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 researchers1 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 (e.g. 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.

1 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* applying for meritorious projects. Established Researchers applying for support of a project will only be eligible to apply should they meet the requirements included in the Experienced Researcher definition. All other Established Researchers are not eligible to apply.

Applications for a second year of support by MMSF have not been able to be provided in recent years. If more than one year of support becomes available, second year support will only be given in special circumstances. 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 & Fellows who have received an operating grant, as they shall subsequently be eligible to apply for an operating grant when they become an Independent Researcher2

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

Researcher Definitions

New Researcher*

Researchers who are within five (5) years of establishing themselves as an independent researcher2 in Manitoba. These may include residents and fellows (residents and fellows are not required to have an academic or research appointment)3. The MMSF defines the start of the five (5) years commencing when the applicant received their first academic appointment in any province or country.

Established Researcher

Researchers who are beyond five (5) years of establishing themselves as an independent researcher2.

Experienced Researcher

Researchers who have previously had an academic appointment in other provinces or countries, are new to Manitoba, and are within five (5) years of establishing themselves as an independent researcher2.

Note: Established Researchers who conduct additional training (e.g. 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.

2Independent Researcher*

An individual who:

  • autonomous regarding their research activities; and
  • has a Manitoba academic or research 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 "trainee" as defined below, is considered an "independent researcher" by MMSF provided that:

  • the research proposal covers only areas of investigation for which they are deemed an independent researcher; and
  • they can demonstrate in their application to MMSF that they will have sufficient time to devote to the proposed research.

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

3Residents and Fellows

Residents and 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 (e.g. nursing, physiotherapy, medicine, dentistry) at an academic or research institution.

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

Institution (Academic)*

An institution:

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

Institution (Research)*

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, (e.g. 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 15th1 for funding in the subsequent year.No application will be considered after the annual allocation of funds until the following year's competition.

Effective January 1, 2018, all applications must be completed on the MMSF application form #1.18 (see side bar to obtain this form). Applications that do not conform to these instructions will not be accepted. Previous versions of the MMSF Application for Funds will be disqualified and are not eligible for entrance into the current competition for funds.

Ideally applications will not exceed 40 pages of text, single spaced, in total, on regular 8 ½" x 11" paper. All sections of the application form must be completed. If a section does not apply please state "Not Applicable" in the particular section. All questions on completion of an application may be directed to the MMSF Administrative Assistant.

Note: This application form has been designed to be compatible with the use of computers, laser printers, etc. Download this form to your computer, fill it in and then print and submit your copies to the indicated address.

Once completed, please submit seven (7) hard copies (the original application form plus six (6) copies) and one electronic copy (must be original word document form, PDF’s will not be accepted as electronic copy), of the completed application form to our Administrative Assistant2.

1 When August 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline for submissions extends to the next business day.

2 The application will not be considered eligible for entry into the current competition unless the original hard copy, 6 duplicate hard copies and an electronic word document copy are on file at the MMSF by 3:30 PM on the competition closing date. The file name of the electronic copy submitted must be the principal applicant name as entered on the original hard copy of the application.

Please Note: Institutional Costs are not eligible expenses for MMSF Grants and Awards funding.

i) Our Peer Review Process for Adjudicating Applications

After the applicants submit their written application, the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation incorporates a direct review system of requiring applicants to present their projects in person to a panel of board members. Panel members present at the review include those from the lay community as well as those with scientific expertise. Applicants are given the opportunity to demonstrate the command of their subject by verbal and visual presentation, to clear up misconceptions, to agree to required adjustments to their project design or budget, and to gain assurance that their project has been well understood.

ii) Mentorship Requirements

The MMSF strongly encourages grant writing mentorship in the belief that it will improve the quality of your application and it will help to create a positive research relationship for new investigators. Having your MMSF Application for Funds reviewed by a mentor or colleague prior to submission is mandatory. Please allow adequate time for the mentor to participate in the MMSF application process.

What is mentoring? Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentoree) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth. Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn. MMSF’s intention for the mentoring process is that the mentor should be an expert in the research area, successful in grant funding and generous regarding time allocation to the grant review process. The mentor should help the mentoree to express his/her approach in a way that will answer reviewers’ queries as to focus, scientific doability and interpretability of results. The mentor can also assist in the identification of and the means to address the common problems seen in grants from new investigators (too broad/lack of focus; lack of clarity between the projects to be funded by the current grant and others held by the PI; lack of a clear statement linking hypotheses, projects, deliverables and intended interpretation). MMSF’s request for formal or structured mentoring takes mentoring to the next level and expands its usefulness and learning value. Additionally, multiple mentors can be helpful because having more than one mentor will widen the knowledge of the person being mentored, as different mentors may have different strengths.

