Proof-of-Principle 2021

This funding opportunity will provide research grants of up to $300,000 over a maximum of 24 months to support high-impact projects that pursue translational or interventional research regarding the microbiome’s influence on brain health, or via the interactions between diet, nutrition, and the microbiome.


Please refer to the Program Details and Request for Applications (RFA) for more information and details on how to apply.

Program Overview

Goal: To provide funding to innovative projects that seek to leverage the microbiome to deliver new translational interventions or preventative strategies for improving health. This includes modifying, manipulating, or exploiting the microbiome to confer immune benefits or treat diseases, with a focus on brain health and diet & nutrition.

Funding: Up to $300,000 per project over up to 24 months. The Foundation will commit up to ~ $3,000,000 to projects selected through this program (approximately 10 projects).

Project Eligibility:

  • Develop a new microbiome intervention or preventative strategy for improving brain health; OR
  • Leverage the microbiome to maximize the benefits of diet and nutrition.
  • Full definitions can be found in the Program Details document.

Application Process

  1. Confirm intent to apply by emailing microbiome@westonfoundation.ca
  2. Submit a completed Letter of Intent (see template below) via westonfdn.smartsimple.ca

Important dates

Information Webinar: August 3, 2021 (register here) & August 5, 2021 (register here) @ 3:00pm ET
LOI deadline: August 31, 2021 @ 2:00pm ET
Proposal deadline: October 22, 2021 @ 2:00 pm ET
Anticipated award announcement: December 2021

Catalyst 2020

This funding opportunity will provide research grants of up to $450,000 over a maximum of 36 months to support early-career researchers in undertaking highly innovative projects in the microbiome sciences.

Please refer to the Program Details and Request for Applications (RFA) for more information and details on how to apply.

Program Overview

Goal: To accelerate the development and application of new technologies and approaches that leverage the microbiome to improve health.

Funding: Up to $450,000 per project over up to 36 months. $1.8 million (approx. 4 projects) total.

Applicant Eligibility: Lead by an early career researcher (<5 years active) at the level of assistant professor or higher) for the tenure of the award.

Project Eligibility:

  • Conduct translational research and development focused on delivering new microbiome-based health strategies or implementation studies focused on the application and adoption of microbiome-based health strategies.
  • Strive to develop a new recommendation, intervention, technology, system or preventative strategy that improves health by leveraging the microbiome.
  • Be in any relevant discipline including biomedical, dietary, engineering, information technology, social science, etc.
  • Full definitions can be found in the Program Details document.

Application Process

  1. Confirm intent to apply by emailing microbiome@westonfoundation.ca
  2. Submit a completed Letter of Intent (see template below)

Important dates

Information Webinar: October 2nd, 13th, 2020 @ 1:00pm EST (register here)
LOI deadline: Rolling, final submission Nov 30th, 2020 @ 2:00pm EST
Proposal deadline: Rolling (5 week period for submission)
Anticipated award notification: Rolling

Transformational Research: Canada 2020

Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the least understood and most undertreated diseases today. If ignored, the social and economic costs of managing these diseases will continue to rise. Meeting these challenges requires pioneering approaches to accelerating treatments.

The Transformational Research: Canada program funds transformative, novel, high-risk, high-reward translational research projects. Projects can be from $300,000 to $1,500,000.

Please note: Some deadlines for the Transformational Research: Canada 2020 program have been extended. Please see below.

Continuing for 2020

  • For the Transformational Research: Canada 2019 program, no preliminary data is required; instead it can be collected as an initial milestone with well defined, quantifiable go/no-go criteria. The structure of the project and budget should match the quality of the preliminary data.
  • Expanding the type of complementary approaches eligible for funding to other lifestyle interventions including but not limited to: speech therapy, cognitive therapy, music therapy, social interaction, if these applications meet our other scope criteria and have specific supportive evidence/justification (from published literature or unpublished data) to warrant further investigation.
  • Encouraging applications that bring in other fields such as: AI, big data, machine learning, data science, and computer science.

Program Overview

Goal: To provide funding for translational research that will accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

Funding:  A maximum of $1,500,000 over up to 3 years per project. Encouraging applications at all funding levels from $300,000 to $1,500,000, without need for preliminary data.

Applicant Eligibility: Eligible Principal Applicants must be researchers working in Canada at least 30% of the time at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent, and be affiliated with a Canada Revenue Agency-qualified donee institution located in Canada. Co-Applicants/Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada.

Applicants may appear in any role on any number of projects.

Project Eligibility: Projects must meet the following conditions to be eligible:

  • Be translational research (excluding clinical trials and clinical trial sub-studies) that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.
    • Clinical trials and clinical trial sub-studies should be submitted to the Early-Phase Clinical Trials or Rapid Response programs; however other translational research using humans or human samples/data is in scope.
  • Be the development of a therapeutic and/or tool and/or select complementary approaches (Please refer to the Program Details for more information on complementary approaches that are in scope.

