OHS Futures Research Grants

The OHS Futures program provides health and safety research funding for academic institutions, industry and labour organizations.

Important dates

March 1, 2018: Notice of Intent period opens.

March 19, 2018  at 11:59 p.m. MDT: Notice of Intent period closes

Late March, 2018: Invitations to complete OHS Futures full research application go out

May 7, 2018  at 11:59 p.m. MDT: Application period closes

Fall 2018: Applicants notified of their application results

Overview

The OHS Futures Research Funding Program formalizes the way researchers, academic institutions, industry, and labour organizations access funding for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) research. It links government with experts and enhances OHS knowledge and capacity.

In previous years, OHS Futures received over 20 applications, and funded between seven and nine projects.

For more information on the terms and conditions, see the Grant Agreement Template (PDF, 304 KB).

Disclaimer: The information you provide is being collected by the OHS Program to determine eligibility for potential funding related to the OHS Futures - Research Funding Program offered by the Government of Alberta under the OHS Program. If you choose to apply, the information you provide is collected pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and will be managed in accordance with the privacy provisions in the Act. Research data acquired from projects funded by the OHS Futures program posted on the Government of Alberta Open Data Portal will not include personal information. If you have any questions about the collection of personal information, please contact the Information and Privacy Office at 780-644-2397; email: LBR.IPO@gov.ab.ca.

Research priorities

The research priorities for the 2018/19 funding year are as follows, with particular focus on primary prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and diseases in Alberta.

Policy Statements Examples of Policy Questions
Impairment in the workplace and fitness for work
Workers must be fit for work, and impairment arising from numerous possible causes (e.g. fatigue, health conditions, mental health, prescription and non-prescription drugs, etc.) can create a workplace hazard that employers need to control.
  • What workplace policies are effective at addressing impairment or fitness for work?
  • What effective resources are available for young workers regarding the health impacts of cannabis, from an OHS perspective?
  • Have changes in legislation led to impacts in impairment in the workplace?
  • What tools can employers use to assess impairment and fitness for work?
New and emerging occupational diseases
The scope of OHS has expanded to include broader concepts of health including public health, social determinants of health, wellness, and economic impacts. This expanded scope may also include identification of emerging occupational diseases, new notifiable diseases, and novel occupational exposures that have been associated with disease.
  • How do workplace hazards intersect with social determinants of health to impact OHS?
  • How can we ensure that workers are protected from cytotoxic, antineoplastic or psychoactive drug exposures in medical facilities, when there is the potential for contaminated materials to spread the exposure (ex. work surfaces, linens)?
  • Are there industries or occupations where chemical and radiation exposures need to be better controlled? What controls would be effective in mitigating exposures?
Psychosocial health and wellness
There is increasing emphasis on protecting psychosocial health and wellness in workplaces and preventing workplace violence and harassment.
  • What factors contribute to toxic workplace culture, including unwelcome conduct, comment, bullying or action in workplaces, and how can they be mitigated?
  • How can employers and workers protect mental health and foster resilience and psychological well-being in workplaces?
  • What is the impact of violence, including domestic and sexual, on Albertan workplaces and what are measures to mitigate those impacts?
  • What modifiable risk factors can help prevent workplace Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
OHS implications of emerging technologies and industries
Alberta’s workplaces are encountering new technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, robotics, drones, virtual reality, ‘green’ energy sources, nanomaterials, new ergonomic tools) and emerging industries (e.g. .Cannabis production). It is necessary to identify potential OHS risks in order to develop mitigation strategies.
  • What chemical exposures or physical hazards may result from “green” construction materials and techniques and how can these be mitigated?
  • What are the potential implications of artificial intelligence technologies in the workplace and how can these be mitigated? How can OHS values/standards be incorporated into artificial intelligence programming?
  • What are the potential regulatory uses of new technology? (e.g. mobile sensors and measurement devices)
  • How do the hazards of traditional workplaces compare to the hazards of new and future workplaces? (e.g. taxis versus ridesharing)
Agricultural Industry
Agriculture is now covered under OHS Legislation and the particular circumstances of this industry sector warrant consideration.
  • How has the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act and the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act impacted OHS for farming and ranching workers?
  • What measures are effective at preventing agriculture-related injuries (e.g. farm equipment, grain engulfment, animal-related injuries)?
Overarching considerations
Sex, gender and health and safety Preference will be given to studies that incorporate sex and gender considerations into research questions and study design.
Priority populations Research interest exists for these priority populations: Indigenous workers; aging workers; youth and young workers; vulnerable workers such as transient or migrant, immigrant or new workers; pregnant workers.
Prevention of Occupational Disease and Injury:  Researchers must select whether their study results will be relevant to primary, secondary or tertiary prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and diseases in Alberta. Preference will be given to research informing primary prevention.
Primary prevention Primary prevention aims to prevent disease or injury before it ever occurs. This is done by preventing exposures to hazards that cause disease or injury, altering unhealthy or unsafe behaviours that can lead to disease or injury, and increasing resistance to disease or injury should exposure occur.
Secondary prevention Secondary prevention aims to reduce the impact of a disease or injury that has already occurred. This is done by detecting and treating disease or injury as soon as possible to halt or slow its progress, encouraging personal strategies to prevent re-injury or recurrence, and implementing programs to return people to their original health and function to prevent long-term problems.
Tertiary prevention Tertiary prevention aims to soften the impact of an ongoing illness or injury that has lasting effects. This is done by helping people manage long-term, often-complex health problems and injuries (e.g. chronic diseases, permanent impairments) in order to improve as much as possible their ability to function, their quality of life and their life expectancy.
Proposals on topics different from those listed will be considered. Please contact OHS Futures staff if you have questions: OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca

