Research program

At WCB, we are committed to reducing the impact of workplace accidents and diseases on Albertans. We partner with workers, employers, researchers and educators to develop effective tools and programs so we can do our part to improve workplace health and safety while still providing effective disability management services.

Our research program encourages scientific exploration into topics applicable to workers' compensation. We provide funding to high-quality research projects which address some of the pressing issues we face, such as:

  • obtaining optimal clinical and return-to-work outcomes.
  • improving the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of claims management and the workers’ compensation system.

In addition to these priorities, we may at times request research proposals to address specific areas of interest. Grants are made available to researchers in many different disciplines, including:

  • economics
  • law
  • epidemiology
  • population health
  • rehabilitation
  • basic sciences
  • general social sciences

WCB-Alberta's Research Program provides full funding for projects and sponsorship for co-funding, data access and collection. Co-funding assists researchers who seek funding from other agencies, such as Alberta Innovates and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Researchers may be able to access data held by WCB-Alberta for research purposes. Data requests must satisfy the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and may require ethical review by the appropriate institution. Please contact WCB’s Research Program for data inquiries.

2023 grants competition

Our 2023 grants competition is now open. The submission deadline is Friday, March 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

For the 2023 research grants competition, the Research Committee is particularly interested in receiving proposals that focus on:

  • The assessment and treatment of work-related psychological injuries.
  • Outcomes of medical and other interventions.

Other topics falling within these general areas of research are being considered:

  • Disability management and rehabilitation—Reducing the impact of workplace injury and disease.
  • Return to work—Reducing barriers to employability; integrating best practices to promote safe, effective, appropriate and sustainable return to work or re-employment.
  • Medical/rehabilitative interventions—Evaluating the efficacy of medical or rehabilitative interventions with a focus on treating occupational disease or injury.
  • Changing nature of work and the work environment—Examining current technological, economic, demographic or social factors affecting the nature of work; exploring implications for Alberta’s worker’s compensation system.
  • Improving the predictability of WCB financing—Including costs and funding, through a better understanding of their relationship with economic and demographic changes.
  • Policy, system-design and decision-making—In workers’ compensation, examining systemic fairness and efficacy in terms of benefit structure, financing of workers’ compensation and incentive plans, decision-making models and review/appeal structures.
  • Knowledge transfer—Evaluating effective ways of putting research findings into practice for communities of interest.

The project team members could include but are not limited to the fields of clinical medicine, epidemiology, population health, rehabilitation, basic sciences, law, economics and other social sciences.

A WCB technical resource may be made available, upon request, to assist with WCB data extraction and consultation on database issues.

For resources on integrating diversity considerations (e.g., sex and/or gender) into research, please use resources from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

To apply, please complete the letter of intent application form using our Research Program guide. Here you’ll find guidance on how to complete the application form, answers to common questions, and instructions on how to submit a completed application form. The deadline for submission of letters of intent for the 2023 funding competition is Friday, March 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

Please note that while we support workplace safety and injury prevention, we do not have jurisdiction over occupational health and safety in the province of Alberta. As such, studies that primarily address injury prevention are beyond our mandate and these researchers are encouraged to seek alternate sources of funding.

Questions? Contact us.

If you think your research applies to our business, contact WCB's Research Program and let us know if you'd like to be notified by email of any upcoming funding opportunities.

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