In 2017, Kids Brain Health Network opened a funding competition for projects bringing an innovative approach to diagnosis, treatment or support for caregivers raising children with neurodisabilities.
Our criteria for this competition strongly emphasized the following considerations:
- National need and scope are confirmed through needs assessment and/or stakeholder consultation
- Plans are presented for engaging end users – those who will benefit from project findings, including families
- Partners who will translate findings into programs, services and other forms of delivery must be identified and engaged throughout the project, and provide financial support
- Likelihood for success in addressing the identified need(s)
- Objectives for the project and ways to measure success are clearly identified
- High probability that 2018-2020 funding will yield a competitive submission for Network funding 2020-2025
- The project is innovative and trans-disciplinary
- Teams have expertise in taking research to impact
- The project has an advisory member or team to mentor the project appropriate to the level of funding sought
New members who had not previously received funding from Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) were encouraged to apply, as well as existing research teams currently supported by KBHN.
The competition aims to continue widening the scope of our research beyond our initial focus on the early detection and origins of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and cerebral palsy (CP) with support from Neuroinformatics, Neuroethics and Knowledge Translation teams.
We began this expansion process in 2015, with the addition of new programs and projects, including teams examining neurodisability in the context of Social Determinants of Health and Health Economics, and a new, cross-disability sleep intervention program: Better Nights and Better Days for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Our request for proposals for 2018-20 adds to this momentum. Our aim: to support outstanding research teams ready to achieve measurable impact and enduring benefits to Canadian society and its economy within the next seven years.
Approved projects have been announced and began receiving funding April 1, 2018.
Brain Canada and Kids Brain Health Network
Developmental Neurosciences Research Training Awards
Brain health is one of the most pressing health challenges facing Canadians. One in three individuals – over 11 million people – will face a psychiatric disease, a neurological disorder, or a brain or spinal cord injury at some point in their lives. In one out of six children, brain disorders take the form of a neurodisability with life-long implications. Advances in neurodevelopmental research are leading to improved understanding of the origins of neurodisability, better diagnostics and screening, therapeutic interventions, and better frontline care and social support services.
Brain Canada, Kids Brain Health Network, and Research Institutes across Canada have joined together to support and enhance the training of talented young scientists conducting research focused on these key aspects of developmental neurosciences, working under the direction of leading Canadian researchers.
Funding awards in the 2014 and 2017 rounds of fellowships were structured as matches between the applicant’s home institution and Brain Canada, with predoctoral fellowships valued at up to $30,000 per year, for a maximum funding term of two years, and postdoctoral fellowships valued at up to $50,000 per year, for a maximum funding term of two years.
All awards included an additional $5,000 per year career development supplement, with the requirement that awardees attend the Kids Brain Health Annual Brain Development Conference as well as training courses and workshops organized through the Kids Brain Health Training Program.
Watch this space for further information about upcoming doctoral and post-doctoral competitions.