Funding Opportunity

CIHR launched its Café Scientifique program as an outreach initiative that would provide answers to questions of popular interest to the general public. As a result, over 540 CIHR Café Scientifiques events have been funded to provide educational and informal discussions regarding popular health topics. CIHR Cafés are typically held in bars or cafés, and involve a panel of experts who specialize in the topic at hand. The primary point of these events is accessibility: to be a member of the audience, you don't have to have a science degree. You need to be interested in learning and asking questions.

Through its Café Scientifique program, CIHR organizes its own Café events but also establishes partnerships with non-profit organizations, universities, research centres, science centres and museums across Canada. If successful, these Café Scientifique partners can expect to receive $3,000 in funding to host their own Café. Please note: these funds can be used to host more than one Café.

In order to be funded, Cafés must meet the following criteria:

  • the subject must be a health research-related issue of interest to the general public;
  • a brief description of the Café must be provided along with an explanation of the importance of the topic itself;
  • the name and description of the institution that will be hosting the event (to whom the payment will be made) must be provided;
  • all Cafés must respect CIHR's guidelines for participants and organizers;
  • through relevant experience, the organizers must show how they will be able to meet the Café's goals (including a realistic budget forecast and communications plan);
  • there must be at least two CIHR-funded researchers on the panel of experts;
  • CIHR support must be appropriately recognized through use of promotional material prior to and at the event itself;
  • after the event, the organizers must be willing to evaluate the Café's success and demerits by distributing a CIHR survey to participants;
  • a point of contact for all communication purposes must be provided (including phone number, fax number and e-mail address);
  • a person who has signing authority to claim CIHR funding must be identified;
  • the tentative date, time and location for the Café must be provided (the event has to take place prior to June 27, 2014).

For more information, please read the attached document. You must apply for funding using CIHR's ResearchNet website. Click on "Find Funding" on the left navigation, and then go to the "Other" section of funding opportunities. CIHR's Café Scientifique Program will be listed there. The deadline for submitting an application is 8 p.m., May 24, 2013.

For questions or further information, please contact:
Peter Maitland
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
160 Elgin Street, 9th Floor
Address Locator 4809A
Ottawa ON K1A 0W9

All submissions will be evaluated by a CIHR appointed jury and decisions will be announced at the end of August 2013.

CIHR Café Scientifique Program Evaluation Criteria

Criteria Indicators Information to be provided in application
Excellence of the Organization
(20 per cent)
Maximum of 1 page
Ability of the Organization and its Staff to Deliver the Scientific Program Successfully Relevant expertise and/or previous experience in scientific public outreach activities
Financial Considerations Realistic budget forecast

In-kind contribution from the lead organization

Quality of the Café
(50 per cent)
Maximum of 2 pages
Café Objectives Objectives consistent with those of CIHR's Café Scientifique program
Café Content and Format Health-related issue of popular interest to the general public that will be proposed in an accessible manner

Clearly defined event description that is in line with CIHR's Café Scientifique Guidelines for Organizers and Guidelines for Participants

Minimum of two CIHR-funded research experts (clearly identify which panel members are/were currently or previously funded) and one panelist who can represent a citizen’s perspective (this representative can be a consumer of health services, a patient, caregiver, or an advocate or representative from affected community and voluntary health organization)

Impact and Reach
(30 per cent)
Maximum of 1 page
Target Audience Event is specifically designed to be of interest to members of the general public who do not necessarily have a science degree
Communications Detailed communication plan (strategies, tools and timeline), use of social media platforms and CIHR's Café Scientifique communications tools (poster template, roll-it-up, notepads)
Evaluation Detailed evaluation plan that includes the distribution of the CIHR Café Scientifique Survey to all participants and the production of a final report (which includes the number of participants who attended, a completed Excel survey result spreadsheet, a description of media coverage that the event received, and digital photographs of the Café in progress)