What are the benefits of mentoring? Mentoring benefits research program planning and research program development, grant application submissions and the development of career/research goals for the mentoree. At the grant submission stage, mentors enhance grant success for the mentoree through anticipating reviewers’ queries, addressing the feasibility of the approach/research plan in the new investigator’s lab and using the page limit well through good focus and communication skills. By enlisting mentors at the research project stage, new investigators can speed more quickly over the bumps and cut through unnecessary work. Mentors can assist in explaining and navigating day to day tasks, and eliminating unnecessary roadblocks. Mentors can help the mentoree to streamline processes and to get things done more quickly, efficiently and effectively.

On page 12 of your application form, list your mentor(s) or colleague(s).

iii) Final Reporting to MMSF

A final written report must be submitted no later than six (6) months following the completion of the granting/award term. Final reports are required from all awardees of operating grants and salary awards.

Download, complete and submit the MMSF Final Report Form #1.15 to complete your obligations for your research operating grant or salary award received from the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation. This will be useful information to track and improve the process of the MMSF grants and salary awards, and to determine the impact of MMSF awards.

All areas of the form must be completed. Once you have submitted your final report you will be notified by letter that your final report form has been received.

Submit the completed Final Report Form by email or post to our Administrative Assistant.

If you have any questions regarding the MMSF Final Report Form please contact our Administrative Assistant.

Thank you for your feedback.

NOTE: Yearly progress reports are required for multiple year salary awards. The MMSF Final Report Form #1.15 is to be used for annual progress reports. Please indicate in the "Reporting/Submission Date" section that it is an annual progress report then complete all sections of the report with results and status to date.

Application Forms

1. Operating Grant Application Form Effective January 1, 2018, all applications for funds must be completed on the Application for Funds #1.18 form.

Download Application Form (Application for Funds #1.18) Download application form FAQs

2. Early Career Awards

The MMSF supports the following personal awards:

A. Three Year Career Awards

Allen Rouse Basic Science Career Development Research Award

Dr. F. W. Du Val Clinical Research Professorship Award

John Henson Clinical Research Professorship Award in Population Health

At the discretion of the MMSF the three year career awards are offered approximately every three years.

These awards are given for a period of 3 years during which the MMSF will contribute $50,000 per year towards the salary of the awardee. A one year term grant-in-aid to the appointee of up to $20,000 may be made during the first year of the appointment.

Candidates must be physicians or health care professionals licensed to practice in Manitoba with a faculty appointment at the University of Manitoba and must be engaged in research related to the health field. During the tenure of the award the awardee must guarantee a 50% time commitment to research for the Du Val and Henson awards and a 75% time commitment to research for the Rouse award.

To be successful, a candidate must be judged to be in the early stages of a productive research career as a health care professional. The candidate should have been engaged in independent research for not more than 7 years, should have received one or more grants from a national granting agency, such as the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and should have a satisfactory publication record in peer reviewed journals. This judgment will also include a review of the candidate’s training qualifications and experience, and the support of letters of reference. A candidate will also be judged on clarity and communications of both a written research submission and a brief presentation and response to questions with the Award review panel.

The candidates will be judged on several criteria, with the successful applicant having the highest overall ranking. The Adjudication Scoring Grids used for each of the above noted awards can be found here:

Allen Rouse Basic Science Career Development Research Award Scoring Grid Dr. F. W. Du Val Clinical Research Professorship Award Scoring Grid John Henson Clinical Research Professorship Award in Population Health Scoring Grid

An awardee who receives an MMSF Three Year Career Award is not eligible for other MMSF Three Year Career awards.

Individuals who have previously held, or currently hold, an MMSF three year career award will not be eligible for these awards for a second 3-year term.

The award cannot be held concurrently with another personal career award.

For further information on availability, guidelines and applications process of the above noted three year career awards, click here.

B. The R. Samuel McLaughlin / MMSF Research and Education Fellowship.

In conjunction with the University of Manitoba the MMSF cooperatively supports the R. Samuel McLaughlin / MMSF Research and Education Fellowship. This award is currently offered annually.


Residents who have successfully completed their CFPC/RCPSC track residency training and are wishing financial support to fund further fellowship training in research or medical education useful to the University.

Candidates in their senior year(s) of residency training may be considered for this award should they be able to combine their current residency training with the terms of the award. Candidates will be required to have been post graduate trainees at the College of Medicine, University of Manitoba in a CFPC/RCPSC approved program.

The research or educational initiative will normally be conducted within Manitoba. Candidates who wish to have such training elsewhere are expected to provide the awards committee with a definitive plan to return to Manitoba upon completion of said training.

The award cannot be held concurrently with another external major salary award.

Award Amount:

The R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship has a value in the amount of $25,000.00 (Cdn.) per year and the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) will provide matching funds for this award. The combined funding of the award is $50,000 per year. The term of the award is for one (1) year, commencing on July 1st. In recent years the University of Manitoba has provided additional funds for this award.

For information on availability, guidelines and application process for the R. Samuel McLaughlin / MMSF Research and Education Fellowship click here.

3. Final Report Form

All operating grant and early career award recipients are required to submit a final report which is due within six months after the completion of the award term. All final reports are to be submitted using the Final Report Form #1.15.

Download final report form (MMSF Final Report Form #1.15)