The DHDP Catalyst Program
The Digital Heath and Discovery Platform (DHDP) provides a unique and excellent opportunity to design and deliver innovative interdisciplinary training to produce skilled STEM workers for Canada’s economy. We are pleased to announce the DHDP Catalyst Program, a national mobilization and skill development program to engage key stakeholders, foster collaboration, share learnings and trigger new projects.
NEW: See our Questions & Answers section below for more details on the program
This program will support the development of innovative and interdisciplinary training internships that will directly contribute to the development of highly qualified personnel through work-integrated learning and advancement of state-of-the-art innovation, through which the benefits to the health and digital technology sector will be realized.
This initiative has three major goals:
- Increasing AI data readiness of members to facilitate DHDP appliance deployment;
- Develop AI specialists with appreciation of life sciences concepts and processes; and,
- Upgrade clinical and scientific researchers' and trainees understanding of AI concepts to assist in science and health care.
The investments by our partners, like Mitacs, in training programs, R&D initiatives, and industrial internships will also develop a deep pool of expertise, with STEM graduates that have multi-disciplinary exposure, including AI, health-related topics, as well as in some cases entrepreneurship and business exposure.
National competition: Spring 2021
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Projects will focus on the advancement of next generation health data technologies including: data access; data ingestion; data federation and AI/Machine learning with applications in cancer and neurology. This competition supports proposals within one of the following target research areas:
- Advances in Cancer Therapy – Personalizing immunotherapies for each cancer patient.
- Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease – Improving early diagnosis and management.
Applicants must be graduate researchers working with a faculty member at any Canadian university (who is eligible to hold Tri-Agency funds) or faculty at Canadian colleges. Applications must include one Canadian partner as a collaborator or research sponsor. Applications should demonstrate an economic or productivity orientation.
Internships will be based on the Mitacs Accelerate Program funding structure of four-month internship units, each valued at $15,000. Each internship unit includes a $7,500 contribution from the partner organization, which is matched through the Mitacs Accelerate Program by another $7,500. The graduate researcher receives, for each internship unit, a minimum stipend of $10,000 and the remaining funds are used to support research costs. Projects can include multiple internship units to support longer-term collaborations, for a period of no more than three (3) years. Funds are to be provided in collaboration with Mitacs, DHDP and other funding partners, where applicable.
APPLICATION AND REVIEW PROCESS
Each project will follow the standard Mitacs Accelerate Program funding structure with the option to build multiple researcher/professor applications for project purposes. Support for proposals will be facilitated through the DHDP Network and DHDP membership. Applications will be reviewed in two stages:
Letter of Intent (LOI) to be submitted to the DHDP by Friday, June 18, 2021 (See application form below).
LOI Evaluation Criteria
Eligible applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Innovation and originality: originality of the proposed research question, including novel techniques/methods, as well as the potential for creating new knowledge.
- Impact of the project on the researcher: how conducting the project will allow AI researchers to improve their understanding of life sciences or will improve clinical and life science researchers’ understanding of AI.
- Impact of the research: how the project contributes to AI data readiness, and to improving the health of Canadian patients with cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.
The DHDP Review Committee will select a shortlist of LOIs that will advance to Stage 2. Applicants will be notified in writing and invited to advance to the next stage: - submission to Mitacs.
Note: Formal Mitacs applications should only be written and submitted once an invitation to advance to Stage 2 has been extended by the DHDP Review Committee.
Selected candidates are invited to submit their full proposal to Mitacs using the Mitacs Accelerate Program proposal template (see Proposal|Mitacs). Projects will need to meet eligible research and adjudication criteria (see Mitacs-supported eligible research and adjudication criteria|Mitacs) as well as pass the external academic peer review process (managed by Mitacs). Mitacs will support applicants through this process.
Application documents and forms
Letter of Intent (LOI) Application Form
Questions and Answers about the DHDP Catalyst LOI
This document gathers frequently asked questions about the DHDP Catalyst LOI. Questions are also listed below. For any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Deadline for LOI submissions is June 18, 2021.
Questions & Answers - Catalyst Letter of Intent (LOI)
Q1 - I am an academic researcher, what type of institution can I name as a Partner in the LOI?
