Safety Grants Overview

At HIROC, we value research and innovative initiatives that turn the corner on patient safety. Launched in 2018 with funding from the HIROC Foundation, the Safety Grants Program aims to support and promote safety in higher risk areas in healthcare. 

The Safety Grants Program provides funding to HIROC Subscribers for initiatives emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach, potentially including persons in care or family/ support networks as core members of the improvement team where applicable.These initiatives have the potential to positively impact our healthcare system.

This year, HIROC is calling for applications in five priority areas (see Improvement Themes below). Successful teams may receive up to $20,000 (CAD) to support their safety initiative.

The deadline to submit is Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1700h EDT.  To get started, download, save and complete the application form.

Apply Now!

The Safety Grants Program provides grant support for HIROC Subscribers, for up to $20,000 per safety initiative that is approximately one year in length and is able to show evidence of progress within six months.

The funds of the awarded grant amount will be distributed in two installments: 50% in December 2020, and 50% in June 2021 after receipt of the mid-term progress report. Successful teams will be accountable for administering the grant funds, meeting planned milestones, and performance reporting.

Step 1: Review the eligibility criteria.

Step 2: Obtain a Letter of Support from a Senior Leader or Executive confirming your organization’s support for the initiative.

Step 3: Download, save and complete the application form, confirm the completion of the ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool, and the Letter of Support. Completed applications should be sent to

Step 4: Selected finalists will be invited for a telephone interview. HIROC will select finalists based on the scoring criteria (see Eligibility and Scoring Criteria below).

All applicants will be notified of their application results via email, no later than October 30, 2020. Successful applicants must sign the Safety Grants Agreement before November 16, 2020.

  • Call for applications: September 10, 2020
  • Application deadline: September 30, 2020 at 1700h EDT
  • Telephone interview: October 5 to 13, 2020
  • Notification of results: October 30, 2020 
  • First installment distributed: December 2020
  • Midterm update: May 14, 2021 
  • Second installment distributed: June 2021
  • Final update: December 15, 2021 
  • HIROC Conference: Spring 2022

All applications must address at least one of the following five priority safety areas:

  • Fetal health surveillance, intravenous oxytocin-related harm
    Improving the quality and safety of maternal and neonatal care
  • Patient deterioration
    Improving early detection and action, communication, and management of patient deterioration (including escalation of care)
  • Death by suicide while under care 
    Focusing on designing safe environments, processes, or protocols that reduce the risk of death by suicide and attempts
  • Property loss    
    Focusing on innovative strategies to reduce property loss, such as water and fire losses
  • Emergency preparedness
    Improving the capacity of healthcare organizations to build resilience and respond to threats that disrupt operations

The Safety Grants Selection Committee, comprised of HIROC Subscribers and staff, will assess all completed applications based on the following eligibility requirements and scoring criteria. Selected finalists will be invited to partake in a telephone interview between October 5 and 13, 2020.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Applicant Organization is a HIROC Subscriber
  • The safety initiative is directly aligned to at least one of the identified improvement themes
  • The Applicant has obtained written support for the safety initiative from a Senior Leader or Executive within their Organization (Letter of Support template)
  • The application is received before the deadline (Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1700h EDT)
  • Funding requests do not exceed $20,000 CAD  
  • If selected as a finalist, applicants will participate in a telephone interview
  • The Applicant must confirm completion of the ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool 
  • The Applicant obtains ethics approval from their Organization for the awarded grant (as required)

Scoring Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on the aim of the planned improvements, feasibility of the proposed activities, level of innovation, measures of change, as well as their potential to make a positive impact on the healthcare system. Applicants will be asked to clearly address the following questions.

1. The problem

  • What is the problem?
  • What happens, when, how often, how much, and who is affected?

2. The aim

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • For whom? By when?

3. Stakeholders

  • Who are the key stakeholders in the planned changes?
  • How will the interdisciplinary team and patients/families/support networks be involved?

4. Planned improvements

  • What are the planned improvements – processes, tools, and deliverables?
  • Are the improvements aimed at the local, organizational, or system level? If local, could the improvement be implemented at the organizational or broader levels?

5. Implementation challenges

  •  What are the major barriers you anticipate (e.g. technology, culture, time, resources)?
  • What strategies could you implement to overcome the challenges?

6. Measures

  • What are your outcome, process, and balancing measures?
  • Reflecting the dimensions of quality: care that is safe, effective, patient-centred, efficient, timely, and equitable

7. Budget

  • Does the budget detail all reasonable costs and estimates, including personnel, and supplies?

8. Schedule 

  • Is the schedule detailed and feasible?
  • Is the proposed work to be covered by the grant achievable within one year?

The Safety Grants Program has supported a number of Subscribers with their improvement work. The projects of several of our recent grant recipients were shared in a special issue of The HIROC Connection. Those with featured stories are linked below.

For additional support in preparing your application, please consider registering for one of our upcoming webinars to reflect more on safety. 

  • The Intersect of Patient Safety and Human Factors Watch Now
    Through conversation, reflect on the importance of human factors in safety and what to consider when planning your safety project. 
  • Tips on Writing Grant Applications – Date TBD 
    We will explore and share tips on writing grant applications.
  • Open Forum and Q&A – Date TBD 
    An opportunity to connect and discuss any questions on the topics of safety and quality improvement, and the application process.

Contact the Safety Grants Program at