Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Translation (GEEK)

Supporting care in the community

The GEEK (Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Translation) program provides funding, evaluation expertise, and support to community-led programs and services for people living with brain disorders. GEEK supports the sustainability, scale and/or spread of these programs, to improve the quality and quantity of evidence-based care in the community.

The GEEK program will allocate up to $1 million in funding over the next five years.

Eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant is a community-led organization.
  • The program or service is brain and/or mental-health related.
  • Funding supports activities taking place in Ontario.
  • The program or service is currently or has previously been offered.
  • The program is community-led and takes place outside of a hospital or primary care setting.
  • The applicant is an incorporated organization with prior or existing funding.

Preference will be given to programs or services that:

  • Address a unique and/or unmet need of the community, and
  • Are implementing their evidence-informed program/service in a new context or setting, or
  • Are growing their capacity to deliver their program/service.

Over the course of the GEEK program, we are seeking to fund a cohort of programs that represent a range of brain disorders and challenges, and represent diverse regions and groups in Ontario


We are currently accepting letters of intent (LOIs) for our 2020 round of funding.

LOIs are due Friday September 27, 2019 by 11:59pm (EST).

OBI is hosting an information webinar at 12 PM (noon) Tuesday September 10, 2019. The webinar will include an overview of the program and an opportunity for potential applicants to ask program- and LOI-related questions.

Frequently asked questions

Everything you wanted to know and were not afraid to ask

  • When does the program start?

    Final selection of successful applicants will be made by February 2020. GEEK program and funding will begin in March 2020.

  • How much is the funding and for how long?

    Proposed budgets can range, and the funding term is flexible. We anticipate applications to range from $45,000 - $65,000 per year for 2-year funding terms but are open to budgets and timelines outside of this range.

  • How many programs will be funded?

    We anticipate funding 3 programs this year, but the exact number is dependent on this year’s applications and proposed budgets.

  • Who should the letter of intent come from?

    The letter of intent should be signed by someone with the authority to bind the organization, for example the Executive Director or another senior executive at your organization.

  • If there is a program that was developed and run in another province that could be adapted and implemented in Ontario, would it be eligible?

    Absolutely. Please see our case study about importing Minds in Motion from British Columbia.

  • Are partnerships between community and hospital included?

    Partnerships between a community-led organization and a hospital can be eligible, but the community-led organization should be the ultimate recipient of evaluation capacity building, support, and funds. The GEEK program is working to build capacity at the community level.

  • Can the intervention target the family rather than the person living with the brain disorder?

    Yes. Supporting family members and caregivers is important for achieving improved brain health and wellness for those living with brain disorders.

  • Is there a preference for programs that can be carried out in a wider geographic area? Are you looking to spread your funding across regions?

    Over the course of 5 years, the GEEK program is seeking to fund a cohort of programs that represent diverse regions and groups in Ontario. That said, a single program does not have to be carried out in a wide geographic area.

  • Is there a preference for programs that can cut across brain disorders?

    A single program does not need to cut across multiple brain disorders. Over the course of 5 years, the GEEK program is seeking to fund a cohort of programs that represent a range of brain disorders and challenges.

  • Do you assign evaluators? Can we suggest names of evaluators?

    We have a roster of qualified evaluators that can be assigned to programs based on location and skill sets. If you have an evaluator you would like to work with, we ask that you connect us with the evaluator.

  • Are depression and anxiety included as brain disorders? Can brain disorders that are not a part of OBI’s integrated discovery programs be eligible?

    Yes. We are interested in reaching the broader brain health community through GEEK, so any brain health or mental health programs are eligible. Depression and anxiety are brain disorders.

  • What expenses does the grant cover?

    • Salaries and/or stipends for existing staff for project related work
    • Salaries and/or stipend for relevant researchers, evaluators, students, interns
    • Research and/or evaluation services related to project initiative
    • Communications, outreach, marketing, dissemination costs
    • Travel costs related to project initiative
    • Goods and/or materials for project related work
  • What expenses does the grant NOT cover?

    • Costs related to existing facility infrastructure improvements
    • Any items or services not directly related to the project initiative

Meet the 2019 GEEKs

  • Active Lives Active Giving

    Active Lives After School Dufferin (Orangeville)
    ALAS Dufferin's 'Active Lives Active Giving' program connects individuals with developmental disabilities living in Orangeville to supported volunteering opportunities. Active Lives Active Giving’s goal is to engage individuals with neurological differences through volunteer opportunities to support ongoing positive mental health through authentic community inclusion.
    visit website
  • Educational Pathway to Employment

    Christian Horizons (Toronto)
    Christian Horizon's 'Educational Pathway to Employment' program develops career specific post-secondary education programs for people with developmental disabilities as well as mental health challenges, giving them the opportunity to gain the education and skills needed to access employment.
    visit website
  • Brief Intensive Case Management – Acquired Brain Injury

    Ontario Brain Injury Association (Nipissing District)
    OBIA's 'Brief Intensive Case Management – Acquired Brain Injury' program connects individuals living with acquired brain injury and co-occurring diagnoses of addictions and/or mental health to primary care and other services. The program is developing an integrated model of care to support these individuals with complex cases.
    visit website

If you have any questions please email: