Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

The 2016/17 HSRF Program Awards competition is now closed. This page is for informational purposes only.

Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Program Awards

2016/17 Call for Notice of Intent and Full Application Submissions

Launch Date: June 22, 2015

Notice of Intent Deadline: July 20, 2015

Full Application Deadline: September 28, 2015

The 2016/17 HSRF Program Awards Launch Event is now available online.

  1. Overview
  2. Notice of Intent
  3. Full Application
  4. Review Process of Full Applications
  5. Projected Timeline
  6. Detailed Full Application Instructions
  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Guidelines, and Other Relevant Information
  8. 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards Results
  9. 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards External Review Committees
    • Relevance Review Panel Members
    • Scientific Review Panel Members

1. Overview

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is pleased to announce the Call for Notice of Intent and Full Applications for the 2016/17 HSRF Program Awards competition.

The HSRF Program Awards will provide strategic three-year investments ($0.5-$1.0M /year) to programs of health research and/or knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) that focus on identified government priorities. The term of the three-year award begins in April 2016.

Proposals that address one or more of the following priority areas are required:

Please refer to the HSRF Guidelines for definitions and selected examples of government initiatives and commitments related to each priority area.

As in the 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards, applicants will be assessed on the extent to which sex and gender have been considered in their proposed research (i.e., rationale, methods and KTE plan). Four additional cross-cutting components have also been identified and applicants are encouraged to incorporate any/all of these components into their programs where applicable and/or feasible. These cross-cutting components are:

Please refer to the HSRF Guidelines for definitions and selected examples of government initiatives and commitments related to each cross-cutting component.

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2. Notice of Intent

To assist in planning for the review process, the MOHLTC requests that interested HSRF Program Award applicants submit a completed notice of intent (NOI)using the MOHLTC's online grant application system by Monday, July 20, 2015 at 5:00pm. The NOI is mandatory. Some of the components of the NOI will be binding. Specifically, the type of program (research vs. KTE), the main priority area, the Program Lead, and the Knowledge User identified cannot be changed in the Full Application.

The NOIs are strictly for administrative purposes - it will not be evaluated, nor will it be shared with the review panels. You must create a username and password for the online form. Applicants will be able to save and review their NOI before submitting. Applicants will receive an email acknowledgement of receipt of their NOI submission within 48 hours.

Note: If you have previously submitted a NOI to the HSRF Capacity Awards, Targeted Calls, or MOHLTC partnership funding for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) competition, your login information remains unchanged.

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3. Full Application

Applicants will have access to the online Full Application form through the MOHLTC's online grant application system. Full Application submissions are due Monday, September 28, 2015 at 5:00pm. Applicants will be able to save and review their Full Application before submitting.

For instructions on how to complete the Full Application, please refer to the Detailed Application Instructions section below.

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4. Review Process of Full Applications

The HSRF Program Awards competition uses a peer review model, the international best practice standard for research funding, to ensure that the highest quality proposals are supported. To improve the efficiency of the HSRF Program Awards call, the 2016/17 process has been reduced from a two-stage to a one-stage review process.

The process for review of Full Applications is as follows:

Similar to the approach taken by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Scientific Review Panel may include researchers and senior members of the health system (knowledge users). All applications (research and standalone KTE) will be evaluated through the same process.

See the Detailed Full Application Instructions on the HSRF Program Awards section of the website for a description of how information from each section of the Full Application will be used by reviewers in the evaluations.

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5. Projected Timeline

The ministry is committed to making timely decisions regarding the HSRF Program Awards. Please note that these dates are subject to change.

Activity Date
Launch of HSRF Program Awards call June 22, 2015
Launch Event (webcast) - now available online June 29, 2015
Deadline for submission of mandatory, non-binding NOIs July 20, 2015 by 5:00pm

Open house teleconference calls x 2

Teleconference Number: 416-212-8014, Toll Free 1-866-500-5845, Conference I.D. 7052410#

Please send an email to for more information.

August 17, 1:30-3:00pm


September 15, 10:30-12:00pm CANCELLED

Deadline for submission of Full Applications September 28, 2015 by 5:00pm
Internal MOHLTC Program Area Review
  • Program Area reviews
  • Two-day review meeting to obtain consensus scores
October 2015
External Scientific Review Panel
  • Primary and Secondary reviews
  • Scientific Review Panel reviews
  • Two-day Scientific Review Panel meeting to obtain consensus scores and rankings
November 2015
Scientific Review Panel recommendations submitted to the ministry for consideration and approvals December 2015
Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified February 2016
Commencement of 2016/17 HSRF Program Awards April 1, 2016

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6. Detailed Full Application Instructions

The Detailed Full Application Instructions provide instructions for each section of the Full Application. The instructions and all mandatory templates are available on the ministry's HSRF Program Award's Detailed Full Application Instructions webpage. These instructions will also be available via the MOHLTC online grant application system.

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7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Guidelines and Other Relevant Information

Applicants are advised to read the updated HSRF Guidelines to learn about the HSRF, including eligibility criteria. It may also be helpful to review the HSRF Program Awards Frequently Asked Questions. It is also recommended that applicants read the Common Feedback Identified in Previous HSRF Calls.

Two teleconference sessions will be held in August/September 2015 to allow applicants to raise any questions related to the HSRF Program Awards. Please check the website for the dates in July 2015.

In addition, the Research Unit will accept written questions about the HSRF Program Award process by email (to starting August 3, 2015. Individuals who submit questions and all NOI applicants will be added to the 2016/17 HSRF Program Awards distribution list. The ministry's responses to questions (including those from the teleconference calls) will be emailed to the distribution list every other Wednesday, starting August 10, 2015 until the closing of the call (September 28, 2015). If you have not submitted an NOI and would like to be added to the distribution list to receive these emails, please send your request to

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8. The 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards Results

The 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards followed a rigorous, competitive process based on best practices and involving two external expert panels. There was a two stage application process. In the first stage, program leads submitted a notice of intent (NOI) describing the proposed research program or KTE program and its strategic alignment with Ontario's health system priorities at a high level. The NOI was evaluated primarily for policy relevance and potential impact on the Ontario health care system. Successful NOI programs were invited to submit a full application.

The ministry received 194 Notices of Intent submissions in response to the 2012/13 call. The external Relevance Review Panel recommended 23 to proceed to the Full Application stage. The external Scientific Review Panel recommended 11 applications for funding.

2012/13 Successful Applicants

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution


Brief Synopses

Dr. Michael Boyle and Dr. Kathy Georgiades
McMaster University

Ontario Child Health Study Sequel

This program replicates and extends the landmark 1983 Ontario Child Health Study, which provided the first estimates of mental disorders among children and adolescents in Ontario.  This sequel quantifies changes in prevalence, evaluates the responsiveness of the health system to these children/youth, and determines the influence on risks for mental disorders associated with children/youth's neighbourhoods, homes and families to inform evidence-based prevention programs and policies.

Dr. James Dunn
McMaster University

Healthier Built Environments:  An Opportunity for Innovation in Mental Health and Obesity Policy

This program builds on evidence that links features of the built environment to enhanced physical activity, healthy body weights and positive mental health, especially for vulnerable populations. Studies focus on whether living in more "walkable" urban areas leads to healthier body weights, whether housing interventions (e.g., subsidized housing) improve adult mental health and healthy child development, and whether neighbourhood improvement strategies can benefit the health of residents in concentrated poverty neighbourhoods.

Dr. Walter Wodchis
University of Toronto

Health System Performance Research Network

This program focuses on ways to improve value for high-cost and high-risk populations, responding to questions such as: Who are the most important populations to focus on to improve value in the health system? What are the most important evidence-based models of care that can be spread across Ontario to improve value? What are the different configurations of resources and organizational factors that can lead to achieving equally high value in different contexts, regions and provider groupings that exist across Ontario?

Dr. Maureen  Markle-Reid and Dr. Jenny Ploeg
McMaster University

Centre for Research in Community Interventions to Promote Optimal Aging at Home

The aim of this program is to promote optimal aging at home for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and to support their families and caregivers. To this end, the program designs, evaluates and translates new and innovative inter-professional community-based interventions to improve access to health care, health-related quality of life, and health outcomes in this population, while reducing costs.

