PACE: Request for Applications

NOTICE OF INTENT TO APPLY DEADLINE: 5:00 PM (EST) Monday, August 31, 2020 

FULL APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5:00 PM (EST) Wednesday, September 30, 2020


The Promoting Access and Care Through Centres of Excellence (PACE) program was launched in 2016 as an innovative collaboration across a network of five leading IBD centres with the goals to improve patient outcomes, address current gaps through research and clinical care, and provide evidence to create changes in the public healthcare system. Four initiatives were pilot tested over a four-year period: servicing remote communities through telemedicine, monitoring patients remotely through innovative technology, measuring benchmarks in healthcare delivery, and standardizing care through clinical care pathways. The results are changing the way we deliver IBD care in Canada.

In phase two of the PACE program, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will launch additional priority-driven research programs. The initiatives must be developed and pilot tested over a three-year period with the potential for national dissemination, and be recognized as a significant advancement in the quality of IBD healthcare delivery in Canada.


PACE is Canada’s first national network of leading IBD centres of excellence working together to collectively advance best practices and elevate the standard of care for patients. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will launch priority-driven research programs as part of the PACE initiative that address gaps in care in the following areas for IBD patients in Canada:

1) Mental health; and
2) Diet and nutrition  

Researchers may submit research programs that address other gaps in IBD care in Canada, but must include additional justification for prioritization over these areas of focus.


• Improve IBD patient outcomes;
• Address current gaps in the quality of IBD care delivered; 
• Develop solutions grounded on sustainability and national rollout, ideally including community care; and
• Provide evidence to create changes in the Canadian public healthcare system 


Investigators who hold an academic appointment at a Canadian university directly involved in the clinical care of IBD patients are eligible to apply as principal investigator. The research proposed must have a clear connection to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s promise to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. Principal Investigators must reside in Canada in order to apply for funding.
A Co-Principal Investigator is an individual who is expected to actively participate in the proposed activities but not to direct them.
A Collaborator is an individual whose role in the proposed activities is to provide a specific service (e.g., access to equipment, provision of specific reagents, training in a specialized technique, statistical analysis, access to a patient population, etc.).

If the research is to be done in a hospital or other healthcare facility, the signature of that institution’s officer certifies that appropriate space and resources are available, and will be provided to the applicant.


Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and sponsor(s) financial contributions for this initiative are subject to availability of funds. Should Crohn’s and Colitis Canada or sponsor(s) funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and sponsor(s) reserve the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity. 

The total budget available for the initiative(s) over the three-year period is $450,000 CDN. 

The amount funded will be established on the basis of the research program’s requirements and significance to the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s promise. Specific Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Board policy forbids the use of any funds to cover institutional overhead.

Progress reports will be required every year for formal evaluation and continuation of funding. 

Funding may be used to support: 

  • Operations of the research program;
  • Salaries of personnel directly involved in the program proportional to their percent involvement;
  • Purchase of equipment and maintenance contracts for services and shared facilities;
  • Costs of sample and data collection, database, and maintenance of information holdings directly related to the clinical care program; and
  • Costs of regional, national and international networking activities and knowledge exchange activities, directly related to the clinical care program 

The principal investigator, co-investigator(s) and collaborator(s) salaries are not eligible for funding support. 


Each full application is assessed, following a peer-review process, for its scientific merit, relevancy, and translatability potential by a Review Panel. An internal review of all applications scored as Excellent to Outstanding (see below table) by the Review Panel will be conducted by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada using additional criteria. For example, if more than one proposal scores above 4.0 on Diet & Nutrition, preference will be given to sites and/or provinces that are currently not participating in the PACE program. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada includes people with IBD on its Review Panel in order to increase accountability and transparency of the review process, and to ensure the research is aligned with its promise, goals, and strategic priorities. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada places a high priority on ensuring appropriate lay summaries are submitted as part of each application.