Eligibility

Eligible applicants

To be eligible for a research grant, your organization must be Canadian-based. However, international collaborations are encouraged.

The Principal Applicant and Co-Applicant:

  • cannot be full-time employees of any Government of Alberta ministries
  • must have the qualifications and appropriate expertise to conduct the proposed research
  • must agree to data sharing within the time period outlined in the grant agreement
  • must provide a final report within the time period outlined in the grant agreement
  • must be willing to complete evaluation surveys, provide information/summary resources in layman’s terms, and present research findings at two designated meetings

If you are not part of an academic institution, we strongly suggest partnering with a researcher at an academic institution. Please contact us at OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca if you require assistance in connecting to industry and/or researchers.

Eligible projects

Eligible research projects:

  • should meet the 2018 research priorities
  • should be completed within 18 months, including knowledge transfer
  • must directly impact Alberta workers and workplaces or inform policy and practices that will directly impact Alberta workers and workplaces

Multi-year projects

Multi-year projects require new submissions for each year of the project, and are not guaranteed funding from year-to-year.

If an applicant has a multi-year project in mind, they must outline all the years in the Notice of Intent and application for the first year of funding to allow OHS Futures to get a sense of the overall project.

For each year of funding after the first year, the application must explain that the new application builds upon the results of a previously funded research project.

Ineligible projects

The following projects are not eligible for funding:

  • projects that are required to be completed under law
  • drug trials or efficacy research
  • for-profit product development
  • high performance computing platforms
  • product efficacy or endorsement
  • capital purchases

How to apply

Step 1. Read background documents

Grant Agreement Template (PDF, 304 KB): outlines the terms and conditions for funds received through this grant program.

Government of Alberta Open Information and Open Data Policy: to comply with this policy, project data will be posted on the open data portal within 2 years of project completion.

Step 2. Complete and submit the notice of intent

The Notice of Intent template (PDF, 249 KB) is now available. The Notice of Intent allows OHS Futures staff to evaluate the pertinence of a proposed project (in relation to OHS Futures priorities) prior to requesting a detailed research application.

Submit the Notice of Intent to OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca.

If you do not submit a Notice of Intent, you will not be eligible to apply for OHS Futures funding.

Step 3. Notice of Intent review

Once the Notice of Intent has been submitted, it will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete, that the proposed research project meets the eligibility criteria and research priorities, and that the proposed research is pertinent to workers and workplaces in Alberta.

Success at this stage will result in an invitation to submit an application. The invitation to submit a full application form does not guarantee funding. A completed application is required, and will be adjudicated accordingly.

OHS Program staff are here to provide feedback on your Notice of Intent and mentor you through the application process. Meetings will be set up to discuss your research idea prior to you completing the full application.

Step 4. Read background documents again

See Step 2.

Step 5. Complete and submit a full application

As part of the full application form, you are required to suggest two peer-reviewers to review your application. Applications will be reviewed  in May & June 2018. Prior to beginning this work, please review the Conflict of Interest Guidelines (PDF, 209 KB).

If you have questions about you application, you are encouraged to contact OHS Program staff.

After you apply

After you submit the full application, the following steps occur:

  1. External review
    • Applications undergo review by two external reviewers.
      • This review evaluates the applications for scientific soundness and budget appropriateness
  2. Internal review
    • Applications are evaluated by Ministry of Labour staff, who evaluate applications based on:
      • the alignment with the research priorities
      • the reach and impact of the proposed research on Alberta workers and employers
      • timeline for results
      • external review results
  3. Funding decision
    • A decision is made by the Department after the review processes are completed.
    • Applicants will be notified of the results of their applications in fall 2018.

Reporting and conditions

For information on the reporting terms and conditions, see the Grant Agreement Template (PDF, 304 KB).

Current recipients

See current and past research projects that were funded by the OHS Futures program.

Contact

To contact this grant program:
Email: OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca

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