Knowledge Mobilization Program


$3.2M for seven years (fiscal year 2016 to 2023)


Two streams:
1) up to $10,000 for events or $20,000 for small projects;
2) up to $100,000 for larger projects


Stream 1) Events: one time. Projects: up to one year.
Stream 2) Projects only. One year. Exceptionally, a longer duration may be considered.

All awards are non-renewable.

All awards must be fully spent during the granting period. Extension will not be granted except in extremely extenuating circumstances.


Stream 1) Events or small projects:

  • Applicant must submit a request at least three months prior to the start date; and 
  • Project start date must fall after the award has been approved.

Stream 2) One-year projects: 

  • Three submission deadlines per year: January 15, May 15 and September 15.
  • The evaluation process may take two to six months from the submission deadline. 
  • Project start dates must fall after the award has been approved.


Applications to both streams must meet all eligibility criteria in order to move on to evaluation phase.

Stream 1) evaluated by HBHL management.
Stream 2) evaluated by external reviewers under the direction of the HBHL Research Management Committee. A list of potential reviewers is required.


Online submission.

Please see Application Process section for details.


The Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative is a high profile, high priority multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral initiative located at McGill University made possible with support from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). The HBHL Strategic Research Plan outlines the vision, deliverables, and overall goals of the initiative, and the research priorities of its four research themes.

HBHL’s Knowledge Mobilization Program will support projects and events that facilitate and accelerate the integration of neuroscience advancements into policies, clinical care and public awareness aligned with HBHL’s vision to reduce the human and socio-economic burden of psychiatric and neurological illnesses, and improve the mental health, quality of life, and productivity of Canadians and people around the world.


The project or event must: 

  • Have the potential to accelerate the integration of neuroscience advancements into policies, clinical care and public awareness aligned with HBHL's goals and research priorities; 
  • Provide the names of at least two individual non-academic knowledge users who will be meaningfully engaged throughout the design and development of the project or event (e.g. patients, practitioners, policy makers, decision makers); and
  • For events only: include a communications plan outlining how HBHL support will be acknowledged (e.g. logo placement on materials, banner placement on-site, social media acknowledgements).

Equity, diversity and inclusion:

  • For all event proposals
  1. A list of speakers/panelists/organizers, which includes demographic information, must be submitted as part of the application. Any changes to this list must be communicated to HBHL prior to the event. 
    - HBHL reserves the right to modify or remove funding for an event if changes in speakers/panelists affects eligibility of the event as described below.
  2. The proposed speakers/panellists must include individuals who reflect the diversity of McGill as a whole.
    - For HBHL’s purposes as a federally-funded initiative, we are currently focusing on the following diversity characteristics: gender, race, Indigeneity and ability. However, we encourage you to consider all diversity characteristics in your speaker selection.

Please note: All HBHL funded events must include women as speakers and/or panelists. All panels must include at least one woman. This requirement is in accordance with the recent Tri-Agency statement regarding the use of grant and award funding in an equitable and inclusive manner.

  • For all KM project proposals:
    All KM project proposals must include a description of how the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion will be integrated into the proposed KM project (part of the proposal, please see details in Application Process section).

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicant: The applicant must be a McGill faculty member who is eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.
  • Co-applicants: Teams involving co-applicants from McGill University or our CFREF partner institutions (Western University, Université de Montréal, University of British Columbia or Polytechnique Montréal) are encouraged. All co-applicants must be eligible to hold Tri-Agency research funding.
  • Collaborators or other partners: We also encourage participation from collaborators from non-partner institutions, industrial partners, or foundations. Such partners can provide letters of support to describe their participation in the proposal. However, CFREF funds may NOT be transferred to non-partner institutions, industrial partners, or foundations. Anyone who is included in the budget for salary compensation cannot at the same time be a collaborator (i.e. students, postdocs, research associates).
  • Knowledge users: Provide the names of at least two individuals who will contribute to the team as knowledge users. These individuals should be from outside of the McGill academic community, such as patients, practitioners, policy makers, decision-makers, etc.


  • CFREF funds may be awarded only to applicants from McGill University. Funds may be transferred to co-applicants from eligible partner institutions (Western University, Université de Montréal, University of British Columbia or Polytechnique Montréal).
  • Eligible expenses include direct costs, such as salary and benefits for research personnel, supplies, travel, small equipment, workshops, computers, and services. All expenses must adhere to guidelines in the CFREF Administration Guide.
  • Requests for expenditures related to planning and organization of events:
    • 1:1 matching funding (in cash, not in-kind support) is required (with written confirmation);
    • Support for events is capped at $10,000; and
    • Hospitality expenses (i.e. food, beverage and catering services) must not exceed 50% of the HBHL budget. 

Application process

All applications must be submitted online. Please use the templates provided below for the list of speakers/panelists/organizers, proposal, budget and biosketches. 

