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NL SUPPORT Awards Guide – Patient-Oriented Research Grants 

PLEASE NOTE: The previously-announced priorities have CHANGED. See below for more information.


EOI Applicants will be invited to attend a POR Bootcamp, to be held on January 18. More details will follow. Please keep an eye on our Blog for updates. 

EOI Application Forms are Available here.
FULL Application Forms are Available here.
NL SUPPORT POR Grants Authorization Forms are available in .pdf here.
The Awards Guide is available below and in .pdf here.
POR Grants General Information (including priority themes) is available below, and in .pdf here.
POR Grants Award Management Guide is available in .pdf here.
Reviewer Scoring Sheet From Last Year's Competition is Available here.


Total Maximum Amount: $75,000
Duration: 1 year (with a possibility for a 1 year extension)
Grants per Funding Cycle: Up to $300,000 in total funding EOI Deadline: November 15, 2017
Application Deadline: March 31, 2018

Purpose & General Guidelines

The NL SUPPORT Patient-Oriented Research Grants (POR Grants) will support an individual or a group of individuals led by a Principal Applicant. The purpose of these grants is to support small projects of high scientific quality that are of direct relevance to the mandate and priorities set by NL SUPPORT. Patient-Oriented research is defined by CIHR as:

“…a continuum of research, from the initial studies in humans to comparative effectiveness and outcomes research, and the integration of this research into the health care system and clinical practice. It includes studies of therapies, diagnostic tools, pharmaceuticals, and prevention strategies as well as comparative evaluations of those interventions against each other and against existing practices. It concludes with the synthesis, dissemination and integration of evidence into the health care system and clinical practice. Patient-oriented research thus encompasses both clinical research and health services research, the synthesis, dissemination and integration of this new knowledge into the health care system and into clinical practice.”

NL SUPPORT will award $300,000 in POR grants per year, with a funding cap of $75,000 per grant. These grants are designed to defray the normal direct costs of research including personnel costs, supplies and expendable materials, equipment, computing costs, research travel (to a maximum of 20% of the total budget), and dissemination and communications.

Grant funds will be released only upon the receipt of a letter of approval from the appropriate ethics review committee (see Ethics, Once a proposal has been funded, major changes in the project design or major departures from the budget will require the prior approval from the Granting Body.
Applicants are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) prior to preparing a full application. The EOI must indicate: the research team, the priority theme being addressed, a well-developed research question, any planned or underway patient engagement activities, projected impacts upon patient outcomes, and the relation of the proposed work to the mandate of NL SUPPORT or POR more generally.
An applicant may apply for more than one POR grant in any year but will be allowed to accept only one POR Grant as Principal Applicant or as Co-Applicant. Recipients of a POR grant as a Principal Applicant in the previous year are not eligible to apply during the current cycle, but are eligible to act as Co-Applicants.


Principal Applicants do not need a doctorate, but they should at least be trainees or independent researchers with Master’s qualifications in a field relevant to patient-oriented research. Researchers employed at institutions elsewhere in Canada may apply as Principal Applicant, but the work performed must include a focus on Newfoundland and Labrador and include local applicants. Researchers from non-Canadian institutions may be ‘Associates’ but not Principal Applicants or Co-Applicants. Trainees applying for POR Grants funding must nominate a Co-PI who is eligible to hold funding at an eligible institution.
It is, however, recommended that Principal Applicants:

·         Be employed by a post-secondary academic institution or by a health or community services institution in Newfoundland and Labrador and have dedicated time for research;
·         Have a Ph.D. or a professional degree and a thesis-based Master’s degree in a health-related field.

The Principal Applicant is the person who will take primary responsibility for the intellectual direction of the research and assume administrative responsibility for the funds. POR grant funds are not intended to supplement the salary of the Principal Applicant or Co-Applicants, or graduate students doing their thesis or other research under the Applicant’s research program; only research assistants may be paid salary from these grants.

Selection Criteria for POR Grants

Applications for POR Grants will be judged according to the following selection criteria:

·         Relevance of the proposed research to the NL SUPPORT mandate and priority research themes;
·         Incorporation of patients as partners rather than subjects throughout the project’s lifecycle;
·         Expertise and research experience, as well as past contributions to patient-oriented research and related fields, on the part of the applicants;
·         Merit of the proposal, based on: quality and clarity of research question; originality; potential contribution to patient-oriented research; relevance to health-related decision-making, systems improvement or positive patient impacts; value to the healthcare system; and knowledge translation planning and implementation;
·         Clarity of presentation and appropriateness of design and research plan; feasibility of the proposed work; and appropriateness and justification of the budget.

Priority will be given to recently established researchers (within the first five years of a first full-time appointment) and researchers who do not currently hold a major grant from an external funding agency.

Role of Host Institutions

Institutions that employ holders of POR Grants are called host institutions. Signatures are required from host institution representatives on all grant application forms. By signing, host institutions agree to accept the responsibilities outlined below on behalf of their award or grant-holding employees:

·         The financial administration of grants;
·         Reporting to Granting Body any change in the funding recipients’ status that may affect the fulfillment of their research commitment, for example resignation or termination;
·         Submission of an annual financial statement covering the period from April 1 to March 31 for each award or grant; the statement(s) are due no later than May 1 of each year.

Application Process

When completing your application, be sure to download the BLANK form to your hard drive first. Then, complete the form and save it to your hard drive using Adobe Acrobat; if you work on the forms online (e.g., fill them out in Safari or Google Chrome), changes will not be saved when the forms are downloaded for emailing.

