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Participatory Action Research Grants

Grants from $20,000 to $300,000 to 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.
Amount: up to $300,000 over three years
Application Open: July 3, 2018

Participatory Action Research Grants: Overview

Participatory Action Research Grants 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.

How do they work? Participatory Action Research Grants support a collaborative approach to research that involves stakeholders – those whose lives are affected by the issue being studied – and researchers in all phases of the research process. The research must investigate the root causes of a complex health issue, and must be a collaboration between community organizations and institutions with access to an ethics board, such as universities.

Participatory Action Research Grants may fund projects that investigate any of the social determinants impacting the health of communities. In addition, some of our funding is specific to research into heart disease, cancer, arthritis, mental health, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and neurological, emotional or paediatric disorders. But no matter the research area, the project must be led by a registered charity or other qualified donee listed by Canada Revenue Agency.

Do you need to know more about the root causes of a complex issue before action can take place? Have you established a community-research partnership that can co-lead the work?

If so, then we’d love to receive your proposal.

Types of grants

There are two different grant types available, depending upon the stage of your project.

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

Convene grants are short-term grants to help teams develop a participatory research project plan that can be submitted to funding organizations. They offer up to $10,000 towards the project's process, and up to an additional $10,000 to support community's participation in the process. Convene grants are a one-stage application, can be submitted anytime, and decisions are made by the end of the following month.

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. You can apply for an Investigate grant during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the beginning of June or December. Investigate grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin by their application by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI), and if successful, are invited to submit a Full Application.

Eligibility quiz

To help you understand if your organization and project meet our eligibility criteria, we’ve developed a quick and easy online quiz.

Take the eligibility quiz now.


Our Participatory Action Research Grants Guidelines are designed to give you all the information you need to apply. The guidelines provide an overview of the program, 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.

In addition, our guidelines include step-by-step application instructions, including every question you will be asked throughout the online application process.

Download our guidelines, and get started today.

Download Guidelines

Key dates

We appreciate grant applicants need to plan their time in advance to work on new proposals. The following key dates are updated every month, so please check back here regularly for updates on our granting cycle.

July 3, 2018: Open for grant applications
July 20, 2018: Deadline to submit Letters of Intent for Investigate Grants
Early September, 2018: Decisions on Letters of Intent for Investigate Grants
Early October, 2018: Deadline to submit Full Applications for Investigate Grants (invite only)
Mid-December, 2018: Decisions on Investigate Grants 

January 2, 2019: The next spring granting cycle opens for Investigate Grants. 
July 2, 2019: The next fall granting cycle opens for Investigate Grants.

Please note that Convene Grant applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year, beginning July 3, 2018. Decisions on Convene Grants are made by the end of the following month that they were submitted.

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