CIHR: Catalyst Grant : Alcohol research to inform health policies and interventions – Registration

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire within your unit

Memorial Deadline: No RGCS review required for the Registration

External Deadline: Thursday 19th, August 2021


SIRI will be offering support with application development for this opportunity. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Jennifer Stevens ( early during the development process to discuss the services available to them.

The Canadian Drug and Substances Strategy (CDSS) is the Government of Canada’s comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based approach to addressing problematic substance use. The CDSS expanded the scope of the previous drug strategy to include both illegal and legal substances, including alcohol. The current funding opportunity will expand the evidence base around alcohol and rapidly inform practical policies and interventions that aim to reduce alcohol-related harms in Canada, including around problematic alcohol use.

Alcohol is a popular legal psychoactive substance used by the majority of Canadians. While alcohol is socially accepted and its use widely tolerated and promoted, it has led to significant health and safety harms to Canadians causing over 18,000 deaths and 105,000 hospitalizations in 20171. Data from 2017 shows that the total cost of alcohol use to the Canadian economy was $16.6 billion1, higher than any other substance, including tobacco. For example, according to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), about 2% of new cancer cases in Canada are due to alcohol consumption2. Drinking about 3.5 drinks a day increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer and breast cancer by 1.5 times and doubles or even triples your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus3. In addition, certain demographic groups are disproportionately impacted by the harms of alcohol. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada has further highlighted the importance of addressing the issue of problematic alcohol use. The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s 2020 Report on the State of Public Health in Canada included an examination of trends in the use of alcohol and other substances in the first few months of the pandemic which suggests that, for some people, the indirect effects of COVID-19 have included increased alcohol consumption.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to strengthen the evidence base and expand alcohol research in identified areas, to foster alcohol-related research capacity and/or to inform the development of future larger scale research projects. This may include the collection of data (both health and non-health) for the purpose of research that is relevant to understanding alcohol use, health/social outcomes related to alcohol consumption (spanning the full range from abstinence to problematic use), and/or detailing demographic and social characteristic information related to alcohol consumption levels.

Research projects may employ a number of research approaches, such as:

  • * Pilot projects or feasibility studies aiming to generate preliminary data, observations or knowledge.
  • * Population health intervention research, which uses scientific methods to produce knowledge about policy and program interventions, whether or not conducted in the health system, which  have the potential to impact health at the population level. Implementation science, which uses scientific methods to promote the systematic uptake of evidence-based research findings into practice, which can in turn lead to improved quality and effectiveness of health services.
  • * Implementation science aims to determine if interventions that work in certain populations or under certain conditions can be adapted to other contexts.
  • *Knowledge syntheses, which applies scientific methods to perform comprehensive literature analyses, to integrate established literature with other forms of knowledge, or to conduct knowledge gap or strength identification, while seeking to minimize the risk of bias and error that may accompany insufficient or premature evidence. A Guide to Knowledge Synthesis is available on the CIHR website, and additional knowledge synthesis ideas are available via the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health.
  • * Secondary analyses of existing data sets to improve the evidence for decision-making and create new knowledge.

Applicants must integrate sex and gender perspectives into their research to promote rigorous science that has the potential to expand our understanding of health determinants for all people. As such, applicants are required to indicate how they will account for sex (biological factor) and gender (socio-cultural factor) in the research design, methods, analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of findings. For more information and resources, please see the Sex, Gender and Health Research page on the CIHR website.

Additional information can be found at ResearchNet

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: July 6, 2021