Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

The 2016/17 HSRF Targeted Calls for Research competition is now closed. This page is for informational purposes only.

Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Calls for Targeted Research

2016/17 Call for Notice of Intent and Full Application Submissions
Launch Date: September 1, 2015
Notice of Intent Deadline: October 5, 2015
Full Application Deadline: November 4, 2015

  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 Calls for Targeted Research Results

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 Calls for Targeted Research competition. The purpose of the HSRF Calls for Targeted Research is to solicit and fund focused research applications within the following three (3) MOHLTC priority areas: Nursing, Problem Gambling and Tobacco Control.

For each of the three (3) priority areas, key knowledge gaps related to current/anticipated policy development and program development were identified as targeted research areas of interest for policy makers and knowledge users through a consultative process.

Please refer to the Detailed HSRF Calls for Targeted Research Full Application instructions for definitions of targeted research priority areas and areas of focus.

As in the 2013/14 HSRF Calls for Targeted Research, applicants will be assessed on the extent to which sex and gender have been considered in their proposed research (i.e., rationale, methods and knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) plan). Four additional cross-cutting components have also been identified for HSRF awards and applicants are encouraged to incorporate any/all of these components into their projects 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 Calls for Targeted Research applicants submit a completed notice of intent (NOI) using the MOHLTC's online grant application system by Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 5:00pm. The NOI is mandatory. Some of the components of the NOI will be binding. Specifically, the targeted priority area, the Project 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 Wednesday, November 4, 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 Full Application Instructions section below.

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4. Review Process of Full Applications

The HSRF Calls for Targeted Research 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 applications is as follows:

See the Detailed Full Application Instructions on the HSRF Calls for Targeted Research 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 Calls for Targeted Research. Please note that these dates are subject to change.



Launch of HSRF Calls for Targeted Research September 1, 2015
Deadline for submission of mandatory, non-binding NOIs October 5, 2015 by 5:00pm
Deadline for submission of Full Applications November 4 , 2015 by 5:00pm
Internal MOHLTC Program Area Review November 2015
External Scientific Review Panel
  • Primary and Secondary reviews
  • Scientific Review Panel reviews
  • One-day Scientific Review Panel meeting to obtain consensus scores and rankings
December 2015/ January 2016
Scientific Review Panel recommendations submitted to the ministry for consideration and approvals December 2015/ January 2016
Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified February 2016
Commencement of 2016/17 HSRF Calls for Targeted Research 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 Calls for Targeted Research 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 Frequently Asked Questions. It is also recommended that applicants read the Common Feedback Identified in Previous HSRF Calls.

In addition, the Research Planning and Management Unit will accept written questions about the HSRF Calls for Targeted Research process by email (to starting September 9, 2015. Individuals who submit questions and all NOI applicants will be added to the 2016/17 HSRF Calls for Targeted Research distribution list. The ministry's responses to questions will be emailed to the distribution list every other Wednesday, starting September 16, 2015 until the closing of the call (November 4, 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 with "Calls for Targeted Research" in the Subject line.

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8. 2013/14 HSRF Calls for Targeted Research Results

The 2013/14 HSRF Calls for Targeted Research were launched to solicit and fund focused research applications within the following three (3) MOHLTC priority areas: Nursing, Problem Gambling and Tobacco Control. For each of the three (3) priority areas, key knowledge gaps related to current/anticipated policy development and program development were identified as targeted research areas of interest for policy makers and knowledge users through a consultative process. Successful applications demonstrated scientific rigour and research excellence, as judged by a Scientific Review Panel of external experts. Separate Scientific Review Panels were convened for each priority area.

2013/14 Successful Applicants

Lead/Co-Lead  and Sponsoring Institution


Brief Synopsis

Dr. Bruce Baskerville
University of Waterloo

Reaching LGBTQ Youth and Young Adults

The study aims are: 1) synthesize the published and grey literature on LGBTQ tobacco use prevention and cessation interventions; 2) analyze the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance of LGBTQ interventions with a knowledge user lens to identify relevant gaps; and 3) using participatory action research, identify appropriate interventions OR develop/adapt a new and attractive tobacco use prevention and cessation intervention(s) with the LGBTQ community in Ontario. The vision of developing effective interventions for these populations will be reduced morbidity and mortality associated with smoking, and improving the overall population health of Ontarians in the process.

Dr. David Hammond
University of Waterloo

E-cigarettes in Ontario: Patterns of use Among Youth, Product Design, and Clinical Efficacy

This project consists of three sub-studies: Study 1 will assess the prevalence of e-cigarette use among youth using data from more than 24,000 high school youth participating in the COMPASS study. COMPASS is a cohort study with the potential to examine uptake of e-cigarette use in conjunction with tobacco use and other risk behaviours. Study 2 will monitor and test e-cigarette products on the Ontario market. All available products will be purchased from four geographically diverse cities in Ontario. Products from the leading 10 manufacturers will be tested for harmful and addictive chemicals in e-cigarette vapour delivery, including nicotine. Study 3 will consist of a  naturalistic study to examine the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, as well as to examine potential adverse outcomes and health risks.

Dr. Robert Schwartz
University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

RETRAC: Researching Tobacco Reduction in Aboriginal Communities

The study focuses on learning about how tobacco use in unique contexts of Aboriginal communities (on-reserve and off-reserve) in Ontario can best be addressed through interventions. A Knowledge Forum will be convened with community partners, each of the seven Ontario communities identified for this study, exemplary communities and other stakeholders. Finally, seed money and research support will be provided to the seven Ontario communities to develop interventions and proposals tailored to community contexts.

