Early discussion and feedback support development of research significance and impact

The WCHRI Concept Support Program offers WCHRI academic members an opportunity to receive critical feedback on the significance and impact of the research idea and support development of key aims and objectives for the research proposal. This program, like the Grant Review Support Program, seeks to support the development and engagement of WCHRI academic members at all career stages and phases who are actively planning a new CIHR project grant. 

WCHRI will obtain external and internal experts to provide critical and robust feedback. Reviewers will be required to attend the principal investigator’s concept discussion meeting where specific strategic advice, consideration(s) and direction will be discussed. 


All applications must align with our application relevance criteria to be eligible for this program opportunity. Eligibility criteria for the Grant Concept Support Program are as follows:

  • The principal investigator must be a WCHRI academic member for not less than one year prior to application, except new recruits with an academic appointment of less than one year at the time of the application deadline. Refer to WCHRI Membership for further information. 
  • Each principal investigator must have a “concept coach”. Refer to the WCHRI concept coach section below for further information.
  • Each principal investigator may submit up to two concepts.
  • All project titles must be unique.
  • Concepts submitted must be intended for development of a full research application to the CIHR project grant program.
  • Proposals that have been previously submitted to CIHR are not eligible. Refer to the WCHRI Grant Review Support Program for information and/or to access review support. 

Program eligibility is established upon submission of completed program forms.

The concept coach supports 

This WCHRI program requires that all principal investigators write a (minimum) one-page summary with specific aims and methodologies for reviewer feedback. Participants will then pitch their concept to their reviewers with support of a concept coach. The primary contributions that the committee is required to support are: 

  • Is the concept, including significance and impact of the work, clear?
  • Discussion of the research team required.
    • What resources are required to do this work? 
    • Are these resources (skills, experience and networks) available?   
  • Discussion of pilot data required to support the research.
    • How much funding would be required to support collection of pilot data? 
    • What opportunities could be accessed to support collection of pilot data? 
  • Is this work appropriately targeting CIHR as an end funder? 
    • What alternative funders could support this work?
  • The concept coach should be someone who knows the work and the PIs research well. 
    • The concept coach must be invested in providing ongoing and meaningful contributions to advancing the principal investigator’s research goals.

Grant Concept Support Program call for participation

Summary of process

WCHRI offers an electronic application process for this program. To participate in this program opportunity, the following requirements apply:

  • The principal investigator is required to ensure that the nominated concept coach understands the participation requirements prior to submission of the participation form.
  • The principal investigator is required to complete and submit the WCHRI Grant Concept Support Program Access Form.
  • WCHRI will require completion of the WCHRI Grant Concept Support Program Proposed Concept Form.
    • Refer to the application and deadline section below for form details and deadlines.
  • All program forms are unique and specific to each principal investigator.
  • External and internal reviewers will be solicited directly by WCHRI. 
  • All reviews will be forwarded to the concept discussion meeting participants (principal investigator, concept coach and reviewers). 
  • WCHRI will arrange a concept meeting for each submission; meetings require the participation of the principal investigator, concept coach and external and internal reviewers. 
  • Submitted information is final and not subject to amendment. Late submissions and/or supplemental information are not accepted.

Program timelines

Participants can expect a program engagement of three to four months. 

Please refer to the grants landing page for program timelines.

For further information

Refer to the program information and then contact WCHRI grants.