Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

endMS Postdoctoral Fellowships

The endMS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is intended to support research for training of Postdoctoral Fellows in studies related to MS. The endMS Postdoctoral Fellowships serve to attract and retain young researchers in the field of MS.

Applications to the endMS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program should emphasize opportunities for new research training and broadening scientific competence of the applicant, with a particular alignment with the MS Society of Canada’s (MSSC) 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; developing new treatments and understanding their mechanisms, understanding and evaluating interventions to address mental health, wellness/self-care, and rehabilitation in people living with MS; innovations in the provision of health services, clinical care practices and models of care; and advances in healthcare delivery/policy).
  • Enhance Well-being: Research that aims to understand how to enhance the well-being of people affected by MS within communities (e.g. understanding the social determinants of health; assessing the health economics/cost benefit analysis on MS interventions and support structures and systems; evaluation of community-based programs; and advances in health systems research/policy).
  • Understand and Halt Disease Progression: Research that aims to understand the etiology and mechanisms of MS, disease progression, progressive MS, and repair (e.g., myelin biology, neurobiology, neurophysiology, immunology, neuropathology, and imaging).
  • Prevent MS: Research that aims to prevent MS (e.g. identifying risk factors for disease, effective interventions for prevention, health economic/cost benefit analysis on prevention, and defining highest risk populations).

Based on the nature of the research, the candidate can apply for one of the following awards:

  • endMS Postdoctoral Fellowships: Biomedical research
  • endMS Postdoctoral Fellowships: Clinical and Population Health research

MSSC welcomes applications from postdoctoral fellows from across disciplines pursuing research in MS. We strongly encourage applications from Postdoctoral fellows in the Clinical and Population Health stream in the areas of treatment and care, enhance well-being and prevent MS.

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: 3 years (initial award and two renewals)
  • Awarded amount per year (for Ph.D. holder): $41,000
  • Awarded amount per year (for M.D. holder): $50,500

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

  • Applicants who currently hold, or are completing a Doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent). M.D. Applicants must hold degrees that are recognized by the Canadian medical regulatory authority. A Postdoctoral Fellowship will not be activated for a Doctoral candidate until the MS Society has received written notification from a university or professional school that an appropriate Doctoral degree has been granted.
  • Completion of a Doctoral degree or medical training, including residency, within three years of the competition deadline.
  • Enrolled in postdoctoral training* at a Canadian institution. Applicants who are interested in studying abroad must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships must be held in a recognized institution; and be responsible to an appropriate supervisor who is in a field relevant to MS.

*Postdoctoral training must be conducted in a different laboratory and with a different supervisor as your Doctoral training.

Important Dates

  • Competition Opens: July 30, 2021
  • Application Deadline: October 1, 2021 at 16:00 EDT
  • Progress Report Deadline: November 1, 2021 at 16:00 EDT
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2022
  • Funding Start Date: July 1, 2022

What’s new this year?

1. This year, the MSSC will be launching the endMS Personnel Awards competition for new Postdoctoral Fellowships and Doctoral Studentships. MSSC will not launch the endMS Personnel Award for new Master's level applicants. Existing Master's level awardees will be able to apply to renew their award through the submission of a Progress Report.

2. 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 is October 1, 2021 at 16:00 EDT and for Progress Reports is November 1, 2021 at 16:00 EDT. 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.

3. All applications must be submitted via ProposalCentral which can be accessed through the following website: https://proposalcentral.com.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 encouraged to utilize the provided templates.

7. The MSSC has changed the guidelines for referees. New endMS Doctoral Studentship 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.

8. Furthermore, the MSSC has changed the transcript requirements for Studentship and Fellowship Awards. 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 Postdoctoral 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 the postdoctoral fellowship is 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
** Postdoctoral fellowship $45,000
** Postdoctoral MD $50,500

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

**Postdoctoral Fellowships offered to those who conduct their training outside of Canada will benefit from a supplement of $10,000 per year.

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 MSSOC 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: July 30, 2021
  • MSSC Application Deadline: October 1, 2021 at 16:00 EDT
  • MSSC Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2022
  • Funding Start Date: July 1, 2022

New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF)

The MSSC and NBHRF aim to support a greater number of Postdoctoral Fellows 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 Postdoctoral Fellow 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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