Brain Canada | Youth Mental Health Platform

Mental illness disproportionately affects young people worldwide between the ages of 15 and 29. It accounts for approximately half of the overall burden of disease in this age group, making it the leading cause of disability. Given the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health, we are at a crucial point in time where the ideas and conversations around improving information sharing need to be turned into tangible action.

The purpose of the Brain Canada Youth Mental Health Platform is to introduce a call to action to the youth mental health research community for the development of a national youth mental health platform with the ultimate goal of sharing data across disciplines, including people with lived experience, in order to create synergies across these groups while accelerating the practical application of research findings in improving youth mental health services.


This competition is open to groups of investigators working in youth mental health research. Broadly, this encompasses all areas of youth mental health from basic to clinical sciences and any disciplines (i.e., neuroscience, behavioral, clinical, biological, cognitive, social, and cultural) across the full span of the mental health community including people with lived experience.

  • One of the platform investigators will be designated the Principal Investigator (PI), nominated by the platform research group, to be the individual responsible for submitting the application on its behalf and for all communications with Brain Canada. The PI is generally the individual responsible for overall management of the platform. If the platform is a physical entity, it would generally be located at the PI’s institution. The PI must be conducting research at, and affiliated with, a Canadian institution for the entire duration of the grant. Academic appointments must have started by the deadline for Full Application submission.
  • The platform research group must be composed of investigators from at least three Canadian institutions and be eligible to receive funding from federal granting agencies. Investigators must be considered independent researchers at their institution. Such individuals normally hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor; can initiate and direct their own independent lines of research as principal investigator; have full responsibility for running their laboratories; have full control of their research funds; and are permitted to supervise trainees (if applicable, as per their institution’s policy).
  • The platform investigators should include a knowledge translation expert that will be engaged to help shape an integrated knowledge translation plan throughout the three-year funding period to ensure the knowledge generated will be acted on, and will have a meaningful, tangible impact on youth mental health care within the project timeframe and in the long term. The platform investigators should also include at least one knowledge user who is likely to be able to use research results to make informed decisions about health policies, programs and/or practices. The engagement of the knowledge user in the research process may vary in intensity and complexity depending on the nature of the research. A knowledge user can be, but is not limited to clinicians, social workers, school administrators, physicians, policy makers, decision makers, community leaders, or a person with lived experience that will work with the platform investigators to advocate for findings from the platform that are likely to be highly relevant and used by other users.
  • The youth mental health platform will have additional impact if it increases opportunities for interaction and partnerships with knowledge users such as people with lived experience, and Associate Members from different sectors, countries and socioeconomic backgrounds who intend to use the platform such as scientists, international researchers, clinicians, and key stakeholders (i.e., industry, government and other non-academic sectors). While these other users cannot receive Brain Canada funding, they should be listed in the application and their interaction with the platform team should be described.
  • Applicants must be able to initiate the project in July 2022, when funding will start.

December 14, 2021: Deadline for receipt of registration form
February 15, 2022: Deadline for receipt of full applications
April 2022: Notification of award
July 2022: Funding begins

See Full Eligibility & Application Details

Agency Name: 
Brain Canada
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External Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Internal Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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