Thinking through your application to SPARK

So, you have a great idea based on evidence and knowledge related to mental health and/or addictions and now you want to take the next step and put that idea into practice.


A Knowledge Translation workshop that walks you through each step of the planning the implementation of your idea and connects you with experienced mentors in the mental health and addictions sectors to support you might be just what you need!

The first very important step in attending a SPARK Workshop is to spend some time thinking through and completing your application. The application gives us information of your idea, the knowledge it is based on and what you are hoping to do with it! Every project is at a different phase and it is beneficial for your idea to be at a certain level of readiness to get the most out of the SPARK workshop!

What is important to think about and include in your application?

  • A clear problem statement about what you are trying to address.
  • A goal for how you hope your idea might address that problem.

*Check out our blog on “Finding a Purpose in your Project” [] for some ideas on thinking through this section.

It is important before you complete your application to do some research on your topic and be sure you understand what already exists and how your idea is different or builds on what is already there. What research or knowledge is available to support your idea?

  • Think about what practices or policies currently exist that you think your idea would improve and highlight them to us, be very specific and focused.
  • Outline your idea or the tool you want people to use. Again, be as specific and concrete as possible.
  • Show us some evidence, give us some specific sources where you have seen evidence to support your idea, that it might be effective. This could be formal research, it could be evidence of a certain approach working in another place or context, it could be anecdotal testimonials, a report that you saw, etc.

What else should you consider when completing your application?

Stakeholders are an extremely important aspect of a Knowledge Translation plan. While thinking about your idea and how and where you hope it will be put into practice, who might be some important people to engage? Are there specific organizations or people that need to be involved? Be as specific as possible about who you have thought about in your application.

Talk to your organization if you are applying as a part of your job, or a professor if you are applying as a part of your schoolwork. Will you have the support and resources to put your idea into action? Supplying us with a letter of support from your organization or school would be an asset to your application.

If you are not doing this as a part of an organization have you looked into securing resources for your project implementation? Is there anyone sponsoring you or can you secure funding? We have seen that the most successful projects are those who have secured some type of funding or support prior to attending the SPARK workshop. It will be important for you to highlight the types of support you have been able to get at the time of application (both in-kind and monetary).

For more specific assistance on completing your SPARK application please see our Application Guide:

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The content in our blogs is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health provider with any questions you may have regarding your mental health. If you are in distress, please contact your nearest distress centre. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.