Supporting health through research and education.

Application Process for Operating Grant Funding

Guidelines and Criteria for Applications for Research Funds

The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) will consider the provision of funds for the advancement of scientific, educational and other activities in the maintenance and improvement of the health and welfare of the residents of Manitoba. The primary focus of the Foundation is to promote and encourage the work of new health researchers in Manitoba.

Research applications are welcomed from Manitoba-based researchers* in the health field, e.g. physicians, scientists, social workers, nurses, epidemiologists, and any other health workers engaged through organizations involved in the preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative care of persons or groups of persons.

Only one application per year will be considered from any principal investigator.

MMSF Board Members cannot submit a grant application, nor can they be co-applicants, co-investigators or collaborators for MMSF operating grants.

Applications for funds are made directly to the Foundation on forms available on the website - All submissions eligible for consideration by the Awards Assessment Committee are due by August 15th for funding commencing early in the following year.

Research grants awarded are not greater than $35,000 and are for a one-year period only.

These grants may be used by the MMSF in attracting partnership funding from other sources. All funded projects must begin within three (3) months of the allocation date. All funds are allocated on a twelve-month term and unused funds may not be carried forward without special permission from the Foundation. When permission is obtained from the Foundation, a period of three (3) months will be allowed for the expenditure of carry-over funds.

Funds will be administered through an approved agency (eg: University of Manitoba), which will submit the accounts quarterly to the Foundation on behalf of the recipient of the grant.

Grants are not transferable from one recipient to another, and the money must be expended on the specific research project for which it was granted.

After initial review, all eligible applicants shall attend an interview with an Awards Subcommittee. The subcommittees include a mixture of physicians and/or healthcare workers and scientists as well as MMSF Board Members who are not healthcare professionals. These meetings are usually held during October. During the interview, the applicant will be required to describe the project and answer questions from the subcommittee. The subcommittee will evaluate and grade the application for final approval/disapproval by the Board in December, based upon the level of recommendation by the Awards Assessment Committee and the availability of funds.

* Manitoba Based Researchers: To qualify as a Manitoba-based researcher, the principal investigator must maintain status as a resident of Manitoba.

NOTE: Attendance at the interview is required. When your application has been accepted into the competition you shall receive a letter informing you of the date and time for the interview. Exceptions to attending in person shall be arranged if the applicant is deemed by MMSF to have special circumstances such as: will be out of province at the time of the interview; severe illness; death in the family; or other unavoidable cause sufficient to prevent attendance. Provided that reasonable notice has been given and satisfactory justification established to the MMSF, alternate arrangements may be made. If you will not be able to attend the scheduled interview, contact the MMSF Administrative Assistant to make a request for alternate arrangements. Whenever possible, alternate arrangements shall be made for the applicant to attend the interview by teleconference or other means of electronic communications. In exceptional circumstance where alternate arrangements are not possible, the evaluation and grading of your application will be conducted in your absence.

The highest priorities for funding will be given to New Researchers 1 applying for meritorious projects. Established Researchers 2 applying for support of a project will only be eligible to apply should they meet the requirements included in the Experienced Researcher 3 definition. All other Established Researchers are not eligible to apply.

Applications for a second year of support by MMSF are not accepted. Applicants are expected to approach other granting agencies for continuing support.

Bridge funding will be considered prior to the initiation of major funding by a national granting agency provided such funding is of no more than six (6) months duration and does not exceed 50% of the annual cost requirement of the project.

No principal investigator will be eligible for funding if an MMSF research operating grant has been previously awarded to that individual as a PI. The only exception is Residents & Clinical Fellows 5 who have received an operating grant, as they shall subsequently be eligible to apply for an operating grant when they become an Independent Researcher 4.

Postdoctoral Fellows (post PhD), Research Associates, and Research Affiliates are not eligible to apply.

Researcher Definitions

1 New Researcher

Researchers who are within five (5) years of establishing themselves as an Independent Researcher 4 in Manitoba. These may include Residents and Clinical Fellows 5 (Residents and Clinical Fellows are not required to have an academic or research appointment). The MMSF defines the start of the five (5) years to begin when the applicants received their first appointment at an Academic Institution 6 in any province or country.

2 Established Researcher

Researchers who are beyond five (5) years of establishing themselves as an Independent Researcher 4.

3 Experienced Researcher

Established Researchers 2 who conduct additional training (eg: MSc or PhD) will be eligible as Experienced Researchers contingent upon being within five (5) years from the completion date of their new training and the application being in the area of research of the new training.

4 Independent Researcher

An individual who:

  • autonomous regarding their research activities; and
  • has a Manitoba academic appointment which:
    • must commence by the effective date of funding; and
    • allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project, to engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding, to supervise trainees, and to publish the research results; and
    • obliges the individual to conform to institutional regulations concerning the conduct of research, the supervision of trainees, and the employment conditions of staff paid with MMSF funding.

Note: An individual who meets the above requirements but is also a "Resident/Clinical Fellow 5" as defined below, is considered an "Independent Researcher 4" by MMSF provided that:

  • the research proposal covers only areas of investigation for which he/she is deemed to be an Independent Researcher; and
  • he/she can demonstrate in the application to MMSF that he/she will have sufficient time to devote to the proposed research.

In these cases, the individual must attach a description of his/her area of study to their application.

5 Residents and Clinical Fellows

Residents and Clinical Fellows are eligible to apply for operating grants. However, to be eligible to apply in their final year of a training program they are required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor and department head assuring that salary funding support is in place for the duration of the granting term.

  • an individual who is enhancing their research skills through actual involvement in research and who works under the formal supervision of an Independent Researcher.

For example:

  • a postgraduate-health professional degree fellow (eg: nursing, physiotherapy, medicine, dentistry) at an Academic Institution 6 or Research Institution 7.

The list of examples is not exhaustive. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with MMSF.

6 Academic Institution

An institution:

  • dedicated to education and research; and
  • which grants academic degrees.

7 Research Institution

An institution dedicated to conducting research.

Adapted from CIHR

Conditions for Funding

  1. Grantees are required to submit a final report within six (6) months of completion of the project.
  2. Failure to comply with the conditions governing the grant may prejudice the continuation of funding.
  3. Any changes required in the method of fund disbursement must first be approved by the Foundation.
  4. Personnel whose salary is wholly supported by MMSF for specific projects must not be employed in any other research projects. MMSF does not provide salaries for the principal investigators but may provide salary for support staff.
  5. Equipment purchased by an MMSF grant becomes the property of the sponsoring agency, (eg: University of Manitoba), and not the individual researcher. Applications made for equipment costs are only considered favorably when no other similar equipment is available for use by the applicant in the work area. The cost of equipment is not to exceed 50% of the annual grant awarded.
  6. Travel expenses will be made available only in special circumstances. Allowable expenses include field trips for the collection of specimens or the use of facilities away from the usual location of research. Attendance at conferences, meetings and symposia will not normally be funded.
  7. Any publications arising from the grant should acknowledge the source of funding and copies of publications should be forwarded to MMSF.
  8. Publication costs are not eligible for grant funding.
  9. Institutional costs are not eligible expenses for grants and awards funding.

The deadline for submissions of a written application for funding from MMSF is August 15th for funding in the subsequent year. If August 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is extended to the next business day. No application will be considered after the annual allocation of funds until the following year's competition.

See side bar 'Operating Grant Application Form' for application instructions and application form.

Continue reading the next page: Operating Grant Application Form & Information