Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Program Awards

The 2012/13 HSRF Program Awards competition is now closed. The next HSRF Program Awards competition is expected to launch in 2015.

The HSRF Program Awards provides strategic three-year investments ($0.5-2.5M/year) to policy relevant programs of health research and/or knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) that focus on identified government priorities.

The HSRF Program Awards uses a peer review model, the international best practice standard for research funding, to ensure that the highest quality proposals are supported. A two-stage review process includes a strategic value/relevance review of Notices of Intent and a scientific review of full applications.

All applications must provide details regarding how an investment in their research and/or KTE program would benefit the Ontario health system.

Programs funded through the HSRF Program Awards are required to include a sex and gender based analysis where applicable.

For more information about the 2012/13 call for applications, please see the HSRF Guidelines, and the full application instructions (PDF).


2012/13 HSRF Program Awards Results

The 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.

Successful Applicants

Lead/Co-Lead  and Institution


Brief Synopsi

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.


2012/13 HSRF Program Awards External Review Committees

Relevance Review Panel Members

Scientific Review Panel Members

If you require additional information, please contact :

Shannon Fenton, Ph.D.
Manager, Research Unit
Planning, Research and Analysis Branch 
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 
80 Grosvenor Street, 8th Floor, Hepburn Block
Toronto ON  M7A 1R3 
Tel: (416) 327-1969
Fax: 416-327-3200 
Email: or


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For More Information
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Health System Strategy and Policy Division
Planning, Research and Analysis Branch
8th Floor Hepburn Block, 80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1R3
Tel.: 416-327-7759
Fax : 416-327-3200
E-mail :