The project structure (i.e. the frequency and detail of the go/no go milestones) and the quality of the preliminary data should commensurate with the size of budget. For example: A project requesting $1,500,000 for 3 years should have strong preliminary data and multiple go/no-go milestones, whereas a project requesting $300,000 could have minimal preliminary data and less frequent milestones.

Please refer to What We Fund for Institute definitions of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, translational research, therapeutic/tool, and complementary approaches.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Vascular contributions to the above
  • Prodromes to the above

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Vascular contributions to the above
  • Prodromes to the above

Application Process

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Letters of Intent (LOIs)
  2. Proposals

An application requires the submission of a Letter of Intent which will be reviewed by our scientific review committee. Applicants with high potential projects will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Instructions for submitting the Proposal will be sent to those invited.

Program Documents

Program Details

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases

Important dates

Please note: Some deadlines for the Rapid Response: Canada 2020 program have been extended.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:Parkinson’s & Related Diseases:
Online applications open:February 5, 2020February 5, 2020
LOI deadline:
March 27, 2020 
April 24, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
April 30, 2020 
June 4, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
Proposal deadline:
August 5, 2020 
August 20, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
September 22, 2020 
October 13, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
Anticipated award notification:October 2020December 2020

Program Information Webinar

The Institute will hold a Program Information Webinar for each disease focus, to provide further details on the program and answer any questions. However, if you have questions specific to your project (e.g., project scope), we encourage you to contact us.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases: February 24, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
The webinar has passed.

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases: March 20, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
The webinar has passed.

POP 2020

This funding opportunity will provide research grants of up to $200,000 over a maximum of 24 months to support high-impact projects that seek to leverage the microbiome to improve health.

Please refer to the Program Details and Request for Applications (RFA) for more information and details on how to apply.

Program Overview

Goal: To provide funding to Canadian scientists performing high-risk, high-reward translational research that leverages the microbiome towards improving human health.

Funding: Up to $200,000 per project over up to 24 months. $2 million (approx. 10 projects) total.

Project Eligibility:

  • Establish an innovative line of translational or implementation research and provide proof-of-principle evidence in support of new health applications.
  • Work towards a recommendation, intervention or preventative strategy that improves health by leveraging the microbiome.
  • Focus on eligible research surrounding the application of lifestyle approaches in microbiome health.
  • Full definitions can be found in the Program Details document.

Application Process

  1. Confirm intent to apply by emailing geordie.stewart@westonfoundation.ca
  2. Submit a completed Letter of Intent (see template below)

Important dates

Information Webinar: January 7th, 9th, 2020 @ 1:00pm EST (register here)
LOI deadline: January 21st, 2020 @ 2:00pm EST
Proposal deadline: May 14th, 2020 @ 4:00 pm EDT
Anticipated award notification: June, 2020

Rapid Response: Canada 2020

Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the least understood and most undertreated diseases today. If ignored, the social and economic costs of managing these diseases will continue to rise. Meeting these challenges requires pioneering approaches to accelerating treatments.

The Rapid Response: Canada program was created to provide seed funding to catalyse novel, high-risk, high-reward translational research. Preliminary data is not required.

Please note: Some deadlines for the Rapid Response: Canada 2020 program have been extended. Please see below.

Continuing for 2020

  • The budget of the Rapid Response: Canada 2020 program has been increased to a maximum of $300,000 over up to 18 months.
  • Expanding the type of complementary approaches eligible for funding to other lifestyle interventions including but not limited to: speech therapy, cognitive therapy, music therapy, social interaction, if these applications meet our other scope criteria and have specific supportive evidence/justification (from published literature or unpublished data) to warrant further investigation.
  • Encouraging applications that bring in other fields such as: AI, big data, machine learning, data science, and computer science.

Program Overview

Goal: To provide seed funding for novel, high-risk, high-reward, translational research that will accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

Funding: A maximum of $300,000 over up to 18 months per project.

Applicant Eligibility: Eligible Principal Applicants must be working in Canada at least 30% of the time at or above the level of Postdoctoral researcher, and be affiliated with a Canada Revenue Agency-qualified donee institution located in Canada. Co-Applicants/Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada.

If the Principal Applicant is not appointed at the institution from which they are applying, they need to apply with a research supervisor (an “Administrative Supervisor”) who is at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent, with an appointment at the institution from which they are applying.

Applicants may appear in any role on any number of projects.

Project Eligibility:

  • Be translational research that helps accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging
  • Be the development of a therapeutic and/or tool, and/or select complementary approaches (Please refer to the Program Details for more information)
  • *Preliminary data is not required for this program

The Rapid Response program will have multiple calls per year, alternating between two different disease groups (outlined below). Applicants should apply to the group best suited to their project.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Vascular contributions to the above
  • Prodromes to the above

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Vascular contributions to the above
  • Prodromes to the above

Application Process

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Letters of Intent (LOIs)
  2. Proposals

An application requires the submission of a Letter of Intent which will be reviewed by our scientific review committee. Applicants with high potential projects will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Instructions for submitting the Proposal will be sent to those invited.

