Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Targeted Calls

Detailed Full Application Instructions for the Targeted Call Program for Patient-Oriented Research on Health System Integration and Performance (PORHSIP): Prospective Evaluation Research

Before You Begin

Steps and Instructions Required for Completing Your Online HSRF Targeted Calls Application

Before You Begin

Make sure you have a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) IGAM account or click on the link to register. IGAM is the ministry's online grant application system.

Note: If you have previously submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the HSRF Program Awards, Capacity Awards, Targeted Calls and/or MOHLTC partnership funding for CIHR's PHSI competition, your login information remains unchanged.

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Grant Application Overview

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Eligibility

Applications for the 2018/19 PORHSIP: Prospective Evaluation Research must meet the following criteria:

Project Leads employed by federal, provincial or territorial government departments or agencies and for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply for HSRF funding unless they hold an eligible academic or other institutional appointment, in which case the eligible institution must agree to be the sponsor.

Successful applicants will be required to engage collaboratively with ministry and other health system partners and patients through the health system learning platform that will be established as part of the broader Targeted Call Program for PORHSIP.

The ministry encourages applicants to work together to submit team-based applications, if applicable. A team could be a group of researchers from different organizations working together to answer more than one of the sub-priorities.

Please consult the HSRF Guidelines for details regarding eligible sponsoring institutions.

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Sex and Gender-Based Analysis

Through the HSRF, sex and gender-based analysis has been integrated into all policy-relevant health services/system research funded by the ministry. All research/KTE projects funded through the HSRF are required to include an examination of sex and gender throughout their proposals (i.e., rationale, research design methods and analysis, and knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) plan).

The ministry recommends that applicants consult the Women's Xchange for resources on Sex and Gender Based Analysis. Applicants may also wish to consult the POWER Study, CIHR's Gender, Sex and Health resource and the ministry’s Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool.

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Health Equity Assessment

The evaluation criteria include consideration of health equity, Indigenous, and French Language lenses where appropriate.

It is also recommended that applicants consult the ministry's Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool and Supplements.

Patient Engagement

Through the HSRF, patient engagement has been integrated into all policy-relevant health services/systems research funded by the ministry. The term "patient" includes any person with lived experience of a health issue (in any setting), as well as informal caregivers, including family and friends. All research/KTE projects funded through the HSRF are required to explain how they will meaningfully and actively engage patients at all stages of their research/KTE projects (i.e., meaningful and active collaboration in governance, conducting research and KTE). Details regarding the recruitment process, plans for compensation, training and evaluation should also be specified.

For references on patient engagement, applicants can consult various resources including:

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Assessment of Full Applications

Applications will be assessed by Scientists, Patients, and Knowledge Users based on the following criteria:

Scientist (Peer-Researchers)

Patient Knowledge User

These criteria will be used by Review Panel members in their assessment of each Full Application. In many cases, information from multiple sections will be used to assess a Full Application in relation to a criterion. How each section of the Full Application will be used by reviewers in relation to the criteria listed above is provided in detail under each section below. Please note that every section may be used to assess the consideration of health equity (populations in the HEIA and Supplements), Indigenous, French Language lens if applicable, sex (biologic) and gender (social) analysis, the level of patient engagement, and the level of Knowledge User engagement in the project.

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Steps and Instructions Required for Completing Your Online HSRF Targeted Calls Application

Step 1: Enter Full Application Summary Details
1. Full Application Summary Page
2a. Identification of Sub Priority
2b. Description of Related Proposals
3. Contact Details
Step 2: Enter Project Details
4a. Abstract
4b. Proposal Summary
5. Rationale
6a. Project Design and Methodology
6b. Milestones and Deliverables and Expected Outcomes
7. Declaration of Funding Overlap and Alignment with Leveraged Funding Opportunities from Other Sources
8. KTE and Implementation Plan
9. Partners and Capacity-Building
10. Governance Model
11. Bio-sketch of Project Lead and Co-Lead, Where Applicable
12a. Data Access Plan, Where Applicable
12b. Data Sharing Plan, Where Applicable
Step 3: Enter Budget Information
13. Overall Budget Justification
14. Budget Template

Step 4: Upload Attachments

Step 5: Review and Submit

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Step 1: Enter Full Application Summary Details

1. Full Application Summary Page (400 words)

The Full Application Summary page is one way the MOHLTC identifies and manages your application during the review process. Please provide the information requested to complete these sections.