Ms. Anna Travers
Sherbourne Health Centre

Rainbow Health Ontario: Promoting Access to Health Services and Equitable Health for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Ontarians

Rainbow Health Ontario is an internationally recognized KTE program in Ontario focused on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Its overall goal is to fill gaps in knowledge, improve access to services, and promote the health of Ontario's LGBT communities. This KTE program: includes an integrated set of strategies to strengthen the growing body of research on LGBT health in Ontario; provides clinical and cultural competency training to service providers; and promotes inclusion of LGBT communities in planning, policy service and health promotion activities.

Dr. John Lavis and Dr. Jeremiah Hurley
McMaster University

Harnessing Evidence and Values for Health System Excellence

This interdisciplinary program of research focuses on economic and policy analysis of health system performance (including analysis of socio-economic-related inequities of access, the impact of primary care practice structure on performance, etc.). It also includes the development of methods to identify values, along with frameworks for integrating evidence and values into decision-making (e.g., values-informed equity analysis, health technology assessment).

Dr. Nancy Waite and Dr. Lisa Dolovich
University of Waterloo

Fostering Innovation and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Ontario Pharmacist-led Medication Management Programs

There is a large gap in the evidence available on the value of Ontario professional pharmacist services and even less information on how they relate to frequent or high risk users of the health care system. This interdisciplinary research collaboration aims to assess and improve the quality, outcomes and value of pharmacists' services to improve medication use. Goals include investigating existing and emerging pharmacist-led inter-professional practice-based approaches (with a focus on high-users), and building on Ontario pharmacy practice and medication management research capacity.  The program evaluates the MedsCheck and Pharmaceutical Opinion programs, pharmacist administration of influenza vaccine and pharmacist authority to renew and adapt prescriptions programs. Other research projects examine the community pharmacist's role in chronic pain management, how "deprescribing" guidelines can reduce unnecessary medication use in the elderly and how health care providers perceive pharmacists as prescribers, with minor ailments as the model.

Dr. Yona Lunsky
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Health Care Access Research in Developmental Disabilities Program

Individuals with developmental disabilities are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations when it comes to accessing healthcare. The goal of this program is to improve their health experiences by reducing disparities through access to best practices. This program provides new information that profiles vulnerable developmental disability subgroups and translates research to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice in primary and emergency care.

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani and Ms. Tara Gomes
St. Michael's Hospital

TheOntario Drug Policy Research Network

ODPRN's program generates scientifically sound evidence related to drug safety, effectiveness, and policy. It includes a new formulary modernization component focused on comprehensive drug class reviews. It also focuses on integrated knowledge translation to disseminate research to relevant knowledge users (Ontario Public Drug Program, physicians, pharmacists, health units).

Dr. Wayne Warry
Laurentian University

Improving Health Equity for Northern Ontarians:  Applied Research with Vulnerable Populations

How can current health policy, systems and practice be transformed to improve health equity for vulnerable and special health needs populations in northern Ontario? This program aims to improve access, delivery, and quality of care in this region, with a focus on rural, remote, Aboriginal and Francophone populations. It examines telemedicine and health professionals as a means to improve quality of care.

Dr. Moira Stewart
Western University

Primary Health Care Program

This program studies Primary Health Care's quality, equity, access, links with other sectors of health care, and sustainability – with consideration of the practice, community health care, and the broader health care system.  A particular focus is the integration/coordination of care delivery for patients with multiple chronic conditions deserving care in the home delivered by Primary Care Reform models in collaboration with hospitals, CCACs, community agencies and specialists. Studies also examine the use of technology (Personal Health Records, eConsults, etc.) in improving quality and experience of care.

9. 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards External Review Committees

Relevance Review Panel Members

Scientific Review Panel Members


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For More Information
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Strategic Policy and Planning Division
Research, Analysis and Evaluation Branch
9th Floor Hepburn Block, 80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1R3
Tel.: 416-327-7759
Fax : 416-327-3200
E-mail :