Workshops Initiative

Kids Brain Health Network Workshops Initiative
2014 Request for Applications

We will be accepting Workshop Initiative applications and Sponsorship Requests for review twice this year.

Submission/Review Deadlines
        April 7, 2014
        July 8, 2014

Workshop Opportunities:
Brain Camps
Workshop Support Requests

Download Application Information:
Workshops Initiative RFA announcement
Guidelines and Instructions

Quick Links

To request an application packet please contact Dr. Douglas Swanson, Training and Education Program Manager (

For up-to-date information on the application process and submission deadlines follow us on twitter @NeuroDevTrainee or check back here.

Kids Brain Health Network Workshops Initiative Program

Kids Brain Health Network (formerly NeuroDevNet) is a national Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and its vision is to accelerate the pace of understanding the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, with an initial focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), and Cerebral Palsy (CP) with cross-cutting Cores in Neuroethics, Knowledge Translation, and Neuroinformatics.

Through the Workshops Initiative Program we are inviting applications for training, knowledge exchange, and outreach opportunities for Network and non-Network members. The program will support workshops and training courses that embody Kids Brain Health Research and Training objectives:

  • To extend the learning experiences of trainees and other highly qualified personnel (HQP) beyond traditional academic boundaries;
  • To facilitate collaborative efforts of researchers and clinicians across Canada and Internationally;
  • To strengthen the interactions of researchers with stakeholder communities in relation to neurodevelopmental disorder research and therapies;
  • To facilitate the development of new Kids Brain Health research initiatives; and
  • To serve as a vehicle for the interaction of researchers with Kids Brain Health Cores (Knowledge Translation, Neuroethics, and Neuroinformatics) and Demonstration Projects.


Workshop Proposal/Request Opportunities

We will be accepting Brain Camp/Workshop applications and Workshop Support Requests for periodic review twice a year.

We anticipate funding 2-3 Brain Camp workshops and as many as 8 Sponsorship Requests throughout the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Applications/Requests will be accepted for three types of proposals:

Brain Camps, short events (e.g., 1-3 day) to be co-hosted by Kidsthat are focused on intensive educational experiences for trainees and investigators, knowledge exchange between Researchers and Stakeholders, or for exploration of novel approaches to Kids Brain Health funded research areas. (up to $15K plus matching funds).

Workshop Support Requests, limited partner sponsorship to externally organized workshops (sponsorship levels from $2K-$5K). The goal of these small awards is to support neurodevelopmental disorder-related workshops/symposia and to facilitate Kids Brain Health member/trainee participation and receptor engagement. Sponsorship recipients must acknowledge Kids Brain Health on workshop materials, and provide the opportunity to distribute Kids Brain Health brochures and information at the workshop.

For queries or to request a full application packet contact Dr. Douglas Swanson, Training and Education Program Manager ().


Workshop Focus Areas

These workshops/courses must focus on forward-looking collaborations and cutting-edge approaches rather than review past accomplishments. Workshop discussions are intended to find common ground among the participants. Foci for these proposals could include the following:

  • current research capacity and future need
  • knowledge/technology transfer potential;
  • needs for HQP training and skill development;
  • funding challenges and opportunities;
  • improve existing and develop new collaborations;
  • research priorities and knowledge gaps from the perspectives of academia, the clinic and the patient community
  • development of new ideas for focus areas within Kids Brain Health Network's research program


Key Workshop Proposal Considerations

There are several key components to a successful Kids Brain Health Network Workshop proposal:

  • a cross disciplinary program in an important area of neurodevelopment;
  • participants and speakers that reflect this cross-disciplinary approach;
  • a clear outline of the concepts and topics to be covered;
  • offering novel training/educational experiences for trainees and/or Investigators;
  • a plan for partnership building and/or providing co-funding; and
  • considerations for sustainable development of this topic of interest in the Network.

Workshop Topics

Workshops may focus on a broad range of research areas in developmental neurobiology and/or neurodevelopmental disorders. The rationale for this topic must reflect its impact for Kids Brain Health and Canadian research and/or health service communities and how the workshop presentations and activities will provide a lasting impact on the participants and its extension to the Network itself. The thoughtful development of a core curriculum for the workshop/course will be critical for evaluation of each application.

Training Opportunities

Brain Camp applications should provide trainees, from diverse backgrounds, with a common knowledge base and the opportunity to expand their expertise though traditional lectures and presentations and importantly through hands-on educational activities. Curricula plans should facilitate interactions of established investigators with young investigators and HQP in an educational and collaborative environment.

Partnership Funding

To augment these Brain Camp opportunities organizers must secure a minimum of 50% matching funds. Partnered funding can be derived from appropriate grants, host institutions, foundations, industry or other profit/non-profit organizations. Applications must identify these resources and defining the role of the supporting organization in the workshop development and activities.