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2a. Identification of Sub Priority (400 words)

The 2018/19 PORHSIP Prospective Evaluation Research Projects intends to address the following Patients First/Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Renewal sub-priorities.

A project can only respond to one sub-priority. Select the sub-priority that the research project will address:

Effective Integration of Services at a Regional and Sub-Regional Level

This sub-priority focuses on ensuring the integration of services to support smooth transitions across the continuum of care and improved planning at regional and sub-regional levels.

Starting research questions:

Timely Access to, and Better Integration of Primary Care and Other Services

This sub-priority focuses on bringing the planning of primary care services closer to the communities where services are delivered, and supporting stronger integration of primary care with other services.

Starting research questions:

More Consistent and Accessible Home and Community Care

This sub-priority focuses on strengthening integration of home and community care and transferring direct responsibility for management and delivery of home and community care from the former CCACs to the LHINs.

Starting research questions:

Stronger Links Between Population and Public Health and Other Services

This sub-priority focuses on integrating local population and public health planning with other services and formalizing linkages between LHINs and public health units.

Starting research questions:

Greater Health Equity

This sub-priority focuses on ensuring equitable access to appropriate, high-quality care; equity in patient experiences; and equity in health outcomes (see populations outlined in the HEIA tool and Supplements), at provincial, LHIN and sub-regional levels.

Starting research questions:

Increased Patient and Community Engagement

This sub-priority focuses on making the patient experience easier and better for Ontarians by partnering with patients in health care planning and by delivering care that reflects the patient voice and is responsive to patients' needs, values and preferences.

Starting research questions:

LHIN Governance, Accountability and Transparency

This sub-priority focuses on implementation of the plans outlined in the Minister's annual mandate letter to guide LHIN planning; developing new accountability agreements based on the "Recommendations for LHIN and Health Service Provider Accountability" discussion paper; and increased public reporting on key metrics.

Starting research questions:

2b. Description of Related Proposals (400 words)

If you are submitting more than one Full Application for this Targeted Call, describe how each proposal will be related in this section (if applicable). 

The information provided in section 2b will be used to asses:

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3. Contact Details (1,200 words)

Provide contact details for the Project Lead, Co-Lead (if applicable), authorized signatory from the sponsoring institution, the Knowledge Translation and Exchange /Applied Health Research Question contact, and the confirmed Knowledge User. The following information is required for each contact:

The Project Lead cannot change from the NOI submission. A Co-Lead can be added (either from the same organization as the Project Lead or from a different organization). Please include contact details for a confirmed Knowledge User.

Authorization
No signatures are required to be submitted with the Full Application. By completing this section, the individuals identified in the authorization section (Project Lead, Project Co-Lead - if applicable, and the authorized signatory of the sponsoring institution) acknowledge that the information and documentation provided may be shared with MOHLTC staff and others for the purpose of administering the HSRF Targeted Calls award.

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Step 2: Enter Project Details

4a. Abstract (200 words)

Provide a brief description (maximum 200 words) of the proposed project using non-technical language. The information provided in this section may be made available to the public and may be used, in whole or in part, in press releases or similar communication material if the proposal is funded.

The abstract should provide information identifying:

For examples of lay abstracts, refer to the summaries of the ministry's HSRF Targeted Calls recipients.

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4b. Proposal Summary (400 words)

State the goals and objectives of the proposed research project. Statements detailing short and long-term objectives should be clear and concise (i.e., one short sentence for each objective). Use as few technical terms as possible. If technical terms are necessary, a non-technical explanation of the term must be provided.

