CCS/CIHR cancer survivorship team grants

The CCS and the CIHR-ICR, have each committed a total of $5M over five years to jointly fund this Cancer Survivorship Team Grants program.

Deadline dates

Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application.

Application guides can be found on the EGrAMS documentation for applicants page.

Note that applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal to the CCS must complete an abbreviated CIHR application and submit it through ResearchNet. CIHR funding opportunity details are available here.

Guidance for engaging survivors in research is available here.

Abstract registration due date:
May 29, 2019
Relevance review results:
mid-June, 2019
Full application due date:
September 10, 2019
Results announcement:
November 2019
Anticipated funding start date:
December 1, 2019

Program launch partners

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR), have each committed a total of $5M over five years to jointly fund this Cancer Survivorship Team Grants program.

Please see the ‘Partners description’ section below for more information on the CIHR-ICR.


In Canada, about two thirds of cancer patients now live for at least five years post diagnosis, although survival rates vary significantly according to cancer site. This translates to more than one million Canadians currently living with cancer – a number that is expected to increase dramatically over the next two decades.

Cancer survivorship is a complex field that has to date been less well studied than other phases of care. There are many medical and non-medical consequences of treatments that vary with age, sex, gender, ethnicity, cancer site, and type of treatment. Although some cancer survivors thrive and experience few adverse effects once the active treatment phase is over, others experience a wide range of, often debilitating, physiological, psychological and psychosocial effects that may continue for many years. Long-term effects include: fatigue, neuropathies, cognitive impairments, sexual difficulties, anxiety, depression, socio-economic challenges, and spiritual issues, whereas late effects can include musculoskeletal problems, major organ dysfunction or failure, recurrence, and second cancers. These experiences are often compounded by inadequate access to timely information and supports, as well as variable and inconsistent quality in models of care. There are huge inequities across Canada with respect to survivorship care and outcomes which are in urgent need of attention if we are to provide the best care to all Canadians and reduce the overall burden of cancer.

In the last year, two key documents were released that highlight the current gaps in survivorship research. The first is the Pan-Canadian Framework for Cancer Survivorship Research, commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA), and the second is the UK's National Cancer Research Institute's Living with and Beyond Cancer: Research Priority Setting Partnership, Both publications are the result of an extensive survey of survivors, caregivers and families, front-line health professionals, researchers, and decision makers, supported by expert advisory panels. Although the methodologies differ, there is considerable concordance in the research gaps identified and both reports emphasize the need for implementation science and a participatory research approach, in which survivors and care-givers, as well as potential knowledge users are engaged as full and active members of research teams.

Key recommendations can be grouped under the following headings:

  • Ensure ongoing and meaningful involvement of cancer survivors and their family/friend caregivers throughout the research process
  • Align funding calls with existing needs and potential for impact
  • Create opportunities for the translation of research into practice and policy
  • Build and maintain infrastructure and expertise to advance research

The CCS/CIHR Cancer Survivorship Team Grants program will respond to the recommendations above while aiming to address key research gaps (see Scientific focus of the program below).

Program description

The goal of the CCS/CIHR Cancer Survivorship Team Grant program is to improve the health outcomes for cancer survivors of all ages (pediatric, adolescent, young adult and adult) from the time of their cancer diagnosis until the time of their death or entry into end-of-life care. This program is not intended to focus on improving end-of-life care.

The intent of this funding opportunity is to support new intervention research designed to mitigate the challenges experienced along the survivorship journey, as well as the evaluation and validation of existing interventions to assess their potential for implementation as best practices.

The program goal will be achieved through the support of a network of multidisciplinary teams, each led by a nominated Principal Investigator and at least 2 co-Principal and/or co- Applicants, one of whom must be within their first five years as an independent researcher, drawn from at least 3 different regions of Canada (Atlantic Provinces (NB, NS, PE, NL), Central Canada (ON, QC), Prairie Provinces (AB, SK, MB), West Coast (BC), Northern Territories (YU, NU, NT)).

Collectively, successful teams will be expected to generate relevant new knowledge and to develop and evaluate practical strategies and interventions, in real world settings, that will prevent or diminish the adverse sequelae of a cancer diagnosis and have a positive impact on subsequent health outcomes for cancer survivors.

In addition, each team will be required to develop a well-designed plan for integration within their team of:

  • Implementation science approaches aimed at facilitating the development of strategies for overcoming barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration, scale-up and/or sustainability of evidence-based interventions. Strategies designed to integrate evidence-based interventions into specific settings are strongly encouraged.
  • A research model that embodies the values of community-based participatory research (CBPR), in which survivors and their family/friend caregivers are engaged throughout the entire research process from the development of the initial research questions to the dissemination and application of research findings.
  • Each team should include (have a balance of) investigators across the continuum of a research career (early, mid and late), (Assistant, Associate, Full) professorship, and diversity, with a built-in plan for mentorship and sustainability.
The program goal will be achieved through regular networking events/activities designed to support and augment individual teams’ capacities to catalyze survivor/caregiver engagement and knowledge mobilization.

Scientific focus of the program

For this competition, a cancer survivor is defined as anyone who is living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis, including family members, friends and caregivers who are also part of the survivorship experience.

Eligible research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategies and interventions applied during active treatment to prevent or mitigate the development of the adverse late and long-term effects associated with cancer treatments;
  • Strategies and interventions to mitigate the physical, psychological, psychosocial and mental health impacts of living with cancer both as a survivor and as a caregiver;
  • Surveillance strategies and interventions to reduce the risk of recurrence;
  • Strategies and interventions to reduce the economic and functional impacts of living with a cancer diagnosis, including the economic impact on caregivers and the healthcare system;
  • Development and evaluation of improved models of care following a cancer diagnosis, including transitional care;
  • Strategies and interventions to reduce inequities across the country and address the unmet needs of special populations such as Indigenous populations, the LGBTQ community, cultural and linguistic minority groups, urban poor, or those living in rural and remote locations.
Applications with a focus on pediatric, adolescent and/or young adult survivorship research are encouraged.

