The MSFHR Scholar Program supports early-career health researchers who are building leading-edge health research programs, training the next generation of scientists, and expanding their potential to make significant contributions to their field.

The Scholar Program is one of MSFHR’s flagship funding opportunities. Since 2001, we’ve granted more than 450 Scholar awards worth approximately $180 million, helping to develop, attract and retain BC’s best and brightest health researchers and support the advancement of world-class health research in BC.

The 2021 Scholar Program:

  • Identifies and develops outstanding BC health researchers who are within five years from the start of their first institutional appointment as an independent investigator.
  • Helps researchers start and develop new programs of research.
  • Protects researchers’ time to conduct research, develop an independent research career and attract additional research funding.
  • Award term: five years.
  • Partnership opportunities are available.

Key dates:

  • Letter of intent deadline: February 8, 2021, 4:30 p.m. PT
  • Full application deadline: March 22, 2021, 4:30 p.m. PT
  • Anticipated notice of funding decision: Spring 2021
  • Anticipated start of funding: July 1, 2021 

Applicants must:

  • Have a PhD, or equivalent, and commit to a minimum of 75 percent of their time conducting research
  • Hold or have a commitment for an appointment at a BC institution that holds a memorandum of understanding with MSFHR
  • Be within five years of the start of their first university appointment

The 2021 competition is closed.


Application resources:


Information session:


Sample PDFs:


COVID-19 has created rapid change and much uncertainty within BC’s health research community. Through consultations, we heard that funding for early-career researchers and post-doctoral fellows is critically important now more than ever. This is why we’re introducing the following changes to our application and review process for the 2021 Scholar competition to account for the impact of the pandemic on research outputs and activities (full details in competition guidelines):

  • COVID-19 impact statement: All applicants will have the opportunity to describe the impact of the pandemic on their research activities as part of their application.
  • Eligibility window extension: To account for COVID-19 research and training disruptions, we are automatically extending the eligibility window by one year.
  • Peer review process: Peer reviewers will account for COVID-19 impacts in application assessment and scoring.

As a funding agency with a provincial mandate, we recognize the importance of fostering health research capacity in all regions. Additionally, we’re working to increase applications from around the province, including the North, Interior, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island, to support research of importance to those communities and train tomorrow's researchers to strengthen health research capacity across the province. For this competition we are implementing process changes to identify and remove barriers to success for applicants from around the province, including:

  • Revising peer review processes and evaluation criteria to ensure applications from across BC are reviewed fairly and equitably.
  • Recruiting peer reviewers from underrepresented regions and institutions in BC and from smaller institutions outside of BC.
  • Working with MSFHR partners to proactively identify partnership opportunities for fundable applications from regions and institutions outside of the lower mainland.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter for competition announcements.