The research question(s) that will be addressed must be clearly identified along with 1-2 lines of text on the methods that will be used to address each research question. Additions to the starting research questions from section 2a can also be identified within this section.

The information provided in this section will be used to evaluate:

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5. Rationale (800 words)

This section should provide the overall rationale for the project. Specifically, the applicants should specify how the research questions that have been selected, along with new proposed questions, will meet the needs of the sub-priority selected from their perspectives. Use as few technical terms as possible. If technical terms are necessary, a non-technical explanation of the term must be provided.

Up to 2 pages of references for in-text citations may be added as an attachment.

The information provided in section 5 will be used to assess:

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6a. Project Design and Methodology (1,200 words)

This section should outline how the project objectives identified in section 4b will be achieved by describing the project design and methods. Use as few technical terms as possible. If technical terms are necessary, a non-technical explanation of the term must be provided.

Applicants are encouraged to incorporate inter-disciplinary approaches and involve Knowledge Users and people with lived experience throughout the project. In particular, applicants are encouraged to describe how patients/clients (individuals, groups and/or organizations) will be involved in this work (e.g., patient/client-specified outcome measures, member of the steering committee), if applicable. Review the Patient Engagement section for resources.

The research question(s) addressed must be clearly stated. For each question, provide a detailed description of the research design and methodology, including relevant details such as data collection tools and methods, sampling frames and sample sizes (with justification for sample sizes), outcome measures, and statistical analyses (including any qualitative analyses).

Any studies proposing an intervention must sufficiently describe the mechanism of action (i.e., the process by which X [the intervention] has an effect on Y). For multifaceted interventions, the individual components must be clearly delineated and justified using appropriate evidence (either in totality or for each individual component).

In cases where administrative data will be used, this section should state the intended data source, and detail on the data access plan should be included in Section 12. ICES data-sets, for example, are subject to special governance procedures to release specific data depending on the data request.

This information will be used to assess:

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6b. Milestones, Deliverables, and Expected Outcomes (800 words)

Describe 2-5 major milestones and deliverables per year for each of the objectives identified for the project in section 4b. These should be examples of tangible accomplishments, demonstrating progress towards the stated objectives of the project. Provide an estimated date of completion for each milestone/deliverable identified. Use as few technical terms as possible. If technical terms are necessary, a non-technical explanation of the term must be provided.

Milestones and deliverables for research projects may include: specific research activities; expected dates of completion for obtaining Research Ethics Board (REB) approval; recruitment of team members; data collection; anticipated dates for interim findings, major meetings/forums with partners and Knowledge Users; a targeted number of peer-review publications and interim and final reports. Research projects should also include at least one KTE milestone or deliverable for each year.

In cases where publication in a peer-reviewed journal is a milestone, please note that the findings of ministry funded research must be publicly accessible at no cost (e.g., in an open access journal, in a report posted on the internet or in a free full text author's manuscript).

This section should also identify up to 3 of the main expected outcomes resulting from the project. For each outcome identified, applicants should provide a proposed plan on how each outcome will be documented and evaluated.

The identification of outcomes of the project differs from milestones and deliverables, which emphasizes the processes and outputs of the project. Outcomes focus on the expected impacts of the project and how the applicant(s) proposes to document or evaluate each impact. Information on what made the impact (e.g., type of product/process), who will be impacted (e.g., targeted group), how the targeted group will be impacted (e.g., the benefit) and the level of the impact (e.g., regional, provincial) should be provided.

Examples of potential outcomes include: enhanced patient/client/consumer awareness and knowledge, enhanced health care services access and usage; new products or processes adopted by health care providers; and change in program or policy process (e.g., cited as the basis for new regulation or legislation).

