Team Grant: Cannabis Research in Priority Areas

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is partnering with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to provide $1.5 million in funding for cannabis and MS research. The funding will go towards research into the use of cannabis to manage symptoms associated with MS.

The initiative is part of an Integrated Cannabis Research Strategy (ICRS) involving the following partner agencies: The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) and the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) in partnership with the Arthritis Society, Canadian Cancer Society, MS Society of Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

The overarching vision of the ICRS is to provide a well-coordinated series of activities to position Canada as a leader in developing the research capacity and amassing the research evidence needed on the effects of cannabis use. This includes validating the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis, as well as understanding risks and harms, and supporting policy and regulatory models for studying cannabis use (including development of common data standards). This Team grant funding opportunity represents the first targeted funding opportunity launched under the ICRS, with additional opportunities planned in the coming years.

The purpose of the current Team grant funding opportunity is to explore in more detail the potential therapeutic benefits and harms associated with cannabis use in a number of targeted areas identified through previous consultations. In particular, these team grants will address stakeholder priorities by supporting specific defined priority areas in targeted pools, to strengthen the evidence base and to build cannabis-related research capacity.

For multiple sclerosis, applications will be considered that involve basic science, clinical, health services and/or policy research approaches.

Term and Amount

Total funding available is $ 300,000 per year for up to 5 years for a total of $ 1.5 million, per grant.

Objectives

The Cannabis Research in Priority Areas Team Grants is expected to:

  • Generate new scientific knowledge that will advance our understanding of the potential benefits and/or harms of cannabis and/or cannabis use, and impact policies and programs in this area
  • Encourage interdisciplinary collaborations, including from across health research and from domains outside of health research, and the sharing of data and resources
  • Enhancing capacity development and training in cannabis research
  • Connect to existing knowledge translation efforts across Canada, for example through MHCC or the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)

Eligibility

For an application to be eligible at the LOI stage:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher.
  2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be appointed at an eligible institution (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines)
  3. If the proposed research involves human subjects, at least one project participant, other than the Nominated Principal Applicant, must be a Knowledge User .
  4. The Nominated Principal Applicant(s) 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 submitted a Certificate of Completion (see How to Apply section). Please select and complete the training module most applicable to your research project.
  5. Each Research Team must include at least one Sex and Gender Champion (a researcher with expertise in the integration of sex as a biological variable and/or gender as a social determinant of health) listed as Nominated Principal Applicant, Principal Applicant or Co-Applicant.

For an application to be eligible at the full application stage:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher.
  2. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be appointed at an eligible institution (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines).
  3. If the proposed research involves human subjects, at least one project participant, other than the Nominated Principal Applicant, must be a Knowledge User .
  4. The team must include:
  • At least one Early Career Investigator identified as either a Principal Applicant or Co-Applicant. The Early Career Investigator(s) must be eligible at the time of the full application deadline date.
  • A Sex and Gender Champion. Champions are researchers who possess expertise in the study of sex as a biological variable and/or gender as a social determinant of health within their particular field of research, and are able to meaningfully integrate considerations of sex and gender throughout all aspects of the project design, methods, analysis, implementation and reporting. The Sex and Gender Champion 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 submitted a Certificate of Completion (see How to Apply section). Please select and complete the training module most applicable to your research project. Visit the CIHR website for further important information on the Champion role.
  • For multiple sclerosis, at least one participant listed as Principal Applicant, Co-Applicant or collaborator must have lived experience and be involved at all stages of the research, including research design, execution, KT, and evaluation.

For general eligibility requirements for individuals, refer to the Individual Eligibility Requirements.


Additional criteria on eligibility can be found on CIHR’s website.

Important Dates

  • RFA launch: March 15, 2019
  • FAQ webinar: TBD
  • Deadline for LOI: May 15, 2019
  • LOI Notice of Decision: July 15, 2019
  • Deadline for Full Application: October 8, 2019
  • Notification of award: January 31, 2020
  • Anticipated project start date: January 1, 2020

Policies and Procedures

For policies, procedures and submitting an application, please visit www.researchnet.ca.

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