Research Opportunity Grant

Queen’s SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 Research Opportunity: Rapid Response (Funding $200,000)

The Queen’s SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 research funding competition is a $200,000 Vice-Principal (Research) initiative to fund and support research projects that will contribute to urgent efforts to accelerate the development, testing and implementation of medical or social countermeasures to mitigate the rapid spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus and its negative consequences on people and communities in Canada and globally.

To a large extent, this opportunity mirrors the recent SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 funding opportunity available through CIHR and will support research across all disciplines: health sciences; natural sciences and engineering; and social sciences and humanities.

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Important Dates:

  • Competition 1
    • April 17, 2020 – Full applications due
    • April 27, 2020 – Decisions released
    • October 31, 2020 – Project Spending Deadline
  • Competition 2
    • May 15, 2020 – Full applications due
    • May 25, 2020 – Decisions released
    • December 31, 2020 – Project Spending Deadline

Eligible Research:
This competition will support research across all disciplines.

Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and per the, now closed, CIHR-led competition (plus several additions shown in contrasting black font), eligible research will align with the countermeasures below.

Focus on one or more of the following Medical countermeasures:

  • pathogenicity, zoonotic sources, and reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2, a One Health approach is encouraged;
  • epidemiological studies, including those examining incubation period, differential susceptibility among populations especially related to age and sex, environmental factors, and/or using mathematical modelling;
  • development and evaluation of diagnostics tools for early case detection and surveillance, including approaches based on serology, high throughput and artificial intelligence (AI), and/or supporting the development of rapid point of care tests;
  • development and evaluation of candidate vaccines, including development of animal models, identification of correlates of protection, and understanding issues around examination of the antibody-dependent enhancement of infection;
  • development and evaluation of candidate therapeutics, including studies on new and re-purposed anti-viral agents, antibody treatments, and combination therapies;
  • evaluation and optimization of infection prevention control measures, including improving protection of health care workers and community and optimizing personal protection equipment;
  • clinical characterization and management of disease, including identification of biomarkers for clinical outcomes, optimization of treatment, understanding the full spectrum of disease and the role of comorbidities, and identifying and evaluation of best adjunctive and supportive therapies; or
  • clinical trials design and ethical considerations, including approaches capitalizing on and coordinating with existing clinical trial networks, developing master protocols that will improve collaboration and comparison across different studies internationally, and optimize development of new drugs, vaccine and diagnostics.
  • technology innovation specific to SARS Cov-2 mitigation strategies
  • Focus on one or more of the following Social/Policy countermeasures:
  • cultural dimensions of the epidemic such as examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease and how the public health response can be tailored to the unique circumstances of different populations;
  • the public health response, including the feasibility and effectiveness of social policies aiming to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to mitigate its secondary impacts (e.g., supply shortages, school closures, travel restrictions, quarantines, racism);
  • identification of approaches for supporting the psychosocial needs of those who are caring for people with COVID-19;
  • development of strategies to combat misinformation, stigma, and fear, to address their underlying drivers, and to improve public awareness, knowledge, and trust during the outbreak response;
  • the logistics of the response (e.g. infrastructure, transport, evaluation) and opportunities for their immediate improvement;
  • methods for involving local perspectives, citizens, and communities in the outbreak response effort;
  • international relations, global coordination, response systems, and crisis management in order to identify which international coordination mechanisms can optimize the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak and best complement national and sub-national responses; or
  • understanding of the social dynamics of transmission and vulnerability and how to best communicate related risks, uncertainties, and implications.
  • psychological, social, political and/or cultural factors in the emergence, spread and treatment of COVID-19 and the legal, moral, economic and ethical implications
  • development of strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on global, national, and regional economic development, value creation chains, and businesses
  • study of the development of measures to ensure that COVID-19 responses serve the values of equity and justice
  • development of public policy strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, including social welfare provisions

Sex and gender differences exist in the research areas above, making sex and/or gender issues an important component of this research initiative. Other identity factors may also be relevant. Applicants will be required to consider sex as a biological variable and gender as a socio-cultural factor and/or other identity factors in their research, where applicable.




  • Funded Projects:
    Funded Projects will strike a balance between Medical and Social/Policy countermeasures research, based on the number of proposals received in each category.
  • Eligible Expenses:
    All expenses directly related to the research are eligible with the exception of equipment purchases and teaching release allowance.
  • Funding:
    $10,000-$50,000 per project (total available is $200,000)


  • Principal Investigators must be Queen’s tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty with protected research time.
  • Co-investigators must hold a faculty appointment at Queen’s.
  • Other team members may be Queen’s tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty with protected research time, adjuncts, research associates, students, post-doctoral fellows, etc.
  • Researchers from other institutions may participate in a project and maybe listed as team members, but they are not eligible to apply, nor will they or their institutions receive funds.
  • A researcher may apply as a Principal Investigator on only one application per competition and may apply only once as a Co-investigator or team member per competition.
  • In Competition 1, researchers may apply once as Principal investigator and once as a Co-investigator or team member.
  • Researchers may also apply to Competition 2, once as Principal Investigator and once as a Co-investigator or team member. If a researcher is awarded funding in Competition 1 as a Principal Investigator they are not eligible to apply as a Principal Investigator in Competition 2.

Eligible Regions: Queen’s tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty

For more info

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