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Innovative Therapies Program Application

The Innovative Therapies Program awards up to $20,000 CAD grants to conduct pilot or early stage human clinical trials involving eligible types of therapy, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of rare disease patients.


Eligible Therapy Types Include:

  • Surgical
  • Physical therapy
  • Bibliotherapy
  • Small molecule
  • Biologics
  • Counseling
  • Music / Art / Play / Animal
  • Nutritional
  • Surgical
  • Radiation
  • Alternative health therapy
  • Complex therapies (e.g. enzyme therapy, live organisms)
  • Antibody
  • Genome or Transcriptome Editing
  • Physio / Exercise / Occupational therapy
  • Other

Please note: This program is currently under review. Therefore, we are currently not accepting any NEW applications. For questions on existing grants, please contact our Research Program Coordinator, Chloe Lim at


Application Process

1. Applicants must prepare a proposal clearly outlining:

  • Title
  • Lay language summary (2,000 characters including spaces)
  • Scientific summary (2,800 characters including spaces): Background, Hypothesis, Methods or Plan, Budget (see what Rare Disease Foundation considers eligible project expenses)
  • References
  • Upload of up to two images (optional)
  • How you will structure your intervention to increase the likelihood of a true positive result (900 characters including spaces)
  • Patient safety issues (2,000 characters including spaces)

Important: Applications may be submitted by anyone as long as they have a collaborator to receive funds who is associated with a Canadian institution or a Registered Institution listed here. One investigator may apply for multiple awards.

2. Submit your application here.

3. Applications will be de-identified and reviewed by multiple scientific and parent / patient (lay) reviewers for their innovativeness, potential impact on care, quality of trial design, and for their adherence to the priorities of patients and their families.

Submission Deadline: The application deadline for this program is annually on January 31 at 5 pm PST. Decision letters will be emailed within 30 business days. 

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for submissions have been temporarily postponed.


What Successful Applicants Should Expect

Funded projects are expected to lead to dissemination of results through publication or meeting presentation, and/or generate preliminary data for larger studies directed at improving patient care. If funding is readily available elsewhere, the rationale for requesting it from this program should be provided.

  • Successful applicants are expected to provide a 1 paragraph lay summary describing their results upon project completion and describe how their work improved patient care.
  • Grant terms are for 2 years with the possibility of one two-year extension.
  • We request that publications containing data supported by grants acknowledge the support of the Rare Disease Foundation and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF).

We love to receive feedback on the longer-term impact of the work we fund so please reach out and let us know if something awesome happens down the road with your project.

See summaries of previously funded projects.


Further Information

For program inquiries or eligibility, please contact Chloe Lim, Program Coordinator at or our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Millan Patel at

For website submission difficulties, please contact Joeline Norgaard, Project Manager at

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