Team Grant: Monkeypox Rapid Research Response

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: inquire with unit

Memorial Deadline: Tuesday 6th, September 2022

External Deadline: Friday 9th, September 2022


Monkeypox is a neglected zoonotic disease of global public health importance caused by an orthopoxvirus. It is closely related to smallpox and is endemic to parts of Central and West Africa, where it has been re-emerging in recent years. While Africa typically sees thousands of endemic cases reported annually, monkeypox cases outside of Africa are rare.

From January 1, 2022 – July 22, 2022, 16,016 laboratory confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported from 75 countries in all 6 WHO Regions1. The majority of these cases were reported from non-endemic countries particularly from the WHO European region (11,865 cases). Although a small number of cases are from the WHO Africa region (301), there has been a large number of suspected but unconfirmed cases from endemic African countries. For the first time in history, Canada has cases of monkeypox, with 803 confirmed cases as of July 29, 20222. Due to the long incubation period of 5 to 21 days before symptoms manifest, there are potentially additional cases that have not yet been identified. The current clade circulating globally appears to be the West African clade, which typically has a fatality rate of about 3.6%.

The rapid identification of a large number of cases from around the world, particularly from non-endemic countries, is highly unusual and may be indicative of widespread (and possibly under-reported) person-to-person transmission that has been occurring for several weeks to months. The underlying factors that may account for these changing transmission patterns are not known. Genomic sequencing is currently ongoing in Canada and around the world to determine whether the virus has any distinct mutations that may be of clinical or epidemiological importance.

While there are no well-established specific treatments for monkeypox, several medical countermeasures that were originally developed against smallpox are available to prevent and treat monkeypox under emergency use licensing. They are currently being rolled out in Canada and Europe. The WHO is also providing support to African member states to strengthen surveillance, improve laboratory diagnosis, and to prepare for further outbreak response efforts, potentially through vaccinations. As summarized in the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)’s Interim guidance on the use of Imvamune® in the context of monkeypox outbreaks in Canada, there are a number of knowledge gaps and research questions about the monkeypox virus and very limited evidence to guide the recommendation of the Imvamune vaccine. Research evidence is needed to support the effective and sustainable deployment of Imvamune and other medical countermeasures, particularly to ensure that they form a coherent element of a broader public health intervention strategy. Clinical studies of the safety and real-world effectiveness of these medical countermeasures and the public health strategies by which they are deployed will be key to inform clinical and health system management and public health responses, as well as decision-making and planning. Sero-surveillance research is also required to elucidate the underlying transmission histories and dynamics of the current outbreak. This funding opportunity will focus on addressing those timely research needs.

1 Multi-country outbreak of monkeypox, External situation report #2 – 25 July 2022
2 Monkeypox: Outbreak update

  • Applicants are required to submit an EOI by email prior to the deadline and to be able to begin their full application. Note that this task is mandatory to be eligible to submit a full application.
  • To submit an EOI, the NPA must send an email to confirming their intent to submit a full application no later than 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on August 16, 2022. The email subject line must be “Monkeypox Research – EOI“.

See ResearchNet for more information.

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: August 30, 2022