List of speakers/panelists/organizers
- Template here
- Upload as an Excel file

Only required for events. Please see Project Eligibility section for details.

Project or event proposal
- Template here
- Upload as .pdf

In a maximum of 5 pages, describe the project or event. Please see suggested page allocations below:

1. Summary (~1/2 page): Summarize the project or event and the anticipated outcomes.

2. Introduction (~1/2 page): Background information and the rationale.

3. Knowledge Mobilization or Event Plan (~3.5 pages):
A: Describe the specific aims of the project or event, and elaborate on how those aims will be achieved, what methods will be used, what outcomes will be produced and how they will be measured; 
B: Describe how the project or event will facilitate and accelerate the integration of neuroscience advancements into policy, practice or public awareness aligned with HBHL’s vision to reduce the human and socio-economic burden of psychiatric and neurological illnesses, and improve the mental health, quality of life, and productivity; and
C: Describe your plan to meaningfully engage knowledge users, especially those outside of the McGill academic community, such as patients, practitioners, policy makers, decision-makers, etc.
D: For projects only (additional 1/2 page can be used): Describe how the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion will be integrated into the proposed KM project. Please include a description of how EDI will be considered in terms of the individuals involved in the KM project. In addition, please outline how sex- and gender-based analysis plus (SGBA+) was considered in the creation of the knowledge you aim to mobilize as well as how it will be considered within your KM project. 

4. Team and partnerships (~1/2 page): Describe the leadership and team, including knowledge users, and the nature of any collaborations and partnerships.

Note: Applicant must include all the necessary information (including tables, figures and a list of references) within 5 pages (additional 1/2 page permitted for project EDI description). Please note that extra pages will be removed from your application. 

- Template here
Upload as .pdf

Complete the budget table:

  • Provide details of the anticipated expenses and how they were calculated.
  • Justify why these expenses are necessary to the project or event.
  • Specify any co-funding contributions from collaborators, industrial partners or foundations.
  • Provide proof (e.g. letter of support) of co-funding as attachment

- Template here
-Upload as .pdf

For each applicant and co-applicant, provide a 2-page biosketch that includes: Name, Affiliation; Education/training; Employment/affiliations; Research funding in the past 4 years; Most significant contributions (e.g. publications) (up to five).

Applicant and co-applicant(s) are invited to describe any career interruptions to explain impact on productivity. If this option is chosen, an additional maximal half page (only for this purpose) may be added to their 2-page CV.

Note: Please do not submit biosketches for collaborators.

Letters of support
Upload as .pdf

  • Letters of support, including proof of co-funding from collaborators or other partners. 
  • Letters must be on official letterhead and outline the contributions (materials, expertise, co-funding, etc.) to the project, and whether such contributions are in cash or in-kind.
  • Letters of support are in addition to proposal page limits.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Proposed activities (60%): 
    • Is the rationale for the proposed activities well elaborated?
    • Are the objectives and anticipated benefits of the proposed activities clear and attainable?
    • Is there a clear and feasible implementation plan (e.g. activities, timelines, and milestones)?
    • Do the proposed activities advance the development, translation, mobilization and/or policy to improve the lives of Canadians and accelerate Canadian innovation, productivity and economic competitiveness?
    • Does the proposal have the potential to lead to improved policies, practice or increased public awareness aligned with HBHL's goals and research priorities?
    • Does the proposal promote Open Science and data sharing principles? 
    • Is there a commitment to tracking milestones and deliverables linked with the proposal and providing all relevant information back to HBHL administration for reporting purposes?
    • For projects only: appropriateness of plan to integrate principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and SGBA+ in the proposed activities.
  • Team and partnerships (20%):
    • Is the leadership qualified to manage and deliver the proposed objectives? 
    • Are appropriate collaborations or partnerships including role and cash or in-kind contributions described? 
  • Knowledge mobilization and knowledge user engagement (20%):
    • Is the plan for knowledge user engagement well described (giving particular attention to non-academic knowledge users such as patients, practitioners, policy makers, decision-makers, etc.?)
    • Will knowledge users be appropriately and meaningfully engaged in the project? 
    • Will knowledge users benefit from the proposed activities? 
      According to CIHR: “A knowledge user is defined as an individual who is likely to be able to use research results to make informed decisions about health policies, programs and/or practices. A knowledge user's level of engagement in the research process may vary in intensity and complexity depending on the nature of the research and on his/her information needs. A knowledge user can be, but is not limited to, a practitioner, a policy maker, an educator, a decision maker, a health-care administrator, a community leader or an individual in a health charity, patient group, private sector organization or media outlet.” For more details, please click here.


  • All applicants will be notified by email of the results of their application.
  • Successful applicants will be sent a Notice of Award. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to complete the Acceptance of Award form and other required documents including the McGill Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) checklist by the deadline.
  • Grant holders for events must submit a post-event report within four weeks of the event.
  • Grant holders for projects must submit reports as specified in the NOA.

Important Documents