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Participatory Action Research (PAR) Grants - Convene Grants and Investigate Grants

Grants to British Columbia Registered Charities and
Donees for Collaborative Health Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Vancouver Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/05/20 - Deadline for Investigate Grants only; Convene Grants are accepted on an ongoing basis.


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Grants to British Columbia registered charities and qualified donees for collaborative health research projects. One stream of funding requires applicants to submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for projects that address health issues affecting local communities.

Participatory Action Research Grants support a collaborative approach to research that involves stakeholders – those whose lives are affected by the issue being studied – and researchers in all phases of the research process. The research projects the Foundation considers for funding must investigate the root causes of a complex health issue, and must be a collaboration between community organizations and institutions with access to an ethics board, such as universities.

There are two different grant types available, depending upon the stage of your project:

  1. Convene grants: Convene grants are short-term grants to help teams to unpack a complex heath issue and to question the systemic behaviors that have created that issue, or that are holding the issue in place. Convene grants help teams to articulate a research question and to develop a participatory research project plan that can then be submitted to funding organizations in the future. Convene grants are a one-stage application. They can be submitted online anytime and decisions are made by the end of the quarter.
  2. Investigate grants: Investigate grants are multi-year grants to help teams answer a research question, analyze their findings, and share knowledge in a way that supports the community to take action in the future. You can apply online for an Investigate grant during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the mid-June or mid-December. Investigate grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin their application by completing the first stage of questions, and if successful, are then invited complete the remaining questions.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184703

Estimated Size of Grant:

Convene: Up to $10,000 for process, plus up to an additional $10,000 for participation.
Investigate: Up to $100,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

Convene: Up to 1 year
Investigate: Up to 3 years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

No matter the research area, the project must be led by a registered charity or other qualified donee listed by the Canada Revenue Agency. Projects must take place primarily in British Columbia.

Participatory Action Research Grants don’t fund:
- Certain types of research expenses
- Projects that take place primarily outside of British Columbia
- An organization’s ongoing operational or core expenses, including its cost to fundraise
- Project expenses that have been incurred prior to the application date or that the Foundation feels should be covered by other funding sources
- Event sponsorships (unless part of a broader project proposal)
- Bridge funding, debt retirement, reserves, or mortgage pay-downs
- Endowment matching grants
- Capital and public infrastructure projects (libraries, schools, health care facilities)
- Travel to and/or attendance at conferences, competitions, symposia or annual events (unless part of a broader project proposal)
- Bursaries, scholarships and awards (unless part of a broader project proposal)

Pre-Application Information:

Convene Grants: Applications can be submitted online at any time throughout the year. Decisions on Convene Grants are made by the end of every quarter.
Submitted between: Jan 1 and Feb 14, 2020, Notification by: March 31, 2020
Submitted between: Feb 15 and May 11, 2020, Notification by: June 29, 2020
Submitted between: May 12 and Aug 17, 2020, Notification by: Sept 30, 2020
Submitted between: Aug 18 and Nov 16, 2020, Notification by: Dec 31, 2020

Investigate Grants, Spring Cycle:
January 2, 2020: Stage 1 Application process opens online
January 27, 2020: Deadline to complete the Stage 1 online application process
March 13, 2020: Decisions about Stage 1 Applications communicated via email
April 5, 2020: Deadline to complete the Stage 2 online application process (by invitation only)
June 26, 2020: Decisions communicated via email

Investigate grants are a two-stage application. The first stage is to submit a Stage One project overview through the online system. Then if you’re invited to proceed to the second stage, you submit a Full Application.

Convene grants do not require matching funds, Investigate grants require a 50% match from other sources.

Applicants can schedule a consultation with program staff to talk about participatory action research, to think through their project design, to find out more about learning opportunities, to build partnerships, to arrange a workshop in their community, or if they need support with their current grant. Consultations are available with Niviera Oliviera and Mike Conroy.

To take an eligibility quiz, click here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online, click here:

To schedule a consultation with Niviera Oliviera, click here:
To schedule a consultation with Mike Conroy, click here:

Contact Stephanie or Kristina for information about the application process, or to discuss the priorities and policies of the Participatory Action Research Grants program.

To email Stephanie Falcon, click here:
To email Kristina Chan, click here:

To email Hayleigh Chafe, Grant Administrator, click here:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia

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