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NSERC Emerging Infectious Diseases Modelling (EIDM) Initiative - Expression of Interest

October 26 @ 9:00 am

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will be accepting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for a new funding opportunity in support of Emerging Infectious Disease Modelling (EIDM). This initiative is being jointly delivered with the Public Health of Canada. A summary is provided below. 

Objectives are to: 

  • Enhance national capacity of infectious disease modelling that supports public health responses to EIDs in the future by building a national network for collaboration and knowledge mobilization  
  • Provide direct support to Canada’s COVID-19 response by producing modelling products that contribute to public health decisions via risk assessment, impact analyses and decision support such as intervention program design 
  • Establish multi-disciplinary network(s) of specialists across the country in modelling infectious diseases to be applied to public needs associated with emerging infectious diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19 

This research should be designed to fill identified gaps in modelling EIDs in general, and modelling to support responses to COVID-19 in particular by 

  • incorporating innovation in modelling methods, that are developed to the point of ready-made models for common methods of transmission (respiratory/air-borne, vectors, water/food) that may be readily adapted to new EIDs 
  • developing models that are capable of exploring transmission amongst domesticated animal, wild animal and human populations, recognizing the zoonotic nature of COVID-19 and many EIDs 
  • partnering with epidemiologists, biostatisticians, data scientists, surveillance experts and public health practitioners to identify gaps in critical data needed to inform modeling efforts, and also developing plans and prioritizations for mobilizing partners to rapidly and robustly collect needed data elements routinely and during outbreaks 
  • developing models to explore the complete scope of potential health, social, economic, environmental, societal and seasonal impacts of proposed public health interventions to quantitatively capture a broad range of risks and benefits associated with disease prevention and control strategies 
  • bringing together complementary expertise to work towards a foundational consensus with regards to contact mixing patterns (mixing), and the transportation network (mobility) 

Value and Duration 

NSERC will award a limited number of grants, totaling $10M over two years, to eligible researchers 


EOI due at agency The applicant must upload the EOI to the NSERC secure site by Monday, October 26, 2020
Full application due at ORS for full review Friday, December 4, 2020 
Final application and fully signed ORS Checklist due at ORS for required review by 12:00 Noon, Friday, December 18, 2020 
Full application due at agency Friday, December 18, 2020  Note: Applications must be submitted to the NSERC’s online system by 12:00 Noon to allow ORS enough time to e-approve and submit to NSERC for peer review. 

Please contact your Faculty Research Officer for information on their internal deadlines. 

Application Submission 

Two-stage process 

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) to facilitate connections and to enhance collaborations between participants in the development of a full application. The list of interested individuals (including name, affiliation, email address, area of expertise, keywords and description) will be shared through the NSERC secure portal with all participants in the EOI stage. This will be crucial in facilitating connections and enhancing collaboration between participants to develop a full application. EOIs will not be reviewed by NSERC. 
  • Full application – will be posted on NSERC’s website in the coming weeks