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Participatory Action Research Grants
[UPDATE: August 7, 2020]
Earlier this year, we began a project to better understand systems change grantmaking and re-imagine ways to recognize and shift the power imbalances within it. Both the pandemic and the groundswell of the anti-racist movement has brought systemic inequity and injustice into sharper focus. We are using this upcoming cycle to start exploring how we engage marginalized and under-represented voices within our systems change grantmaking to deepen equity and impact, especially given this moment in time. We will do this by prototyping some small changes in our granting process in this cycle such as possibly adding new demographic questions to the applications and exploring different methods of community outreach. To receive email updates, click here.
There will be opportunities for community to participate in this project this summer and over the coming months. The first will take place between August 14 to 31. If you’d like to learn more and signup to participate, please click here.
Click to watch the video above, or visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrCcZ3PzKPk
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.
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 complete the remaining questions.
To help you understand if your organization and project meet our eligibility criteria, we’ve developed a quick and easy online quiz.
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.
New guidelines will be available to download in early September. In the meantime, you can take a look at the Guidelines from our last cycle.
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.
Note that applications close at 11:59pm PDT on the due date. Staff are available 8:30am - 4:30pm on weekdays to offer technical and other assistance.
- September 21 to October 16, 2020: Submit your application online
- November 30, 2020: Decisions about application communicated via email
- September 21, 2020: Stage 1 Application process opens online
- October 16, 2020: Deadline to complete the Stage 1 online application process
- December 10, 2020: Decisions about Stage 1 Applications communicated via email
- January 24, 2021: Deadline to complete the Stage 2 online application process (by invitation only)
- April 9, 2021: Decisions on Investigate Grants communicated via email
Never miss another deadline. Sign up to receive updates about workshops, calls for proposals, and application deadlines.
Detailed instructions on how to use the online application system.
- How to Create a User Account
- How to Begin a Systems Change Grant
- How to Begin a PAR grant
- How to Add Collaborators
- How to Add Project Contacts and Verify Organizational Details
- How to Complete the Project Details Section
- How to Add and Remove Research Team Members (PAR grants only)
- How to Enter a Project Budget
- How to Validate and Submit Your Application
To talk about participatory action research or your project design, find out more about learning opportunities, build partnerships, arrange a workshop in your community, or if you need support with your current grant, please schedule a consultation via Calendly with:
For information about the application process or to discuss the priorities and policies of our PAR program, please contact:
if you have general questions about our granting programs and funding priorities, need help with our online application system, or if you are a current grantee and have general questions regarding payments and reporting requirements, please contact: