Clinician Scientist - 2008 Guidelines

  • Applications for the Clinician Scientist award must be received by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) no later than March 15.
  • Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on the deadline date.
  • If the deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the HSFO must receive the application by 4:00 p.m. on the previous Friday.
  • Applications RECEIVED AFTER THE DEADLINE will be considered late even if they are courier-stamped on the deadline date.
  • The HSFO reserves the right to DECLINE LATE OR INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS.

The Clinician Scientist award is a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) program.
 
All awards become tenable July 1 of each year following announcement of the competition results.
 
 

A. Description

The goal of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) Clinician Scientist award is to build capacity in Ontario for individuals who have clearly demonstrated excellence during their doctoral and post-doctoral training in cardiovascular or cerebrovascular research. Health care clinicians, such as nurses, social workers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists respiratory therapists, and physicians, whose focus is cardiovascular or cerebrovascular and a) have demonstrated an ability to engage in research, and b) are pursuing a career in clinical research will be considered for this award. A HSFO Clinician Scientist is an individual who has clearly demonstrated the potential to become an independent investigator. The purpose of this award is to assist such an individual in becoming a fully independent clinical investigator in the fields of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular research.
 
The program has two phases. Phase I provides stipend support for up to three years for junior Clinician Scientists who have completed a MD, PhD, DDS or equivalent degree. In addition, no more than 3 years must have elapsed since the date of the Phase I applicant’s first academic appointment and the proposed start date of the award. Phase II provides a contribution to stipend support for up to three years for Clinician Scientists where no more than seven years have elapsed since their first academic appointment. Applications for Phase II are not restricted to holders of Phase I awards. For details on application and re-application, please see the Application and Tenure sections.
 

B. General Information

  1. HSFO Clinician Scientist awards are normally tenable in Ontario universities but may, under exceptional circumstances, be awarded to Canadian applicants for research training in other Canadian universities or abroad. Applicants proposing to undertake their training outside of Ontario must provide justification and indicate their intention to return to Ontario following completion of the training. A letter of support from a sponsoring Ontario university indicating that the applicant will have a faculty appointment at the university when they return to Ontario along with relevant proof of eligibility to practise must be included with the application. Contact HSFO for further information.
  2. An awardee may not be in receipt of another major salary award (e.g. from a national funding agency) at the same time as holding a Personnel Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. However, an awardee may accept supplemental funding (no greater than 50% of the value of the Heart and Stroke Foundation award) if it is from a local or provincial funding source. Contact HSFO for further information.
  3. Award recipients must not have received financial support from the tobacco industry (in the form of research grants, personnel award stipends or honoraria from a tobacco manufacturer or producer) in the previous five years, and must agree not to do so for the duration of this award.
  4. All applications will undergo peer-review by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  5. Note, in order to assess eligibility, applicants must supply a completed Common CV form to HSFO. This is a web-based form, which allows CV information to be entered online. Please refer to the http://www.commoncv.net/ website for further instructions. Phase I

Phase I

  1. This award is intended for individuals who have completed a MD, PhD, DDS or equivalent degree and are in the process of completing their post-doctoral training program or have completed their post-doctoral training. No more than 3 years must have elapsed since the date of the Phase I applicant’s first academic appointment and the proposed start date of the award. Individuals who are uncertain about their eligibility for this award should contact HSFO prior to submitting an application.
  2. For applicants who are in the process of completing their post-doctoral training, the application is considered to be a joint submission by the applicant and the proposed supervisor. The research plan should be written in full consultation and agreement between the supervisor and the applicant.
  3. For those applicants who have completed their post-doctoral training, a research mentor must be identified as part of the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify a different department and/or mentor than where they did their post-doctoral/early post-professional research training. If this is not possible, it should be justified in the application form.
  4. For those applicants who are in a post-doctoral training program, proof of enrollment in the program at the proposed start date of the award must be provided as part of the application.
  5. For those applicants who hold a faculty appointment, a letter must be provided by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) clearly stating that the applicant will have 75% of his/her time allocated to research. Details on how this 75% allocation of research time will be spent must be provided, as well as the commitments for the remaining 25%.
  6. The quality of the proposed research is an important component in the evaluation of the application. A clear, concise, and comprehensive description of the proposed research as well as how it relates to the mission of the Foundation and the applicant’s clinical practice must be given. In addition, the role of the Clinician Scientist in the proposed research must be clearly identified, including how the execution of the research plan will contribute to the candidate's development as an independent researcher.
  7. Applicants must have access to adequate research funding to carry out the proposed research at the time of application. (Note, HSFO requires proof of funding annually to carry out the research for the duration of the award). The project support has the following additional requirements:
    1. For years 1, 2 and part of year 3 of the award, this funding may originate from peer-reviewed and/or non-peer-reviewed sources.
    2. During year 3 of Phase I, Clinician Scientist applicants should work towards being supported by peer-reviewed funding; such grant(s) could be from this and/or other independent granting agencies. Awardees must notify HSFO when they have secured this funding in year 3 of the award. Note, if it is the applicant’s intent to apply to Phase II, they must hold at least $30,000/year of peer reviewed research operating grant funding as the principal investigator at the time of application.

Phase II

  1. This award is intended for individuals who have completed a MD, PhD, DDS or equivalent degree. No more than 7 years must have elapsed since the date of the applicant’s first academic appointment and the proposed start date of the award. In addition, Phase II applicants must demonstrate evidence of productivity. Interruption in a candidate's research career will be taken into account in determining eligibility. Individuals who are uncertain about their eligibility for this award should contact HSFO prior to submitting an application.
  2. Although not a requirement applicants are encouraged to identify a research mentor. 
  3. Applications for this award must be supported by the university or institution at which the Clinician Scientist will conduct the proposed research. The university or institution is expected to guarantee the applicant appropriate academic rank and to provide adequate space and facilities for the investigator's research, commensurate with the status of the individual’s experience and level of support by the Foundation. 
  4. Before a Phase II Clinician Scientist award can be considered, a letter must be provided by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) clearly stating that the applicant will have 75% of his/her time allocated to research. Details on how this 75% allocation of research time will be spent should be provided, as well as the commitments for the remaining 25%.
  5. The quality of the proposed research is an important component in the evaluation of the application. A clear, concise, and comprehensive description of the proposed research as well as how it relates to the mission of the Foundation and the applicant’s clinical practice must be given.
  6. Applicants must hold a research operating grant in support of the proposed research at the time of application and for the duration of this award; such grant(s) could be from this and/or other independent granting agencies. The Clinician Scientist award is contingent upon successful operating grant funding. The project support has the following additional requirement:
    1. Phase II Clinician Scientist applicants should hold at least $30,000/year of peer-reviewed research operating grant funding as the principal investigator. Candidates must have secured this funding at the time of their application. Individuals who are uncertain about their eligibility for this award should contact HSFO prior to submitting an application. Proof of funding for the duration of the award must be received by HSFO each year prior to funds being released.

C. Tenure

  1. Each award will be for a period of 3 years. Awardees may apply for one additional term for a maximum of 6 years, as follows:
    • Awardees who have completed Phase I, and intend to apply again, must apply to Phase II.
    • Provided they have not previously held a Phase I award, upon completion of an initial 3 year term in Phase II, individuals can apply for one additional 3 year term in Phase II for a maximum of 6 years of funding. Note, applications are based on merit at each submission. 
  2. The Clinician Scientist will be considered an employee of the university or institution. Claims for payment of the award are to be submitted by the institution’s Financial Comptroller at least quarterly, in duplicate and in a form satisfactory to the Foundation. The amount claimed should not exceed the funds approved. The awardee will be permitted to augment the salary from other professional sources. If the Clinician Scientist holds a full-time appointment in the university or affiliate institution, his/her total professional earnings shall be determined by the university or institutional policy and may be augmented by the institution. The above notwithstanding, a ceiling on earnings must exist under the usual university geographic full-time arrangements. The award may be terminated at any time for good cause by the awardee, the sponsoring institution or the HSFO.
  3. The award will commence July 1 of each year. This period will include holiday time as per the institute's policy. If significant changes in research activities are made by the Clinician Scientist during the tenure of the award, the HSFO must be notified immediately.
  4. Please contact the HSFO office for further information on parental leave.

D. Stipend and Allowances

  1. For Phase I, the stipend level is $50,000 per annum plus applicable benefits 
  2. For Phase II, HSFO’s contribution to the investigator's salary is $55,000 per annum plus applicable benefits. The university or sponsoring institution is responsible for contributing to the salary and benefits equal to 50% of the HSFO contribution, bringing the value of the partnered award to $82,500 per annum plus applicable benefits. Please contact HSFO for details. 
  3. An amount of $1,500 per annum for travel for scientific purposes is available and will be reimbursed by the Foundation. 
  4. The awardee must devote no less than 75% of his/her time to the proposed clinical research upon which the research project is dependent. The remainder of the Clinician Scientist’s time may be devoted to teaching, administration or other forms of activity related to the research project. HSFO imposes no restriction on the additional income that the Clinician Scientist may earn, provided it is within the guidelines of the sponsoring university or institution and that such activity does not impinge upon the time dedicated to the proposed research. The above notwithstanding, a ceiling on earnings must exist under the usual university geographic full-time arrangements.

