OHS Futures Research Grants

OHS Futures Research Grants

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



Important dates

January 12, 2017: Notice of Intent period opens. Template is now available.

February 12, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. MDT: Notice of Intent period closes

March 3-7, 2017: Invites to complete OHS Futures full research application go out

May 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. MDT: Application period closes

Late summer 2017: Applicants notified of their application results

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.

Amount awarded

There’s no budget limit allotted per project. OHS Futures is distributing up to $1 million per year and is interested in funding a variety of OHS research proposals.

Show Answer Research priorities

With priority given to primary prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and diseases in Alberta, the focus areas for the 2017 funding year are:

Focus Areas Examples of Policy Questions
Effectiveness of education training methods to improve health and safety behaviour
  • How can education and training be improved to make it more impactful, and/or more efficient?
  • What training tools are effective, in which audiences, and why? How can practitioners design impactful training? What makes OHS training effective, compelling, and motivating?
Effectiveness of incentives, penalties, and other regulatory levers
  • What regulatory or non-regulatory levers have the greatest effect in creating future compliance across an industry, across a region, across a workforce?
  • How do workers in specific audiences or industries respond to these levers, and why?
Reducing barriers to implementing regulations
  • What steps are effective in removing barriers to implementation?
Risk tolerance, risk communication & safety culture
  • What are effective interventions that can effect improvement in occupational disease and injury prevention?
  • How can risk evaluation techniques be effectively taught to workers?
  • How can a risk-aware culture be created at a workplace?
  • How to best communicate risk and control measures to young workers?
  • How to best communicate within a multilingual/multicultural workgroup?
  • What approaches can be used to modify OHS behaviour in specific audiences or industries?
Impairment in the workplace
  • Can the risk of impairment be managed by current legislation, or are changes required in OHS Legislation and policy to protect health and safety at Alberta workplaces?
Exposure to Chemical, Biological, Physical & Psychosocial Hazards
  • What occupational carcinogens are of most concern in Alberta workplaces?
  • Are there industries or occupations where carcinogen exposure needs to be better controlled?
  • What are effective methods to control or eliminate carcinogen exposure?
  • In what ways can dermal exposure limits be defined?
Mental health
  • What are the factors that contribute to bullying and harassment in workplaces? What steps can be taken to effectively deal with these issues?
  • How can employers and workers protect mental health and foster resilience and psychological well-being in challenging workplaces?
Post-traumatic stress disorder prevention
  • What are the most effective tools and techniques in supporting the long-term mental health of trauma-exposed workers?
  • What modifiable risk factors can reduce likelihood of workplace PTSD?
  • How can fall prevention outcomes be improved?
New technology and ergonomics
  • What factors contribute to this new risk and how can they be mitigated in the workplace?
Emerging issues and/or industries
  • What are emerging issues and how can they be addressed?
Surveillance, Data and Metrics
Design, implementation or evaluation of metrics to quantify changes in OHS practices and/or disease, illness, and injury prevention
  • What new, improved or leading metrics could be used and/or validated?
Disease, illness and injury monitoring of the health and/or exposure of worker populations
  • How can exposure and illness be linked?
  • Capacity to monitor worker groups over time is limited to better understand long-latency conditions. How can we best overcome this challenge?
  • What are the barriers or challenges and potential solutions?
  • How can groups of workers be monitored for occupational disease arising from workplace exposures, where there is a long latency period between exposure and disease onset?
Physician, worker, and employer reporting or underreporting of work-related injuries, illness, and disease
  • Why are these under-reported?
  • What are the barriers to reporting and what are potential solutions?
  • Which populations or occupations are particularly vulnerable to under-reporting and what steps can be taken to improve reporting?
  • Are there incentives or interventions that can result in more complete reporting? (Understanding the barriers and incentives to reporting for employers, workers and physicians is needed to create a more robust reporting system.)
Priority Industry
  • Research is required in all of the above priority areas


Overarching considerations
Priority populations: Indigenous workers; aging workers; young workers; transient, migrant and immigrant workers; new workers 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.
Gender and health and safety Sex and gender are considerations and should be incorporated into research questions and study design.
Note: Proposals on topics different from those listed may also be considered. Please contact OHS Futures staff if you have questions: OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca


Show Answer How we use your information


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 greatly benefits 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.

Internal Department Usage

OHS Futures asks that a data set as detailed as possible be provided at the end of the study for internal government purposes only, e.g. to inform policies and processes, or to perform additional analyses. In accordance with our 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.

Open Data

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 data sets to be posted on the open data portal should be record level data, contain non-identifiable personal information and in a format acceptable to the government. When necessary the data will be appropriately aggregated to maintain privacy and confidentiality. Data will be posted on the open data portal within two years of project completion. Data must be in compliance with the Government of Alberta Open Information and Open Data Policy.

Exceptions may be made to the two-year deadline on a case-by-case basis where strong rationale exists and with agreement of the Department. If you have questions about the collection of your information, please contact 780-643-9214; email OHSFutures@gov.ab.ca.

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: 2017-11-15
PID: 15122

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