About the Program

The Regional Partnerships Program (RPP) was initiated in 1997-98 by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in response to a decline in funding to health researchers in Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

The overarching objective of the program is to build partnerships and to support health research capacity development in less populous regions of Canada. This investment recognizes the benefit of local health research capacity and is designed to enable researchers in less populous regions of Canada to meet CIHR's mandate through the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians. In addition to funding health research, the RPP supports a local strategic planning process to establish research priorities and to build on the local strengths and interests of the institutions.

Under the RPP, research funding and personnel support applications that are judged to be of high scientific merit through peer review, but are below the funding capacity of CIHR's base budget in CIHR regular competitions, are eligible to receive funding if there is a partner to co-fund the proposal.

In 1999-2000, the RPP was expanded to include New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

In May 2005, an external evaluation of RPP was completed where it was recommended that the Program undergo a redesign. External and internal stakeholder consultations were critical in the implementation of the resulting program redesign. Items such as minimum eligibility requirements for provincial participation and the competition process were more clearly defined. The redesigned Program will continue to focus on the needs of the six participating provinces, with an inaugural launch scheduled for December 2007. Funding opportunities available through RPP are launched as priority announcements for each individual program type (ex. Operating grant priority announcement, Fellowship award priority announcement, Doctoral research award priority announcement, etc.). For additional information on the evaluation of the Program, please go to the Summative Evaluation of the Regional Partnerships Program (RPP) - Final Report.

The ratio of co-funding is 1 CIHR dollar to 1 partner dollar with an annual maximum of $1,000,000 in CIHR co-funding for each of the original four provinces(Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Manitoba) and $200,000 for the new provinces (Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick). CIHR's total annual commitment is $4,400,000.

Administratively, each province has an RPP Advisory Board which manages the program at the provincial level. This management includes pre-screening provincial RPP applications. Please note: All RPP applicants (in each participating region) must register with their respective Advisory Boards before they apply to CIHR. For additional information on eligibility criteria and funding details, please contact the Chair of the appropriate Advisory Committee listed here.