Empowering Indigenous Communities to Improve the Care of Elders Living with Frailty

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The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is looking to fund knowledge translation and real-world implementation proposals aimed to empower remote Indigenous communities to enable them to improve care for, and support their elders to remain in their home or communities. CFN will only fund proposals that are co-created/co-designed in close partnership with Indigenous community members. Proposals must focus on the scale or spread of a prior health and/or social care initiative shown to be effective in a smaller context.


The mission of the CFN is to improve care for older adults living with frailty and to support their family and friend caregivers. We do this by increasing recognition, understanding and assessment of frailty, increasing evidence for improved decision making, advocating for improvements to health and social care, educating the next generation of care providers and by engaging with older adults and their caregivers.

CFN funds innovative research studies, knowledge translation activities, and develops partnerships focused on frailty. As a Pan-Canadian Network, we seek to expand our activity by engaging and partnering with rural Indigenous groups to keep elders living within their home or communities by improving health and social care locally. Aging in place is a key CFN strategic priority and this RFP focused on improving care in Indigenous communities supports this priority.

Proposal Details

Proposals must address one or both of the following two questions:

  1. How can community led social programs assist aging elders to remain in their homes or communities as long as possible?
  2. How can community input lead to better local community health care interventions for aging elders that are frail?

Proposals must investigate a social program or health care intervention that has demonstrated feasibility and effectiveness in a local small scale setting. Examples of interventions that must be tailored to the unique needs of Indigenous communities include the following:

  1. Caregiver training at the home or community level. Caregivers include paid health care professionals and family and friend caregivers.
  2. Telehealth or remote monitoring innovations that are culturally appropriate and respect individual privacy.
  3. Practice or protocol changes and strategies that improve formal health care service provision.
  4. Community health programs that promote individual behaviour change to increase adoption of healthy life-style practices shown to prevent or mitigate morbidity and frailty. Programs can include exercise, improved nutrition and reduction of polypharmacy programs.
  5. Community social programs aimed at reducing physical isolation, social isolation and feelings of loneliness. Programs can also include spiritual and cultural programs that help achieve increased mental and/or physical well-being.

In keeping, with CFN’s mission all proposals must:

  • measure levels of frailty in individuals using validated scales or assessment tools,
  • include an evaluation (qualitative and/or quantitative) of program effectiveness, and
  • measure appropriate individual and/or community level outcomes.

In addition all proposals must:

  • be a maximum of 3 pages, single spaced in Calibri 12 font with 1 inch margins.
  • include the name of lead investigator and community lead, title of proposal, length of study and overall budget (budget is not part of 3 page maximum).
  • include study rationale, objectives/deliverables, study design and description of team expertise (i.e., partners, community members, other stakeholders) and budget (see below).

NOTE: The successful applicant(s) will be expected to work with CFN to finalize a co-designed study that will ultimately be funded. Successful applicants may also be asked for additional information and clarification regarding partners and community members and budget justification.


  • Proposals must be submitted by midnight EST Monday March 2, 2020.
  • Proposals must be submitted via email to research@cfn-nce.ca. Emails date stamped after the deadline will not be eligible.
  • All work arising from funded proposals will need to be completed by March 2022.


  • A total maximum of $200,000 is available for this entire RFP.
  • A single proposal budget maximum is $200,000 or less.
  • One or more proposals will be funded depending on the budgets of the submitted proposals.
  • All CFN funding must be accompanied by applicant matching partner funds of at least a 1:1 ratio. To be clear, as an example, if you request $100,000 from CFN you will need to secure an additional minimum $100,000 in partner cash or in-kind contributions. Both cash and in-kind matching partner funds are eligible although cash contributions are weighted higher in proposal evaluations.

Specific deliverables required by CFN

  • Progress report every six months updating CFN on latest activities, preliminary findings etc.
  • A final detailed report at project end date.
  • A face-to-face or online meeting at project end date to discuss final results/findings.

Evaluation Criteria
The evaluation of submitted proposals will incorporate Indigenous reviewers and perspectives. The mechanism of proposal evaluations may involve the creation of an evaluation rubric that will encompass how well the applications addresses the above requirements.

Terms and Conditions
By submitting a proposal, the applicant/organization acknowledges and agrees that CFN has no liability or obligation to any applicant/organization, except to the party (or parties) that is awarded the contract by CFN in its sole discretion. CFN shall be fully and forever released and discharged of all liability and obligations in connection with this RFP. CFN reserves the right to cancel this RFP at any time without any obligation or reimbursement to organizations.

Contact for Further Information
Perry Kim, PhD, Assistant Scientific Director
Phone: (613) 549-6666, ext. 6208
Email: perry@cfn-nce.ca