Notice of upcoming rapid response monkeypox research funding opportunity

The new Team Grant : Monkeypox Rapid Research Response funding opportunity is now available on ResearchNet (Application deadline: September 7, 2022).

The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is working to support a rapid research response to outbreaks of Monkeypox in Canada and Africa. The Monkeypox Rapid Research Response competition will launch the week of July 18, 2022.

We are providing preliminary information to allow the research community to prepare and respond to an expedited process.

Monkeypox Rapid Research Response

Monkeypox is a neglected zoonotic disease of global public health importance caused by an orthopoxvirus. It is closely related to smallpox and is endemic to parts of Central and West Africa, where it has been re-emerging in recent years. While Africa typically sees thousands of endemic cases reported annually, monkeypox cases outside of Africa are rare.

As of June 22, 2022, a total of 3,413 laboratory confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported from 50 countries in 5 WHO RegionsFootnote 1. The majority of these cases were reported from non-endemic countries particularly from the WHO European region (84% of cases). Although a small proportion are from the WHO Africa region, there has been a large number of suspected but unconfirmed cases from endemic African countries. For the first time in history, Canada has cases of monkeypox, with 278 confirmed cases as of June 29, 2022, with the majority of cases reported from QuebecFootnote 2. Due to the long incubation period of 5 to 21 days before symptoms manifest, there are potentially additional cases that have not yet been identified. The current clade circulating globally appears to be the West African clade, which typically has a fatality rate of about 3.6%.

The rapid identification of a large number of cases from around the world, particularly from non-endemic countries, is highly unusual and may be indicative of widespread (and possibly under-reported) person-to-person transmission that has been occurring for several weeks to months. The underlying factors that may account for these changing transmission patterns are not known. Genomic sequencing is currently ongoing in Canada and around the world to determine whether the virus has any distinct mutations that may be of clinical or epidemiological importance.

While there are no well-established specific treatments for monkeypox, several medical countermeasures that were originally developed against smallpox are available to prevent and treat monkeypox under emergency use licensing. They are currently being rolled out in Canada and Europe. The WHO is also providing support to African member states to strengthen surveillance, improve laboratory diagnosis, and to prepare for further outbreak response efforts, potentially through vaccinations. As summarized in the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)’s Interim guidance on the use of Imvamune® in the context of monkeypox outbreaks in Canada, there are a number of knowledge gaps and research questions about the monkeypox virus and very limited evidence to guide the recommendation of the Imvamune vaccine. Research evidence is needed to support the effective and sustainable deployment of Imvamune and other medical countermeasures, particularly to ensure that they form a coherent element of a broader public health intervention strategy. Clinical studies of the safety and real-world effectiveness of these medical countermeasures and the public health strategies by which they are deployed will be key to inform clinical and health system management and public health responses, as well as decision-making and planning. Sero-surveillance research is also required to elucidate the underlying transmission histories and dynamics of the current outbreak. This funding opportunity will focus on addressing those timely research needs.


To be eligible to the competition, applications must be co-led by Canadian and African researchers and address all objectives:

CIHR and IDRC are dedicated to identifying and developing collaborations with other funding organizations and stakeholders to enhance the availability of funding for this strategic initiative, and to create, where appropriate, opportunities for collaboration, knowledge mobilization related to the scope of this initiative.

Availability of funds

The Government of Canada's financial contributions are subject to availability of funds. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. Should the Government of Canada funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, the Government of Canada reserves the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity.

Expression of interest (EOI)

Given the importance of an interdisciplinary research response, this funding opportunity will include an expression of interest stage with a collaboration call to support identifying synergies and collaboration potential across interested applicants. Applicants will be required to prepare a summary of up to 250 words, in PDF format, that describes early thinking regarding their proposal and approaches to collaborate with domestic and international researchers. Specific requirements for the application process, including the EOI phase, will be outlined in the Funding Opportunity.

Anticipated timelines

These dates are estimates and subject to change.

Please also note

Given the urgency of this funding competition, recruitment for peer reviewers will begin immediately. If you are interested and available to volunteer as a peer reviewer, please reach out to CIHR immediately at We thank applicants and peer reviewers in advance for their flexibility and understanding with respect to the need for this expedited process.

Contact information

For general inquiries please contact:


The information contained herein is anticipatory only and does not represent an official funding commitment by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Accordingly, the information contained herein may differ from the official funding opportunity, if and when, that will be published on ResearchNet.

Date modified: