Solutions Program

Important Dates

Competition Launch: July 23, 2020

Information Webinar: August 27, 2020 – 10 a.m. CST   |  Watch the Recording >

Eligibility Check Opens on SHRF RMS: October 1, 2020

Eligibility Check Cut-off: October 31, 2020 

Application Deadline*: November 26, 2020 – 4:30 p.m. CST

Funding Decisions: February 23, 2021

Funding Start Date: March 1, 2021

*Check with your institution for internal deadlines and allow time to obtain required approvals.


Program Overview


The Solutions program aims to mobilize the research community and its partners to focus and coordinate their diverse skills and perspectives to address timely Saskatchewan health challenges. All applications must address one or more of the health challenges, i.e. focus areas, identified for the competition year.

Funding Opportunities 

Each competition year, the Solutions program will offer a selection of funding opportunities to support research at various stages and complement the funding focus areas and partnered investments. If more than one funding opportunity is available for a focus area, applicants must select the one that best suits the stage of their proposed research. 


Principal applicants are permitted one application to the Solutions program per competition year, regardless of focus area or funding opportunity. 

Funding Process Overview 

Following eligibility approval (research focus and team membership), all applications will undergo peer review to determine both the scientific excellence and potential to have impact in the relevant focus area.  

Funding envelopes are set for each focus area and funding opportunity. Applications are funded in top-down rank order until funds are exhausted in each envelope.


2020-21 Opportunities

Innovation Grant
Amount: $50,000
Term: 1-year
Objective: Support transdisciplinary teams including knowledge-users to catalyze innovative new ideas and approaches, promoting creative problem solving to address one of the focus areas named in this year’s competition.

Impact Grant
Amount: $150,000
Term: 2-years
Objective: Support transdisciplinary teams including knowledge-users to advance the translation of research into real world settings and practical applications to address one of the focus areas named in this year’s competition.

The following is a highlight of this year's funding opportunities. Before applying, please ensure you have read the Application Package for complete details and requirements.


2020-21 Focus Areas

Virtual Care


Virtual care (i.e. remote medicine, digital care, tele-health) has the potential to connect patients to the care they need, when and where they need it. It may also serve to enhance coordination and quality of care. The ethical, innovative, and effective use of virtual care has many potential impacts such as: improving patient/client’s experiences and outcomes; ensuring safe and equitable access to high-quality care; enhancing efficiency and appropriateness of care and reducing costs; enhancing team based care; and improving communication and coordination between care providers and sectors - from public health promotion, to community care, acute care, and long-term care.  

To achieve these impacts, we are asking the research community and their partners to come together to understand and address questions, tackle challenges and develop evidence related to: 1) evidence-informed practice in delivering virtual care; 2) developing, validating and implementing tools and applications, including artificial intelligence, to enable virtual care; 3) issues of governance, policies and workflow; and privacy and confidentiality; 4) continuing provider education and patient empowerment;  5) individual and systemic barriers to uptake by patients and providers, as well as the implementation in the larger system.

Virtual Care
People living with heart disease and stroke

In partnership with Heart & Stroke

At Heart & Stroke, the patient is at the centre of everything we do. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Saskatchewan living with heart and stroke related conditions were quickly transitioned to virtual care platforms to ensure pandemic protocols were followed while still providing patients access to their health care requirements.

Heart & Stroke is interested in supporting the viability and sustainability of these rapidly implemented virtual care solutions to health care delivery, while providing equitable access for people living with heart disease and stroke across the province. 


Patients living with heart and stroke related conditions and their caregivers must be empowered to adopt this new care model and the impact on patients’ experiences and outcomes must be considered. To do this, the challenges and implementation barriers, opportunities and gaps, of these virtual care solutions must be identified, understood, and addressed for the end user, the patient.

NOTE: To be eligible for this focus area, teams are required to include a person with lived experience on the research team as a co-principal or co-applicant. 

Partnerships with industry supporters are encouraged (but not required) where the virtual care product or platform is currently implemented in Saskatchewan.

Lung Health 
In partnership with The Lung Association, Saskatchewan   

Applicants must address one or more of the following areas related to lung health: 

Indigenous Peoples Health
Investing in research which considers how to better serve Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan regarding lung health is important to The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. Research that is relevant to Indigenous People of Saskatchewan and incorporates both traditional Indigenous practices and demonstrates impact in lung health and lung health practices, is an essential step in providing culturally sensitive healthcare. 

