CIHR/SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials-Catalyst & Multi-Year Operating Grants

  • July 18, 2016
  • News

CIHR Launches the SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials Initiative (iCT)

CIHR is launching a new initiative to support the conduct of innovative trials under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). The initiative will fund researchers to develop or adopt innovative methods for carrying out clinical trials as alternatives to traditional randomized controlled trials.

Catalyst Grants. 1 year grants providing seed funding to build research capacity in iCTs in early research stages.  Applicants developing new and transformative methods relevant to iCTs, with the potential to generate high impact results are highly encouraged to apply.

Multi-Year Grants. Multi-year funding allowing researchers to build/develop/improve leadership and research planning to achieve long-term goals.  As a result, researchers can continue to develop, master, and advance new methods and protocols, maintaining staff and avoiding start/stop short term processes.

Potential Future Launch – Mentorship Chairs. This opportunity aims to develop capacity in iCT through provision of salary and operating funds. Its intent is to attract investigators with experience/interest in iCT and patient-oriented research and will have a strong focus on mentorship. Competition details are NOT currently available.

CIHR will provide funding for innovative clinical trials that have a primary focus in the areas of:

  • Comparative Effectiveness research of diagnostics and treatment modalities (drugs and interventions) in use in Canada. Comparative effectiveness research is designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different diagnostics and treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care.

Implementation research where research investment can be expected to directly impact patient experience and care. Implementation research examines what interventions work, for whom, under what contextual circumstances and whether the interventions are affordable, adaptable and scalable in ways that are sustainable, accessible and equitable.

Successful applicants are expected to engage, when appropriate and possible, with other SPOR-funded entities such as the SUPPORT Units and the CCTCC to strengthen collaboration and maximize usage of available resources.

Catalyst Grants – $100,000 for 1 year

Approximately 10 grants to be awarded by CIHR. Matching funds are not required.

The funding start date is March 1, 2017.

HRS Deadline: September 13, 2016

Final Deadline: September 27, 2016

Catalyst grants aim to support the development of iCT research proposals in preparation for application to the Multi-Year iCT grants.


There must be at least 4 Principal Applicants and/or Principal Knowledge Users, see funding notice.

How to Apply

Ø  Notify of your intent to apply. Please indicate the PI, Sponsor and the funding opportunity (ie Catalyst vs Multi-Year Operating).

Ø  Submit the regular HRS package to HRS by September 13, 2016.

Multi-Year Operating Grants – $750,000 per year for 4 years with a 1:1 match.

Approximately 5 grants to be awarded by CIHR. Maximum funding per grant is $3M from CIHR, partner funds at a minimum 1:1 match are required. The funding start date is March 1, 2017.

Internal LOI: July 29, 2016 – To be reviewed by Associate Dean of Research or delegate

HRS/MILO Deadline: September 27, 2016

Final Deadline: October 25, 2016

The multi-year iCT grant will support innovative clinical trials design development to:

  • Enable investigators to undertake innovative clinical trials in using new or existing methods;
  • Support the development and testing of innovative methods;
  • Build capacity for iCT research through training and mentoring.

iCTs use designs that are alternative to traditional Randomized Controlled Trials with application in areas ranging from product development to health system improvement. See funding notice for full details.

CIHR Requirements

  • Funding allocated to the iCT initiative will adhere to CIHR guidelines and the SPOR principles.
  • Partner contributions from non-federal sources to match the CIHR contribution are required at a 1:1 ratio. They cannot be funds that have previously been leveraged for other CIHR initiatives.
  • A New Investigator must be a part of the project team.

 HRS Requirement

Please submit an LOI (see attached) to indicate interest and initial project details for review.

MILO Requirement

Partner funds must have the appropriate overhead included in their cash contributions, at a minimum 25%. Please contact MILO early to discuss and facilitate partnerships.


There must be at least 4 Principal Applicants and/or Principal Knowledge Users, covering each of the following categories (the NPA can count as one of these applicants);

  • Researchers – this must include 1 New Investigator
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Policy makers who have the ability to influence health policy or the delivery of health services
  • Patients*

Please note

Internal processes will be reviewed once the Internal LOI’s have been received. Applicants should be prepared for further internal processes/deadlines to be communicated after LOI review.

How to Apply

Ø  Required: Notify of your intent to apply. Please indicate the PI, Sponsor and the funding opportunity (ie Catalyst vs Multi-Year Operating).

Ø  Submit the following to HRS by July 29, 2016:

  • 1 page LOI
  • Applicant Table
  • Partner Matching Contribution Table
  • Draft Partner Letter(s)

Ø  Submit the following to HRS by September 27, 2016:

  • HRS Checklist signed by PI and Department Chair
  • Proposal Draft
  • Budget / budget justification draft
  • Applicant Table
  • Partner Letters Signed
  • Partner Details Completed
  • Signature Page
  • Routing Slip

Ø  The applicant must submit the final proposal online using ResearchNet by October 25, 2016. They must scan and upload the signed signature pages including the routing slip in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting the proposal.

HRS Letter of Intent CIHR-SPOR iCT Mutli Year Grant 2016