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 health related (includes mental health).
  • 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


Our call for letters of intent (LOIs) for our 2022 round of funding has now closed.

OBI hosted an Information Webinar at 12 PM (noon) Friday, September 10, 2021. The webinar will include an overview of the program and an opportunity for potential applicants to ask program and LOI related questions.

If you have any questions please email:

Meet the 2021 GEEKs

  • Family Navigation Project

    (Greater Toronto Area)
    The Family Navigation Project provides free-of-charge support to youth ages 13-26 with mental health and addictions concerns and their families. Through the program experts help youth navigate and access the most appropriate services and resources.
    visit website
  • Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Transition Program

    Vista Centre Brain Injury Services (Ottawa)
    The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Transition Program supports the safe transition of ABI clients back to the community through a counseling partnership with The Robin Easey Centre of The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.
    visit website
  • Epilepsy-Specific Mental Health Program

    Epilepsy Ontario (across Ontario)
    The Epilepsy-Specific Mental Health Program in Ontario delivers remote-based mental health services to people living with epilepsy in areas where there is no local mental health programming or Community Epilepsy Agency.
    visit website

2020 GEEKs

  • Peer-Administered CBT-Informed Support for Postpartum Depression

    Kids Can Fly (Brantford)
    Kids Can Fly’s ‘Peer-Administered CBT-Informed Support for Postpartum Depression’ program train women who have recovered from postpartum depression to deliver a 9-week group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-informed support program to women currently struggling with postpartum depression.
    visit website
  • U-First! for Care Partners

    Alzheimer Society of Ontario (across Ontario)
    Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s ‘U-First! for Care Partners’ program provides informal care partners (family members and friends) across Ontario with consistent hands-on training, essential skills, and best practices in the care of persons with changes in behaviour due to dementia and other cognitive impairment.
    visit website
  • Mashkikiiwininiwag Mazinaatesijigan Wichiiwewin (MMW) Video Conferencing Program

    Surrey Place (Northwest Ontario)
    Surrey Place's MMW Program provides specialized clinical services and resources from urban Toronto to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) living in rural communities in Northwestern Ontario, via videoconferencing technology.
    visit website

Frequently asked questions

Everything you wanted to know and were not afraid to ask

  • What is a "community-led" program?

    A community-led program is a program run by an organization that is not part of a hospital or clinical setting (i.e., outside of the formal healthcare system setting). These programs typically provide care via knowledge, support, advocacy, or access.

  • When does the program start?

    Final selection of successful applicants will be made by February 2022. GEEK program and funding will begin in April 2022.

  • How much is the funding and for how long?

    Proposed budgets can range, and the funding term is flexible up to 2-years. 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 2-3 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 community 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