CIRN 2023 Call for Proposals


CIRN is a national network of vaccine and immunization researchers who develop and test methodologies related to the evaluation of vaccines and immunization in regard to safety, immunogenicity and effectiveness, and program implementation and evaluation. A directed CIRN extension grant application was submitted to CIHR in July 2021, and the network was notified that it was fully funded for $6,000,000 over 24 months, 2022-2024.

Priority Research Areas

CIRN’s two areas of research and their objectives include:

Non-COVID-19 Related Research

  1. Rapid evaluation for safety and immunogenicity (all ages)
  2. Population based methods for vaccine effectiveness and safety (including AEFI)
  3. Interventions that improve vaccine acceptance and uptake
  4. Vaccine modelling and economic analysis

COVID-19 Related Research

  1. Rapid evaluation of candidate vaccines for safety and immunogenicity including COVID-19 vaccine clinical trails
  2. Population-based methods to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and safety
  3. Research on interventions that can help to improve COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitancy and uptake including consideration of priority research projects to inform current and future policy
  4. Population prioritization, modeling and knowledge mobilization that supports development and roll-out of public health COVID-19 vaccination strategies

(Note: the CIRN Extension Grant RFA specifically mandated that $2,000,000 was to be allocated to projects addressing interventions that improve vaccine acceptance and uptake [objective #3]. In order to meet this target, the network will designate approximately $350,000 toward projects focused on this area for this funding call.)

Following consultations with CIRN’s stakeholders, the following research topics were identified as priorities for the 2023 call for proposals. Proposals that address one or more of these areas will be given priority: CIRN Stakeholder Priorities 2023

Key Considerations

This will be the final call for projects made by the CIRN Network for this funding cycle. For 2023-2024 (year 2), there will be approximately $1.9 million available for new research projects: $912,000 for COVID related work, and $460,000 for non-COVID related work. There is also a funding pot of approximately $600,000 designated to projects that fall within the CIRN Social Sciences and Humanities Network (SSHN). The following will be considered when prioritizing proposals for funding:

1. At the LOI stage, there will be no funding cap on proposed budgets. However, project teams with substantive budget requests (greater than $150,000/year) will need to demonstrate at the LOI stage that the proposed project is of sufficiently high public health priority to justify the larger budget, unless they plan to have funding partners (letters confirming additional funding support will be required at the full proposal stage if the project proceeds past the LOI stage).

2. Our network is comprised of many members who have not been substantially involved in any research projects to date. The CIRN Management Committee would like to encourage new investigators to submit proposals as the named PI. LOIs from PIs who have been funded more frequently (>2 prior awards as project PIs) are welcome, but it should be noted that they will be given a lower priority. CIRN highly encourages and will prioritize applications submitted by new investigators, who may fall under one or both of the following two categories:

a.) Investigators who meet the CIHR defined criteria of an “Early Career Researcher”
b.) CIRN members who have received ≤2 prior awards as a PI. Early and mid-career investigators in this category are strongly encouraged to apply.

The network will designate funding for a minimum of two investigators in the above two categories as named project PIs in order to ensure strong representation of all groups across our membership.

3. The CIRN Management Committee has received a comprehensive list from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) identifying further priorities beyond those defined in the RFA; LOIs that take these priorities into consideration are encouraged and will be given a higher priority than LOIs focusing on the original priorities as defined in the RFA, with the exception of COVID-19 research objective #3.

4. Each project team must include researchers from at least three different Canadian provinces in order to be eligible for funding.

Key Dates

The following dates will be used for the 2023 project selection:

Letter of
Intent (LOI) Deadline
Invitation Notice to Submit
5-Page Full Proposal
5-Page Full Proposal  Deadline Notification of
Successful Project Applications
Start Date of New Projects
February 2, 2023 February 16, 2023 March 31, 2023 May 2, 2023 May 2, 2023

How to Apply

Please carefully review the information below before applying. If applicants have any questions related to their eligibility, they are encouraged to contact the CIRN Network Management Office.

Step 1:
Review Letter of Intent Template Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the template below:

LOI Template

Step 2:
Complete Letter

of Intent

Send completed LOI form to CIRN NMO by 11:59pm local time on February 2nd, 2023. Late applications will not be considered:

Application Review Process

All Letters Of Intent will be reviewed by the CIRN Management Committee. LOIs that address one or more of the identified research areas and have a new CIRN Investigator/Early career investigator as the named PI will be given priority and those investigators will be invited to submit a full five-page project proposal. Five-page project proposals will include: a one-page cover sheet, five pages describing the project, detailed project budget, and a budget justification description (all templates will be provided to successful LOI proponents). Full project proposals will then be reviewed by an Independent Peer Review Committee, followed by the CIRN Management Committee.