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Request for Applications: Praxis Spinal Cord Injury COVID Awards

About Praxis

Praxis Spinal Cord Institute is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization that drives innovation in spinal cord injury (SCI) research and care.  By facilitating an international network of researchers, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, individuals with SCI, and their supporters, we strive to improve the lives of people living with SCI in Canada and around the world.


The objective of Praxis’ Care Program is to achieve evidence-informed equitable care for Canadians who sustain a SCI, with a focus on the following areas: preventing secondary complications, maximizing functional recovery, supporting long-term care, health, wellness, and assisting community participation.

In order to achieve this, we fund innovative initiatives selected through strategic investments and open competitions that align to our program objective.

Description of this RFA

Given the impact of COVID-19 on SCI, there is a need to rapidly develop resources to facilitate the care, health, and wellness of individuals living with SCI. In response, Praxis is providing SCI COVID Awards to bring together members of our community to address these critical needs and share information in Canada.  This type of award complements the efforts of other organizations that support SCI research and care, including the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Canadian Institutes for Health Information, and provincial organizations such as the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Praxis will support the development of expert and/or evidence-informed content related to COVID-19 to improve the care, health, and wellness of individuals living with SCI in Canada.  The creation of resources that also include other neurological conditions (if appropriate), such as Parkinson’s Disease, is highly encouraged.

Examples of areas where more content related to SCI and COVID-19 are needed include:

  • Emergency preparedness;
  • Respiratory management;
  • Emotional well-being;
  • Maintaining physical activity levels;
  • Managing equipment required by individuals living with SCI;
  • Implementing evidence-informed SCI care during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Other topics identified by clinicians and/or individuals living with SCI.

Examples of expert and/or evidenced-informed resources related to SCI and COVID-19 eligible include:

  • Creation of handouts or toolkits;
  • Creation of videos or other media types;
  • Costs for open access fees to share publications covering clinically relevant information (e.g. treatment algorithms) with the SCI community;
  • Pilot projects to provide a service (e.g. Help Line and associated protocols) that could serve as a model for other provinces;
  • Other relevant vehicles for disseminating content effectively.

The proposed initiative must be distinct in its objectives and activities from those for which Applicants currently receive funding.

For the purposes of this RFA, Applicants include Canadian SCI clinicians and researchers, SCI community organizations, and individuals with lived experience of SCI.  It is expected that clinicians/researchers and individuals with lived experience work together either as partners or incorporate a process to ensure peer review so both perspectives are incorporated in the development of the resources.

Award Amount and Duration

Praxis expects to fund 2 to 4 awards, each for a maximum of 1 year and ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 CDN.

Applicants may make multiple submissions as desired; however, Applicants are limited to receiving 1 award each.

Awards can only be used to support direct initiative expenses.  Ineligible expenses include:

  • Personal protective equipment;
  • Rent;
  • Capital expenses (e.g. computers, office equipment, furniture, fixtures, etc.);
  • Indirect expenses (overhead, administrative costs);
  • Travel and accommodation expenses;
  • Activities that are not part of the initiative.

Eligibility Criteria

The Principal Applicant must:

  • Be affiliated with a Canadian organization eligible to hold Praxis funds (i.e. be a qualified donee registered with Canada Revenue Agency), or
  • Be able to receive a contract from Praxis to conduct the initiative, and
  • Be in a position which allows him/her to pursue and lead independent initiatives, including the proposed initiative.

All Team Members must:

  • Have the support of their organization to participate in the initiative;
  • Have an active and meaningful role in the planning and implementation of the initiative.

Applicants must disclose all real or perceived conflicts of interest (Appendix 1 & see our policy in Appendix 2).

Key Dates

Key DatesTarget
RFA OpensApril 24, 2020
Deadline to ApplyMay 11, 2020 @ 23:59 PST
Review ProcessMay 12 to May 14, 2020
Notice of DecisionMay 18, 2020

Submission Process

Please see instructions in the Application Form (Appendix 3).  Applicants must complete and sign the Application Form.

Submit your application package electronically to before the deadline. 

  1. Application Form (Appendix 3)
  2. Budget (Appendix 4)
  3. Timeline
  4. Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Statement (Appendix 1)

You will receive an acknowledgement of your application within 2 business days of submission.  Please contact us if you do not receive an acknowledgement after that time.

Review Process

A team of reviewers will evaluate the applications using the selection criteria outlined below.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Potential impact of the proposed initiative: Does this resource address a clearly defined need?  Is the resource meaningful and of value to the SCI community?  Is there evidence of meaningful engagement with individuals with SCI throughout the initiative?
  • Ability to scale and share among SCI communities: Does the initiative have the ability to scale up the resource easily (e.g. implement it in other centres, regions, provinces, or even internationally)?  Can it be widely disseminated (i.e. freely available) and reach SCI communities both in the urban and rural settings?
  • Feasibility (timeline/budget): Are the initiative’s objectives realistic given the scope, timeline, budget, and availability of the team?
  • Team expertise: Is the team appropriately trained, resourced, and capable of carrying out the initiative?  Is there evidence of partnership/collaboration between SCI clinician/researcher with SCI communities and individuals with lived experience in this initiative?


All questions regarding this RFA are to be directed to Praxis by email at


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