Social Determinants of Health in Neuroscience Team Grant: Canadian Framework for Brain Health Research Initiative

Background on the Canadian Framework for Brain Health Research

Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) is a high profile, high priority multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral program located at McGill University made possible with support from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) and the Fonds de recherche du Quebec (FRQS, FRQSC and FRQNT).

The Canadian Framework for Brain Health Research (CFBHR) is an HBHL initiative that aims to improve the applicability of brain health research findings by developing guidance on the appropriate inclusion of social factors across various areas of neuroscience.

There are three phases to this program as well as a Preliminary Pilot Project Phase:

  1. Project Coordination Workshop
  2. Social Determinants of Health in Neuroscience Team Grants
  3. Knowledge Exchange Grant

Please note: Phase Three is still in development and will be refined in consultation with those funded for Phase Two.

Program Objectives

  • All Phases: To improve the appropriate and meaningful integration of social factors into neuroscience research
  • Phase One (Workshop): Provide an opportunity for information sharing and discussion on the latest thinking and advances in SDoH research, particularly as relates to neuroscience
  • Phase One (Workshop): Support the creation of interdisciplinary teams with expertise in both the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and neuroscience, which will go on to submit high-quality, relevant phase-two applications
  • Phase Two (Team Grants): Support the development of guidance on the appropriate integration of the SDoH into neuroscience research
  • Phase Three (KE Grants): Promote the dissemination and uptake of guidance developed in Phase Two through knowledge mobilization and exchange activities

The Public Health Agency of Canada defines SDoH as “the broad range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that determine individual and population health.” Examples of SDoH include, but are not limited to, place of residence, race, ethnicity, culture, occupation, sex, gender, religion, education, socioeconomic status and social capital. For more information on the SDoH, see the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

Preliminary Pilot Project Phase

Teams composed of PIs and trainees were funded to gather information on what data already exists to support neuroscience researchers to integrate SDoH. Funding has been awarded to three teams and preliminary findings were presented at the project coordination workshop:

1. Social determinants of health and neurodevelopment
Robert-Paul Juster, Boris Bernhardt, Enzo Cipriani

2. Intersectional approaches in neuroimaging
Robert-Paul Juster, Boris Bernhardt, Ella Sahlas, Jessica Royer

3. Social Determinants of Health, Diversity and Representativeness in Current Neuroscience
Laurence Kirmayer, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Jai Shah, Mathilda Ryon, Sophie Luo

Phase One Program Overview: Project Coordination Workshop

Phase One of this program is now complete. Phase One consisted of a project coordination workshop, which took place on March 22, 2022. Neuroscience and SDoH researchers and trainees met, discussed the CFBHR program and began to form teams to apply for Phase Two. Workshop attendees were asked for feedback on the request for applications for Phase Two. While participation in Phase One is not a requirement for applying to Phase Two, workshop attendees have unique insight into the objectives of the program as a whole and are strongly encouraged to apply.

Support for Team Development

Faculty members seeking a collaborator may consult this online database (and please add your contact information).

Phase Two Program Overview: Social Determinants of Health in Neuroscience Team Grant

Applications for Phase Two are now open.

Phase two supports collaborations between faculty members from neuroscience and SDoH experts. This grant consists of two pools with two separate applications: the Interdisciplinary Teams Grants and one Umbrella Team Grant.

Phase Three Program Overview: Knowledge Exchange (KE) Grant

Eligibility: Only teams funded in phase two will be eligible for phase three funding.

IMPORTANT: Phase Three will be developed further and more details regarding the grant and application process will be posted closer to the application date.

  • Total envelope: $180,000
  • Value per grant: TBD
  • Duration: Eight months
  • Number of grants to be awarded: TBD

A Knowledge Exchange (KE) grant will follow the Social Determinants of Health in Neuroscience Team Grants to support funded teams in turning their guidance into identifying the most effective means of translating the knowledge produced in phase two into action. Additional communications support will be provided by HBHL to disseminate the outputs of funded research.

Program Timeline

Phase One: Project Coordination Workshop

  • Feb. 8, 2024: Registration opens (complete)
  • Mar. 17, 2024: Registration deadline (complete)
  • Mar. 22, 2024: Project Coordination Workshop (complete)

Phase Two: Social Determinants of Health in Neuroscience Grants

  • Apr. 8, 2024: Competition opens
  • May 6, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.: Application deadline
  • May 15-May 31, 2024: Review
  • Jun. 2024: Start of funding
  • Jun. 2025: End of funding

Phase Three: Knowledge Exchange (KE) Grant (dates to be confirmed)

IMPORTANT: Only teams funded in phase two will be eligible for phase-three funding.

  • Feb. 2025: Competition opens
  • Mar. 2025: Submission deadline
  • April-May 2025: Review
  • Jun. 2025: Start of funding
  • Jun. 2025: KE strengthening workshop
  • Jan. 2026: End of funding

For any questions, please contact HBHL [at]

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