Application Guidelines

Instructions on how to complete the Workshops Initiative application and Sponsorship Request forms can be found in the Workshops Initiative Guidelines and Instructions, however the Application forms are available only by request. For queries or to request a full application packet contact Dr. Douglas Swanson, Training and Education Programs Manager ().

Review and Selection Criteria

The Kids Brain Health Network Research Training Committee reviews applications with input from external experts as required.

The key focus areas, topics, and proposal considerations that are critical for successful applications are outlines above. Additionally, applications are evaluated with a focus on the following criteria:

  • Need for the proposed workshop: Proposals must clearly describe the issues to be tackled and the need for the workshop. The workshop should lead to new cross-disciplinary interactions with high priority given to those applications that emphasize clear interactions among investigators and trainees/HQP in an educational and collaborative environment. The level of cross-disciplinary collaborations will be assessed in the context of the workshop’s research area;
  • Future benefits to the Network and the research and health services communities: The proposal should outline potential social and/or economic benefits that will be realized in Canada as a result of the new collaborations;
  • Workshop objectives and expected outcomes (e.g., specific HQP training objectives, development of novel research directions, new inter-laboratory collaborations or group oriented projects, plans for future meetings and for new collaborations in targeted areas of research, and/or development of future research funding proposals);
  • The proposal should provide a clear curriculum plan/outline or proposed workshop activities and methodologies for how it will achieve its objectives;
  • Appropriateness of the workshop leaders and participants: The workshop leaders should have demonstrated experience and leadership in their respective professional communities and the ability to organize and lead interactive events;
  • Potential workshop participants: A plan for participant selection should be clear. Their selection should facilitate the interactive opportunities during the workshop and reflect diversity in experience to optimize the impact for those participants and their communities;
  • Workshop plans and budgeting: The workshop plans needs to include the selection of an appropriate venue, quality logistical plans and discussion topics. The budgetary items must be justified and presented in a comprehensive manner. Applicants must also indicate what other sources of funding are committed, or being pursued, and the extent to which Kids Brain Health funds are required to hold the workshop;
  • Plans for evaluation of workshop/course objective achievement and outcomes (immediate and subsequent) and follow-up on these achievements.



Partnership Support:

In the context of Brain Camps, additional (non-Kids Brain Health) funding support is required, where a minimum of 50% of the total workshop budget should be derived from other resources.

Outside funding can derive from tri-Council grants, host institutions, foundations, industry or other profit/non-profit organizations.  Kids Brain Health has several partnerships with an expressed interest in providing collaborative support and these sources may be identified as potential partners if they are a proper fit for the proposed workshop. These partnerships include but are clearly not limited to: The Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series, MITACS, CREATE: Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Training Program, and the CIHR Training Grant in Health Law, Ethics, and Policy.

Eligible expenses include:

  • travel and subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) of the workshop participants from Canadian universities and not-for-profit stakeholder organizations. Requests for support for up to two international participants must be clearly justified and are admissible for individuals who provide unique and key perspectives that will be critical in achieving the overall workshop objectives;
  • use of meeting rooms;
  • use of audio-visual equipment;
  • teleconferencing costs;
  • catering;
  • administrative support for the planning and execution of the workshop; and
  • printing of workshop handbooks and other related material.

An award does not cover the following expenses:

  • travel and subsistence costs of non-academic industrial participants. In exceptional cases, Kids Brain Health will consider covering such costs for participants from small businesses with limited financial resources;
  • costs of attending a conference or meeting that is coincident with a workshop;
  • honoraria or consulting fees to workshop participants;
  • reimbursement for airfare purchased with personal frequent flyers points programs;
  • passports for international participants; or
  • costs of alcoholic beverages.



A written report from the grantee is required within 60 days following the scheduled event. This report should provide an overview of the attendee/participants (i.e. limited demographics and academic/professional background), summarize the workshop activities, and include outcomes in relation to workshop/course objectives. A summary of participant evaluations would also be expected. A detailed financial report of expenditures is also required to be included with this report. Details of these reporting requirements will be included upon award notification. These reporting requirements are critical for Kids Brain Health Network to continue to support this and future Workshop Initiatives, but will also reflect favorably on a particular workshop group with an interest in continued support from Kids Brain Health.


The Submission Package:

Workshop Application submission should consist of 2-3 composite electronic documents. Note: The file name should include the primary applicant’s last name and first initial (e.g. ApplicantP_Application.doc, ApplicantP_Letters.pdf, and ApplicantP_Supplement.pdf).

  1. The completed Workshops Initiative Application Form saved as a Word file (preferable) or PDF.
  2. A compiled PDF file containing all Letters of Support and Applicant/co-applicant CVs.
  3. All supplemental and promotional appendix materials supporting the workshop and application.

Complete application materials must be received by email at Kids Brain Health by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the deadline date. Late or incomplete application packages will be not be accepted. Supplemental material or updates received under separate cover after the deadline date will likewise not be accepted.  

Application submissions should be via email c/o Dr. Douglas Swanson, Training and Education Program Manager at .