Joint Australian-Canadian Centre of Research Excellence


Partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have entered into a shared funding arrangement in primary health care.

A partnerships grant program between Australian and Canadian research teams in community-based primary health care (CBPHC) health services research is open for application. The Team grant will support Australian and Canadian researchers, decision makers and healthcare professionals to work together to conduct programmatic, interdisciplinary and cross-jurisdictional research to transform CBPHC for the next generation. Teams will focus on the priority research areas of innovative approaches to chronic disease prevention and management in CBPHC and/or improving access to appropriate CBPHC for vulnerable populations.

 One Australian-Canadian 5 year grant will be awarded for a total of $5m. There will be a two stage assessment process with Expressions of Interest called for by May 2012 and full applications for selected groups to follow. The successful grant is expected to commence in early 2013.

Application requirements for Australian participants

Australian teams will need to partner with a team from Canada and submit a joint expression of interest to the CIHR in accordance with detailed instructions set out at:

Australian applicants are also required to submit a PDF of the application directly to APHCRI. That document should include a proposed budget (in Australian Dollars) for the Australian component of the program. The maximum, Australian team budget will be $2.5m over the period of the grant. Details of what may be included in the proposed budget are set out below under the heading: Budget

Under this scheme, APHCRI will provide support for a team of researchers to pursue collaborative research and develop research capacity in primary health care services in partnership with a Canadian team and in one of the identified areas below. The scheme provides funding for innovative, high quality primary health care research. Originality will be a hallmark. It is aimed at established investigators with a strong track record of research and of knowledge translation and exchange in a domain of primary health care research who will collaborate with emerging researchers in the area.

The APHCRI-funded team may be actual (i.e. comprising a physical entity or Institute) or virtual (i.e. geographically disparate, linking a collaborative research effort from several organisations). It will be multi-institutional with at least two Australian institutions (universities and/or non-government organisations) collaborating. To expand research capacity building, a requirement is that at least one collaborating organisation will not have received APHCRI Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) funding in the past. It is also a requirement that teams will be multidisciplinary, representing the range of disciplines that deliver primary health care services in Australia.

The APHCRI funded component of the joint Australia-Canadian program must be administered through an eligible Australian administering institution.

The Canadian-Australian team will focus on the following key research gaps:

(1) Better models for chronic disease prevention and management in CBPHC; and/or

(2) Access to appropriate CBPHC for vulnerable populations.

In developing proposals, Australian applicants should take account of the broad aims of APHCRI research funding which, are closely aligned with the National Primary Health Care Strategy and the health care reform agenda. Proposals therefore should aim to support the national reform agenda by providing evidence for reform and key directions for change in primary health care policy and systems delivery. The key directions for change are identified as:

  • Improving access and reducing inequity;
  • Better management of chronic conditions;
  • Increased focus on prevention, and
  • Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.

The building blocks as listed in the National Primary Health Care Strategy are: regional integration; information and technology including eHealth; skilled workforce; infrastructure and financing and system performance. To support these directions, the aims of the proposed Centres are to:

  • Generate quality primary health care research which informs policy and practice and leads to improved primary health care services and health outcomes for the Australian community.
  • Enhance knowledge exchange between the APHCRI Network and the wider primary health care sector (including but not limited to State and Commonwealth Governments) which will enable effective translation of research outcomes into policy and practice.
  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration across the Australian primary health care research community.
  • Build Australian primary health care research capacity through enhanced career development of research leaders and new researchers.
  • Develop positive impacts for the Closing the Gap initiative to improve the health and well being of Indigenous Australians.
  • Develop internationally renowned Centres of Excellence in primary health care research.



Acceptable expenditures of these funds are presented in the online APHCRI CRE Handbook, but include:

  • Salary support (NOTE that APHCRI will not provide salary support for staff already in receipt of institutional salary for ‘buying out’ of administrative, teaching, or other time for staff engaged on the APHCRI grant).
  • Direct research costs, including telecommunications costs associated with the Canadian collaboration
  • Support for multi-institution collaboration using the most economical means (travel, teleconference, etcetera)
  • Support for consumer engagement
  • Support for knowledge translation and exchange (including reasonable research travel for investigator and stakeholders)
  • Supporting visits of international and national experts
  • No more than one visit (economy fare) per annum by up to two team members to the Canadian collaborators.
  • Post-doctoral and PhD support
  • Annual reporting visit for the Chief Investigator A to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and APHCRI ANU. (Other investigators may attend these meetings by agreement but not at a cost to the grant.)

No APHCRI funding is to be made available for activities undertaken outside Australia.

It should be noted that APHCRI will nominate experts to participate in the review process to be undertaken in Canada and fund their participation. APHCRI will not fund any observer attendance.        


Application date

1 Feb – 31 Oct 2012

Program duration

1 Apr 2013 – 30 Jun 2018


 Dr Chilandu Mukuka  Send mail  6125 0782

Updated:  20 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, APHCRI/Page Contact:  Web Admin, APHCRI