Catalyst Grant : NWHRI: Innovation Fund - Biomedical Discovery Grants

The purpose of the National Women's Health Research Initiative, a joint initiative between CIHR and Women and Gender Equality Canada announced as part of the 2021 federal budget, is to advance a coordinated research program that addresses under-researched and high-priority areas of women's health. The National Women's Health Research Initiative will help to ensure new evidence improves women's, girls', and gender-diverse people's care and health outcomes.

The National Women's Health Research Initiative is composed of two funding streams: The Pan-Canadian Women's Health Coalition and the Innovation Fund. Two funding opportunities will be launched through the Innovation Fund to support research in areas of women's health that have been chronically underfunded and under-researched. The first Innovation Fund funding opportunity consists of one-year Biomedical Discovery Grants (this current funding opportunity).

The overarching vision of this Biomedical Discovery Grant funding opportunity is to support "high risk, high reward" research in high-priority areas of women's health research. This funding opportunity will support basic science and/or other types of preclinical studies that have the potential to make significant advancements in women's health. Projects are expected to involve cells, tissues, body parts, and/or biomarkers. Studies focused on female technology (Femtech) are also eligible.

Research Areas

This funding opportunity encourages projects in specific areas that have been chronically underfunded and under-researched. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis
  • Early detection of ovarian cancer
  • Early self-detection of breast cancer
  • Treatment for gynecologic conditions, including fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome and/or pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Treatment for perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms in cases where hormone therapy may not be suitable or desired
  • Development of non-hormonal female contraceptives
  • Gender-affirming hormone therapies

Please see funding opportunity's website for more detailed information.

Funds Available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $2,000,000, enough to fund approximately 13 grants. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. The maximum amount per grant is $150,000 for up to one year.

Eligibility to Apply

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution and/or its affiliated institutions
  2. The NPA must have successfully completed module 1 of the sex- and gender-based analysis training modules available online through the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health and have submitted a Certificate of Completion


Registration: June 21, 2023

Full Application: July 19, 2023


SFU Signature Sheet, CIHR Routing Slip and Full Application are due to Research Services three business days before the 'Full Application' deadline. Please note that the CIHR Routing Slip must be signed by Research Services and uploaded to the portal as part of the application package. 

Upcoming Deadlines