NSERC - Emerging Infectious Disease Modelling (EIDM) initiative

In responding to the COVID-19 epidemic, mathematical modelling has proven to be an essential tool for researchers and policy advisors to simulate the impact of various interventions or public health strategies, and to provide quantitative predictions of how interventions might affect population health in the future. A wide range of actors in Canada (including federal, provincial, territorial (FPT) and municipal governments, local public health units and organizations, research organizations and universities, and others) are developing models to help inform and guide responses to public health threats such as COVID-19. The COVID-19 epidemic has reinforced the crucial role of modelling and has underscored a need for greater and ongoing capacity to implement and validate a full range of modelling tools required to support decision-making on public health measures and to support the response to epidemics and outbreaks.

At the federal level, since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified several opportunities related to improving the capacity and coordination of infectious disease data modelling, a core component of disease surveillance. Through the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that Canada would benefit from

  • additional skilled modelling experts
  • improved coordination of experts to support the identification of priority issues and strategic directions
  • improved mobilization and collaboration among experts to accelerate research and advance potential solutions

Addressing these gaps will improve Canada’s preparedness in the face of public health emergencies, such as pandemics.


The funding opportunity has two broad objectives:

  • Enhance national capacity of infectious disease modelling that supports public health responses to EIDs in the future by building a national network for collaboration and knowledge mobilization 
  • Provide direct support to Canada’s COVID-19 response by producing modelling products that contribute to public health decisions via risk assessment, impact analyses and decision support such as intervention program design

For more information, please visit the EDIM iniative page.

Contact Name: 
Stacey Leavitt
Grant Amount: 
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Monday, October 26, 2020
Internal Deadline: 
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Grant Eligibility: