The MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is now launching the first of several funding calls for BC researchers. The focus of this first call will be on high-quality research that evaluates BC’s response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and informs ongoing response, especially strategies for avoiding or mitigating subsequent waves of transmission. Future calls will address other research gaps.

On March 17, 2020, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer declared a provincial public health emergency under the Public Health Act related to the COVID-19 virus and its impact on British Columbians. The declaration of a public health emergency allows for real-time information to be collected, reported, and analyzed across the health system, to identify immediate research needs and evidence.

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To further an understanding of what research is being done and what is needed, the BC Ministry of Health has asked the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) to support the following two strategic activities that will help inform the Provincial response to the pandemic:

1. The BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee – reporting to the provincial response Planning Section Chief of the Health Emergency Coordination Centre – provides information/advice that helps create a fuller picture as to what is being researched in BC related to COVID-19, and what is needed. The committee will ultimately create a provincial COVID-19 research framework that can be adapted ongoing. In addition to other activities, the committee supports MSFHR in how it allocates its COVID-19 Research Response Fund. MSFHR will serve as the secretariat for the committee.

2. The MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund – the Province of BC has provided $2M to MSFHR to support research that will inform BC’s response to COVID-19 through a dedicated research fund. The fund will be allocated strategically in the context of BC’s research and research infrastructure needs and gaps and will be deployed through targeted calls and other mechanisms.


  • The MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund – Funding Call #1 will provide award amounts of up to $150,000, for a maximum duration of 12 months.
  • Extraordinary requests above $150,000 will be considered but will require additional justification to exceed the limit.


Researchers or research teams interested in applying to this first call should have projects that address one or more of the following:

  • Rapid evaluation and/or modeling of public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to support decisions around when to withdraw these measures or redeploy them at a future date.
  • BC population-specific epidemiologic support for decision-makers including the identification of strategies to prevent high burdens of illness among key/vulnerable groups (e.g., residents of long-term care facilities, inner-city populations, Indigenous people, health care workers, etc.).
  • Human geographic considerations in BC including rurality, community, culture and population movement with a view to preventing transmission and mitigating effects.
  • The identification and mitigation of the impacts of the pandemic and pandemic response including the secondary effects on the health of the population of BC.
  • The impacts of rapid health service redesign and redeployment on health outcomes in BC.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

Submission Requirements:

  • All steps of the application must be submitted using MSFHR ApplyNet, the Foundation’s online application submission system.
  • All documents uploaded onto MSFHR ApplyNet must be in .pdf format. No other formats will be accepted.
  • As an applicant, you will be able to access a .pdf copy of the application to review the information you have entered.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to review the .pdf copy of the application prior to submission to ensure that all data entered are complete and accurate. Once an application is submitted, it cannot be modified in any way.

All applicants applying for the first time to MSFHR will be required to register on MSFHR ApplyNet and create a system account email and password

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Application Deadline: May 19, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For more information about the MSFHR ApplyNet system or help with login information, please contact: MSFHR Help Desk 604.714.6609 [email protected]
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