Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research

The application period for Wave 3 of this seed grant is now over. Many thanks to all the participants!

The vision of McGill Global Health Programs (GHP) is ‘to address health inequities and improve global health through education, research, and partnerships.’  A key goal is to facilitate and conduct innovative, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and policy-relevant research to address critical global health challenges and priorities.

Although McGill has nearly 20 active research teams or centers and over 100 individuals working in global health, there is insufficient collaboration between these groups, and interdisciplinary research remains challenging. The importance of interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral work is also emphasized in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Program Description | Eligibility Criteria | Application Instructions | Timeline | Evaluation | Grant Administration | Reporting | Apply

Description of the Seed Grant Program:

The goal of the Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research is to catalyze innovative and impactful global health research at McGill & affiliated hospitals, by providing seed grants that can help launch new, interdisciplinary global health research projects and make them competitive for sustained external funding.

Areas of focus for the program are purposely forward thinking and aim to address global health issues that are emerging and will increase in importance over the coming decade. In some areas McGill already is a leader and in others GHP is pushing researchers to think about how they can contribute to building strength through research partnerships.

We are pleased to have additional funds from the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4) for the 2019 call.

Seed grants for Wave 3 will be $50,000. Grants are non-renewable. Duration of the seed grant projects should be between 12 and 18 months. Five grants are expected to be funded this round.

Eligibility Criteria:


  • Early and early mid-career faculty members with an appointment at McGill or an affiliated hospital can compete for these seed grants as principal investigators.
    1. Early Career Investigators  (0-5 years post first independent appointment)
    2. Mid-Career Investigators (6-10 years post first independent appointment)
  • A principal investigator may not submit more than one proposal during each application round. 
  • Additional collaborators (as many as needed to accomplish the work) may be included and should be listed on the application form.  There are no restrictions on collaborators.  These can be on campus, off campus, senior faculty/clinical staff/post docs/international collaborators, etc.
  • Applications from varying specialties within global health, including but not limited to medicine, nursing, health sciences, humanities, epidemiology, public health, and health policy are encouraged to apply.


  • The research must be conducted in a low or middle income country, or conducted in a resource-poor setting within Canada (e.g. with indigenous communities in the Canadian North).


  • Proposals must include collaborations between two departments or centres at McGill or its affiliated hospitals. This collaboration should be reflected through the PIs listed on the application. For example surgery and physical/occupational therapy working together on a rehabilitation project; nutrition researchers working with nurses on a project; collaborative research between TB and AIDS Centers.
  • The Wave 3 (2019) call is open to all global health topics and ideas that are not mentioned in the "Ineligible projects" section below. In partnership with the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4) we are offering two co-funded grants for projects related to infectious diseases. The other three grants are open to all topics. In general, we are looking for strong research proposals with innovative ideas to address pressing global health needs and challenges.
  • Proposals must show a clear plan to seek further funding after the seed grant period has ended. The applicant must clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the proposed project represents a new research direction in an area likely to generate extramural funding.

Preference will be given to proposals that:

  • Propose high-risk, transformative projects that have the potential to lead to substantial improvement in global health
  • Represent new interdisciplinary collaborations among, faculty, fellows, postdocs, students or staff who have not previously worked together
  • Include a co-PI from a low-resource setting
  • Include opportunities for McGill students to be involved in the research

Ineligible projects:

  • Principal investigators currently holding an active seed grant from the Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research, as well as their co-PIs, are not eligible to apply as PIs for another seed grant from this Fund until the first project is complete*. Those listed as collaborators on a currently funded seed grant from the Steinberg Fund are eligible to apply again this round in any capacity (PI or collaborator). [*Note: Completed seed grant projects are those who have spent all of the money award to them, applied for an extramural grant, and communicated with the GHP office the status of their project.]
  • Fundamental (laboratory or bench) research projects, without a clear translational focus on population outcomes will not be considered within the scope of these seed grants.
  • Research that is already supported by other sources is ineligible.
  • Gap funding to bridge support between external grants or contracts is ineligible.

Application Instructions: 

  1. Download and complete the Application Form
  2. Complete all sections of the proposal outlined in the following table:

Proposal Sections

FORMATTING Requirements

(all single spaced pages with 12 point font and .75inch margins)

Tell us your idea

  • What is your idea?
  • How will you test it?
  • Why is your assembled team the best fit for this project?

Max 3 pages (inclusive of tables and figures)

Budget and Project Timeline

  • Budget with brief justification. Normal research expenditures like supplies, salaries for research personnel, students, and post-docs are permitted. Funds may not be used to (a) support salary of principal investigators, (b) purchase equipment above $7,000CAD, (c) cover travel expenses related to conferences. 
  • Projects should start between September 2019 and January 2020. Projects should be between 12-18months long.

Max one page

Plan for development of the proposal for extramural funding

  • Indicate from which extramural funding programs you will be seeking support on completion of this seed grant project. List specific programs and why you anticipate that the research supported by this seed grant will leverage external funding. Which grant submission deadline will you be targeting?
  • What will be the thrust of the proposal and how is this specifically supported by this seed funding?
  • Who will be involved at this university and others? Briefly describe their skills related to the project. More people can be involved in your final proposal team than are included on the seed grant.
  • Who will read and comment on your proposal before it is submitted to an external funding source? (Having a colleague pre-review your grant significantly increases its' likelihood of being funded.)

Max one page

Key references

Max one page

Include the Canadian Common CV for the principal investigator(s)


If you feel additional information is important to submit, an appendix may be included but there is no obligation for reviewers to read it. A violation of the above formatting requirements will result in your proposal not being reviewed.


  • May 15, 2019: Call for Applications opens
  • August 15, 2019: Applications due
  • Early fall: Announcement of winners

How will proposals be judged?

Proposals will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary review committee.

Applications will be scored on:

  1. The interdisciplinarity of the research team (diversity, clearly-stated roles).
  2. The likelihood of leveraging extramural funding support on completion of the project (potential sources well explained).
  3. The significance and merit of the research (supporting references and strong rationale).
  4. The goals, objectives, methods and expected results (in terms of clarity, strength of proposed methods, feasibility).
  5. The potential to lead to substantial improvement in global health.

Grant Administration

The corresponding principal investigator will be the Fund Financial Manager (FFM) for the administration of grant funds. In particular, he/she is responsible that over-expenditures do not occur and for financial reporting back to the Global Health Programs office.   

Final Reporting

  1. Within one month of the end date of the project, a brief report must be submitted to Global Health Programs and the MI4. A template will be provided.
  2. Those grants funded jointly with MI4 must be presented at the MI4 Scientific Symposium in May-June 2020. Further details to be delivered closer to the date.
  3. Seed grantees must produce a new proposal for extramural funding as the Final Report within one year of completion of the project. In exceptional cases, where seed funding may prove the project to be ultimately non-competitive, a waiver of the extramural application requirement may be requested and granted by the Global Health Programs Office. If neither an application nor a letter of explanation is submitted, no new funds will be made available to the PI until the letter or extramural application is submitted.

    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English & French)

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

Back to top