We are no longer accepting submissions for the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. Submissions were accepted through the Ontario Together portal until April 24, 2020.


About the fund

The Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund provides colleges, universities, research institutes and academic hospitals with funding to contribute to global efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Projects were evaluated by a peer review committee to ensure that the province leveraged the expertise of researchers to evaluate and fund the most promising and important projects. The Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board reviewed the peer review committee's recommendations. The Board then made recommendations for decisions by  the Minister of Colleges and Universities.

The COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund is a discretionary, non-entitlement program. Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

Funded projects

The following projects have been awarded funding as part of the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.

A Randomized Open-Label Trial of CONvalescent Plasma for Hospitalized Adults with Acute COVID-19 Respiratory Illness (CONCOR-1)
Donald Arnold, Principal Investigator
McMaster University

Research and Deployment of Rapid High-Throughput Diagnostic Testing for COVID-19
Marek Smieja, Principal Investigator
St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Assay Development for SARS-CoV-2 Sero-Surveillance
Jennifer Gommerman, Principal Investigator
University of Toronto

Multivalent Antibody Scaffold to Deliver an Exceptionally Potent and Broad Antiviral Against SARS-CoV-2
Jean-Philippe Julien, Principal Investigator
The Hospital for Sick Children

Developing Prophylactic Virus-Vectored Vaccines for COVID-19
Byram Bridle, Leonardo Susta and Sarah Wootton (Co-Principal Investigators, University of Guelph); Darwyn Kobasa, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada (Collaborator)
University of Guelph

The RAPID COVID Study – Application of Point-of-Care COVID-19 Testing to Optimize Patient Care, Resource Allocation and Safety for Frontline Staff
Derek So, Principal Investigator
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

A Prospective, Observational Research Study on the Diagnosis of COVID-19 Infection from Stool Samples of Children and Adults
Nikhil Pai, Jeff Pernica, Marek Smieja (Co-Principal Investigators)
McMaster University

Cellular Immuno-Therapy for COVID-19 Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: The CIRCA-19 Trial
Duncan Stewart, Principal Investigator
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Rapid Identification of Immunogenic and T-cell Epitopes to Enable Serologic Testing, Passive Immunotherapy, and Epitope Vaccine for COVID-19
Shawn Li, Principal Investigator
Western University

The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Children with Medical Complexity Technology Dependency: A Novel Research Cohort Study
Audrey Lim, Principal Investigator
McMaster University

Food Retail Environment Surveillance for Health and Economic Resiliency: FRESHER Ontario
Jason Gilliland, Principal Investigator
Western University

Protective Immunity in Individuals Infected with COVID-19
Ishac Nazy, Principal Investigator
McMaster University

Clinical Research on the Therapeutic Benefits of Annexin A5 in Severe COVID-19 Patients
Claudio Martin, Principal Investigator
Lawson Health Research Institute

Novel Coronavirus Antiviral Drug Discovery Using High-Throughput Screening
Jean-Simon Diallo, Principal Investigator
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Canada’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Impact in Low-Income and Homeless or At-Risk for Homelessness Populations in Ottawa (Canada): A Mixed Method Study
Smita Pakhale, Principal Investigator
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

The Antithrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Complications of COVID-19 (ATTACC) Trial: A Multinational Randomized, Adaptive, Controlled Clinical Trial – Support for Personnel at the International Clinical Coordinating Centre in Ontario
Patrick Lawler, Principal Investigator
University Health Network

Development and Validation of Flexible Medium Throughput Solutions for COVID-19 Diagnostics
Myron Cybulsky, Principal Investigator
University Health Network

Ontario’s Response to COVID-19: Balancing Trade-offs and Improving Outcomes for all Ontarians
Beate Sander, Principal Investigator
University Health Network

How to Re-open Ontario’s Economy Without Causing a Resurgence of COVID-19
Chris Bauch, Principal Investigator
University of Waterloo

Proposal for Validation of a New SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Test Enabling Safe, At-home Collection and Increased Provincial Testing Capacity
Katherine Siminovitch, Principal Investigator
Sinai Health System

Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network – Ontario Sites
Steven Brooks, Principal Investigator 
Queen’s University

Ontario Healthcare Worker Seroprevalence of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies (COVID-19 Antibodies in Ontario Healthcare Workers)
Michelle Science and Aaron Campigotto, Co-Principal Investigators
Hospital for Sick Children

Interferon Lambda for Immediate Antiviral Therapy at Diagnosis (ILIAD): A Phase II Randomized, Pen-label, Multicenter Trial to Evaluate the Effect of Peginterferon Lambda for the Treatment of COVID-19
Jordan Feld, Principal Investigator
University Health Network

Natural Evolution of Serum Antibodies in Children and Adults with SARS-CoV-2 and Household Contacts
Maala Bhatt and Roger Zemek, Co-Principal Investigators Children’s Hospital, Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Development of Multiple Vaccine Candidates for SARSCoV-2 and Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy in Animal Models
Rob Kozak, Principal Investigator
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Adaptive Immunity and Outcomes of Convalescent Plasma
Rulan Parekh, Principal Investigator
Hospital for Sick Children

Methylene Blue-mediated Photodisinfection for SARSCoV-2 in the Upper Respiratory Tract
Cari Whyne, Principal Investigator
Sunnybrook Research Institute

Development of High Throughput, Inexpensive and Scalable Testing to Detect SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Using Home Blood Collection Kits and a Fully Automated ELISA Antibody Assay
Keith Jarvi, Principal Investigator
Sinai Health System

An Optimized Clinical Lab COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Incorporating Host Transcriptomic Responses for Predicting Disease Course and Healthcare System Utilization
Jeremy Hirota, Principal Investigator
McMaster University

Toolkit to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission among Persons with Dementia in Long-Term Care
Andrea Iaboni, Principal Investigator
University Health Network

Creating an N95 Respirator Disinfection to Protect Front Line Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Gregory Borschel, Principal Investigator
Hospital for Sick Children

RdRp as a Promising Target to Identify Lead Compounds for the Treatment of COVID-19: a Rapid Structure-Based Approach
Gennady Poda, Principal Investigator
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Co-creating Innovative Strategies to Address the Well-being of Older Persons and Their Healthcare Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sepali Guruge, Principal Investigator
Ryerson University

Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Long-Term Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Chemoprophylaxis to Control Outbreaks of COVID19 in Long Term Care Facilities (CONTROL-COVID)
Allison McGeer, Principal Investigator
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System

Proposal for the Use of Inhaled Anesthetic-Based Sedation in Ventilated COVID-19 Patients: Novel Approach to Shorten Duration of Ventilation, Preserve Intravenous Sedation Stocks and Improve Survival
Marat Slessarev, Principal Investigator
Lawson Health Research Institute

Contact us

For more information, please contact ORF.Excellence@ontario.ca.

Updated: August 27, 2021
Published: April 18, 2020