Short-term (Convene) and multi-year grants (Investigate) available depending on the stage of your research.
Status: Grants will be offered in January 2023.
Get Updates

We appreciate your need to plan your time to work on new proposals. The following key dates may be updated in response to the volume of applications we receive, and we will communicate any changes via email to authors who have applications started and/or submitted in our online system.

Key Dates:

January 2023: Stage 1 applications open for Convene & Investigate grants.

Participatory Action Research Grants (PAR) support research that is co-led by community members and researchers to learn more about the root causes of pressing issues impacting the health of communities.

The Participatory Action Research methodology is based on the belief that research must be done with people, not for them or on them. The researchers and community members that make up the research team are active co-participants who learn from one another. The research is grounded in critical reflection and is action-oriented to influence systemic change on the issues they are investigating.

Early in 2020, Vancouver Foundation began a project to deepen systems change grant making, first by recognizing entrenched power imbalances, and then by reimagining our relationships and practices. As we continue our work to shift and share power with community, we’re building on that work and past PAR cycles to introduce some changes to this grant call.

The ongoing pandemic, the devastation caused by extreme weather events and the continued groundswell of the reconciliation and anti-racism movements has only amplified the urgency to investigate and understand the root causes of oppressive structures and to build just, equitable systems to displace them. If the number of applications we receive is greater than the funding we have available, then we will prioritize:

  • Projects that are co-led by communities who are disproportionately impacted by racism and other discriminatory behaviours and beliefs within health systems
  • Research teams that include as many community members as professional researchers
  • Research projects that bring an intersectional lens to the work

We encourage you to download the 2022 PAR Framework for insight and context on the principles that will guide these changes.

Types of Participatory Action Research Grants

There are two different grant types available, depending on the stage your project is at in the participatory action research process.

1. Convene Grants (up to $20,000, for up to one year)

Convene grants are short-term grants to help teams to unpack a complex heath issue and to question the systemic behaviours that have created that issue, or that are holding the issue in place. Convene grants help teams to articulate a research question and to develop a participatory research project plan that can then be submitted to funding organizations in the future. The funding requested should be distributed equitably between the convening process and the community’s participation in that process. Convene grants are a one-stage application.

2. Investigate Grants (up to $100,000 per year, for up to three years)

Investigate grants are multi-year grants to help teams answer a research question, analyze their findings, and share knowledge in a way that supports the community to take action in the future. Investigate grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin their application by completing the first stage of questions, and if successful, are then invited to complete the remaining questions.


The research projects we consider for funding:

  • must investigate the root causes of a complex health issue
  • must be a collaboration between community organizations and institutions with access to an ethics board, such as universities.
  • must be led by a registered charity or other qualified donee listed by the Canada Revenue Agency.

We also invite projects that investigate the root causes of racism and other discriminatory behaviours and beliefs experienced by adults and children within health systems; especially communities who are disproportionately impacted by these discriminatory behaviours.

Grant Alerts

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  • 2020 PAR Guidelines: An overview of eligibility criteria, an introduction to participatory action research and social innovation, practical questions to help you think about your project, and tips for making a successful grant application.

  • 2022 PAR Addendum: A summary of the changes and rationale to the application questions for both grant types.

  • 2022 PAR Framework: The framework that includes the principles and priorities that will inform how PAR grant applications will be reviewed, adjudicated, and awarded during this cycle.

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