SSHRC Soft Launch of the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF)

Program Link: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/programs-programmes/partnership_engage_grants-subventions_d_engagement_partenarial-eng.aspx

Sponsor: Social Science and Humanities Research Council

Value: The total budget for CBRF is $250 million over four years starting in 2022-2023.

Description: We are pleased to announce the soft launch of the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF). The CBRF is an essential component of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy (the Strategy) that will invest more than $2.2 billion over seven years to continue growing a strong and competitive sector and to ensure our country is prepared for future pandemics. The CBRF complements the goals of the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) administered by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The CBRF is an institutional program administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) housed at Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and SSHRC. The CBRF is based on an ecosystem approach and is designed to build on existing assets, infrastructure, partnerships, and strengths of institutions and to support targeted investments for maximum impact. The total budget for CBRF is $250 million over four years starting in 2022-2023.

At the same time, the BRIF will support the bioscience infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and research hospitals by investing $500 million over four years, starting in 2021-2022. On September 21, 2021, the CFI released a Call for proposals for the first phase of the BRIF competition — a $150 million investment to support containment levels 3 and 4 (CL3 and CL4) facilities capable of working with human pathogens.

Consistent with the coordinated approach taken to investments under the Strategy, the CBRF and the remaining BRIF funding ($350 million) will be delivered collaboratively by TIPS and the CFI through an integrated competition to maximize impact and ensure that investments under the two programs complement and reinforce each other. A key element of the CBRF is the selection at Stage 1 of a limited number of research hubs (3 to 5). It is through these hubs that the research and infrastructure proposals will be submitted when the open national calls for CBRF and BRIF will be launched at Stage 2.

A Research Hub is a coalition of research actors that integrates research organizations, including institutional, not-for-profit, private and/or public organizations. One eligible institution will be designated to serve as a “lead” for each Hub. Building on existing capacity and a track record of investment in people, research and infrastructure, each Hub pursues a research program for high-risk, applied biomedical research, training development, and associated infrastructure to support the end-to-end biomanufacturing pipeline, in alignment with the Strategy.

The joint CBRF and BRIF competitions will be delivered in two stages, which will both include peer review and strategic review processes:

Stage 1 Selection of research hubs (co-led by CFI and TIPS, and administered by TIPS)
Stage 2 Open national call for the selection of partnered research and infrastructure projects associated with the selected Research Hubs (co-led by CFI and TIPS)

More information is available on the CBRF webpage and will continue to be updated throughout the fall, including the details of the funding opportunity, eligibility, application timelines and information on upcoming webinars.

For all questions or comments on CBRF, we invite you to contact the program’s senior manager at TIPS:

Valérie Laflamme, Associate Vice-President: valerie.laflamme@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

For all questions or comments on BRIF, we invite you to contact the program’s senior manager at CFI:

Mark Lagacé, Senior Programs Officer Mark.Lagace@Innovation.ca 

 

Stage 1: Call for proposals: late fall 2021

Selection of research hubs (co-led by CFI and TIPS, and administered by TIPS)

 

Stage 2: Call for proposals: Spring 2022

Open national call for the selection of partnered research and infrastructure projects associated with the selected Research Hubs (co-led by CFI and TIPS)

 

Contact: If you have any questions, contact Nandini Maharaj.