Brain Health

The Foundation, through its Weston Brain Institute and Weston Family Microbiome Initiative, aims to catalyze and scale science-based approaches to significantly improve the health and well-being of Canadians. 

Brain Health: 2021 – Lifestyle Approaches and Microbiome Contributions

The program seeks to increase the number of Canadians maintaining better brain health throughout their lives. This program aims to advance the treatment (e.g., symptomatic relief, disease modification) and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases of aging by accelerating the development and implementation of lifestyle approaches and/or identifying the contribution of the microbiome.

*The deadline for submitting applications to the Brain Health: 2021 – Lifestyle Approaches and Microbiome Contributions program has now passed*

Program Overview

Goal: To accelerate the development of lifestyle approaches and an understanding of the contributions of the microbiome in maintaining brain health starting in midlife.

Funding: Up to $1.5 million per project over up to 3 years.

Applicant Eligibility: Principal Applicants must be a researcher working in Canada at least 30% of the time and hold a position at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent. Co-applicants and Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada.

Applicants may appear in any role on any number of projects.

Project Eligibility: Eligible projects can be Research Questions or Implementation Initiatives.

  • Research Questions: Hypothesis-based questions that help accelerate the development of lifestyle approaches or microbiome contributions to brain health.
  • Implementation Initiatives: Approaches to address operational questions and/or put findings into practice.

Projects must include one or more brain-related outcome measures (e.g., fluid-based biomarker, neuroimaging outcome measure, well-established clinical/cognitive measures) as a readout. Projects should show how the Research Question or Implementation Initiative will impact brain health of Canadians.

Preliminary data are not required for this program. However, compelling scientific rationale is required (e.g., from the literature or preliminary data).

The Foundation welcomes additional inquiries about this program, including whether a potential idea is in scope. Please reach out to with any questions.

Application Process

The application process consists of two stages:

  • Letters of Intent (LOIs)
  • Proposals

To apply, applicants must submit an LOI to the Foundation. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Each LOI and Proposal is peer-reviewed by a scientific review committee.

Program Documents:

  • Program details here
  • Frequently Asked Questions here
  • Request for Applications (RFA) here
  • LOI Sample here
  • Study Examples here

Important Dates

Online applications open: August 5, 2020
LOI deadline: November 25, 2020
Proposal deadline: April 15, 2021
Anticipated award notification: July  2021


Program Information Webinar

The Foundation will hold two Program Information Webinars to provide further details on the program and answer any questions. However, if you have questions specific to your project (e.g., project scope), we encourage you to contact us directly.

Webinar #1

September 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET – Webinar has passed

Webinar #2

October 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET – Webinar has passed