Aboriginal Peoples
Arctic and Northern Regions
Community, Regional & Enterprise Development
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Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
Governance and Public Policy
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Oceans, Fisheries and Aquaculture
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Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire with your unit

Memorial Deadline: No RGCS review required for the Expression of Interest

External Deadline: Monday 21st, September 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has been experienced unequally within countries and Canada is no exception. Over 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Canada have been in long-term care facilities. Further, within the hardest hit provinces, cases have clustered in lower socio-economic neighbourhoods where minority populations are concentrated. Additionally, workers whose jobs require routine direct interaction with the public are at greater risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding the factors that give rise to these “Hot Spots” is critical to informing the design and assessing the effectiveness of efforts aimed at reducing disproportionate risk to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

This Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) is for population-based studies that will report novel data relating to COVID-19 infection and immunity in three types of COVID-19 “hot spots”: i) geographic areas; ii) long-term care facilities; and iii) occupation groups.

The three “Hot Spots” for Study:

  1. Geographic Areas:  Neighbourhoods, boroughs, and municipalities with disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 (defined as cases per thousand above a defined threshold), where there are often high concentrations of racialized populations, Indigenous populations, recent immigrants, and homeless persons.
  2. Long-Term Care Facilities: About 25% of long-term care facilities in Canada have suffered COVID-19 outbreaks with extremely high mortality rates. Residents, front-line workers, families, visitors and personal care companions all factor into infection risk, yet 75% of facilities have not experienced outbreaks.
  3. Occupation Groups and Populations Served: Those who are at higher risk because working from home is not an option and the nature of the work setting places them in close proximity and requires significant interactions with the population served, the general public, and/or co-workers. Priorities include:
    • Education workers and students – i.e. teachers, support staff and students;
    • Public service workers – fire, police, transport, security;
    • Industrial workers – meat/fish packing, seasonal agricultural;
    • Retail workers – grocery, restaurant, personal goods.

Health care workers in the acute care setting as well as prisons and correctional workers are not included in this RFEOI as there are other funding opportunities covering these groups.

Studies focusing on these “hot spots” are expected to provide a more in-depth understanding of the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection and immunity in high- versus low-risk communities and/or prospectively evaluate interventions to decrease risk of infection in these settings.

Additional information can be found here.

Event Dates
EOI deadline to submit Sept 21
Peer review of EOI completed September 30
Proposal Development Workshop (by invitation) Week of October 5
Full proposal deadline October 12
Review of full proposal completed October 19
Submission of revised full proposal October 26
Funding Announcement Week of November 10

Funding Sources

COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: September 9, 2020