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Notice of upcoming funding opportunity – rapid research response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

The Government of Canada would like to inform the research community of a pending launch of a rapid research response to contribute to global efforts to contain the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

This research response is aligned with the efforts of international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLoPID-R). This is a collaboration between Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

We are providing preliminary information at this time to allow the research community to mobilize and respond to an expedited process given the situation. The focus of this call may be further refined based on international needs, discussions with expert groups, and emerging priorities, for example, following the upcoming WHO meeting, 2019 novel coronavirus global research and innovation forum: towards a research roadmap. Alignment of proposals to identified priorities will also be considered as part of the assessment process.

Proposed topic areas

  • Medical countermeasures research:
    • Pathogenicity, transmission, and zoonotic source of the Novel Coronavirus;
    • Development and evaluation of diagnostic tools for early case detection and surveillance;
    • Development and evaluation of candidate vaccines;
    • Development and evaluation of candidate therapeutics;
    • Clinical characterization and management; and
    • Clinical trials design and ethical considerations.
  • Social and policy countermeasures research:
    • Cultural dimensions of the epidemic such as, examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease;
    • Studying the public health response;
    • Developing strategies to combat misinformation, stigma, and fear;
    • Studying logistical (e.g., infrastructure, transport, evacuation) and economic impacts;
    • Studying international relations, global coordination, response systems and crisis management; and
    • Considering the social dynamics of transmission.

Expected key dates

  • Launch of the full request for applications:  Week of February 10, 2020
  • Application deadline: Week of February 17, 2020
  • Peer review begins: Week of February 17, 2020
  • Anticipated notice of decision: Week of February 24, 2020
  • Funding start date: February 1, 2020

Please also note that:

Data produced as a result of this funding must be shared in line with the This link will take you to another Web site Joint statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak.

The total amount of funding available and further details will be included in the full request for applications, which we anticipate launching the week of February 10, 2020.

While not an overall requirement of the call, the IDRC will only fund collaborations with researchers from lower and middle-income countries.

Given the urgency of this funding competition, recruitment for peer reviewers will begin immediately. If you are interested and available to volunteer as a peer reviewer, please reach out to CIHR immediately at support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca. We thank applicants and peer reviewers in advance for their flexibility and understanding with respect to the need for this expedited process.