Submitting Expressions of Interest and Answering a COVID-19 Challenge Question

The Challenge Questions Initiative is a non-competitive program. Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Please note that the COVID-19 Challenge Questions Initiative is not a research grant funding opportunity. It is an opportunity for integrated knowledge translation. Expressions of Interest to the Challenge Questions should have enough funding to undertake the work.


  • Researchers in Ontario-based universities and other academic institutions
  • Researchers in Ontario-based non-profit organizations

Incentives to Participate:

  • Researcher receives prioritized access to the OHDP
  • New data sets needed to address the Challenge Questions are prioritized for addition to the OHDP
  • Provincial recognition and exposure to decision makers.


Stage 1: Submit an Expression of Interest

Researchers are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for each Challenge Question they plan to answer. 

To submit an EOI, please complete the EOI form.

  • A PDF of the EOI form is available here for planning purposes only. Note that we are not accepting applications via email or PDF versions of this form, only online EOI submissions via the link above.
  • The EOI form is only available in English. For French inquiries please contact:


Stage 2: Connect with Knowledge Users

Researchers will be connected with relevant knowledge users (KUs) and COVID-19 advisory committees to enable integrated knowledge translation. This will be done through structured mechanisms to clarify questions, test assumptions, and share ongoing analysis. Researchers will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a Challenge Questions Team with other researchers in the research area.

Stage 3: Submit Answers and Actionable Insights

Researchers will be asked to submit their proposed Challenge Question answer via a Challenge Question Summary of Findings Form. A reference PDF version of this form can be found here for planning purposes (each CQI researcher will directly receive a unique link to a fillable Summary of Findings form).

The Ministry of Health will assess the Summary of Findings based on the following criteria:

  • Ability to convey findings to policy makers (e.g. plain language)
  • Increased understanding of issue and/or tangible solution or tool (i.e. how well the response adds to understanding of the issue and/or provides a tangible solution for further scope and scale)
  • Reliability and validity of results
  • Feasibility or actionability of guidance/solution provided. 

Feedback on proposals will be provided to researchers including potential next steps and further opportunities to share results (e.g. at ministry advisory committees or other venues).

Strong results will be profiled on the Ministry of Health and/or Compute Ontario websites and highlighted in the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Evidence Update. There will also be the potential for COVID-19 Challenge Question Initiative Recognition Awards.

More Information

  • Inquiries related to the Challenge Question Program should be directed to the Research Analysis and Evaluation Branch at the Ministry of Health through 

Date modified: 2021-09-08