Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

endMS Master's Studentship Awards

The endMS Master’s Studentship Award provides opportunities for research training and broadening the scientific understanding of MS for students currently enrolled in a Master's level program. The MS Society will support studentships aligned with the MS Society of Canada’s new strategic plan. The strategic plan outlines four key impact goal areas:

  • Advance Treatment and Care: Research that aims to advance treatment and care for people affected by MS (e.g. symptom management, diagnosis of MS, developing and/or testing new treatments and understanding their mechanisms, emotional well-being and mental health, wellness/self-care, exercise, diet, rehabilitation, health services, clinical care practices, models of care, healthcare delivery/policy to improve treatment and care services and practices).
  • Enhance Well-being: Research that aims to understand how to enhance the well-being of people affected by MS within communities and/or at a systems level (e.g. understanding the social determinants of health, health economics/cost benefit analysis on interventions and support structures and systems, community-based programs, health systems research/policy affecting communities and/or systems level).
  • Understand and Halt Disease Progression: Research that aims to understand the mechanisms of MS, disease worsening and progression, progressive MS, and the mechanisms of repair and neuroprotection (e.g., myelin biology, neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimmunology, neuropathology, and neuroimaging).
  • Prevent MS: Research that aims to prevent MS (e.g. identifying and understanding risk factors, effective interventions for prevention, health economic/cost benefit analysis on prevention, and defining at-risk or high risk populations).

Based on the nature of the research, the applicants can apply to one of the following two streams:

  • endMS Master's Studentships: Biomedical research
  • endMS Master's Studentships: Clinical and Population Health research

Biomedical Research Stream

The Biomedical Research stream supports research which uncovers the biological, pathological, and mechanistic aspects of MS, and provides fundamental knowledge about the development, progression, prevention and treatment of MS disease. Studies can involve in vitro, animal, and/or human models.

Clinical and Population Health Research Stream

The Clinical and Population Health Research stream supports clinical research with the goal of improving diagnosis, treatment, or the health and quality of life of individuals with MS; health services research; encompasses research on, or for the treatment of, people affected by MS; supports population health research that aims to understand the complex, biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that determine the health of individuals and populations.

Amount and Term

  • Maximum term: 2 years (initial award and one renewal)
  • Awarded amount per year: $20,000

The MSSC awards funding annually for endMS Personnel Awards. Subsequent funding allowable within the maximum term limits of the award will be renewed upon demonstration of research progress as determined by the MSSC and the MSSC endMS Personnel review committee through an assessment of a Progress Report completed each year.

Eligibility

  • Working towards a Master's degree pertaining to research in MS.
  • Enrolled in graduate training at a Canadian institution; or those interested in studying abroad must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Studentships must be held in a recognized institution; and responsible to an appropriate supervisor who is in a field relevant to MS.

Important Dates

  • Competition Opens: November 4, 2020
  • Application Deadline: December 15, 2020 at 16:00 EDT
  • Progress Report Deadline: December 15, 2020 at 16:00 EDT
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: June 2021
  • Funding Start Date: July 1, 2021

Policies and Procedures

Program Guide
Policies

What’s new this year?

1. In November 2020, the MS Society of Canada (MSSC) launched a new grants and awards management system that enables trainees to submit and review applications online. Moving forward all applications must be submitted via ProposalCentral which can be accessed through the following website: https://proposalcentral.com. Note that the EasyGrants system will no longer be used to accept applications.

2. Interested applicants must create a profile on ProposalCentral through which they can complete the application process. Applicants are also required to connect their ORCiD identifier, a persistent and unique digital identifier, to the ProposalCentral profile. ORCiD will connect your iD with your professional information (e.g. grants, publications, funding, etc.). If you don’t have an ORCiD, you can easily create one in a few minutes.

3. The MSSC has included an Equity and Diversity section to all grant and award applications. Applicants are encouraged to complete the Equity and Diversity Questionnaire to help us better monitor equity in our programs. Your information will only be seen by authorized MSSC staff and the data collected will only be used in an aggregated form in order to protect the identity of individuals.

