Program Overview

The McGill-Western Collaboration Grant is designed to address some of the grand challenges in brain health across the lifespan via potentially high-risk but also high-gain research projects. It does so through cross-institution multidisciplinary teams of Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives and BrainsCAN researchers.

Applicant Eligibility:

Each project must be led by one McGill AND one Western faculty member. These researchers must hold an eligible academic appointment with a significant research component. Interdisciplinary and diverse research teams are encouraged. A researcher team may submit one [1] application per call.

Project Eligibility:

Proposals must clearly contribute to the strategic priorities of HBHL and BrainsCAN (refer to the HBHL Strategic Research Plan and BrainsCAN Alignment/Steering Document). All project types (discovery-based science to end-user translational research) and sizes (smaller foundation projects to larger multi-year programs) are acceptable.

Foundational Projects: Generally, $25,000 to $100,000 for 1 year
Larger Programs: Generally over $100,000 per year for 1 to 3 years

Collaboration Liaisons:

Researchers looking to pursue a collaborative project can contact the Collaboration Liaison at their non-host institution for direction on possible contacts.

  • HBHL Collaboration Liaison: Contact the HBHL support team (
  • BrainsCAN Collaboration Liaison: Contact the BrainsCAN support team (

Application Process Summary

Figure 1: McGill-Western Collaboration Grant (MWCG) Application Workflow. (1) Teams of researchers comprised of eligible faculty from McGill and Western will assemble to submit an application to this program. (Note: Researchers looking to pursue a collaborative project can contact the Collaborative Liaison at their non-host institute for direction on possible contacts) (2) The applications will be informally streamed based on size and duration. (3a) For foundational projects (1y), at their completion, the research team will decide either to stop the collaboration, pursue external funding, or build on the team’s success and reapply to the MWCG at the programmatic level.  (3b) For programmatic awards, progress against milestones will be evaluated annually. At that time, research teams must decide to either discontinue the program, pursue external funding or apply for MWCG renewal.


Each application has three reviewers with at least one external (to Western) reviewer. Larger scale 3 year full grant applications also have 3 reviewers with a minimum of two externals (to Western). Once the review panel has reached a consensus the rankings are anonymized and presented by the Program Chairs to the Executive Committee (EC) at an in-person meeting for approval with a recommendation for the funding line cut-off. If either Co-Chair or an EC member is in conflict they are not party to the discussions. Once the funding line is set the EC members without COIs are unblinded. This is to address any specific concerns brought up by the panel that require grant details, as well as to confirm compliance with CFREF regulations. Applications for this grant have the additional step of recommended grants being anonymized and then considered by the McGill-Western Collaboration Working Group that include VPRs from both Institutions.