COVID-19 Research Response
As the provincial health research funding agency, MSFHR is well placed to enable responsive, relevant research to support BC’s efforts to respond to COVID-19 and help provide important resources that BC’s health research community needs to continue doing world-class research during a time of rapid change.
We are working hard to provide programs and activities that will help to retain and support BC’s talent base and providing funding stability and continuity for BC researchers whose research has been disrupted by COVID-19. These efforts have already helped address immediate and emerging issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and provided necessary evidence for decision makers to support a comprehensive and coordinated response.
As part of this work, we are providing strategic and secretariat support to the BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC), and are working with partners nationally and internationally to increase research funding coming into BC, optimize research resources, coordinate research support, and reduce duplication of effort.
We know that a short-term response is insufficient given the long-term implications of the pandemic. As a data-informed organization, we mobilized to gather information that is now informing additional strategic decisions and actions in response to COVID-19. We have conducted conversations, reviewed literature, and collected data with our health research community to better understand how the pandemic has disrupted the BC health research system and those working within it.
MSFHR recognizes that BC’s successful response to COVID-19 involves policy approaches anchored in science. We are using the information gathered through our extensive outreach to create programs and activities that will enable innovative, cross-disciplinary researchers and teams to produce the science and evidence British Columbians need to stay healthy.
MSFHR Research Continuity Fund
We are working hard to provide programs and activities to retain and support BC’s talent base and provide funding stability and continuity for BC researchers at this time. To support MSFHR-funded researchers whose work has been disrupted or changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we set up a Research Continuity Fund that provides up to six months of salary support for researchers who do not have support after their award ends.
Additionally, we are providing other supports that align with federal funder policies, for example, the reimbursement of caregiver expenses for peer reviewers of MSFHR competitions. Learn more.
BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee
SRAC serves as a bridge between the Provincial Health Officer, government decision-makers and the BC health research community with regard to COVID-19 research. MSFHR provides strategic support and serves as secretariat to the committee. Learn More
MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund
With $2 million in funding support from the Province of BC, and additional funding from MSFHR and partners, the MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund is designed to address immediate and emerging issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and provide necessary evidence for decision makers to support a comprehensive and coordinated response, especially with respect to strategies for avoiding or mitigating subsequent waves of transmission. Funding has been committed as follows:
MSFHR COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding
MSFHR has historically played a key role in providing urgent health research funding when emergencies arise and BC needs critical health research data. To support the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSFHR funded four urgent research projects at the request of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Child, Youth & Family Mental Health Impact Grant
A partnership between MSFHR, Mental Health Research Canada, and BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Child, Youth & Family Mental Health Impact Grant provides funding for one research team to investigate the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on families and caregivers of children and youth with special needs. Learn More
Resource list of coordinated COVID-19 research activities and initiatives across BC
BC’s health research community is collaborating to provide a coordinated, strategic approach to the COVID-19 pandemic that supports decision makers, patients, public and others. This page serves as a resource identifying research efforts underway and planned, and supports participating organizations in communicating their work in the context of a coordinated provincial health research response.
Working with partners
Partnerships are critically important to supporting a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and MSFHR is committed to optimizing available funding and exploring new and unique avenues. Currently:
- CIHR: MSFHR is partnering with CIHR on the following COVID-19 related competitions to support BC-based applicants to these competitions:
- COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity
- COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery
- Implementation Science Teams: Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care (COVID-19) (with equal co-funding provided by the BC Ministry of Health)
- Match Funding: Are you a BC-based researcher applying to national funding opportunities for COVID-19 research? Learn more about requesting match funding from MSFHR.
- Co-Funding: To optimize our collective investments in response to the pandemic, MSFHR invites organizations to join us by co-funding our COVID-19 response funding opportunities.
- Collaborations: To ensure research teams funded by the MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund have access to the necessary supports, MSFHR has joined forces with the BC Academic Health Science Network and Population Data BC.