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Value added of initiative and innovation – initiative seeks to shift current clinical paradigms;
  • Overall impact – likelihood for the initiative to exert a sustained, powerful influence in IBD clinical care (better care at lower cost) gastroenterologists and enhance networks between clinicians and researchers; advance clinical research through patient-centered or quality improvement studies, such as biobanking and patient databases, to assess quality and document improved outcomes; 
  • Significance – initiative addresses an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in clinical practice;
  • Approach/Model – overall strategy is well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish specific aims of the initiative;
  • Feasibility – applicant’s productivity, training, and/or track record (suitability of applicant to lead initiative) along with soundness in methodology;
  • Measurement – benchmarks for success are present, appropriate infrastructure in place to track metrics, milestones are clearly presented with timelines;
  • Translatability/transferability – provide proof of concept that initiative can be broadly applied to other IBD centres, including ideally community clinics; plan for dissemination and translation of findings to other IBD centres; 
  • Leveragability – commitment and plan to secure funding from other partner organizations, institutions, industry or other sources and to strategically partner to raise funds jointly with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada; 
  • Integration with current PACE programs – how it might incorporate or integrate with PACE initiatives from phase one, such as incorporating telemedicine into the delivery of mental healthcare or dietary consultation, or integrate into Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s patient programs and services, including digital apps; and
  • Accountability and recognition – plan to recognize Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s contribution and integrate Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in review and oversight process 

The Review Panel also reserves the option to accept or reject specific components of the proposed initiative.


The application process is comprised of two phases: 
1. Notice of Intent to Apply
2. Full Application

1. Notice of Intent to Apply

In the first phase of the application process, the applicant is required to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply. The Notice of Intent to Apply must be submitted using the online application form below. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada uses the completed Notice of Intent to Apply to identify suitable peer reviewers to review full applications, and to triage applications that are not Crohn’s and/or colitis related. Applicants who submit a Notice of Intent to Apply will be notified if they are to proceed with submitting a Full Application by the specified deadline. Applicants must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply to be eligible to submit a Full Application.

The Notice of Intent to Apply must include: 

  • Descriptive title of the initiative;
  • Name and contact information of the applicant(s);
  • Brief description, rationale and goals of the initiative (1,000 words maximum); 
  • Lay summary (250 words maximum);
  • Total and annual budgetary requirements; and
  • Suggested external reviewers and names of reviewers to whom the full application should not be sent

The submission deadline is 5:00 PM (EST) Monday, August 31, 2020.

2. Full Application  

A short list of applicants that were successful in the Notice of Intent to Apply phase will be invited to submit a full application. Applications must be submitted using the form below. 

Applicants should upload a clear, concise description of their research proposal with their online application. A maximum of 10 pages may be submitted. Page limits do not include references, tables, charts, figures and photographs, which may only be included after the bibliographic references. Applicants are permitted to submit figures and/or tables describing preliminary data and relevant legends. Legends should be succinct.

The application must include: 

  • Brief description of initiative;
  • Specific aims;
  • Overview section: rationale, mission, goals, and make a clear statement about the value added of the initiative to the field of IBD, to the mission of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, and how the program can be nationalized to impact IBD care delivery across Canada;
  • Detailed descriptions of methods and discussion of results;
  • Key personnel and biosketches;
  • Budget and budget rationale, using the budget template provided;
  • Milestones and deliverables (formatted as a Gantt chart with target dates);
  • Resources available for the entire initiative;
  • Letters of support and collaboration; and
  • Letters of commitment, or commitment in principle, from other partners and funders
Both Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators are asked to provide a biosketch that includes personal information, including education, research training, academic positions, distinctions and awards, and publications. Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators must include biosketches in the online application. The current Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) CV format (or Common CV) will not be accepted. Both Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators are asked to upload to the online application a publications list from the last 5 years highlighting publications relevant to the submitted research proposal.

The submission deadline is 5:00PM (EST) on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. 

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Please use the budget template provided by CCC


Evidence of partnership with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is required. Examples include partnerships with hospitals, universities, provincial health authorities, industry, networks of centres of excellence, and other networks. Emphasis will be placed on building partnerships and attracting supplementary funding from such partners and from other funding agencies. This may be in the form of direct funding or in-kind support.

Applicants will be expected to provide letters of commitment, or commitment in principle, from partners (e.g., host institutions) confirming willingness to strategically partner with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, when submitting a full application for funding.


For program information or application content requirements, contact Crohn’s and Colitis Canada: 

Attn: Katy Devitt, Manager, Research Programs 
416-920-5035 x 229

Crohn's and Colitis Canada 
600 - 60 St. Clair Avenue East 
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1N5 

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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