2020 Joule Innovation grant program

Joule’s annual grant program supports physician-led innovation by providing flexible funding to CMA members making a difference in health care.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extending the deadline for the Joule Innovation grant applications indefinitely so that we can all focus on keeping Canadians healthy. We remain committed to supporting physician-led innovation and will announce the new deadline as soon as we can. The application portal remains open so you can submit your application when it is most convenient for you.



2020 grant categories

Physician health and wellness
2 grants: 1 x $100,000 and 1x $50,000

Physician health and wellness is a critical issue for all physicians, their patients and health systems. Physicians are at a higher risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes, including personal and professional dissatisfaction, burnout, depression and suicide — with system-level barriers as key contributing factors. This has been shown to affect patient care and health system performance.

This grant category supports initiatives that promote health and wellness among physicians and medical learners.

Initiatives eligible for a grant in this category may include a product, service, process, model of care or social innovation.  


Access to care
2 grants: 1 x $100,000 and 1 x $50,000

Canadians experience challenges and barriers to accessing care — across the continuum of care — in all jurisdictions. This grant category supports initiatives that focus on innovative solutions that improve access to health care for all Canadians.

The factors affecting access to care are complex and vast, and some populations experience these issues more acutely than others. An initiative’s competitiveness for a grant may be strengthened if it addresses the needs of one or more of the following cross-cutting populations:

Marginalized populations:
those who face increased challenges in obtaining equitable access to health care services
Rural and remote populations:
those who have limited access to, or difficulty accessing, resources and services for all or part of the year

These initiatives should consider the patient experience as well as the planning and delivery of care for communities and individuals facing serious financial, logistical, technical and human resource challenges.

Initiatives eligible for a grant in this category may include a product, service, process, model of care or social innovation.


Sustainable health care
2 grants: 1 x $100,000 and 1 x $50,000

According to a 2019 report by The Lancet, health care accounts for approximately 4% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions — the third-highest percentage in the world, per capita. The report calls for solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent pollution-related deaths, consistent with health care professionals’ mandate to “do no harm.”

This grant category supports initiatives that address the impact of climate change on the health and well-being of Canadians.

Initiatives eligible for a grant in this category may include a product, service, process, model of care or social innovation.  


Health care solutions
1 grant: $30,000

Each day, physicians, governments and policy-makers struggle to manage the limited resources available for our health care system.

This grant category supports initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality, safety and efficiency of health care and improving health outcomes for patients ― while reducing overall costs within the Canadian health care system. They achieve these goals by improving processes and/or outcomes related to:

  • the delivery of care;
  • the quality and safety of care; and/or
  • administrative efficiency.

Initiatives eligible for a grant in this category may include a product, service, process, model of care or social innovation.


Emerging physician innovators
2 grants: $10,000 for 1 medical student, $10,000 for 1 resident

Medical students and residents represent the future of medicine in Canada.

These grants will help to support the innovations of medical students and residents who are improving health care in Canada. Initiatives must be aligned to one of the four primary grant categories ― physician health and wellness, access to care, sustainable health care or health care solutions.

Applicants must apply to one of the four primary categories before they will be considered for an emerging physician innovator grant.


Criteria and weighting

Each grant submission is assessed by the Joule Innovation Council using the following weighted criteria:

1. Health care benefits (30%) — improving health outcomes for patients, physicians and the overall health care system
2. Degree of disruption (25%) — transformation of current health care approaches
3. Scalability (25%) — potential for adoption and use within Canada and beyond
4. Collaboration (20%) — advancing patient-centred care through meaningful stakeholder engagement


Beyond funding, our grants open many doors

Gain recognition for being a leader in innovation
Get your idea in front of more than 77,000 of your peers in the CMA
Benefit from Joule Innovation Council mentors
Participate in events and other Joule ventures


How to apply


Click on the "Apply" button.

Once you click “apply,” you will be directed to our online application platform where you will be asked to log into your CMA member account.


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Once you are logged in, you will be required to fill out a short questionnaire — this will help us to determine your grant category.


Preview categories

Submit a 90-second video about your initiative — consider it your elevator pitch.


Watch submission tips and tricks

Watch sample videos from past recipients



Contact us at jouleinnovation@cma.ca

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