Funds available

Teams may request up to $500,000 per year for a maximum of $2,500,000 over a five-year period. Grants will be non-renewable. As the total budget for this competition is $10 million, it is anticipated that at least 4 teams will be funded in this competition. The engagement of additional partners may increase this number.

Funding will be provided to support the direct costs of research, including supplies, salaries, and equipment associated with the proposed work. Equipment requests cannot exceed 10% of the requested budget. Indirect costs are not eligible.

*Note that funds should be set aside in the budget to facilitate the travel of teams for networking purposes annually. 

up to $2,500,000
Budget per year
up to $500,000
up to 10%


A multidisciplinary peer review committee will be assembled for this competition. The committee will consist of scientific experts, along with relevant representatives to provide patient/survivor/caregiver perspectives.

The mandatory abstract registration will inform the composition requirements of the panel.

There is a limit of one application per nominated Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator in this competition. This restriction does not apply to co-applicants or collaborators. At least one Principal/co-Principal Investigator/co-Applicant must be an early career researcher. PIs/Co-PIs/Co-Applicants must be drawn from at least 3 different regions of Canada (Atlantic Provinces, Central Canada, Prairie Provinces, West Coast, Northern Territories).

Registration is mandatory and will require applicant details (Principal Investigators, Co-Applicants, Additional Authors, Survivor/Caregiver participants), public summary, scientific abstract, keywords, impact statement, suggested reviewers and research tracking information.

A relevance review of the abstract registration will be conducted to ensure alignment with the program description and scientific focus.

Any significant changes to the proposed project or applicant team after the Abstract Registration deadline should be communicated to the CCS ( as soon as they are known. Substantive changes that significantly alter the overall goals and aims of the proposal relative to the Abstract Registration are not permitted.

The proposal will contain no more than 10 pages of single-spaced text and 5 pages of figures/tables/charts and associated legends. Specific guidelines for the online application will be available after the relevance review is completed.

When preparing the full application, the following is required:

  1. A public summary of the proposed research that demonstrates how survivor/caregiver members of the team will be engaged
  2. A scientific abstract that clearly states the aims of the overall proposal including any previous work done by team members in the area, experimental design(s), methods and analysis plans
  3. A detailed proposal describing the work to be performed (including aims, previous work, experimental design, methods and analysis), and an indication of which member(s) of the research team will be responsible. The implementation science, community-based approaches, and new investigator engagement plans should be integrated into the proposal. It should be clear how each member of the team, including survivor/caregiver participants, is involved.
  4. Relevance of the proposal to cancer survivorship, including the impact that results will have on specific challenges in cancer survivorship. A plan to assess the impact of the program should be described.
  5. A detailed description of any products expected to result from this funding (if applicable).
  6. A detailed knowledge translation and mobilization strategy which could include collaborations and partnerships with other research institutions, networks and/or community groups, as appropriate.

A detailed budget and justification for supplies, expenses, personnel and equipment to conduct the proposed research. This must include the number of personnel required to complete the work and a description of their experience and/or education level. Note that funds should be set aside in the budget to facilitate travel of teams for networking purposes annually.

The review committee will prepare individual written critiques. Each application will be evaluated as a whole – individual components will not be assessed independently. Teams must demonstrate clear cohesion and synergy between different aspects of the grant, working towards a common goal that aligns with the funding program goal.

The review criteria for the applications will include but not necessarily be restricted to the following:

  • the feasibility of the proposed work and its relevance to cancer survivorship
  • the potential for practical interventions in real world settings that will directly impact the health outcomes for individuals living with a cancer diagnosis
  • the background and scientific rationale for the proposed research
  • the qualifications and experience of the investigators leading and participating on the team
  • evidence of collaboration between lead researchers from at least three Canadian geographical regions and the team as a whole
  • the overall balance of team members and presence of a built-in plan for mentorship and sustainability
  • implementation science/knowledge mobilization capacity as an integrated part of the team
  • the meaningful involvement and engagement of survivors and their family/friend caregivers throughout the research process
  • the appropriateness of the methods for the focus of the research
  • the appropriateness of the term and amount of support requested
  • the appropriate incorporation of sex as a biological variable and/or gender as a social determinant of health, where applicable
  • the appropriate consideration and inclusion of other determinants of health, such as income, education, access to health services, and culture, as appropriate

Applicants are reminded to review the eligibility and requirements page for details on scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, and Canadian Cancer Society policies.

There must not be substantive overlap (more than 50%) with any pending application (including those at the abstract or Letter of Intent submission stage) to any other Canadian Cancer Society Research program as of this competition due date. Duplicate applications will not be accepted. The onus is on the applicant to indicate the extent (or absence) of overlap. Grantees can accept funds from other sources, up to the CCS Research panel recommended amount.

Applicants are reminded to review the eligibility and requirements section for details on scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, Canadian Cancer Society policies on open access and tobacco related funding.

Partner description

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) mandate is to support research that reduces the burden of cancer on individuals and families through prevention strategies, screening, diagnosis, effective treatments, psychosocial support systems, and palliation. Applications addressing CIHR-ICR’s Strategic Research Priority area of health disparities or survivorship service inequities are specifically encouraged.

Last modified on: February 16, 2021