New funding programs will bolster BC health research

22 February 2016

As the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research marks its 15th anniversary, we are excited to share our evolving plans for a new suite of funding programs that will bolster our support for BC’s health research community.

Beginning in spring 2016, MSFHR will roll out a series of competitions that will complement our existing programs and meet specific needs identified through conversations with a broad range of stakeholders. These new programs, which are designed to support the goals outlined in MSFHR’s strategic plan, will offer salary support to health professionals, create new opportunities for knowledge translation, and help researchers apply discoveries to policy and real-world practice. A complete list of programs under development is available below.

The proposed suite of programs has been designed around a set of funding objectives identified through internal review of MSFHR’s competition processes. While these objectives provide a solid framework, it is critically important to the success of the new programs that members of BC’s health research community – from applicants to senior administrators – have an opportunity to inform their design.

MSFHR is committed to a consultative approach to program development that will ensure the operational details of these new funding opportunities – such as eligibility, duration, and review criteria – meet the specific needs of researchers and institutions across BC.

Initial conversations are in progress with key stakeholders in each BC region, and face-to-face consultations are planned for the coming months. These regional consultation sessions will create awareness of the opportunities available through the proposed programs. They will also provide an important chance for stakeholders to offer input on programs before they launch.   

As we move forward with the development and roll-out of these programs, we will provide regular status updates. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to receive the latest MSFHR news and program details.

New programs expected to launch in 2016

Health Policy Fellowships

Based on the program we offered previously in partnership with CIHR, these awards will help foster connections between health researchers and policy-makers. They will support researchers to increase their understanding of policy-making and the workings of the provincial government and regional health authorities.

Convening and Collaborating (C2) awards

These awards are intended to promote knowledge exchange between health researchers and research users. They will provide support to plan research projects, develop partnerships, or support collaboration between researchers and research users to target BC priorities.

Dissemination awards

This program will facilitate the use of research evidence to inform and/or improve practice and/or policy-making. The awards will support MSFHR-funded researchers and research users to work collaboratively to develop and implement tools and/or products (e.g., plain language summaries, webinars, podcasts, best practice guidelines, clinical decision tools, etc.) resulting from a peer-reviewed research project.


New programs currently under development

As noted above, consultation on the development of these award programs will take place in each BC region throughout spring 2016.

Health professional salary award

This program is intended to support highly qualified health professionals to conduct and apply research in addition to their clinical work, in order to decrease the gap between health research and implementation. Program guidelines and eligibility criteria are still under development and will be shaped through the consultation process outlined above.

Implementation science team awards

These awards aim to facilitate the movement of innovative discoveries or impactful research evidence towards application in health care policy and practice to address BC health system priorities.

Translational scholar awards

This program will support researchers to apply their innovative discoveries towards practical applications and/or commercialization.


Existing programs launching in 2016

At the core of this new suite of programs are MSFHR’s two longstanding salary support awards – the Scholar Program for early-career investigators, and the Trainee Program for post-doctoral fellows. Our commitment is to offer both programs on an annual basis. The 2017 Scholar and Trainee programs are scheduled to launch this fall.