The information provided in section 6b will be used to evaluate:

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7. Declaration of Funding Overlap and Alignment with Leveraged Funding Opportunities from Other Sources (400 words)

This section should identify sources of funding currently in place that directly support this project or elements of this project. If multiple sources are contributing to this project, clearly describe how the HSRF funding will be used to expand scope of research and/or demonstrate that the sources of funding will not overlap with the HSRF funding from a scientific, budgetary, and staffing perspective.1

This section should also specify sources of leveraged funding opportunities that applicants have already secured (but not yet received) and/or plan to apply for, if successful, by selecting the appropriate sources provided in the online Full Application form. In the space provided, applicants should also provide details on how these funds will be used to promote the sustainability of the HSRF Targeted Calls award by maximizing its impact and benefits while capitalizing on other existing resources (e.g., use leveraged funding to fill budget gaps needed to scale-up the project to access resources not readily available from the HSRF, etc.).

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is a key source of leveraged funding for Ontario researchers. It is recommended that applicants consult CIHR's website for information regarding its research priorities, competitions, initiatives, etc. For instance, the ministry currently provides partner funding for CIHR's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) through the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU).

The assessment of this section (or the Full Application in general) is not solely contingent on the applicant's ability to leverage funding but also the strength of the applicant's proposed strategy to obtain and utilize leveraged funding should the project be in a position to bring in leveraged funding.

This information will be used in the assessment of:

1Sources: CIHR Grants and Awards Guide and Supplementary Information for Nature 493, 588-589 (2013)

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8. KTE and Implementation Plan (400 words)

In this section, describe the integrated and end-of-grant KTE strategies, tools, methods, etc. the project will use to disseminate, transfer and exchange knowledge. Applicants should identify target Knowledge User groups and people with lived experience, and describe any tailored strategies to engage with these groups. Applicants must also demonstrate the use of evidence-based approaches, where feasible, when designing their KTE plans. Use as few technical terms as possible. If technical terms are necessary, a non-technical explanation of the term must be provided.

CIHR defines knowledge translation as "the process of summarizing, distributing, sharing and applying knowledge developed by researchers to improve the health of Canadians, and strengthen the health care system through the use of more effective health services, products and standards of practice."

Where applicable, this section should also assess and describe the feasibility of implementing any intervention or policy that may result from the knowledge generated and/or mobilized from the proposed project, as well as its scalability and sustainability (at the regional level or higher).KTE activities funded by the ministry must make a measurable impact on the Ontario health system and further the objectives of the research project.

The information provided in this section will be used to evaluate:

All research projects are also required to use 25% of funding for Applied Health Research Questions (AHRQs). This section should describe how the AHRQ process and other KTE activities will ensure that research findings have their maximum possible impact.

Applicants are advised to review the MOHLTC Applied Health Research Question Guidelines to learn more about the role of Knowledge Users.

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9. Partners and Capacity Building (800 words)

Provide the information requested to complete this section.

For information on collaborating researchers
List the names and institutional affiliations of up to 5 collaborating researchers and a brief description of the roles, responsibilities, and contributions of each partner in the project team. The team can consist of more than 5 researchers; however, the Full Application only requires information on up to 5 of these members.

For information on Knowledge Users
List the names and institutional affiliations of 1 to 3 Knowledge Users, and a brief explanation of the ways in which the person and his/her organization will benefit from and/or be involved in the research project. For more information about the role of Knowledge Users, see the MOHLTC Applied Health Research Question Guidelines.

For information on capacity building
List up to 5 of the most relevant specific target groups that will be engaged in this work (e.g., students, junior researchers, and other professionals), information on the group's involvement, and the capacity building outcome(s) (e.g., the skills that they will develop). In order to build research and KTE capacity in Ontario, the training and mentoring of new investigators, health professional scientists and KTE specialists is a goal of the HSRF.

The information provided in this section will be used to evaluate:

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10. Governance Model (400 words)

Briefly outline the accountability mechanisms and infrastructure the research team will use to ensure that the research and/or KTE project is completed within the appropriate timelines and the anticipated budget, meeting key deliverables, and compliant with requirements outlined in the ministry's Transfer Payment Accountability Agreement (a contract). This can include details on key decision-making and planning teams within the project, the processes for managing research studies, monitoring progress, optimizing and maintaining collaborations and partnerships, etc.

Details on how the research team proposes to ensure appropriate time and resources are allocated to effectively participate in the health system learning platform that will be established as part of this Targeted Call Program must also be provided.

