Programs

By developing transformative research programs that address areas critical to advancing brain research, Brain Canada has established a track record of supporting high-risk, high-reward research at all stages and across basic, translational and clinical approaches.

Types of Grants

Icon of a figure with an arrow pointing right to another figure

Capacity Building Grants

The next generation of scientists have the talent and ingenuity to move the needle on Canadian brain research – as long as they have support. Capacity Building Grants invest directly in trainees and early-career researchers to catalyze their potential through salary support, training, research funding and mentorship.

Icon of two figures holding hands

Team Grants

Groundbreaking discoveries in brain health research never happen alone – they take bright minds working across disciplines and institutions. Our Team Grants bring together scientists from across Canada to advance collaborative research on the brain and brain health.

Icon of a finger pointing at a padlock

Platform Grants

Research platforms – what we call centralized shared research resources – are a cost-effective way for scientists to access cutting-edge equipment, technology, and services beyond what they can achieve on their own. Platform Support Grants help develop and/or enhance the capabilities and accessibility of platforms essential for brain research, benefiting researchers across Canada.

Icon of a clipboard with lines of text and a checkmark

Knowledge Mobilization Grants

These support the mobilization of knowledge: to use the findings from research to inform the development of evidence-based tools, resources, programs and solutions with the potential to benefit all people in Canada; and to convene the Canadian brain research community and key stakeholders, including people with lived experience.

Flagship Programs

Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program

Launched in 2019, this annual grant program provides funding at the most critical point in a researcher’s career and gives budding scientists the courage to dream big and be brilliant. Through this revolutionary funding model, we are establishing Canada’s pipeline of future leaders, and laying a foundation of research excellence and innovation.


Platform Support Grants

High-impact research in the neurosciences has always required skill, imagination, determination, and insight. Today, it also requires access to shared equipment, facilities, services, databases, computing/informatics facilities, patient repositories, and biobanks; collectively referred to as “platforms”. The Platform Support Grants Program funds major research platforms – at local, regional, and national levels – with the goal of providing enhanced technical and research capabilities to myriads of investigators across all fields of neuroscience.


Rising Stars Trainee Awards

Funding to support early-career researchers with programs tailored for the next generation of researchers is a core component of Brain Canada’s work. The increasing competitiveness of the Canadian research environment and limited financial support from major granting agencies and institutions can make it difficult to attain the resources needed for trainees to excel. In response, Brain Canada launched its Rising Stars Trainee Awards aimed at recognizing the excellent research being conducted by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents in all fields spanning neuroscience research.


Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI)

The Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI)’s aim is to support multidisciplinary teams and to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change our understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction and their impact on health.


Dr. Hubert van Tol Travel Fellowship

The Dr. Hubert van Tol Travel Fellowship allows doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to attend a major international conference/symposium or training course.


Programs

ALS Canada – Brain Canada Discovery Grants

The purpose of the Discovery Grant Program is to invest in the best possible projects that are focused on identifying causes of, or treatments for ALS and/or related neurological diseases, or research focused on avenues to maximize function, minimize disability and optimize quality of life through symptoms management, and to provide support to persons or families living with ALS.

Program details

ALS Canada – Brain Canada Arthur J. Hudson Translational Team Grant

This program was designed to bring together researchers from across the country to accelerate therapeutic development by: 1) identifying and testing a relevant therapeutic target or candidate therapy and/or 2) addressing critical needs for early diagnosis and biomonitoring of clinical progression applied to clinical research. Research in all stages of development is welcomed, from basic/preclinical to phase I, II and III clinical trials.

Program details

ALS Canada – Brain Canada Trainee Program

This program provides support to eligible trainees at the doctoral or postdoctoral level who have demonstrated contributions to research that may or may not have related directly to ALS, but propose future research and training that is ALS-related.

Program details

ALS Canada – Brain Canada Career Transition Award

The intent of this award is for ALS Canada and Brain Canada to support a promising postdoctoral fellow or Research Associate working at a Canadian institution to transition into an independent position contributing to ALS research.

