Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging

Anticipated Timeline

Award Value and Term

  • Program Launch: December 15, 2022
  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2023 at 5:00 PM (EST)
  • Notice of Decision: April 2023
  • Up to $50,000 over 12 months
  • Funding starts April 2023 (to March 2024)



Healthy Aging Canada (HAC) is a new innovative collaborative initiative of AGE-WELL and the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN). Our aim is to accelerate research into action that helps change the lives of older Canadians through innovative technological, social and healthcare solutions.

Under our new HAC collaborative, we are excited to launch a 2023 Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging to support innovative one-year research projects with a focus on technology-enabled solutions or novel technologies that support healthy aging across the older adult life course, through to end of life. Projects may consider complementary social and healthcare innovations (e.g., new community programs, new service-delivery models, policy recommendations, and prevention strategies) related to the technology-enabled solution.

Technology serves as a major catalyst in significantly extending the period of healthy aging (i.e., extending the “healthspan” or period of life spent in good health) by supporting and enhancing functional ability. New and emerging technologies can play a critical role in enabling older adults to extend their active and productive years and age well in place, and offer enhanced and safer experiences to those who call long-term care home.

Providing optimal care, and enabling a higher quality of life for a large and diverse cohort of older Canadians requires a coordinated approach to the delivery of services. Accelerated development and adoption of technology-enabled solutions at home, in the community, and in care settings is a key strategy for creating an integrated system that is responsive to older adults’ needs and can accommodate their rising absolute number and proportion in the population.

The 2023 Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging is open to researchers based at Canadian research institutions that are eligible to hold Tri-Council funding (see Eligibility requirements below). Current or prior affiliation with either AGE-WELL or CFN is not required.


 We use the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of healthy aging which describes a process of maintaining functional ability to enable well-being in older age.


The 2023 Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging aims to identify and support emerging research in technology-enabled healthy aging, foster networking and collaboration, and build capacity in aging innovation research in Canada.

It is expected that small-scale projects or pilot studies funded through this call will provide a foundation for future larger research projects or funding applications.

Examples of supported activities for this call might include:

  • Feasibility studies aiming to generate preliminary data, observations or knowledge;
  • Novel products, including technologies, with the potential for significant impact, but that may be unsupported by proof of concept or preliminary data;
  • New tools, methodologies, protocols, theoretical models or frameworks;
  • Planning and/or development activities of expert teams (e.g., multi-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, etc.) coming together to address healthy aging research priorities; and
  • Secondary analyses to provide an opportunity for expert analyses of existing data sets, improve the evidence for decision-making and create new knowledge.


  • Innovative solutions that empower older adults to live safe, healthy, and socially connected lives within their homes and/or communities of choice and to support their care partners.
  • Building safer, more accessible, or more connected communities.
  • Development and accelerated dissemination of best practices, guidelines or standards.
  • Solutions that include and meet the needs of vulnerable and equity-deserving groups of people.
  • Quality improvement studies that investigate novel and innovative ways to improve the lives of older Canadians.


The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $750,000. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. The maximum amount per grant is $50,000 per year for up to one (1) year.

Of these funds, two special funding streams are available:

  • A minimum of $250,000 is available to fund submissions that involve underrepresented groups, including First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples of Canada, persons living with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities. Applications involving Indigenous populations (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis) the research team must include at least one member who self-identifies as Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) or demonstrates a track record of meaningful and culturally safe involvement with Indigenous Peoples.
  • A minimum of $150,000 is available to fund projects that focus on novel and innovative ways to prevent, mitigate or reverse frailty. Studies that investigate novel ways to diagnose, treat and/or care for those living with frailty will also be considered for funding. Studies must meaningfully integrate older Canadians, and if applicable those living with frailty and/or their families and caregivers in planning, designing and executing the study, and interpreting study findings. Where appropriate, protocols must utilize frailty assessment of study participants using a published and validated frailty assessment instrument appropriate for the care setting(s).


General Requirements:

Proposals will be a maximum of 2,500 words (approx. 5 pages) in length, excluding lay summary, references, budget materials and bios.

  • Must relate to the development of technology-enabled solutions or a novel technology to support healthy aging, which can include complementary social and healthcare innovations (e.g., new service-delivery models, policy recommendations, and prevention strategies) related to the solution.
  • Must outline how at least one of the priority areas listed above will be addressed by the project.
  • Must map to at least one of AGE-WELL’s 8 Challenge Areas.
  • Must include long-term (multi-year) and short-term objectives that situate the present one-year project within a larger project plan.
  • Must consider equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity in terms of research design, team composition and impact of proposed solution.
  • Must include a plan to engage older adults and/or care partners in the research.
  • Must outline how sex and gender might be taken into account in their research, methods, analysis and interpretation.


  1. The competition is open to researchers based at Canadian institutions working in the area of healthy aging. Current or prior affiliation with either AGE-WELL or CFN is not required.
  2. The Project Lead (PL) must be:
    • an independent researcher affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution and/or its affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other non-profit organizations with a mandate for health research and/or knowledge translation). Applicants applying as Early Career Researchers (ECRs) must meet CIHR’s requirements of being an Early Career Researcher. The PLs affiliated institution must be authorized to administer CIHR funds before the funding can be released (for more information see Administration of Funds).
  3. The PL is advised to complete one of the sex- and gender-based analysis training modules available online through the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. Select and complete the training module most applicable to your project. Applicants are encouraged to review the “How to integrate sex and gender in research” section on the CIHR website.
  4. At least one knowledge user with relevant lived experience or expertise, as a Knowledge User (KU).
  5. Project Leads will be expected to include partner organizations in their project plans, including as part of any dissemination or commercialization planning in the longer-term. Such organizations should be described in the application, even where the partnership is at a very early stage of development. For reporting purposes, all partnership activities should be quantified in the application.
  6. AGE-WELL and CFN abide by the funding rules of the Tri-Council Agencies and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in particular. Please consult the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration about eligibility, eligible grant expenses, partner contributions etc.
  7. Catalyst funds cannot be used for activities funded through concurrent AGE-WELL or CFN research competitions (e.g., activities that are part of an AGE-WELL Core Research Program or CFN (e.g. ECR, Research or Knowledge Translation Programs) or other existing funding held (e.g. Tri-Council grants).

Application and Review Process:

Applications will be accepted through AGE-WELL’s Forum Research Portal.

  1. The Application Form above is now available as an online module in the Forum repository.
    • Applicants who are not already AGE-WELL Network Investigators must first register to access Forum. The Forum registration link will be posted to this section once the online module is available.
    • All current AGE-WELL Network Investigators have Forum accounts will be able to access the Catalyst Program application materials through the ‘My Applications’ tab in Forum once the module is available.
  2. Complete the information in each section, uploading attachments as requested. The narrative sections of the application should not exceed 5 pages.
  3. Reviews will be conducted by AGE-WELL and CFN Research Management Committees (RMC). Results will be communicated early April 2023.


The Application Form above is now available as an online module in the Forum repository. We strongly recommend working on the application in a Word document and transferring to Forum as a final step. This also supports multiple project team members to work on the application.

Contact Information

For general inquiries please contact: