COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Impact Grant Program (Co-RIG) – Phase II

Registration for Phase II is now closed.

The CMA Foundation and the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM) have come together to support family physicians in their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is the COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Impact Grant Program (Co-RIG). This program is deployed in two phases.

Fifteen projects were funded through Phase I and are currently in progress. Phase I applicants and recipients are eligible to apply for Phase II Co-RIG funding.

Phase II will focus on innovations and initiatives that prepare family physicians and their interprofessional teams to cope with the current challenges related to the pandemic, including its longer-term impacts. Initiatives may involve scaling up existing innovations or new initiatives responding to COVID-19. Phase II projects may also address consequences of the current pandemic response or measures to meet challenges caused by future pandemics.

To read the Phase II Request for Proposal registration and application questions click here.

Important: To be eligible to submit a full application, all applicants are required to complete the online registration by February 16, 2021, 4:00 p.m. (ET).

After the registration is verified, applicants will receive a personalized email link, by February 23, 2021, to access and complete the full online application. Application deadline is April 6, 2021.

For additional information about the Co-RIG Program, please contact [email protected].

Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine and CMA Foundation

 

Purpose

The Co-RIG Program Phase II aims to support family physicians and primary care teams as they work to contain COVID-19 transmission and improve clinical outcomes for those infected. Phase II will also attend to the long-term consequences that are directly related to the disease itself, the physical distancing measures, and the consequences of unattended health needs for patients and communities.

The Co-RIG Program Phase II will fund initiatives with the capacity to generate significant impact. Applicants are expected to clearly demonstrate the potential long-term impacts of their project on the practice of continuous, comprehensive family practice and the delivery of high-quality health care. They will be expected to present a robust knowledge sharing strategy describing goals, audience, strategies, expertise, and resources.

Phase II also aims to contribute to the development of strong intersectoral partnerships at the community level. Partners may include, but are not limited to, health care professionals, community organizations, local health authorities, health system decision makers, patients, Indigenous communities, and researchers. Ongoing partnership and engagement can take a variety of forms. The program encourages partnerships ranging from co-leadership and co-development of initiatives to establishing and maintaining lines of communication that enable key stakeholders to provide input, stay informed, and eventually participate in knowledge transfer efforts.

Never compromising on the quality of proposals in terms of potential impact, the Co-RIG Program will be administered in a way that strives for broad representation across funded projects. We value representation of our diverse communities and regions, and inclusion of Indigenous communities and other populations that are under-represented in funding programs. We will be mindful of diversity when evaluating proposals, and funding decisions will ensure representation across regions, rural communities, and of Indigenous Peoples.

Sex and gender considerations are also required (see the Sex and Gender Equity in Research -SAGER- Guidelines)

Funding Focus

The Co-RIG Program Phase II applications must be clearly linked to one or more of the Co-RIG priority domains listed below. Applicants are required to explain how the outcomes of their proposed initiative respond to the objectives of the Co-RIG Program within the established funding period.

The Co-RIG Program Phase II will consider all family practice-based initiatives that are likely to have a high degree of impact in reducing the direct and indirect harms of COVID-19. Priority domains are:

  • Responding to priority populations such as long-term care residents, Indigenous People, those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, people suffering from addictions, immigrants, or rural populations
  • Developing effective intersectoral collaboration, particularly between primary care and public health
  • Training future family physicians and providing continuing professional development related to pandemic planning and response
  • Developing innovative models of care or practice to ensure that safe, continuous, accessible, and comprehensive care is available to all patients, particularly those with chronic, comorbid, and neglected health conditions, including mental health and substance use issues
  • Safeguarding the health and safety of health care providers and team members

Available Funding

In collaboration with the CMA Foundation, the FAFM will support successful Co-RIG projects totalling $5 million including all Phase I and Phase II initiatives. Phase I is now closed.

Phase II funding will consider projects up to 18 months in duration, including the development, implementation, analysis, reporting, and knowledge transfer (KT) phases.

Maximum funding available is up to $250,000 per project. The Co-RIG Program will consider a wide range of budget scenarios to encourage a breadth of impact and innovations. The budget proposal must include and clearly outline funding related to the KT strategy.

If additional funding is sought or has been acquired for the proposal, indicate the funding source, the amount requested, and whether the funds have been approved.

Eligibility

The principal applicant must be a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) who has been in good standing for at least one year. Eligible membership classes include Active, Affiliate Specialist, International Medical Graduate (IMG), Associate, Retired, and Senior members.

Definitions and roles:

Principal applicant: the principal investigator/project director. They have primary responsibility for the overall intellectual direction of the research, research-related activity, or partnership. They are also accountable, with the host institution, for coordinating the grant’s overall financial and administrative aspects and partnerships. The intellectual leadership can be shared between the principal applicant and co-applicant(s).

Co-applicant: an individual participating in a grant application who makes a significant contribution to the intellectual direction of the research or research-related activity, who plays a significant role in conducting the research or research-related activity, and who may also have some responsibility for financial aspects of the research.

Collaborator: an individual participating in a grant application who may make a significant contribution to the intellectual direction of, and may play a significant role in conducting, the research or research-related activity. Collaborators are not responsible for the financial aspects of the research. Collaborators are not eligible to be named principal investigator in the event of the original principal investigator’s death or resignation.

While there is no limit to the number of applications on which a candidate may be listed as a co-applicant or collaborator, candidates may apply as principal applicant only once.

