The MSFHR Research Trainee Program supports health researchers in the training phase of their research career to enable career development and the long-term success of the BC health research landscape.

The Research Trainee Program is one of MSFHR’s flagship funding opportunities. Since 2001, we’ve granted more than 1,400 Research Trainee awards worth approximately $60 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 Research Trainee Program:

  • Provides salary support for talented post-doctoral or health professional researchers and develops their careers in health research.
  • Helps post-doctoral researchers increase their, and their labs’, research productivity.
  • Prepares post-doctoral researchers for successful careers in research, biotech, health policy and more.
  • Award term: three years
  • Partnership opportunities are available.

Key dates:

  • Letter of intent deadline: December 7, 2020, 4:30 p.m. PT 
  • Full application deadline: February 12, 2021, 4:30 p.m. PT
  • Anticipated notice of funding decision: Spring 2021
  • Anticipated start of funding: September 1, 2021

Applicants Must:

  • Have a PhD and commit to a minimum of 75 per cent of their time conducting research, OR be a health professional in active clinical service and commit to a minimum of 50 per cent of their time conducting research.
  • Hold or be eligible to hold a post-doctoral fellowship position by the award start date, and for the duration of the award, at a BC institution that holds a memorandum of understanding with MSFHR.
  • Be within five years of achieving their PhD or have been a health professional in active clinical service for 10 years or less for the duration of the MSFHR award.
  • Not have held a previous MSFHR post-doctoral fellowship award.

2021 applications are open!


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 Research Trainee competition to account for the impact of the pandemic on research outputs and activities (full details in the 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.
  • Research Trainee award terms: To provide greater funding stability for postdoctoral trainees, the Research Trainee award terms are no longer pro-rated and applicants can request up to three years of support, regardless of when they completed their PhD.
  • 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.

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