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CIHR Issue 220: PRE-ANNOUNCEMENT – Addressing the health effects of the Alberta wildfires through research

The Office of Research Services has received the following information which we are forwarding to our e-mail list members: 


Issue 220


PRE-ANNOUNCEMENT – Addressing the health effects of the Alberta wildfires through research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Alberta Health in partnership with Alberta Innovates Health Solutions are pleased to announce the development of a funding opportunity to support research on the health effects of the Alberta wildfires.


Natural disasters such as the wildfires that swept through Fort McMurray and Northern Alberta in May 2016 can have significant impacts on health, including exacerbating respiratory and cardiac conditions linked to poor air quality; mental health challenges like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder; and long-term health impacts from the exposure to ash and environmental contaminants. To protect and improve health, safety and resiliency in the short and long term, accessible evidence is needed to deliver the appropriate health and social actions to the right people at the right time. 


The primary goal of this funding opportunity is to mitigate the harms and impact of the Alberta wildfires and evacuation by building on Canada’s emerging expertise in disaster medicine and health research responses. It addresses issues that are directly applicable to health challenges Albertans are facing as a result of the wildfires, with emphasis on:


1. Resiliency related to mental health and addictions in (a) child and (b) adult populations.


2. Occupational health and safety for those living and working in the fire zone, including first responders and emergency clean-up crews.


Anticipated Timelines

Program Launch: 2016-08

Application Deadline: 2016-09-20

Application Decision: 2016-10-30

Funding Start Date: 2016-10-01


Research proposals in other areas will also be considered and supported, including but not limited to: health services strategies during a time of disaster; sex and gender-specific resiliency and effects of the wildfires; post-fire environmental issues and the long-term health consequences of wildfires; and responding to the health and wellness needs of Indigenous communities living in the fire zone.


The total amount currently available for this opportunity is $3 million over two years.


Full program details will be available in August 2016. For questions about this strategic initiative and research objectives, please contact:


Asimina Saikaley

Associate, Major Initiatives, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Asimina.saikaley@cihr-irsc.gc.ca / 613-957-8668


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CIHR Wants to Hear from You


Absence does not make the heart grow fonder – CIHR wants to hear from you as much as possible. There is a wonderful story to tell about the results and benefits of health research in Canada, but we need your help to truly make this a page turner. And, we need to keep telling this story. So, we encourage you to let us know when you have or, better still, are close to publishing the results of research funded by CIHR. Please drop us a line at mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.


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Contact Information


CIHR welcomes your questions and feedback and is committed to responding to your requests promptly.


Please direct all inquiries to the CIHR Contact Centre. Officers are available Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET and until 8 p.m. ET on deadline days.

Contact Centre

Telephone: 613-954-1968

Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178



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