Program details

Advancing Research on Care and Outcome Measurement (ARCOM)

The ARCOM funding program aims to address significant gaps in care and outcome measurement, and provide an opportunity to advance research so that care providers can ensure that they are implementing evidence-based practices and achieving desired outcomes.

Program details

Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program

The Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program (IRGP) funds investigations to advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, identify new treatment strategies, improve care for people with dementia and further our knowledge of brain health and disease prevention.

Program details

Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship

The AARF grant program is intended to support exceptional researchers who are engaged in their post-graduate work (i.e. postdoctoral fellows) and before they have their first independent faculty positions (i.e. Assistant Professor) and working in diverse areas of research, including basic, translational, clinical, functional and social-behavioural research.

Program details

Alzheimer’s Society Research Program (ASRP) Brain Canada New Investigator

This program supports individuals within the initial two years of their first faculty position who are pursuing careers in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research.

Program details

Alzheimer’s Society Research Program (ASRP) Brain Canada Career Change Grants

This program supports established investigators, who are new to the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and are interested in changing their research focus to this field. These investigators will be within the first two years of a career change and will be required to work collaboratively with a mentor who is an established researcher within the field.

Program details

Azrieli Neurodevelopment Research Program

This program is designed to support excellent systems or translational research in the area of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a special focus on Autism spectrum disorder and Fragile X syndrome. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to develop new diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies for neurodevelopmental disorders, to reduce their economic and social burden on Canadians, and to improve the quality of life for those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders and their families.

Turnbull-Tator Award in Spinal Cord Injury and Concussion Research

This award recognizes an outstanding publication by a researcher at a Canadian institution in the field of spinal cord and/or brain injury research (including concussion) with a $50,000 prize.

Program details

Bell Let’s Talk – Brain Canada Mental Health Research Program

The Bell Let’s Talk-Brain Canada Mental Health Research Program supports novel and transformative research that will accelerate the integration of emerging scientific knowledge into developing and/or improving mental health care, including substance use and addiction. The ultimate goal is the development of innovative solutions to ensure effective, sustainable, and accessible mental health care for all Canadians.

Program details

Bell Mental Health Research Training Awards

This program funded 3 fellowships and 4 studentships in mental health research over a period of 3 years to further the understanding of mental illness and lead to new strategies for prevention and early intervention.

Canadian Cancer Society Impact Grants

The Impact Grant program is intended to contribute to the scientific idea ‘pipeline’ by supporting significant progression in cancer research programs that are anywhere in the continuum from basic high impact discovery to translational work of direct relevance to the clinic and beyond.

Canadian Cancer Society Innovation Grants

The Innovation Grant program is designed to support unconventional concepts, approaches or methodologies to address problems in cancer research. Innovation projects will include elements of creativity, curiosity, investigation, exploration and opportunity.

Canadian Cancer Society Innovation to Impact Grants

The Innovation to Impact Grant program is intended to support the further development of significant findings based on the goals originally explored through a funded CCS Innovation Grant.

CCS/CIHR/BC Spark Grants: Novel Technology Applications in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

The CCS/CIHR/BC Spark Grants: Novel Technology Applications in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Grants support extraordinary research that will use technologies to make cancer prevention, screening and early detection more accurate, accessible and convenient, and less invasive, with the goal of accelerating their translation to the clinic. Out of the total 27 new grants, nine are focusing on developing solutions for brain cancer, specifically.

Program details

Chagnon Family and Brain Canada Interventions for Prevention of Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) Multi-Investigator Research Initiative

The Chagnon Family has partnered with Brain Canada to support a major $10-million project in the area of Alzheimer’s disease prevention entitled the Interventions for Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Team Grant.

Brain Canada – CIBC Brain Cancer Research Training Awards

Brain Canada and CIBC partnered to fund 4 studentships and 3 fellowships in the area of brain cancer. In addition to aiding trainees to develop their research skills, these awards have helped further knowledge on brain cancer development, diagnosis and treatment.

BC-CIFAR Partnered Initiative

Brain Canada and CIFAR are co-funding three brain-related programs totalling up to $20 million. Each of the three research programs consists of 10-40 leading researchers from around the globe who are answering fundamental questions about the brain and what it means to be human. The three programs are the Learning in Machines and Brains program; the Brain, Mind and Consciousness program; and the Humans and the Microbiome program.

