Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Discovery Research Pilot Grant (CPH only)

The discovery research 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). CPH includes clinical research with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment, and improving the health and quality of life of individuals, and encompasses research on, or for the treatment of, people affected by MS; and supports population health research that aims to understand the complex, biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that determine the health of individuals and populations. Topics can include:

  • Treatment and Care: Research that aims to advance treatment and care for people affected by MS (e.g. symptom management, diagnosing MS, developing new treatments, mental health, wellness/self-care, rehabilitation, health services, clinical care practices, models of care, 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, health economics/cost benefit analysis on interventions and support structures and systems, community-based programs, health systems research/policy).
  • Prevent MS: Research that aims to prevent MS (e.g. identifying risk factors, effective interventions for prevention, health economic/cost benefit analysis on prevention, and defining highest risk populations).

Objectives of the discovery research 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.

Term and Amount

Term: The MSSC supports pilot research grants for terms of one (1) to two (2) years. Discovery research pilot grants are non-renewable.

Amount: The amount that may be requested for the discovery research pilot grants is approximately $50,000 over the term of the grant.

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 31, 2019
  • Application Deadline: October 1, 2019 at 16:00 EDT
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2020
  • Funding Start Date: April 1, 2020

Policies and Procedures

Program Guide
Policies

What's new this year?

1. Aligned with the MS Society’s strategic plan, the above funding opportunities will support research across four impact areas:

  • Treatment and Care: Research that aims to advance treatment and care for people affected by MS (e.g. symptom management, diagnosing MS, developing new treatments and understanding their mechanisms, mental health, wellness/self-care, rehabilitation, health services, clinical care practices, models of care, 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, health economics/cost benefit analysis on interventions and support structures and systems, community-based programs, health systems research/policy).
  • Understand and Halt Disease Progression: Research that aims to understand the 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, effective interventions for prevention, health economic/cost benefit analysis on prevention, and defining highest risk populations).

2. The MS Society now has separate uploads for references and figures. The grant applications are required to upload a references sections, however, uploading figures is optional and not mandatory for submission of the grant application.

3. For the Discovery Research Grants (Operating Grants) and Pilot grants, the MS Society has developed a new template for the Impact and Relevance to MS section. The template must be completed and uploaded for the Impact and Relevance to MS section. For more information, please see the Discovery Research Grant (Operating Grant) or Pilot Grant program guide.

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