OHS Futures – Research Funding Program Process


2016 Timeline

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Applicants will be notified of success in Fall 2016.

Questions can be directed to Amy Elefson, Occupational Disease Research and Evaluation Associate (OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca, 780-643-9214).


The OHS Futures – Research Funding Program formalizes the way researchers, 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.

The program targets these key outcomes:

  • Stimulate research activity that supports OHS policy, program development and planning needs;
  • Identify occupational hazards and mitigate associated risks;
  • Determine whether occupational and environmental exposures are risk factors for certain diseases;
  • Enable OHS programs to have current and relevant scientific information to support decision-making; and
  • Increase Alberta OHS profile within the research community, stakeholders and the public.

The OHS Futures – Research Funding Program is distributing up to $1 million per year for three years beginning in 2014, with a variety of OHS proposals funded.

  • The program is designed to fund a range of research projects.
  • The projects funded will address a variety of topics depending on policy needs.


The research priorities for the 2016 funding year were as follows, with particular focus on primary prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and diseases in Alberta:

Research Priorities Focus Areas
Behavioural Change
  • Effectiveness of education and training to improve health and safety behaviour;
  • Effectiveness of incentives, penalties, and other regulatory levers;
  • Barriers to implementing regulations; and
  • Impact of self-efficacy, motivation, and/or organizational characteristics on OHS perceptions, beliefs, and/or actions.
Exposure to Chemical, Biological and/or Physical Hazards
  • Carcinogens;
  • Motor vehicle incidents;
  • Noise-induced hearing loss;
  • Toxic use reduction strategies; and
  • Emerging issues and/or industries.
Surveillance, Data and Metrics
  • Design, implementation or evaluation of metrics to quantify changes in OHS practices and/or disease, illness, and injury prevention;
  • Disease, illness and injury monitoring of the health and/or exposure of worker populations;
  • Worker registries related to OHS; and
  • Physician, worker, and employer reporting or underreporting of work-related injuries, illness, and disease.

Note: Proposals on topics different from those listed may also be considered. Contact us to discuss prior to submitting your application.


  • Applications are now closed.
  • Only complete applications will be reviewed.
  • Complete applications include two components:
    • an online application; and
    • an application supplement.
  • Once you have started your online application, you may save it and return to complete it at a later time via an email link you received. For more information, please see the FAQ section.
  • Questions can also be directed to OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca.
  • Please review the Grant Agreement Template before beginning the application process. The Grant Agreement Template is an example of the terms and conditions that will be attached to funding distributed through OHS Futures, and may be subject to changes.


To receive funding, eligible organizations must be Canadian-based. The Principal Applicant must have an affiliation with a Canadian organization. International collaborative efforts are encouraged.

Research must directly impact Alberta workers and workplaces. If you are not part of an academic institution, we strongly suggest partnering with a researcher at an academic institution. Please contact us if you require assistance in connecting to industry and/or researchers.

Principal Applicant and/or Co-Applicant:

  • cannot be full-time employees of any Government of Alberta Ministries;
  • must have the qualifications and appropriate expertise to conduct research;
  • must agree to data sharing (see grant agreement); and
  • must be willing to complete evaluation surveys, provide information/summary resources in layman's terms and present research findings at two designated meetings.

Research Application:

  • should meet the 2016 research priorities; and
  • should be a one-year project (multi-year project requires new submission for the subsequent years).

Funding will not be considered for:

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


Initial Screening: Once both components of the application have been submitted, an initial screening will be done to ensure that the application is complete, meets eligibility criteria and is in alignment with the identified research priorities.

External Review: Applications will undergo review by a minimum of one external reviewer. This review will evaluate the applications for scientific soundness and budget appropriateness.

Internal Review: Applications proceeding past the external review will be evaluated by an internal group composed of OHS Program staff. This review will evaluate the applications based on their applicability to highlighted priorities (see above), application to Albertans (workers and employers) and timeline for results.

A funding decision will be made by the OHS Program after the two levels of review are completed. It is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified in Fall 2016.


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.

Data Sharing

The ability to share and improve access to research data would greatly benefit the research community and society in the following ways: 1, 2

  • Promote and accelerate scientific progress;
  • Avoid duplication of the research;
  • Enable replication and verification of results;
  • Increase research visibility and impact;
  • Increase research efficiency due to reusability and exposure; and
  • Enhance collaboration and community-building.

Research data, as defined by the Government of Canada, are the factual records used as a primary source for the research, and that are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.1 In support of data sharing and accessibility, the Government of Canada launched an online open data portal in March 2011 to provide public access to government data sets which can be reused for commercial or research purposes.1

Likewise, the Government of Alberta launched Alberta’s Open Data Portal in 2013. In 2014, it was announced that data sets acquired from research projects funded by the OHS Futures program would be accessible on the portal.

For the above mentioned benefits, data generated by research projects funded through the OHS Futures program must be submitted to the program at project completion. The core data sets to be shared with the OHS Program should be record level data, contain non-identifiable personal information and in a format acceptable to the OHS Program. When necessary the data will be appropriately aggregated to maintain privacy and confidentiality. In accordance with the record retention policy, the validated research data submitted to the OHS Futures program will be appropriately managed and retained by the Informatics and Surveillance teams within the Department.

As part of data sharing, de-identified datasets may be posted on a data portal or similar platform for public accessibility within two years of project completion. Data must be in compliance with the Government of Alberta’s Open Data standards or equivalent. Exceptions may be made to the two year deadline on a case-by-case basis where strong rationale exists and with agreement with the Department. Overall, data sharing has many advantages for research and the society. If you have questions about the collection of your information, please contact Amy Elefson, Occupational Disease Research and Evaluation Associate (OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca, 780-643-9214).

1 Government of Canada Science.gc.ca. (2011). Open Access Research Data. Retrieved from http://www.science.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=en&n=2BBD98C5-1

2 Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. (2015) About Sharing Your Research Data. Retrieved from http://dmp.data.jhu.edu/preserve-share-research-data/sharing-your-research-data/

Modified: 2016-05-03
PID: 15122

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