Cannabis Use and Impact on Lung Health
There are significant public health concerns associated with cannabis. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is concerned about the health impacts of cannabis use, particularly on lung health, and encourages continued research into the health effects of cannabis use. The benefits, risks, and safety of cannabis use for medical purposes requires further study. 


Patient and Caregiver Education
Patients and caregivers have key roles in self-managing lung disease to live as well as possible. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is interested in research which examines the kind of patient and caregiver education that is essential to better self-manage lung disease. Of particular interest, is research that examines the health outcomes related to patient and caregiver education.


In partnership with Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan

All applications must focus on direct benefits for persons with dementia and their caregivers and address one or more of the following areas related to dementia: 

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
It is estimated that only 50% of dementia cases in the community have been diagnosed. Timely
communication of symptoms to health care professionals together with greater confidence among
primary care practitioners in diagnosing dementia early are key to maximizing the quality of life for
people living with dementia. A timely diagnosis provided in a compassionate manner with links to
immediate resources and supports is a priority for the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan.


Risk Reduction/Prevention
Developing a better understanding of how dementia can be prevented and helping people to
understand ways to reduce their risk is critical in keeping Saskatchewanians healthy and improving
quality of life. Research that will help to identify and assess modifiable risk and protective factors,
evidence that informs and promotes the adoption of effective interventions and expanding awareness
of modifiable risk and protective factors and effective interventions are important to the Alzheimer


  • Applicants are required to involve end-users as part of the project team (e.g. health care professionals, administrators, policy makers, etc.)

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to involve people with dementia and family caregivers in the project. The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan can assist in identifying interested participants.

  • Applicants are encouraged to include trainees in the project.

ASOS Logo.jpg

TM The heart and / Icon and the Heart&Stroke and Heart and Stroke Foundation word marks are trademarks of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada used under license.


Research Project Team Requirements The Solutions program aims to support research with the potential to make a difference in Saskatchewan for the selected focus area. Therefore, research teams should be collaborative and constituted to support the goals of the proposed research and potential impacts and with the program purpose and opportunity objectives in mind. 

The following minimum team requirements must be met at both eligibility and application submission: 

  • Two (2) Saskatchewan-based researchers from different disciplines as applicants, including one that meets the eligibility requirements for a Principal Investigator 

  • One (1) Saskatchewan-based knowledge user applicant

  • Any additional team membership requirements as listed in a relevant focus area



  • Having patients or people with lived experience on your team is strongly encouraged, if appropriate for the proposed project.

  • Once the minimum team member requirements are met, additional team members from within or outside Saskatchewan may be included in any role.

  • There is no maximum number of team members; however, all team members should have a clear role and demonstrate how their expertise is beneficial in addressing the research question(s) and/or potential impacts.

  • To support mentorship and capacity building, teams are encouraged to have both early career and established investigators and to include trainees as appropriate. Novice and early career researchers applying as principal applicants are encouraged to have experienced co-leads.

  • Having relevant supporters, including health system decision-makers, community leaders, industry, etc. is strongly encouraged, as appropriate for the proposed project.


Before applying, please ensure you have read the Application Package for complete details and requirements.

Program Contact
Karen Tilsley, Director of Programs and Partnerships or 306-975-1686

About the Funding Partners

SHRF partners with other organizations or individuals who share an interest in funding excellent health research aiming to improve the lives of Saskatchewan residents.

To inquire about partnering on this or other opportunities, contact Director of Programs and Partnerships Karen Tilsley

Current partners on the 2020-21 Solutions Program are described here. 

Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan 
The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan is the province’s leading dementia and research charity with a mission to empower people to live well with dementia while funding research into prevention, cures and quality of life.  The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan pursues the mission through the delivery of our core services: support, education, awareness, advocacy and research.

The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan’s mission is to improve lung health one breath at a time.  Through funding research and finding innovative ways to help people manage their lung health, The Lung Association plays a role in improving the overall quality of life for those with a lived experience of lung disease through programs, education, training, treatment, and prevention of lung disease. 

Research is a key pillar in achieving our mission. Our current focus is on Indigenous Peoples health, cannabis use and the impact on lung health, and patient and caregiver education.

Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.

ASOS Logo.jpg

TM The heart and / Icon and the Heart&Stroke and Heart and Stroke Foundation word marks are trademarks of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada used under license.