, hospitals and health charities. Interested teams are invited to submit letters of intent (LOIs) briefly describing their project.

Step 2

of Intent

The Letter of Intent

The LOIs are evaluated and scored by an International Peer Review Panel, benchmarked against global standards of excellence and innovation. LOIs scoring above a threshold and deemed meritorious are recommended to advance to the full application stage. Brain Canada provides feedback to all applicants submitting LOIs.

Step 3


The Full Application

Invited teams submit full applications.

Full applications are evaluated and scored for excellence, innovation and impact by the International Peer Review Panel as well as external reviewers with subject-matter expertise (as required).

Full applications deemed excellent are recommended to Brain Canada and its partners for funding.

All recommended applications are required to provide proof of institutional approval for safety, ethics and animal protocols prior to funding release. Applicants must also describe how sex and gender is taken into consideration in their research project.

Step 4

Funding and

Funding and Monitoring

Funding commences.

Grant recipients provide annual progress reports that are evaluated, and funding is released upon confirmation of satisfactory scientific progress and financial information.

Upon completion of the project, grant recipients submit a follow-up report to provide Brain Canada with a progress summary and feedback on the grant process.


Partnering with others in the space who share our commitment to brain research.

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