Dr. Robert Schwartz
University of Toronto and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

RECIG: Research on E-Cigarettes

The use of electronic or e-cigarettes has grown exponentially in the past decade, yet research on this new epidemic is limited. This project will address four key research areas to increase understanding and provide a basis for policies and programs: 1) determine the prevalence of e-cigarette use, particularly among youth, and examine patterns of change over time; 2) review and assess research on health effects and related exposures to nicotine, aerosols and contaminants; 3) explore use of e-cigarettes to reduce, replace or stop smoking traditional cigarettes; and 4) examine the role of e-cigarettes as a "gateway" to uptake of traditional cigarettes.

Prof. Ann Tourangeau/Michael Villeneuve
University of Toronto

The Impact of Home Care Nurse Staffing, Work Environments and Collaboration on Patient Outcomes

Targeted Research – This project focuses on the delivery of nursing care to long-term / maintenance (LTM) home care clients in Ontario. In the community, a combination of nurses and personal support workers (PSW) provide care to LTM home care clients. However, limited research exists examining relationships between who provides nursing care, how that care is provided and client outcomes. Knowledge gained from this project will inform the selection of appropriate nursing care providers for LTM clients in Ontario home care settings.

Dr. Lianne Jeffs / Dr. Sharon Straus 
St. Michael's Hospital

Nurse Led Care Transitions Interventions: A Strategy to Improve Health System Integration and Performance

Poorly executed care transitions involving elder patients with complex care needs (elder complex patients) results in medication errors, care delays, avoidable re-admissions, and increased healthcare costs. System navigator roles may reduce readmissions to hospitals and emergency room visits, lower health care costs, and improve quality of care and functional status. The proposed research study aims to explore the question, "Which care transition interventions involving nurses hold promise for improving health system integration and performance outcomes amongst complex elder patients and under what circumstances?"

Dr. Katherine McGilton
University Health Network

Understanding Structures, Processes and Outcomes Related to Effective Leaders in Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH)

As supervisors in long-term care homes (LTCHs), regulated nurses are responsible for providing leadership to staff and ensuring the delivery of quality care to all residents. There is evidence that poor supervisory performance negatively influences quality of care in LTCHs. This project seeks to understand the factors that contribute to supervisory performance. This research will contribute to improving leadership training for regulated nurses and will influence the quality of care delivered to residents in LTCHs.

Dr. Faith Donald / Dr. Ruth Martin-Misener, 
Ryerson University

What Factors Influence Nurse Practitioner (NP) Activities in Primary Healthcare (PHC) Settings and what are the Implications for Optimizing NP Patient Panel Size?

Optimizing the patient panel size of nurse practitioners (NPs) in primary healthcare (PHC) is important for effective interprofessional team functioning, human resource planning and timely access to high quality patient care. No studies have directly measured NP activities in PHC settings. Data will be collected in eight diverse PHC practice settings using: 1) surveys to identify organizational and NP factors influencing NP activities, 2) observation of NPs' activities using time and motion studies, 3) patient surveys to relate patient factors to how NPs spend their time, and 4) qualitative interviews to explore individual, organizational and system factors that influence NP patient panel size in Ontario. Data will be analyzed to identify implications for optimizing NP activity and patient panel size.

Dr. Michael Wohl / Dr. Alfonso Abizaid
Carleton University

Starving to Gamble: Hunger, craving, and self-perceptions as harbingers of problem gambling (and responsible gambling solutions)

This project will examine the role hunger plays in problematic gambling. This project will test the idea that hunger heightens craving to gamble, which undermines self-control and decision-making. The net effect may be a drive to wager among gamblers who are provided the opportunity to gamble. Moreover, hunger-induced deficits in executive cognitive functioning may undermine the gambler's ability to wager responsibly. To test this possibility, researchers will take both a social and physiological determinant of health approach to assess risk and protective factors related to problem gambling.

Dr. Robert Mann / Dr. Nigel Turner
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Social Determinants of Problem Gambling in the Ontario Population: Risk and Protective Factors

The project will undertake a comprehensive program of research and knowledge translation aimed at bringing together the best information on problem gambling determinants, risk factors and protective factors, identifying needs for new Ontario-based information, and collecting that information. The project will involve educators, policy makers and clinicians who deal with problem gambling to understand their needs for information and to make this information available to them.

John McCready / Dr. Robert Mann
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

The Prevalence of Problem Gambling among Older Adults in Ontario: Development and Dissemination of Best Practices for Prevention and Treatment

The purpose of this research is to describe the complete gambling experience of older adults 55+ in Ontario and develop and disseminate best practices for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling among older adults in Ontario. The research team will conduct a large scale prevalence study of problem gambling among older adults 55+ in Ontario. In addition to problem gambling prevalence, the survey will describe the gambling and problem gambling experience for older adults in Ontario.

Dr. Jamie Wiebe
Responsible Gambling Council

Youth Gambling (8-24) in Ontario: Developing Best Practices for Prevention and Treatment

This research project aims to: 1) provide an estimate of the attitudes, motivations and behaviours related to youth (8-24) gambling participation; 2) review the available evidence on the effectiveness of prevention and treatment approaches for youth (8-24); and 3) identify best practices to provide direction for the future development of prevention and treatment programs to meet the needs of youth. The findings will inform the Ontario Health System's future education and harm-reduction strategies designed to assist youth prevention and treatment efforts.

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 :