A1 - At the LOI stage: companies (MNE, SME, startup) and eligible not-for-profit entities (NFP) 1 can be named as partners for the project. The Partner must be able to co-host the student and contribute in a
significant way to the scientific project and training of the student. If you have not identified a partner yet, please submit your LOI and indicate TBD in the partners information section. All applications invited to stage 2 for a full Mitacs project
review will need to have an industrial partner/company (or eligible NFP 1 ) involved. DHDP will help match applicants with industrial partners. Note that any IP-related questions can be independently addressed in the next round
of the process, during the Mitacs project review.
Q2 - Who is an eligible academic supervisor?
A2 - Academic supervisors must be affiliated to a Canadian university, or faculty at Canadian colleges and be eligible to hold Tri-Agency funds.
Q3 - I am a student/postdoctoral researcher. Can I apply directly?
A3 - If you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral researcher, who is supervised by an eligible Canadian academic supervisor and is looking to get funded via the DHDP Catalyst Program, please indicate the name of your academic supervisor in the applicant
section. We also strongly encourage students/postdoctoral researchers to discuss with their supervisor prior to applying.
Q4 - I am an eligible academic researcher and I have identified a student but not a partner. Can I apply?
A4 - Yes, please submit your LOI with a project description. If you are selected for the next stage, DHDP will help match you with a suitable partner for your project from within the DHDP network.
Q5 - I am an eligible academic researcher in healthcare with an idea for an AI project, but don’t have any contacts with the AI community. Can I apply?
A5 - Yes, please submit your LOI with a project description. If you are selected for the next stage, Mitacs and the DHDP will help match you with an AI partner for your project from within the DHDP network.
Q6 - I am an eligible academic researcher in AI with an idea for a project, but I don’t have any contacts in the Cancer or neuroscience community. Can I apply?
A6 - Yes, please submit your LOI with a project description. If you are selected for the next stage, Mitacs and the DHDP will help match you with a partner for your project.
Q7 - Does the partner identified in the application need to provide matching funds?
A7 - We encourage applicants to submit LOIs even if they have not yet secured matching funds for the Catalyst program. If you are selected for the next stage, Mitacs and the DHDP will help you find matching funds for your project.
Q8 - Can the DHDP/Imagia/TFRI be partners of my project? What is the process for me to settle my partnership with them?
A8 - If you are selected for the next stage, the DHDP and Mitacs will help find appropriate partners for your project. Please submit your LOI and indicate TBD in the partners information section. If you want to partner specifically with either TFRI or
Imagia, please inform us before submitting the LOI by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that any IP-related questions will be addressed in the next round of full Mitacs project review.
Q9 - Can the DHDP/Imagia/TFRI co-fund my project? What is the process for me to ensure this is the case before I submit my LOI?
A9 - The DHDP has limited funding to support Catalyst projects, and preference will be given to those projects that support its mission. We encourage applicants to submit LOIs even if they have not yet secured matching funds for the Catalyst program. If you are selected for the next stage, Mitacs and the DHDP will help you find matching funds for your project
Q10 - Who are the current members of the DHDP?
A10 - DHDP Members are a diverse group made up of 95 pan-canadian stakeholders across the academic, healthcare, AI and private sectors; including Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions, Universities and Research Centers, AI Institutes, SMEs, Large Corporations, Foundations and NGOs.
Q11 - I am an eligible academic supervisor with a project idea and an existing industry partner willing to co-fund my research project. What is the added value of applying through DHDP’s Catalyst program?
A11 - The DHDP Catalyst program offers participants direct access to the large DHDP network of institutions and thought leaders. Selected applicants will take part in the early development of our state-of-the-art pan-Canadian technological infrastructure and deployment of the DHDP appliance across the country. The program
is specifically designed to support the training of researchers across the healthcare and AI sectors, to promote work-integrated learning and advancement of innovation, with a focus on oncology and neuroscience.
Q12 - I have a project idea that would help realize the vision of the DHDP, but I’m not sure it qualifies to be submitted to the Catalyst program. What should I do?
A12 - The DHDP supports an open and collaborative environment, and we encourage you to submit your idea using the Catalyst LOI form. We will review your project and reach out if we believe there would be a way to work together.
 Not-for-profit Entities (NFP) will need to be vetted by Mitacs for eligibility, please contact email@example.com to enquire about eligible NFP partners.