Clinical Nursing Research

Every year, the Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) awards approximately $25,000-$50,000 in research grants to support clinical nursing research that advances nursing science.The Canadian Nurses Foundation believes that clinical nursing research is essential to improving the quality of life and care of Canadian patients, families, and communities.

In collaboration with other health care professionals, nurses are investigating and advancing innovative health care while providing the groundwork for future practice-based research studies.

That is why CNF is committed to increasing the capacity of nurse researchers in Canada through its partnerships with other health care organizations including The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Alzheimer’s society to name a few.Nursingresearch that focuses on preventing the progression of disease, improving the patient experience, and helping people manage better in their home communities is critical for safe and quality health care.

Make a donation to support more nursing research →

The Nursing Care Partnership Program

The innovative Nursing Care Partnership Program encouraged nurse researchers to partner with community organizations, hospitals, and allied health organizations. Projects looking at infection control, effective neo-natal care, educating those caring for aging parents at home, health promotion, management of chronic illness, preventative health, and fall and injury prevention took flight in communities from coast to coast to coast.

Typically, these investigations were conducted at modest cost, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. In fact, this initial government investment in establishing our Nursing Care Partnership program created the only sustained, ongoing source of research funds that has up to now been available to clinical nurse researchers in the country.

At the conclusion of 2010, the government’s funding of the Nursing Care Partnership came to an end. But its exciting potential as a catalyst for Canadian health innovation and transformation doesn’t have to.

We believe that clinical nursing research has shown such great promise and should become a permanent part of Canada’s health care research infrastructure. That is why we’re continuing to provide funding to allow clinical nursing research to continue and grow the evolving body of nursing science.

"As a clinician caring for cancer patients, I saw their many survivorship concerns, including their fear that cancer would return."

Jacqueline Galica, Researcher

Research Grants

Every year, the Canadian Nurses Foundation in partnership with other organizations provides funding to help build nursing research capacity and improve patient outcomes.

Current Funding Opportunities & Parternships

Sigma/Canadian Nurses Foundation Research Grant

The Sigma/Canadian Nurses Research Grant supports research that advances the practice of nursing with an emphasis on nursing care issues. Nursing care research or clinical nursing research is defined as research that is practice-based or that will provide the groundwork for future practice-based research studies. Research funded through this grant must provide evidence that there is a potential impact on nursing practice, whether direct or indirect. Funds for this grant are provided jointly by the Sigma Foundation for Nursing and the Canadian Nurses Foundation.

Given the recent global Covid-19 pandemic, research that explores issues that impact nursing practice are welcomed. In addition, projects that focus on marginalized populations are strongly encouraged and will be given preference, other qualifications being equal.

Application now open! Deadline is December 1, 2024.

Link to apply: Sigma Canadian Nurses Foundation Research Grant

CIHR Institute of Aging: Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)

In 2014, the federal government announced the launch of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a national initiative aimed at tackling the growing onset of dementia and related illnesses and improving the lives of Canadians with these illnesses and their families and caregivers. The vision of CCNA is to bring together the best of Canadian research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases affecting cognition in a collaborative and synergistic space to work on bold, innovative, and transformative research that will ultimately impact the quality of life and the quality of services for those living with the effects of neurodegenerative diseases affecting cognition and their caregivers.

In partnership with the Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF), the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration (CCNA) is offering students awards to support the research activities of a nurse enrolled full time in a Master’s of PhD program. This award is intended to support and complement student success in their academic program and promote connection to the CCNA.

To be considered for an award, nursing research activities must be within one of the following areas:

1. Indigenous dementia related research based on principles of respectful research partnerships between Indigenous communities and/or organizations and researchers.

2. Research related to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility of people living with dementia and their care partners.

Please contact Amanda Duncan for more information at:

CIHR Institute of Indigenous Health/ Institute of Gender and Health

In 2019, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR), Institute for Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH) and Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) launched the Indigenous Health Nursing Research Chair initiative to support Research Chairs in the area of Indigenous health nursing. The initiative will further the development of best knowledge and wise practices in the area of Indigenous health nursing research and will ensure the Chair(s) have opportunities to work in collaboration with other Indigenous health researchers. The Indigenous Health Nursing Research Chair Initiative will facilitate research on nursing issues affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada.

The initiative will include a training and capacity development component that provides training experience and a training environment for trainees aligned with the individual Chairs. CNF is proud to be supporting the Indigenous nursing research chair initiative and has directed its funding towards nursing research fellows working in collaboration with the Nursing Chairs.

CIHR Nursing Chairs in Indigenous Health being supported:

– Lisa Bourque Bearskin (BC)

– Holly Graham (SK)

– Wanda Phillips-Becks (MB)

– Amelia Blanchet Garmea (QC)

– Jason Hickey (NB)

– Dr. Margot Latimer (NS)

Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities.

