Health disparities in Canada go beyond individual health issues - they underscore deeper societal injustices that undermine our social fabric. These inequities highlight the existence of systemic barriers and inequalities that weaken our overall health and well-being as a society. Addressing health equity requires strategies that reduce socioeconomic disparities, promote culturally sensitive care, enhance access to services, and address the specific needs of marginalized populations.

At Novartis Canada, we are committed to addressing the deep-rooted disparities in our health system including access, delivery, and outcomes. By working with community partners, we can amplify our efforts and improve health outcomes for Canadians while also creating a more equitable health system.

Novartis Canada invites organizations dedicated to advancing health equity to apply for funding related to the following 3 areas of focus:

  • Social and cultural inclusivity of care
    • Significant health inequalities remain entrenched among Indigenous peoples, sexual and racial minorities and people living with functional limitations.
  • Health literacy and education
    • Many people identify a ‘lack of information, changing health recommendations and contradictory advice’ as key barriers to improving their health.
  • Health support for newly arrived immigrants
    • New immigrants may experience a decline in the quality of their health after arriving in Canada due to a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate information and services, and experiences of racism in the healthcare system.

Application Guidelines

Who Can Apply

  • Eligible Applicants: Duly registered charitable/non-profit organizations within Canada with clear and transparent objectives focused on tackling health inequities in the communities in which they operate.
    Please note: A single organization can submit multiple applications.
  • Ineligible Applicants: Individuals and organizations outside Canada.

Strong applications will focus on systemic inequities that address the fundamental causes of unequal health outcomes within Canada.

Priority Areas:

  • Social and cultural inclusivity of care.
  • Health literacy and education.
  • Health support for newly arrived immigrants.

Project Requirements:

  • Project and team overview.
  • The project should clearly demonstrate how it aligns with the overarching goals and objectives of promoting health equity within the priority areas.
  • Active involvement of impacted communities and individuals with living/lived experiences.
  • Strong rationale and justification for equitable use of funds.
  • Transparent and sustainable budget.
  • Measurable outcomes with a sound evaluation plan.
  • Reporting and feedback on project milestones.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Level of community engagement and involvement.
  • Degree to which people with lived experiences have been included and are influencing the project design and implementation.
  • Equity potential.
    • Potential to advance health equity while minimizing harms compared to the current state of the community, in the short, medium and long-term.
  • Project feasibility.
    • Ability to implement, measure outcomes, and project sustainability beyond the Novartis Health Equity Initiative.

Funding Information

  • Total Available Funding: $500,000 CAD.
  • Application Process:
    • Opens July 8, 2024.
    • Submit application HERE by September 15, 2024 (11:59 PM PT).
  • Funding Decisions: By October 2024.
  • Funding Distribution: By December 2024.
  • Funding Period:  One time funding for initiatives with implementation in 2024-2025.


  • Deadlines are strict. Please consider submitting your applications before the due date.
  • Demonstrate how your project relates to the above-mentioned areas of focus and demonstrate a clear, measurable impact on health equity.
  • Highlight community engagement and involvement throughout your project.

Where to Apply

Click HERE to start your application.

Additional Resources

  • Contact [email protected] for application assistance and a response will be provided within 5 business days.
  • We are committed to making the application process accessible to all. If you require additional support, application adjustment or have questions about our methodology, please contact [email protected] for additional clarity and/or support.

Additional Eligibility Information

Funding will only be given to legitimate charitable/non-profit organizations (duly registered in Canada) and must have clear and transparent objectives. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

The Novartis Health Equity Initiative funds must not be used for the following activities:

  • Activities that have already been performed or events that have passed.
  • Activities that result in Novartis receiving ownership of intellectual property rights.
  • Directly involve the use of Novartis or other pharmaceutical companies' products.
  • Promotion of any Novartis product or attempts to influence decisions related to formularies.
  • Accredited Independent Medical Education.
  • From or to institutions, associations, or organizations outside Canada.
  • Entertainment, gifts and promotional items.
  • Activities held in lavish venues/resorts.
  • Training of staff organized and performed by the same organization.
  • Equipment, textbooks, infrastructure or operating expenses and/or “bricks & mortar”.
  • Support for legal or litigation costs.
  • Sponsorship or travel to attend congresses/meetings held in Canada and abroad.
  • Subscription to publications.
  • Development of clinical practice guidelines, which refer to statements providing recommendations to guide healthcare practitioners in making appropriate decisions for specific clinical situations.
  • Religious purposes.
  • Activities not aligned with the stated goals and objectives of the funding organization or program.
  • Activities for which funds are misused for personal gain or diverted from their intended purpose.

The Novartis Health Equity Initiative will not support activities that are unethical, illegal, or pose significant risks to individuals or society. Activities must not promote discrimination, harm, or violate human rights are unethical, illegal, or pose significant risks to individuals or society.