Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Translation (GEEK)

Supporting care in the community

The GEEK program provides evaluation expertise, support, and funding to community-led programs and services for brain health and people living with brain disorders.

The goal of GEEK is to enable community-led organizations to evaluate their programs and generate evidence for learning, improvement, and impact, ultimately increasing the success of their programs. GEEK provides 2-years of funding to sustain, scale and/or spread these programs, and promotes evaluation capacity building to improve the quality and quantity of evidence-based care in the community.

The GEEK program will allocate over $1 million in funding over the next three years, 2023 - 2026.

“Ontario’s only award that pairs a community program with an evaluation expert!”

Why invest in evaluation capacity building?

Organizations with a high level of evaluation capacity conduct quality evaluation studies in a timely manner, use evaluation findings regularly as part of program and organizational decision-making, and adopt an evaluative culture founded on the principles of organizational learning.

Why is it important to build evaluation capacity in community-based organizations?

By improving community-based organizations’ ability to generate program evidence through evaluation, community programming can better situate itself into health care contexts. Through the GEEK program, we believe that providing participants with an opportunity to learn by doing and to readily transfer what they learn about evaluation into a program is key to increasing organizational evaluation practice and evidence generation.

Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant is a community-led organization that seeks to increase their ability to conduct and use evaluation.
  • The program or service is brain health related (includes mental health).
  • 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.
  • Funding supports activities taking place across Canada, with the head office or main site located in Ontario.
  • 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 2024 round of funding is now open.

OBI hosted an Information Webinar on September 8th, 2023. The webinar provided an overview of the program and an opportunity for potential applicants to ask program and LOI related questions.

Miss the webinar? Find out what we shared below!

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 March 2024. GEEK program and funding will begin in April 2024.

  • 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.

    The role of the evaluator is to assist with the development of an evaluation plan, help to carry out the evaluation, and create evaluation learnings from the data collected. Through all this, they help to increase your organization's evaluation capacity.

  • 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 $50,000 - $75,000 per year for 2-year funding terms but are open to budgets and timelines outside of this range. This budget includes evaluator support.

  • How many programs will be funded?

    We anticipate funding 4 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?

    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. We will also accept applications that support people across Canada as long as the main site or head office is in Ontario.

  • 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 the GEEK program we are seeking to fund a cohort of programs that represent a range of brain disorders and challenges.

  • 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