Translational Impact Research Program

The Translational Impact Research (TIR) program aims to support a select few large-scale translational research projects in RNA-based therapeutics, which address the D2R Initiative’s strategic priorities, and have a measurable translational impact on the health of Canadians. For this funding call, the priority disease areas are oncology, rare diseases, and infectious diseases. Please visit our web page on the strategic priorities in these disease areas to learn more.

Funded projects will require expertise spanning a minimum of three of D2R’s Foundational Axes working together with partners in an inter- and multidisciplinary fashion to enable translational outcomes. TIR will thus allow multiple entry points into the D2R Initiative’s discovery/translational chain. TIR is a strategic allocation with an iterative application process consisting of an evaluated Letter of Intent (LOI), with select project teams being invited to submit a full application. The project should involve interaction with different stakeholders, including end-users/receptors such as industry and/or patient groups. The size of the awarded budget depends on the nature of the proposed project. These large projects may also leverage other D2R programs, in particular, Training Awards, Commercialization Priming, Major Partnership, and Clinical Research and Development, and serve as a potential gateway for attracting additional external funding opportunities. Of note, the TIR program cannot fund clinical trials in human patients.

This program supports projects that demonstrate:

  • Alignment with D2R’s Mission and Priority Disease Areas: Projects must directly address the specific unmet needs within oncology, infectious diseases, or rare diseases. Proposals should articulate how they meet the strategic priorities for these diseases, including access to clinical resources, the suitability of RNA therapies, and the relevance to specific populations within Quebec and/or Canada.
  • Multidisciplinary Collaboration and Expertise: Projects should demonstrate multidisciplinary collaboration across at least three D2R Foundational Axes, with a team that has the necessary expertise and experience in the disease area, including preclinical and clinical knowledge.
  • Partner Engagement: Proposals must demonstrate existing or emerging partnerships with organizations that are positioned to translate the proposed research into clinical outcomes. Evidence of partnership may include access to resources (e.g., expertise, biobank, patient cohorts), financial contributions, and should ideally show an ongoing partnership or active collaboration with an industrial partner, or ongoing discussions about the potential for such collaboration.
  • Novelty and Non-Duplication: Projects should offer innovative solutions without duplicating ongoing projects. Proposals must introduce a unique approach and justify the choice of RNA-based therapies.
  • Translational Impact: Active engagement of patient groups and/or other communities who might benefit from this research is essential to support meaningful impact. Proposals should highlight how the research team will engage with such groups to achieve direct short-term or medium-term impact on the selected disease area, including treatment of afflicted individuals. Incorporating 'patient partners' from the project's outset is encouraged, as it is a vital component of research design, ensuring projects are grounded in real-world needs. Indicate how this research may position McGill, Quebec, and/or Canada in the international research landscape.
Key dates
  • Competition Launch: March 14, 2024.
  • Letter of Intent deadline: April 18, 2024 at 5:00 PM Eastern time.
  • Notice of LOI decision: end of May, 2024.
  • Full Application due (Tentative): June 20, 2024.
  • Anticipated results announced: by September 2024
Application Process

The competition has two stages:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI): Open to all eligible applicants, via an online submission
  • Full application: By invitation only.

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty members who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.

Co-Investigator (Co-I) Eligibility

  • McGill University faculty member who hold the role of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Full Professor.
  • Researchers from D2R’s partner institutions (McMaster University, University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, and Université de Sherbrooke). These researchers must be included in the list of researchers that was provided by the partners and approved by D2R.
  • Eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.


  • Individuals from McGill, other academic institutions, industry, government, or community organizations, who contribute meaningfully to the project. Collaborators are not eligible to receive funding from D2R.

Partner Organizations

  • Organizations are government, industry, associations, non-profit organizations or other institutions that have contributed or committed cash or in-kind contributions to support the proposed research.
Award value per project
  • Research Budget: $1 million to $3 million
  • Training Budget (Supplemental): Additional funding is available to support trainees (including Postdoctoral Fellows) and must be appropriately justified. This supplemental funding will be awarded based on the needs and merit of the research project.
  • Maximum Total Award Value: Up to $3 million research budget, and additional training budget, over three years.
D2R Alignment

Strategic Priority Disease Areas

Foundational Axes

Application package For the complete call for proposal, please click the button to sign in with your McGill Username and Password.
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