Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Program Awards

The 2017/18 HSRF Program Awards competition is now closed. This page is for informational purposes only.

  1. Overview
  2. Notice of Intent
  3. Full Application
  4. Review Process of Full Applications
  5. Detailed Full Application Instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Guidelines, and Other Relevant Information
  7. 2017/18 HSRF Program Awards Results
  8. 2017/18 HSRF Program Awards Scientific Review Panel

1. Overview

The HSRF Program Awards provide strategic three-year investments ($0.5-$0.8M /year) to programs of health research and/or knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) that focus on identified government priorities.

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.

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). Five 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. 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 - they will not be evaluated, nor will they 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. 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.

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. 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 Awards Detailed Full Application Instructions webpage. These instructions will also be available via the MOHLTC online grant application system.

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6. 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 recommended that applicants read the Common Feedback Identified in Previous HSRF Calls.

The Research Planning and Management Unit will accept written questions about the HSRF Program Award by email (to ResearchUnit@ontario.ca).

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7. The 2017/18 HSRF Program Awards Results

Ontario is investing $27.94 million over three years to improve the health of Ontarians by supporting research and knowledge translation programs that address key priorities. This is the second round of the HSRF Program Awards.

Home and Community Care

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. Janet McElhaney and Dr. Carrie Bourassa

Health Sciences North Research Institute

Collaborative Care: An Integrated Approach to Address Multi Chronic Conditions in Indigenous People

Chronic diseases and complex disability defined as Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC) are epidemic among Indigenous people. Colonization, early life adversity and geographic isolation contribute to these health vulnerabilities. Using MCC care models and knowledge translation and exchange strategies, this program will partner with 16 First Nations communities to: adapt MCC models to community contexts; enhance collaborative care approaches to address community-identified health issues and barriers to care; and train health care providers and learners to better serve those with MCC. The goal is to create partnerships that promote reconciliation and cultivate a way forward to healthier aging with culturally safe practices.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Health Promotion

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. Nancy Young and Mrs. Mary Jo Wabano

Laurentian University

Evaluation to Action: Integrating the Voices of Aboriginal Children (ETA)

Many Aboriginal children live in rural or remote communities, where health services are planned and delivered locally, but have rarely been evaluated. A team of child health researchers and Aboriginal health leaders is examining the impact of a tailored evaluation model (ETA) in partnership with eight Aboriginal communities. This program will produce child health profiles, learn how this information affects decision making, and strengthen capacity to generate local evidence to improve children’s health. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of Holistic Arts-based-mindfulness and Right to Play's PLAY programs. If effective, the ETA model will be ready for roll-out across the province.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Patient-Centred Care

Health System Performance and Sustainability

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. John Lavis and Dr. Julia Abelson

McMaster University

Harnessing Evidence and Values for Health System Excellence

Located at McMaster University in the McMaster Health Forum and the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, the program’s primary areas of focus are to:

  1. co-produce and support the use of research evidence about system issues (e.g., rapid syntheses);
  2. elicit patient values to inform system decisions (e.g., citizen panels);
  3. design and evaluate approaches to combining evidence and values with other decision influences (e.g., stakeholder dialogues);
  4. involve knowledge users in all aspects of the work and support their use of what’s learned (i.e., integrated knowledge translation).

Indigenous Health

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Walter Wodchis

University of Toronto

Health System Performance Research Network (HSPRN)

The Health System Performance Research Network is focused on understanding people’s health trajectories over time, especially individuals with complex health and social care needs. These individuals often have multiple chronic physical and mental health conditions or are nearing the end of life. This program will seek to better understand their needs and current use of the health care system and to find ways to improve outcomes. HSPRN is engaged in evaluating Ontario health system transformation including Health Links and Bundled Care initiatives.  It will also study other health systems to learn how Ontario can advance toward a population-based and person-centered learning health system.

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Mental Health and Addictions

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. Angela Colantonio

University of Toronto

Integrating Brain Injury, Mental Health, and Addictions

Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) and problems with mental health and addiction commonly occur, health services for these conditions are often fragmented and insufficient. This program seeks to integrate TBI services with mental health and addictions supports, through four linked projects. It will provide big data analysis of TBI’s impact on health outcomes and service use, identify critical characteristics of housing supports, and determine knowledge gaps among staff working with criminalized men and women, and women survivors of intimate partner violence in this population. Results will support decision makers to initiate evidence-based policy and practice change.

Equity

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Stephen Hwang and Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos

St. Michael's Hospital

Improving Support Systems and Health Outcomes for People Experiencing Homelessness

People who are homeless have high rates of mental and physical illnesses, and some are frequent users of hospital-based health care.  This research program will help improve support systems and health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness, increase the sustainability of the health care system, and help guide efforts to end homelessness in Ontario. This program of research will address important practical questions about the long-term effectiveness of Housing First programs, the scale-up of homelessness solutions in Ontario cities, approaches to homelessness among Indigenous people, and innovations in service coordination for homeless people with mental illness.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Naana Afua Jumah and Dr. Christopher Mushquash

