CIHR Strategic Grants

CIHR Strategic grants identify a specific topic or health challenge for researchers to address.

Strategic grants are launched by CIHR’s 13 Institutes and, to some extent, by CIHR’s priority-driven initiatives. They are sponsored by any of the following (in full or combination):

  • One or more Institutes;
  • The Roadmap Accelerator Fund (an internal CIHR fund);
  • External non-government organizations (e.g., Kidney Foundation of Canada); and/or
  • Federal and provincial government agencies/departments (e.g., Public Health Agency of Canada).

The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is an exception; it launches and funds its own competitions relatively independently of other CIHR initiatives.

Each month, multiple strategic grants are launched through ResearchNet and award amounts can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars. Strategic grants are sometimes launched quickly in response to a national or international crisis, while other grants are planned well in advance as large multi-year initiatives and still others recur on an annual basis. Typical Strategic grant competitions include Catalyst, Operating, Team, and Planning and Dissemination Grants.

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Application Process

All CIHR Strategic competitions use the PI submission process. Be sure to confirm the ORS deadlines and procedures relevant to your campus:

UBC Vancouver | UBC Okanagan

Support & Resources

Are you a UBC faculty researcher applying to a CIHR Strategic grant competition? Maybe you are interested in holding a leadership position within one of CIHR’s 13 Institutes which sponsor these competitions? SPARC is here to help!

SPARC services are available for UBC-led applications and depend on capacity. For example, application reviews are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with one review per application. We encourage UBC faculty researchers, especially new faculty, to get in touch early to optimize the benefit of our services. 

Faculty with access to multiple strategic grant development service providers, such as Faculty-based Grant Facilitators and the BCCHR's Research & Technology Development Office, should work with their preferred grant reviewer so that we can collectively support as many UBC researchers as possible.


Individual consultations are available to all researchers, although recommended for new faculty. Common topics include aligning the proposal with program objectives, organizing the proposal to match the evaluation criteria and the importance of knowledge translation plans.

Consultations are also available to researchers looking to apply to the Institute Advisory Boards to help strategize and develop/revise your application.

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Application Review

For identified Strategic grant competitions (see SPARC homepage and scroll to "Current Competitions"), SPARC provides detailed editorial and criteria feedback on well-developed applications (e.g., Research Proposal) focusing on clarity, brevity and impact, ultimately ensuring that all criteria are fully addressed.

We can also provide feedback on applications to Institute Advisory Boards (IABs).

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Online Resources & Sample Grants

Check out our comprehensive sample grant library and additional resources curated specifically for UBC researchers. CWL is required to view.

CIHR Resources Sample Grant Library

Workshops & Events

We offer dedicated workshops throughout the year to assist UBC researchers in developing strong grant proposals.

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Flora To-Miles
SPARC support
Health Research Development Officer
CIHR Strategic Grants

Dr. Kelly McNagny
Advocacy and advice
UBC's Health Research Advisor (CIHR)

Other UBC Research and Grant Support
Various grant support

CIHR Contact Centre
Program technical support