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Participatory Action Research Grants

Grants 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.
Convene Grants Open: Year-Round
Investigate Grants Open: July 2, 2019

Participatory Action Research Grants: Overview

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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 projects we consider for funding 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 fund projects that investigate any of the social determinants impacting the health of communities. In addition, some of our funding is specific to researching the social determinants of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, mental health, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or 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 the 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 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. 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 online 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 online for an Investigate grant during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the mid-June or mid-December. Investigate grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin their application by completing the first stage of questions, and if successful, are then invited complete the remaining questions.

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 Guidelines and get started today.

Key dates

We appreciate your need to plan your time in advance to work on new proposals. The following key dates are updated throughout the year, so please check back here regularly for updates on our granting cycle.

Convene Grants

Applications can be submitted online at any time throughout the year. Decisions on Convene Grants are made by the end of the following month that they were submitted.

Investigate Grants

Fall Cycle
July 2, 2019: Stage 1 Application process opens online
July 22, 2019: Deadline to complete the Stage 1 online application process
September 6, 2019: Decisions about Stage 1 Applications communicated via email
September 30, 2019: Deadline to complete the Stage 2 online application process (by invitation only)
December 9, 2019: Decisions on Test and Scale Grants communicated via email
Spring Cycle 

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