Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging (2023) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Who is eligible to apply for this funding? 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.

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).

2. What are the terms of eligibility / application requirements for this funding? Please see (“Application Requirements“)

3. Can a researcher submit more than one application? An independent researcher can apply as a Project Lead on one application and apply as a co-applicant on multiple applications without a conflict of interest.

4. Can a project have more than one Project Lead? Yes, multiple Project Leads are acceptable for the 2023 Catalyst Funding Program in Healthy Aging. There are opportunities to list all team members in the application. Project funds may be distributed by AGE-WELL or CFN to researchers on the team who are considered eligible to receive Tri-Council funding; however, sub-granting is not permitted with AGE-WELL or CFN funds.

5. Can a Post-doctoral Fellow apply to the RFP? In order to apply for AGE-WELL funding you must be an independent researcher eligible to hold Tri-Council funds (see link). We suggest that you reach out to other researchers (current AGE-WELL members or non-members) to discuss the opportunity and apply as a team.

6. What are the priority areas identified for this funding call?

  • 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.

7. What is an AGE-WELL Challenge Area? A Challenge Area is an important but difficult and complex problem area (often known as a “wicked problem”) that demands innovation and deployment of real-world solutions. A challenge in this context is NOT just about problems, it may be about economic opportunities and making a positive contribution to Canadian society and government policy. A Challenge Area goes beyond research questions or priorities.

8.What are the 8 Challenge Areas?

  • Supportive Homes & Communities
  • Health Care & Health Service Delivery
  • Autonomy & Independence
  • Cognitive Health & Dementia
  • Mobility & Transportation
  • Healthy Lifestyles & Wellness
  • Staying Connected
  • Financial Wellness & Employment

9. Where can an applicant find the funding application materials? The application materials are currently available as Word document on the RFP webpage for this funding opportunity: The Application Form is now available as an online module in the Forum repository.

10. How does an applicant access Forum? Current or former AGE-WELL Network Investigators who have Forum accounts can access the 2023 HAC Catalyst Funding Program application module through the ‘My Applications’ tab in Forum (once they are logged in to their Forum account).

Applicants without existing Forum accounts must first register to access Forum and the online application module.

11. Should an applicant complete the Word document or the online module once it is available on Forum? 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.

12. Are institutional signatures required for applications on AGE-WELL Forum? There are no signatures from institutions required at this stage of the RFP. Project Leads should check with their own institutions for internal deadlines prior to submission.

13. What funding is available? 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.

14. What 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).

15. Can the catalyst funding be stacked with other sources of funding? AGE-WELL / NCE funds are federal funds so could be used to extend or accelerate other government supported work, but the expenses would have to be unique to the proposed Catalyst submission. It would be important to disclose and provide adequate information related to the other sources of government support in the AGE-WELL application if you apply.

16. What is AGE-WELL and CFN’s funding rules? 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.

17. Does the project budget need to include institutional costs (i.e. indirect costs/overhead)? The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program is funded by the Tri-Councils; therefore AGE-WELL funds behave like Tri-Council funds with respect to overhead and institutional calculations for the Research Support Fund. An indirect cost amount is not required (and not eligible) to be added to the proposed project budget.

18. Should applications explicitly incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion considerations? AGE-WELL is committed to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). We believe that the participation of all qualified individuals, inclusive of members of under-represented groups, is essential to mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise to create excellent, innovative and impactful results. Projects must consider equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity in terms of research design, team composition and impact of proposed solution.

Applicants are encouraged to review the following resources when considering how to integrate EDI in their research: CIHR Equity, diversity and inclusion resources.

19. Does the RFP allow for international collaboration? AGE-WELL NCE funds must be issued to researchers at Canadian institutions. International collaborators are welcome and often important to network projects; however, we cannot flow funds to international collaborators directly. The Network Management Office can work with researchers to facilitate working with partners outside of Canada.

20. What is a Knowledge User? A Knowledge User is an individual:

  • who is likely to be able to use the knowledge generated through research in order to make informed decisions about health policies, programs and/or practices;
  • whose level of engagement in the research process may vary in intensity and complexity depending on the nature of the research and their information needs;
  • who can be, but is not limited to, a practitioner, policy maker, educator, decision maker, health care administrator, community leader, or an individual in a health charity, patient group, private sector organization or a media outlet.

Additional resources and examples are available on Knowledge User Engagement.

21. Are there any unique considerations for college applicants? Colleges are encouraged to apply to and lead projects in this RFP. AGE-WELL has supported projects led by college-based researchers through other funding programs, and will be looking to increase participation going forward. Other than satisfying the eligibility requirements to hold Tri-Council funding, there are no barriers to participation for college-based applicants.

22. What are the specifications of the Project Lead bios? The bios are free-form (a maximum of 1500 words), and applicants should include sufficient information to enable reviewers to assess the appropriateness of each team member for their role indicated in the application. For researchers, bios should include name, title, keywords, education, select international activities, select grants held and select publications.

23. Who is the contact person for questions regarding the RFP? Please e-mail with general inquiries about AGE-WELL’s RFP.