Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Clinical and Population Health Pilot Grant

The pilot grant program awards seed funding that allows researchers to develop and test new and innovative research questions and pursue pioneering approaches that have the potential to impact the MS field in topics related to Clinical and Population Health (CPH). Objectives of the pilot grant program are to enable researchers to test novel and high-potential MS research ideas, collect key preliminary data to support further research, test the feasibility of a study design, concept, or intervention on a small scale, and to provide researchers a trajectory to larger grant competitions. Projects that are extensions of ongoing research that have ample supporting data will not be considered.

Amount and Term

The amount that may be requested for operating grants is approximately $50,000 for up to two (2) years. Pilot grants are non-renewable.

Eligibility
  • Have an academic or research appointment which allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project to engage in independent research activities.
  • Conduct research within a Canadian institution.
  • Engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding and is able to supervise trainees and publish research activities
  • Test novel, high-risk ideas or interventions that have not been examined in MS or examined to a limited extent.
Important Dates
  • Competition Opens: July 28, 2017
  • Application Deadline: October 2, 2017 at 16:00 EDT
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2018
  • Funding Start Date: April 1, 2018
Policies and Procedures

Program Guide
Application Guidelines
Policies*

*Please note that the renewal, re-submission, and travel policies do not apply to the pilot grant.

Guide to Writing a Lay Summary


Frequently Asked Questions

1. WHAT IS A CLINICAL AND POPULATION HEALTH PILOT GRANT?

The pilot grant program awards seed funding that allows researchers to develop and test new and innovative research questions and pursue pioneering approaches that have the potential to impact the MS field in topics related to Clinical and Population Health (CPH).

2. WHAT TOPICS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR A CPH PILOT GRANT?

Currently, only pilot grants related to topics that fall under the CPH domain are being accepted to this competition. These include epidemiology, health economics, risk factors, health care delivery/policy, treatment monitoring and health assessment, symptom management, rehabilitation and psychosocial and societal aspects of MS. Topics in the biomedical stream are not eligible for funding from the CPH pilot grant.

3.DOES THE PROJECT HAVE TO BE NOVEL OR CAN I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR A PROJECT THAT IS SMALLER IN NATURE AND BUILDS ON EXISTING DATA?

The intention of the pilot grant is to allow investigators to test novel, high-risk ideas or interventions that have not been examined in MS or examined to a limited extent. By testing a new idea or intervention, the researcher will gather important preliminary data to open new lines of inquiry and new avenues of research in MS, as well as build sufficient evidence to apply for larger grants and conduct larger studies. The pilot grant is not intended for projects which already have sufficient preliminary data.

4. DOES MY APPLICATION HAVE TO BE SUBMITTED BY OCTOBER 2?

Yes, all applications must be submitted by October 2nd at 16:00 EDT. The online system will not accept applications after October 2nd. All required documents must be completed and submitted prior to the deadline, straggling documents will not be accepted. In addition, any documents that surpass the assigned page limits or fail to adhere to the formatting guidelines will be excluded from the application.

5.DOES THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR NEED TO HOLD A FACULTY APPOINTMENT TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A PILOT GRANT?

Yes, a principal investigator must be independent researchers and hold faculty appointments at recognized Canadian academic institutions in order to apply. The same eligibility requirements apply to co-principal investigators.

6.DOES A CO-APPLICANT NEED TO HOLD A FACULTY APPOINTMENT FOR A PILOT GRANT?

No, the co-applicant does not need to hold a faculty appointment. However, co-applicants must be at the postdoctoral level or higher (research associate, faculty member).

7.HOW MANY PRINCIPAL APPLICANTS CAN BE ON ONE PILOT GRANT APPLICATION?

There can be only oneprincipal investigator (PI) per grant application. There is no limit to the number of co-principal investigators on an application. The PI is listed as the primary applicant is responsible for overseeing the proposed research project. A co-principal is an individual who shares responsibility for the direction of the proposed research project with the PI.

8.WHAT PERSONNEL CAN NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET FOR A PILOT GRANT?

The MSSC does not allow the following salaries to be paid through the pilot grant: (1) Postdoctoral Fellows; (2) Doctoral Students; and (3) Master’s Students. These students are encouraged to apply for funding through the MSSC’s Personnel Awards program.

9.DO PILOT GRANTS HAVE A MAXIMUM BUDGET/TIME PERIOD THAT CAN BE APPLIED FOR?

The approximate amount of funding that may be requested for a pilot grant is 50,000 CAD for up to two years. Pilot grants are non-renewable.

10. ARE TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWED WITHIN MY PILOT GRANT BUDGET?

Use of funds for conference travel is not permitted. Travel necessary for the conduct of the study will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

11. WHAT FORMAT OF THE CV IS REQUIRED?

The MSSC requires the use of the Canadian Common CV for all Pilot Grant applications. The template can be found at https://ccv-cvc.ca. Please select "MSSC" as the agency. For instructions on how to complete the Canadian Common CV, please visit the Pilot Grant Application Guidelines or the Canadian Common CV website.

12. DO YOU REQUIRE SIGNATURES FROM THE DEPARTMENT HEADS OF ALL CO-APPLICANTS OR ONLY OF THE PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR?

The signatures of the Department Head and Dean of the Faculty or Institution of the Principal Investigator are required. Please consult the Application Guide for more information on the required signatures for the Pilot Grant application. Electronic signatures are accepted.

13. HOW MANY GRANTS CAN I HOLD WITH THE MSSC?

A PI can hold a maximum of two operating grants and one pilot grant from the MSSC at one time.

14. HOW MANY APPLICATIONS CAN I SUBMIT IN THE PILOT GRANT COMPETITION?

The PI may concurrently submit a maximum of one new pilot grant application and two operating grant applications (one new operating grant and one renewal operating grant) per competition.

If the FAQ Guide did not answer your question, please direct inquiries and questions to msresearchgrants@mssociety.ca