Soutien à la recherche et concours FR/EN - Appel de propositions d’initiatives structurantes sur l’avenir de la santé publique / Call for proposals for structuring initiatives on the Future of Public Health



Population health research takes a holistic approach by examining the determinants of health at different levels, namely individual, social, economic, political, and environmental. The mission of the Quebec Population Health Research Network (QPHRN) is to support the development of population health research capacity in Quebec.

Purpose of the Competition

These last years have been a challenge for our already weakened healthcare systems, both in terms of resource availability and of the efficiency of proposed care. It is now clear that the recent health crisis has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations—children, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and socially disadvantaged groups, for example. Pre-existing social health inequalities have only intensified, while trust in the government, its “experts,” and the healthcare system in general is in a state of crisis and public policy is being called into question. We are thus invited to ask what policies the government could put in place and how these policies would respond to the needs of healthcare professionals, on the one hand, and citizens, on the other.

This state of affairs requires us to reimagine our public healthcare system and consider a number of necessary adaptions. The COVID-19 pandemic was without a doubt the most important catalyst for this discussion, highlighting a multitude of impacts on population health. We are now at the point of furthering this line of reasoning, considering the future of public health—with population aging, the rapid development of innovative AI technology, the public confidence crisis—in addition to reckoning with the effects of climate change.

The purpose of this competition is to posit public health as a subject of research, allowing researchers in this broad field to question the limits and operability of the concept as well as to consider various issues that will foster a better understanding, discussion, and reconfiguration of this sector in Quebec going forward. QPHRN’s Ethics, Social Inequalities of Health and Equity, ICT and Health, and Public Policy and Population Health Axes have committed to funding three initiatives on the future of public health considered from one or both these angles. Each project’s defining characteristics must be clearly outlined in the grant proposal. We are particularly interested in projects on questions of ethics, equity, and inequality in the use of new technology as well as those regarding public policy concerned with population aging, the development of the digital sphere, and/or climate/environmental change.

Research teams must explain the structuring role of the project, e.g., bringing together researchers, research teams, or knowledge users from different institutions, disciplines, or sectors around the same scientific question. Collaborations between the QPHRN’s axes and other involved organizations will be considered favourably. Moreover, interdisciplinary, interinstitutional, and intersectoral collaboration, which is essential for understanding contemporary health problems, will be prioritized.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This competition is open to regular QPHRN research members.
  • At the time of funding, the team must not have funds from any other granting agency for this project. 
  • A regular QPHRN research member may submit only one application to the Aging and Population Health: Issues and Perspectives competition as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator.
  • The same researcher may submit several submissions or appear as a co-investigator in several submissions to the current competitions to support structuring initiatives of the QPHRN and its Axes, on other themes. However, in order to provide equitable access to this support to the greatest number of our members, the same researcher (principal investigator or co-investigator) cannot be funded more than once per year. If the same investigator appears in multiple submissions to the network's SI competitions, priority may be given to the submission with the highest score in the evaluation. 
  • The team must commit to submitting a grant application to an external organization (other than the QPHRN) at the end of this financial support and inform the strategic axis leaders.
  • Literature reviews, even systematic ones, cannot constitute eligible projects in this competition.
  • The same project may be funded only once by the FRQS, the RRSPQ and/or its strategic axes and Training Programs. 

Evaluation Criteria 

The evaluation of proposals will take into account the following elements:

  • Scientific quality: clarity of the problem and objectives; rigor of the methodology; feasibility of the proposal and the timetable for its completion; expected results and spin-offs in terms of future project or impact of the research on society.
  • Relevance in relation to at least one of the preferred research areas of the three QPHRN strategic axes that fund this call, and particularly focused on issues related to aging populations to. intersectionality of Ethics, Social Inequalities of Health and Equity, and digital technologies.
  • Interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and intersectoral team collaborations: researchers must have different and complementary expertise.
  • Priority will be given to projects including at least two regular QPHRN research members from two different universities. 
  • Possible high value-added collaborations/partnerships (community partner, key actors in health policy, knowledge users, etc.) Leverage: the ability to attract partners and obtain other sources of funding (e.g., the potential of the project to lead to the submission of a grant application to the research granting agencies).
  • Sustainability plan: a description of the project's prospects for development beyond the year of QPHRN funding.
  • Description of a clear and realistic timeline: the timeline must be spread over one year.


  • Researchers who are funded will be required to submit a financial report to demonstrate the use of the allocated funds and a scientific report.
  • Funded researchers agree to acknowledge the QPHRN's financial participation and to use the QPHRN logo (if possible), including in publications, announcements, and communications. The following wording is suggested: "The research team would like to thank the Ethics, Social Inequalities in Health and Equity ICT and Health and the Public Policy and Population Health axes of the Quebec Population Health Research Network (QPHRN) for their contribution to the funding of this project."
    "L'équipe de recherche tient à remercier les axes Éthique, Inégalités sociales de santé et équité, TIC et santé et Politiques publiques et santé des populations du Réseau de recherche en santé des populations du Québec (RRSPQ) pour leur contribution au financement de ce projet." 
  • Awardees agree to publish the title and an abstract of their research (in French and English) on the QPHRN website upon announcement of their selection.
  • Researchers who are funded are expected to attend the Network's annual scientific day and may be asked to present their results at that time. 


Applications must be submitted by email in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with the subject line Structuring Initiative Future of Public Health by 5:00 p.m. on March  18st, 2024, to Marie-Anne Foisy, coordinator of the Social Inequalities in Health and Equity Axis at the following address:, to Marianne Ozkan, coordinator of the ICT and Health Axis at the following:; to Karen Lahoud, coordinator of the Public Policies and Population Health at the following address: and/or to  Tzvetelina Tzoneva, coordinator of the Ethics Axes at the following address:

Download the application form here

Evaluation of applications

Applications will be evaluated by a committee established by the Network different axes involved in this competition.