Grant funding will be released to the corporate entity affiliated with the applicant team, such as a not-for-profit organization, registered charity, or separate corporate account set up solely to receive the grant funds and track/document project-related expenditures. It is the principal applicant’s responsibility to ensure the corporate entity holding the funds releases them in a timely manner.

Note: Co-RIG Program funding will not support:

  • Drug trials
  • Proposals that focus on commercializing existing products, services, knowledge, etc.
  • Purely descriptive studies focused on describing characteristics of a population or phenomenon, rather than studies that can be used as the basis of a causal relationship where one variable affects another

Ethical Considerations

Approval from a research ethics board (REB) or equivalent organization is required for initiatives that involve humans or animals as subjects. Applicants must identify any ethical issues that their proposed activities may create, and how they will mitigate or address these. They are also expected to apply to a local REB before or concurrently with submission of their Co-RIG application.

If the activities you will undertake with Co-RIG Program funding do not require REB approval, please include an REB exemption statement with your submission, or indicate when the exemption statement will be available.

Funds will be delivered upon receipt of the REB approval or confirmation of exemption. Applicants can consult their local hospital, community centre, or public health centre for directions to identify and request a review.

If you have received REB approval, please submit it along with your Co-RIG Program funding application. If you have not submitted your proposal for REB approval at the time of applying, please indicate which REB you will use, the estimated time for approval, and how this will affect the project start date.

Equity and diversity considerations will be used in the evaluation of Co-RIG Program funding applications with a focus on correcting disproportionality and under-representation. The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, December 2018 stated “Over-protectionist attitudes or practices of researchers or REBs, whether intentional or inadvertent, can exclude some members of society from participating in research. The exclusion of individuals, groups or communities may constitute a failure to treat them justly.” The Co-RIG Program will strive to avoid these risks.

 

Eligible and Ineligible Expenses

Applicants will be required to submit an itemized budget with a short description of each heading below along with the unit amount for associated costs.

Personnel

  • Co-RIG funding can be used to remunerate principal applicants, co-applicants, and other project staff for project work that is not remunerated by other sources. Co-RIG Program funding cannot be used to remunerate individuals for work that is already paid from other sources. Other sources of remuneration include, but are not necessarily limited to, academic salaries, medical service plan payments, research or project grants (other than Co-RIG), and other sources of personal income. The principal and co-applicant(s) can be remunerated as part of Co-RIG project funding for time spent on the project for which they are not otherwise compensated, up to five hours per week. Maximum renumeration will be calculated based on provincial rates.
  • For all personnel involved in the project including new and temporary personnel hired/contracted specifically for Co-RIG Program activities, please provide job titles, role descriptions, hourly rates, estimated number of hours, and resulting personnel costs. Organizations managing funding on behalf of project teams are responsible for administering reimbursements for costs incurred by project teams. Project teams will submit invoices to the organization holding the grant.
  • CVs are not required for paid personnel.
  • Award money in small amounts can be used as an incentive, or to purchase incentives for patients or study participants.

Travel

  • Co-RIG funding covers travel required to implement practice innovations and support the engagement strategy with community partners described in the funding proposal.
  • Co-RIG funding may cover travel costs to report results at scientific conferences pertaining to the KT strategy, up to 3K. It must be clearly outlined and justified in the budget proposal and subsequent reporting.

Equipment and technology development

  • Co-RIG funding may be used to purchase essential equipment or develop new equipment/technologies that mitigate the harmful effects of COVID-19.
  • Funding applications must outline how new equipment and technologies are needed to carry out project activities.
  • Funding may also be requested to rent/lease major equipment.
  • Equipment/technology purchases above $5,000 require two quotes, along with receipts.

Supplies and services

  • Co-RIG funding can be used for supplies that are immediately used to carry out project activities.
  • If applicable, reasonable reimbursement for costs incurred by participants in the proposed initiative are acceptable.
  • Award money cannot be used to cover overhead expenses such as rent, utilities, etc.

Funding

  • If additional funding is being sought or has been acquired for the Co-RIG Program proposal, indicate the other funding source, the amount requested, and whether the funds have been approved.

 

Timelines and Reporting

To be eligible to submit a full application, all applicants are required to complete a registration by February 16, 2021, 4:00 p.m. (ET).

Co-RIG Program Phase II launch January 28, 2021
Registration deadline February 16, 2021
Application deadline April 6, 2021
Notice of decision and funding start June 2021
All Phase II projects and reports completion December 2022

 

Applicants will be notified of the results formally in summer 2021. All applicants will receive application feedback from the Adjudication Committee. All Adjudication Committee decisions are irrevocable.

Successful applicants will be required to confirm project start and end dates within the allowed time frame. Note that funding will be released upon confirmation of REB approval or exemption.

Reporting will depend on the individual project timeline. Funded projects will be required to provide an interim, one-page status and impact report six months after the start of the project. The report should include an update on activity progress, barriers encountered, and mitigating actions taken, as well as early signs of impact, KT engagement, and an interim budget report. Applicants will be invited to attend a midterm workshop to share preliminary findings.

A detailed final report, including a statement of expenditures, is required no more than two months after the end of the project (10 per cent of project funding will be released upon the submission of a satisfactory final project report).

Co-RIG Program funders—the FAFM and the CMA Foundation—must be acknowledged in the project’s final report and in other knowledge products stemming from the project (e.g., journal articles, conference presentations).