The information provided in this section will be used to assess:

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11. Bio-sketch of Project Lead and Co-Lead (Where Applicable)

Attach the Project Lead and Co-Lead's (where applicable) Bio-sketch to the online Full Application form.

The information in the Bio-sketch will be used to assess:

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12a. Data Access Plan - Where Applicable (400 words)

This section is to be used for research projects where there is a plan to access Personal Health Information (PHI) held by the MOHLTC or the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). The purpose of this section is to assess whether the data access plan is feasible. Please note that acceptance of this section by the MOHLTC does not constitute approval to release data.

Provide information detailing how the research team proposes to manage the regulatory and legal requirements associated with accessing PHI.

List all needed databases/datasets from the MOHLTC or ICES, and also identify other data sources (primary and or secondary), and the intended unit of analysis (e.g., individual record level, institution level, geographic area). Confirm Research Ethics Board (REB) approval has been obtained or describe the steps that will be taken to secure REB approval.

Applicants should note that accessing PHI through the MOHLTC or ICES will require an application process separate from the HSRF Targeted Calls competition and therefore, it is recommended that these considerations should be taken into account during planning.

Applicants may be required to provide specific information to access data held by the MOHLTC or ICES (where applicable). For example, applicants may be asked to provide a rationale for specific data requested; submit details on how ministry or ICES data will be linked to other data sources, and/or describe the steps proposed for managing consent to ensure compliance with current regulations.

Applicants should leave the page blank in the online application template for Section 12 if no data access plan is presented.

The information in this section will contribute to the assessment of:

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12b. Data Sharing Plan - Where Applicable (400 words)

To leverage and maximize the impact, productivity, and return on investment of data collected under HSRF funding, the ministry is encouraging the broader sharing of data by funded researchers. Data includes primary data, samples, physical collections and other materials created or gathered in the course of work under the HSRF grant. Data sharing plans must also comply with any and all applicable legislation.

Applicants are requested to respond to the following questions. Please specify:

Section 12b will be used strictly for informational and planning purposes by the ministry regarding its data sharing plans. The information in Section 12b will not be assessed by the Review Panel in their respective evaluations.

Step 3: Enter Budget Information

13. Overall Budget Justification (400 words)

This section should provide an explanation of the appropriateness of the budget (i.e., why is the requested budget realistic and feasible for the conduct of the proposed project?).

This section should also provide an account for any requests that may exceed pre-determined budget constraints, or any other issues that the applicants may want to address that the budget template does not permit (e.g., justifying the need for X to achieve Y).

The information in this section will be used in the evaluation of:

Reviewers may provide recommendations to increase/decrease the proposed budgets based on the information from this section.

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14. Budget

It is recommended that applicants use the Budget Template provided by the ministry to submit the information required. Applicants should refer to the Instructions for the HSRF Budget section of the HSRF website for detailed instructions, constraints, and technical guidance to complete the budget. This information will also be available on the online grant application system.

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Step 4: Upload Attachments

Please attach mandatory and allowable attachments only. All attachments must be submitted as PDF files, with the exception of the budget. MOHLTC will remove all non-allowable attachments before sharing the application with reviewers.

Mandatory Attachments

Allowable Attachments

Note: Be sure to label your figures. Legends should be succinct and should not contain detailed information pertaining to methods.

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Step 5: Review and Submit

Once every section of the online application form is completed, carefully review all components of the application. If any mandatory sections are incomplete, you will be prompted to provide the missing information before you can successfully submit your application.

You will be able to save your application and return to it at any time, prior to the application deadline. You will also be able to preview the full application before you submit.

Review the checklist that is part of the online Full Application. Any section of the Full Application that is completed incorrectly or is incomplete can result in delayed funding.

The ministry has the right to request any changes to the Full Application submission, including the budget(s), prior to awarding the grant, regardless of the Review Panel's decisions.

When you are ready to submit your application, click 'Send'. You will receive a confirmation email from the ministry when your application is received.

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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