Program Documents

Program Details

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases

Important dates

Please note: Some deadlines for the Rapid Response: Canada 2020 program have been extended.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:Parkinson’s & Related Diseases:
Online applications open:February 5, 2020February 5, 2020
LOI deadline:
March 27, 2020 
April 24, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
April 30, 2020 
June 4, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
Proposal deadline:
August 5, 2020 
August 20, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
September 22, 2020 
October 13, 2020 at 2:00pm ET
Anticipated award notification:October 2020December 2020

Program Information Webinar

The Institute will hold a Program Information Webinar for each disease focus, to provide further details on the program and answer any questions. However, if you have questions specific to your project (e.g., project scope), we encourage you to contact us.

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases: February 24, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
The webinar has passed.

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases: March 20, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
The webinar has passed.

Early Phase Clinical Trials: Canada

Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the least understood and most undertreated diseases today. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are placing a large and increasing burden on society. If ignored, the social and economic costs of managing these diseases will rise significantly within a generation. Meeting these challenges requires pioneering approaches to accelerating treatments.

The Early Phase Clinical Trials: Canada program was created to provide funding support for clinical trials and clinical trial sub-studies with excellent preliminary data.

Continuing for 2020

  • Applications focused on complementary approaches (e.g., diet, physical activity, sleep, speech therapy, cognitive therapy) are eligible for the Early Phase Clinical Trials program, if they meet our other program scope criteria and have specific supportive evidence/justification (from published literature or unpublished data) to warrant further investigation. Please refer to Institute definitions on complementary approaches for more details.
  • The Early Phase Clinical Trials: Canada program runs on a rolling basis. Applicants may submit an LOI at any time and will be notified of whether to prepare a full Proposal within ~2 months of LOI submission.
  • See our participant recruiting suggestions for ways of strengthening your recruiting plan in your proposal, and making recruiting faster and easier.

Program Overview

Please refer to the Program Details and Request for Applications (RFA) documents for more information (last updated: January 22, 2020).

Goal: To provide funding to support clinical trials and/or clinical trial sub-studies that could accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

Funding:  A maximum of $1,500,000 per project over up to 4 years. If you are requesting a budget between $1.5 to $2 million per project, please contact Cristina Tang (cristina.tang@westonbrain.org) prior to applying.

Applicant Eligibility: Principal Applicants must be a researcher working in Canada at least 30% of the time, hold a position at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent, and be affiliated with a Canada Revenue Agency-qualified donee institution located in Canada. Co-applicants and Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada. Applicants may appear in any role on any number of projects.

Project Eligibility: Eligible projects must meet these conditions to be eligible:

  • Be a clinical trial(s) and/or a clinical trial sub-study(s) that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.
    • Projects that require only up to $300,000 over up to 18 months may also be submitted to the Rapid Response program.
    • Translational research other than clinical trials and/or clinical trial sub-studies should be submitted to the Transformational Research program or the Rapid Response program.
  • Be the development of a therapeutic and/or tool, and/or complementary approaches.

Application Process

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Letters of Intent (LOIs)
  2. Proposals

An application requires the submission of a Letter of Intent which will be reviewed by our scientific review committee. Applicants with high potential projects will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Instructions for submitting the Proposal will be forwarded to those invited.

Applicants can expect to receive the outcome of their LOI application within ~2 months of submission.

Apply now

Brain Health 2021

The program seeks to increase the number of Canadians maintaining better brain health throughout their lives. This program aims to advance the treatment (e.g., symptomatic relief, disease modification) and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases of aging by accelerating the development and implementation of lifestyle approaches and/or identifying the contribution of the microbiome.

*The deadline for submitting applications to the Brain Health: 2021 – Lifestyle Approaches and Microbiome Contributions program has now passed*

Program Overview

Goal: To accelerate the development of lifestyle approaches and an understanding of the contributions of the microbiome in maintaining brain health starting in midlife.

Funding: Up to $1.5 million per project over up to 3 years.

Applicant Eligibility: Principal Applicants must be a researcher working in Canada at least 30% of the time and hold a position at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent. Co-applicants and Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada.

Project Eligibility: Eligible projects can be Research Questions or Implementation Initiatives.

Research Questions: Hypothesis-based questions that help accelerate the development of lifestyle approaches or microbiome contributions to brain health.

Application Process

The application process consists of two stages:

  • Letters of Intent (LOIs)
  • Proposals

To apply, applicants must submit an LOI to the Foundation. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Each LOI and Proposal is peer-reviewed by a scientific review committee.

Important dates

Online applications open: August 5, 2020
LOI deadline: November 25, 2020
Proposal deadline: April 15, 2021
Anticipated award notification: July 2021

Program Information Webinar

The Foundation will hold two Program Information Webinars to provide further details on the program and answer any questions. However, if you have questions specific to your project (e.g., project scope), we encourage you to contact us directly.

Webinar #1: September 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET – Webinar has passed
Webinar #2: October 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET – Webinar has passed