For more information, please contact Chris McGarvey at

Research Criteria

The research we fund must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Research on nursing care issues must be practice-based or provide the groundwork for future practice-based studies
  • Address as least one or more of the following  priorities:
    1. Research takes place in clinical settings—where nurses provide care—including non-acute settings, e.g. in the community
    2. Research that involves novice researchers
    3. Research teams are interdisciplinary
  • Must be relevant to decision-makers – the people who control health care resources and/or influence clinical practice


CNF does not fund research that investigates the following:

  • Health system research, for example, nursing recruitment, retention, management, organization, leadership and the issues emerging from health-system restructuring
  • Quality monitoring and improvement projects
  • Personnel awards


Please note that program evaluations will be considered for funding if the study involves the creation of broadly applicable new knowledge for nursing practice.

Our ResearchersEvery year, the Canadian Nurses Foundation in partnership with other organizations provides funding to help build nursing research capacity andimprove patient outcomes.

Pamela Baxter RN PhD Investigator

Project: Nurse leaders in LTC: Preventing, Identifying, Managing and Reporting Resident-to-Resident Aggression

This study will describe nurse leaders’ experiences with, and responses to, resident-to-resident aggression in long-term care in Ontario Canada. The study will include 12-15 formal nurse leader interviews.  Data collection and analysis will occur concurrently and be informed by the LEADS in a Caring Environment framework. This framework defines three components of effective leadership (Being, Caring, Doing) expressed as five domains; 1) leads self, 2) engages others, 3) achieved results, 4) develops coalitions, 5) system transformation. Findings will inform future leadership practices and inform the design, implementation and evaluation of future interventions for nurse leaders.

Louise Racine, RN, PhD – InvestigatorLouise Racine, RN, PhD – Investigator

Project: Breast Cancer Barriers and Facilitators Among Islamic/Muslim Refugee Women in Canada: A Mixed-Method Study

The proposed project will assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors associated with breast cancer self-examination, breast awareness, and the use of early screening programs among Islamic/Muslim women in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. This project will contribute to a better knowledge of the perceived susceptibility, perceptions of risks, barriers to and benefits of screening practices, confidence in performing Breast Self-Examination (BSE) and motivation in doing BSE among Islamic/Muslim immigrant and refugee women who recently migrated to Canada due to Syrian and Middle-East conflicts.

Charlene ChuCharlene Chu, Neurodegeneration in Aging CCNA

Project: Developing and evaluating an artificially intelligent system to monitor functional decline and quality of life of older adults with dementia in the community.

Often, older adults returning home from rehabilitation or acute care are at a higher risk of decline in their capacity to function and their physical capacities. This can lead to increased re-admittance into the health care system, and even into long-term care institutions to obtain the help needed for daily living.  Traditional methods of data collection regarding loss of mobility, overall physical function or social interactions are limited by scheduling issues and lack of understanding from the participants, among other problems.  Dr. Chu’s project is to capture clinically relevant data of small changes in a non-intrusive way by using artificial intelligence (AI) in the home.  Based on a sensor system, the AI unit would be assessed to ensure its accuracy, acceptability and responsiveness.  In the first stage of the project, participants will be recruited and monitored for three months, to train the AI unit and develop its learning algorithms with the assistance of a clinician.  The second part of the project will see a subsequent group of participants monitored at home, to assess the acceptability and responsiveness of the unit.  Dr. Chu is collaborating with engineers who have extensive experience with sensor-based technology.

The outcome of this project will inform further tailored interventions for older adults to maintain their quality of life within their communities and should generate considerable health care savings.

Congratulations to Jacqueline Galica RN, MScN, CON(C), PhD(c): recipient of the 2016 Sigma Theta Tau International and Canadian Nurses Foundation Research Grant.   

Her research project is titled “Mitigating a Common Issue in Cancer Survivorship: A Pilot, Group Online Intervention to Reduce Fear of Cancer Recurrence”.

Congratulations to Ingrid E. Handlovsky, MN: recipient of the 2014 Sigma Theta Tau International and Canadian Nurses Foundation Research Grant.

Her research proposal is titled “A qualitative exploration of gay men’s health issues, help-seeking behaviours and health provider-client interactions”.

2013-2015 Collaborative research grant

Fund Research

Do you want to be part of helping nurses find better ways to prevent the progression of disease, improve the patient experience, and help people manage better in their home communities?

Now is your chance! Your donation to support nursing research is an investment in better health, better care and better value for all Canadians. You’re also supporting the best and brightest in the next generation of professional researchers, educators and scholars.

CNF continues to partner with other health care organizations to build the capacity of nurse researchers in Canada and work towards a healthier and brighter Canada for all.

Please contact us or more information if you’re interested in making a gift to support nursing research.

Contact Us

The Canadian Nurses Foundation welcomes all inquiries.

Address Canadian Nurses Foundation
135 Michael Cowpland Drive
Suite 105, Kanata, ON K2M 2E9 Canada
Telephone: 613-680-0879
Toll Free: 1-844-204-0124
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