Lakehead University

Opioid Dependence in Rural, Remote and Northern Communities: A Focus on Aboriginal Maternal, Child and Family Health This research and knowledge translation program will address the effects of opioid use on Indigenous maternal, child and family health.  The Maternal Infant Support Worker Certificate Program will train women in remote First Nations to provide pregnancy and infant support to young women involved with opioids.  The Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School Program will explore Indigenous teens’ understandings of gender, family roles, reproductive health, and substance use.  Both interventions will improve access to culturally appropriate and gender-attentive reproductive health education and care.  Results from the study may inform the development of similar programs for vulnerable mothers, children and families across Ontario.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Samantha Wells and Dr. Julie George

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

A Regional Knowledge Mobilization Model for First Nations Mental Wellness Strategies: Building on Local Knowledge and Networks for Provincial and National Impact Working closely with five First Nations in the Southwest region, this program will collect and apply local data in the development of community wellness strategies addressing mental health, substance use/addiction and/or violence challenges. Drawing on rich mixed methods data, each community will identify a priority area for strategic development and use participatory action research to build comprehensive and culturally appropriate wellness strategies addressing the selected priority area. This program will produce exemplary knowledge-to-action models as well as wellness strategies developed by and for First Nations people addressing high priority issues for dissemination and implementation across the province.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Quality Improvement and Safety

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. Hance Clarke and Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera

University Health Network

Ontario Transitional Pain and Opioid Safety Program: Improving Pain and Opioid Practices for Complex Chronic Pain Patients Following Surgery

Surgery leads 1 in 5 patients to develop chronic pain. Opioid-dependent patients presenting for surgery receive insufficient and unsuitable care. Most have their opioid doses increased by 200 - 300% after surgery and are sent home without appropriate follow-up. The Transitional Pain Service (TPS) is generating high quality evidence in a field of medicine where none exists. This program will

  1. conduct a multisite randomized control trial of the TPS intervention vs. a control intervention on two co-primary outcomes: opioid weaning and improved function one year after surgery for opioid dependent patients;
  2. evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this program
  3. gather in-depth qualitative data to provide insight into the 1.9 million Ontarians currently taking opioids for pain and struggling to manage their pain.

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Anna Gagliardi

University Health Network

Implementing Patient-Centred Care for Women Across the Lifespan

Women in Ontario are less likely than men to receive needed health care. Patient-centred care for women (PCCW) tailored to condition, life stage and care setting can improve health care experiences and outcomes, and reduce health care costs. This program will engage patients and health professionals in generating strategies and measures by which to implement and evaluate PCCW for conditions with known health equity/quality issues: family planning, ductal carcinoma in situ, cardiac rehabilitation, and depression. The findings can serve as a model for evaluating PCCW in other conditions, and patient-centred care among men.

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Tara Gomes and Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

St. Michael’s Hospital
Improving healthcare system efficiency and sustainability through pharmaceutical policy: the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network  The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) is a network of drug policy researchers from across Ontario established in 2008. Since that time, it has fostered an innovative research environment that uses population-based healthcare databases to respond rapidly to Ontario policymakers’ needs for high-quality, timely, relevant research to inform drug policy decisions. The ODPRN has proven to be a highly productive and effective model for collaboration between researchers and policymakers, and through continued HSRF support will expand the relevance of this work to a wider range of decision-makers to improve the lives of people in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally.

Indigenous Health

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Michael Green and Dr. Rick Glazier

Queen's University

Primary Health Care as the Foundation for Health System Performance, Integration and Sustainability: INSPIRE-PHC-2 This research program addresses the major health system challenges of equitable access to high quality primary health care (PHC) and better co-ordination and integration of PHC with other parts of the health and social care system (community care, public health and specialty care). A series of studies will provide better quality information on patient needs and PHC capacity to deliver care in defined geographic areas, and will provide early feedback on the successes and challenges in introducing PHC reforms. This research will help improve access to care, the care experience for patients, and better health outcomes for all Ontarians.

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Dr. Nancy Waite and Dr. Lisa Dolovich

University of Waterloo

Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network: Building quality, sustainable medication management services for patients and the healthcare system (OPEN STIMULUS) The Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network: Sustainable Medication Management Services (OPEN:STIMULUS) program will conduct initiatives to improve the quality of medication management and help Ontarians and health care providers better choose, use and remove medications. Initiatives include the development of pharmacies as health hubs, and community and health care provider deprescribing (removing/reducing medications). It will also develop the first provincial tool that will track medication management services and inform policy and practice change. These projects will leverage patient and community engagement, implementation science and quality improvement approaches to improve medication benefits, reduce their harm and improve healthcare system sustainability for all Ontarians.

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

Long-Term Care

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution

Program

Brief Synopses

Cross-cutting Components

Dr. Heidi Sveistrup and Dr. Katherine McGilton

Bruyère Research Institute

Ontario QUILT (QUality for Individuals who require Long-Term support) Network: Informing Health System Reform for Long-Term and Community Care

Ontarians with long-term care (LTC) needs are cared for in many settings. It is essential that we strengthen the capacity within home care, community care, and residential LTC to meet LTC needs in the most appropriate settings. The Ontario QUILT Network brings together complementary and collaborative research programs aimed at improving system integration and care quality for older adults with LTC needs. QUILT will synthesize evidence, test innovative tools and practices, assess healthcare needs, and use provincial-level data to map care journeys. Research findings will help assure that Ontarians have access to care that is connected across healthcare sectors.

Equity

Implementation Science

Patient-Centred Care

8. 2017/18 HSRF Program Awards Scientific Review Committee

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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
E-mail : ResearchUnit@ontario.ca