NL SUPPORT Awards Guide: General Information

This Awards Guide outlines the objectives, policies, and procedures governing the Patient-Oriented Research Grants program administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit (NL SUPPORT). It applies to all applicants and award recipients unless specifically amended or declared void by both bodies.

This information is reviewed annually. Eligibility for these grants is consistent with the policies and definitions set out by CIHR (; eligibility criteria are indicated below and should be reviewed prior to submission of applications.

All applicants should carefully read the information in the latest version of this Awards Guide before preparing applications. Because it is not possible to anticipate every contingency, situations may occur from time to time that are not addressed in the Awards Guide. Prospective applicants who desire clarification regarding these programs are urged to contact NL SUPPORT [by telephone (864-6277) or e-mail to].

Funding for these grants is made available through SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit funding via CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) initiative, in order to encourage the growth of patient-oriented research in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada. More information about SUPPORT Units, SPOR and patient-oriented research is available through CIHR ( and more information about NL SUPPORT specifically is available through the NL SUPPORT ( website.


Housed within the Craig L. Dobbin Research Centre at the Faculty of Medicine, the Newfoundland and Labrador SUPPORT Unit (NL SUPPORT) is a multi-agency partnership between IBM, the CIHR, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University, and other agencies across the jurisdiction with a focus on applied health research and patient data. Instead of simply pursuing its own programme of research, NL SUPPORT offers access to a pool of resources available to eligible researcher(s) in the jurisdiction whose interests fall under the mandate of SPOR. These resources can include: database linkages and data analysis, biostatistical and epidemiological support, project management support, assistance with study design, change policy analysis and more. Resources are allocated according to jurisdictional priority areas identified in close collaboration with policymakers and researchers, as well as patients, caregivers and other healthcare system users.

NL SUPPORT’s research support and training, can be broadly divided into seven linked core functions:

Data Platforms and Services
•           Database linkages and data analysis for jurisdictional de-identified patient data sets through the Centre for Health Informatics and Analytics and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information.

Methods Support and Services
•           Providing methodological support services and research methods development in areas such as biostatistics and Health Services Research

Applied Health Systems Research, Knowledge Translation and Implementation
•           Expanding jurisdictional capacity for Applied Health Services Research, Knowledge Translation and policy implementation

Real World Clinical Trials
•           Expanding jurisdictional capacity for running comparative effectiveness trials, clinical trials, and making those trials more efficient for the parties involved

Career Development and Training in Methods and Health Systems Research
•           Training in patient-oriented research methods for researchers and students, including new career development and graduate programs

Patient Engagement
•           Providing support and training to local researchers for engaging patients as partners, including liaising with people with lived experience and providing frameworks for engagement and appreciation.

Consultation and Research Services
•           Providing other research support services for patient-oriented research such as study design, policy change analysis, and project management

Objectives of the NL SUPPORT Patient-Oriented Research Grants Program

NL SUPPORT has a mandate to support applied health research and training in the province, both directly through the allocation of grants and funding for trainees, and indirectly by attracting funding from external granting agencies. This program is aimed primarily at research activity initiated by investigators resident in Newfoundland and Labrador, though non-resident researchers may apply if their proposed projects include patient-oriented research with a focus on Newfoundland and Labrador. Partnership with co-investigators based elsewhere is also encouraged and supported, particularly partnerships among SPOR disease-focused Networks and other jurisdictional SUPPORT Units.

The specific objectives of this funding program are:
·         To support patient-oriented research that has the potential to improve the health of individuals, families and communities
·         To support new research which addresses the healthcare priorities of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, as identified by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador
·         To enhance the role of patients/citizens in all levels of the research process from start to implementation of findings
·         To build and sustain a full range of applied health research including the development and utilization of evidence-based decision making in health care, health education, and health policy and administration in Newfoundland and Labrador
·         To support the training and development of new health researchers in the province
·         To assist researchers in establishing their research programs and applying for external funding
·         To encourage partnerships between researchers across faculties, schools and disciplines, and collaboration among academic researchers, community-based researchers, and decision-makers

Objectives for this funding program will be reflected in the Priority Research Themes, which may change annually under the direction of the NL SUPPORT Steering Committee, and are decided in a collaborative process between patients, the federal government, the provincial government and researchers. Applications addressing at least some aspect of the Priority Themes will be given preference.   If no Priority Themes have been established by the Steering Committee at the time the competition opens, applicants are encouraged to review CIHR’s SPOR founding documents ( as a guideline.

In 2017-2018, the Priority Research themes were determined via province wide patient survey, and include:

  • Mental Health and Addictions

  • Wait Times

  • Preventive Care -- PLEASE NOTE: Following direction from CIHR-SPOR, NL SUPPORT is unable to fund research relating to Preventive Care, despite it having been identified as a patient priority in our annual priority-setting process.

  • Awareness of and Access to Community Supports and Services

Applicants will be asked to identify which priority theme their project will address; if no priority theme is addressed in the application, then applicants will be asked to explain why their project is a priority of patients, including health care system users, family members or caregivers.

Use and Disclosure of Information Provided

As part of the peer-review process, applications will be disclosed to review panels composed of experts in applied health issues. Applications may also be transmitted to external referees. All participants in these review activities are informed of their obligations with regard to the confidentiality of information entrusted to them.

The external reviews and review panel comments about a proposal may be provided to the Principal Applicant. The Principal Applicant is expected to share this information with Co-Applicants.

NL SUPPORT may publish certain details about successful grant applications, including the name of the applicant, amount awarded, title of the project, and a summary of the research proposal as part of annual reporting to funders or other reasons. Successful Applicants will be requested to participate in NL SUPPORT’s annual Scientific Day and possibly other public engagement events (such as the Health For All Festival), and to provide information summarizing their research.