McGill-Western Collaboration Grant Program

Canada First Research Excellence Fund's investment of $150 million in McGill University's Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) and Western University's BrainsCAN marks a pivotal step that will unlock the mysteries of the human mind and lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian network of collaboration that promises to uncover new ways to treat, prevent and cure brain disorders.

McGill and Western University have developed the McGill-Western Collaboration Grant Program to support impactful research that leverages this unique HBHL and BrainsCAN collaboration.

This grant program will support:

  • transformational research in neuroscience and neuroinformatics
  • new and established collaborative teams
  • all project types (discovery-based science to end-user translational research) and sizes (smaller foundation projects to multi-year programs)


Program Overview

The McGill-Western Collaboration Grant Program is designed to address some of the grand challenges in brain health across the lifespan via potentially high-risk but also high-gain research projects. It does so through cross-institution multidisciplinary teams of Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives and BrainsCAN researchers.

Applicant Eligibility:

Each project must be led by one McGill AND one Western faculty member. These researchers must hold an eligible academic appointment with a significant research component. Interdisciplinary and diverse research teams are encouraged. A researcher team may submit one [1] application per call.

Project Eligibility:

Proposals must clearly contribute to the strategic priorities of HBHL and BrainsCAN (refer to the HBHL Strategic Research Plan and BrainsCAN Alignment/Steering document). All project types (discovery-based science to end-user translational research) and sizes (smaller foundation projects to larger multi-year programs) are acceptable.

  • Foundational Projects: Generally, $25,000 to $100,000 for 1 year
  • Larger Programs. Generally over $100,000 per year for 1 to 3 years

Collaboration Liaisons:

Researchers looking to pursue a collaborative project can contact the Collaboration Liaison at their non-host institution for direction on possible contacts.

  • HBHL Collaboration Liaison: Contact the HBHL support team (HBHL [at]
  • BrainsCAN Collaboration Liaison: Contact the BrainsCAN support team (brainscan [at]

Application Process Summary:

Completed application forms must be submitted to both HBHL AND BrainsCan by 5:00 pm on May 1st, 2018 via email to brainscan [at] AND using HBHL's on-line application form.

Figure 1: McGill-Western Collaboration Grant (MWCG) Application Workflow. (1) Teams of researchers comprised of eligible faculty from McGill and Western will assemble to submit an application to this program. (Note: Researchers looking to pursue a collaborative project can contact the Collaboration Liaison at their non-host institute for direction on possible contacts) (2) The applications will be informally streamed based on size and duration. (3a) For foundational projects (1y), at their completion, the research team will decide either to stop the collaboration, pursue external funding, or build on the team's success and reapply to the MWCG at the programmatic level. (3b) For programmatic awards, progress against milestones will be evaluated annually. At that time, research teams must decide to either discontinue the program, pursue external funding or apply for MWCG renewal.

Important Dates

  • Program launch: February 6th, 2018
  • Application Deadline: 5:00 pm, May 1st, 2018
  • Results expected: Late July, 2018

Important Documents


Q: We have a project team of 9, but the form only has 8 spaces.  How can I insert additional member(s)?

A: If there are more than 8 team members, the applicants can add an attachment list.

Q: I need more rows for the budget section. Can I use an attachment?

A: Yes, you may use an attachment to complete your budget section.

Q: How can I insert figures and tables to the application form?

A: You can attach figures and tables as appendices.

Q: Where can I find bio-sketch template and examples?

A: Here are the Biosketch-sample and Biosketch-blankformat.

Q: Where shall I put my signature for the Biosketch?

A: The signature can appear anywhere and is intended as an attestation to their content and acknowledge their role in application.​

Q: Unable to download the OSR checklist or get all the required signatures for the OSR checklist. Can I submit my application without an OSR checklist or with an incomplete OSR checklist?

A: At this stage of the application, the OSR checklist is not mandatory. Yes, you can submit your application without an OSR checklist or with an incomplete OSR checklist.