Focus on the Brain

The goals of the program are to link academia with industry to support pre-competitive research that enhances bio-pharmaceutical R&D productivity, and to accelerate the development of new, safe, and effective drugs in neuroscience.

Quantum Leap

The Quantum Leap program is intended to support outstanding translational research projects implementing state-of-the art technologies with very high potential impact in key areas of unmet needs within the biopharmaceutical industry.

Program details

SynergiQc

CQDM’s SynergiQc program is designed to promote university-based industrial research in the biopharmaceutical field that will generate economic benefits for Québec.

Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award

This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, integrative research competition that will investigate the complex interactions between the heart and the brain by leveraging the power of collaboration and innovation in Canada’s research community.

Program details

Heart and Stroke Foundation Emerging Research Leaders Initiative

This program is for researchers transitioning from a post-doctoral fellowship to a junior professional position in the areas of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and/or respiratory health research.

Heart and Stroke Foundation Grant-in-Aid

The GIA program provides operating funds to support important, pertinent, and novel research in the areas of heart disease and stroke. GIA funding promotes research discovery, exploration and innovation across all health research themes.

Brain Canada-Huntington Society of Canada Creating HD Clinician-Scientist-to-Patient Virtual Networks Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI)

Brain Canada and the Huntington Society of Canada have partnered on an initiative that supports research projects that connect clinicians with scientists, and scientists with the HD community. The multi-disciplinary and multi-investigator approach is expected to maximize the opportunity for discovery and translational research that will speed up the search for treatments, while expanding the overall understanding of HD therapy in humans.

JDRF Canada – Brain Canada Addressing Mental Health in Type 1 Diabetes Team Grants

The JDRF Canada – Brain Canada Addressing Mental Health in Type 1 Diabetes Team Grants aim to support research on the development, validation, or implementation of interventions that address mental health concerns in people with type 1 diabetes. The ultimate goal is to support the development and testing of sustainable, scalable approaches that will enable improved support for Canadians who live with type 1 diabetes and are affected by mental health disorders, and that will translate into better quality of life and diabetes-related health outcomes for these populations.

Program details

Brain Canada – Kids Brain Health Network Training Awards

The training award funds doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows performing research aimed at the origins, early detection, and effective treatment of brain development disorders. In addition to the award, the recipients will take part in the Kids Brain Health Network Training program, which endeavours to develop cross-disciplinary and collaborative skill sets for the next generation of scientists, clinicians, and health-service professionals.

Early Years Initiative

The Early Years supports communities in the cultural adaptation and implementation of family-centred programmatic activities and resources, from Maskwacis Health Services in Alberta to the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate.

Brain Initiative

The BRAIN Initiative is part of a US Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. Brain Canada has partnered with the 10 NIH Institutes that are part of the NIH BRAIN Initiative to support the involvement of Canadian researchers in the NIH BRAIN Initiative.

Brain Canada Youth Mental Health Platform, powered by RBC Future Launch

The Brain Canada Youth Mental Health Platform, powered by RBC Future Launch supports the development, operation, and maintenance of a large-scale national platform that enhances the sharing of centralized research resources thereby increasing access to equipment, expertise, data, protocols, and more in the area of youth mental health, for three years.

Program details

Shireen and Edna Marcus Excellence Award

The objective of the Shireen and Edna Marcus Excellence Award is to support graduate students engaged in autism research who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in their graduate studies and to encourage the academic development of promising postdoctoral fellows by providing salary support.

Program details

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation Grant

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has collaborated with Brain Canada to support five research teams conducting research across the full spectrum of brain sciences. The teams are pursuing novel, transformative research aimed at improving our understanding of human nervous system function and dysfunction, and its impact on health.

Brain Canada-Women’s Brain Health Initiative Expansion Grants: Considering Sex and Gender

The purpose of the Brain Canada-WBHI Expansion Grants: Considering Sex and Gender Program is to support the implementation and/ or continuation of sex and/ or gender considerations in previously funded projects focusing on brain research in the fields of aging, neurodegeneration, or stroke.

Program details