4. This year, the MSSC will only be launching the 2021-2022 endMS Personnel Awards competition. Please note that the Discovery and Pilot Grant competitions will not launch in 2020. Applicants who are eligible for an annual renewal of their current endMS Personnel Awards will be contacted by MSSC to complete and submit a Progress Report in ProposalCentral. The submission deadline for new awards and renewals is December 15, 2020 at 4pm Eastern time. Please carefully review the Program Guide before submitting an application as some requirements have changed. For any questions on the application, do not hesitate to contact ms.grants@mssociety.ca.

5. The MSSC has provided separate templates for upload documents such as the Proposed Research Project/Scientific Progress Report, Figures, References, and Signatures Page. Applicants are required to utilize the provided templates.

6. The MSSC has changed the guidelines for referees. New endMS Studentship (Master’s and Doctoral) and Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards will require Letters of Recommendation from the supervisor (and co-supervisor(s) if applicable), and two (2) academic referees. Progress Reports for renewal of current Studentship (Master’s and Doctoral) and Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards will only require one (1) Letter of Recommendation from the supervisor stating the progress made by the applicant during the last funding year (or period). Applications without the required number of letters of recommendation will be disqualified.

7. Furthermore, the MSSC has changed the transcript requirements for Studentship and Fellowship Awards. Master’s level applicants are required to submit transcripts from their undergraduate degree and graduate studies, if they have completed courses with grades. Doctoral level applicants must provide transcripts from their undergraduate degree and graduate studies, including courses taken with grades. Postdoctoral level applicants must provide transcripts from their graduate degree. Applications submitted without the appropriate transcript(s) will not be considered eligible.

Research Funding Partnerships

MSSC Partnership with Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS)

Partnership Objectives

To support a greater number of Master's students by providing training awards to outstanding individuals in Quebec who wish to commence or pursue their research training in the field of multiple sclerosis. This support will be delivered through the co-funding fellowship awards submitted to the regular competitions of both FRQS and MSSC.

Mechanisms of Support

The co-funded support for studentship awards are one (1) year in length with an opportunity to be renewed, which is dependent upon the submission and approval of a renewal application by both FRQS and MSSC.

A successfully executed letter of agreement is required to receive this funding.

Value of Awards

Awards and Fellowships Total Funding Amount
Master's award $20,000

*Awards will be co-funded (50/50) by FRQS and MSSC.

Program Eligibility

In order to be eligible for funding through this partnership applicants must:

  • Apply to both FRQS and MSSC regular competitions.
  • FRQS candidates must indicate in their application that they wish to be considered for a MSSC partnership award and MSSC candidates must indicate that they wish to be considered for the FRQS partnership award.
  • The FRQS application must be approved for relevance by the MSSC.
  • The application must be approved for funding based on the peer review of both FRQS and MSSC research competitions.

Important Dates

  • MSSC Competition Opens: November 4, 2020
  • MSSC Application Deadline: December 15, 2020 at 16:00 EDT
  • FRQS Competition Closes: October 15, 2020 at 16:30 EDT
  • MSSC Anticipated Notice of Decision: June 2021
  • FRQS Anticipated Announcement of Results: April 2021
  • Funding Start Date: July 1, 2021

MSSC Partnership with New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF)

The MSSC and NBHRF aim to support a greater number of Master’s students by providing awards to outstanding individuals in New Brunswick who wish to commence, pursue or sustain their research program in the field of MS. This support will be delivered through the co-funding of top endMS Personnel Awards applications submitted to the annual competition of the MSSC. Awards will be co-funded (70/30) by MSSC and NBHRF.

Mechanisms of Support

The co-funded support for studentship awards are one (1) year in length with an opportunity to be renewed, which is dependent upon the submission and approval of a renewal application to the MSSC.

Program Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this partnership funding:

  • An applicant must submit an application for the MSSC’s endMS Personnel Awards competition
  • The research needs to be conducted at an institution in New Brunswick.

Applications that are to be conducted at institutions located in New Brunswick will be automatically considered for funding for a MSSC-NBHRF partnership award. If successful in the competition, each partner will issue a letter of agreement with the Institution for the amount they contribute to the total award. A successfully executed letter of agreement is required to receive this funding.

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