E. Phase I Application

ONE ORIGINAL AND SIX COLLATED COPIES (TOTAL 7) of the Phase I Clinician Scientist Personnel Application Form are to be submitted to the HSFO by March 15. The complete application must include:
  1. for applicants who are in the process of completing their post-doctoral training, a completed supervisor statement included with each copy of the application that provides an overview of the research and academic training environment. Please give details on resources, programs, technologies, etc. that will be made available to the candidate, and on specific knowledge and skills to be acquired. The statement should also provide details on the supervisor’s specific involvement in the applicant’s training. Indicate what will be the contribution of the applicant to the proposed research. If more than one student or fellow will be carrying out research on the same research project, the supervisor must describe the role of each student or fellow in the overall plan. Failure to complete all supervisor information renders the application incomplete. The HSFO reserves the right to decline incomplete applications. 
  2. for applicants who have completing their post-doctoral training, a completed mentor statement included with each copy of the application that provides a description of their specific involvement in the applicant’s proposed research program.
  3. three letters of recommendation (forms provided with the application) evaluating the candidate's professional and academic capabilities for this award. One letter must come from the supervisor (if the applicant is in the process of completing their doctoral training) or identified research mentor (for those applicants who have completed their post-doctoral training). The other two letters must come from persons under whom the candidate has studied but who will not be involved in the supervision or evaluation of the applicant's research program. These forms must be attached and included in the application package along with all the other application materials. All letters must be in sealed envelopes, with the signature of the referee across the seal, and included in the application package. Incomplete applications may not be reviewed. If a commitment of a faculty appointment has been made to the applicant at the completion of the award, a letter to this effect, signed by the Dean and/or Department Head, should accompany the application. A single letter co-signed by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) will suffice.
  4. for those Phase I applicants who hold a faculty appointment, a letter must be provided by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) clearly stating that the applicant will have 75% of his/her time allocated to research. Details on how this 75% allocation of research time will be spent must be provided, as well as the commitments for the remaining 25%.
  5. a printed copy of the supervisor’s/mentor’s Common CV form. This is a web-based form, which allows CV information to be entered online. Please refer to the www.commoncv.net website for further instructions.
  6. proof of applicant’s eligibility to practise in Ontario. For those with a medical degree, the specialty clinical training must be in an area accredited with certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
  7. official transcripts of the candidate's graduate and/or health professional training, including proof of any degrees completed (HSFO will accept the student's copy of transcripts, if submitted in the original sealed envelope from the institution). 
Please forward the complete application and collated copies to:
 
Research Advocacy and Health Promotion
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Yonge Eglinton Centre, 2300 Yonge Street
Suite 1300, P.O. Box 2414
Toronto, ON M4P 1E4
Attention: Clinician Scientist Program
 

F. Phase I Applying into Phase II

Awardees who have completed Phase I, and intend to apply for an additional 3 year term, must apply to Phase II. Requirements are the same as the Phase II application.
 

G. Phase II Application

ONE ORIGINAL AND SIX COLLATED COPIES (TOTAL 7) of the Phase II Clinician Scientist Personnel Application Form are to be submitted to the HSFO by March 15. The complete application must include:
  1. a letter from the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) stating that the applicant will have 75% of his/her time allocated to research. Details as to how this 75% allocation of research time will be spent should be provided, as well as the commitments for the remaining 25%.  In addition, assurances should be provided that, in the event that the application is successful, the institution will be prepared to assume responsibility for an additional 50% of the HSFO award as contribution to the personnel support of the applicant (salary and benefits). The letter from the Dean and Department Head should also include a critical appraisal of the applicant and the proposed research, a description of the nature and extent of any work to be carried out by the candidate apart from the research activity, and the amount and source of any income to be paid supplementary to the award. There should be an indication that the total income, including professional earnings, is subject to a ceiling under the usual university geographic full-time arrangements. A single letter co-signed by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) will suffice.
  2. three letters of recommendation evaluating the candidate's professional and academic suitability for this award. The references should come from people who are in the best position to provide a comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s research ability and potential. Note, if the candidate has identified a research mentor in the application, one of the three referee letters should come from the mentor (see #3 below). All letters, including letters of recommendation, must be in sealed envelopes, with the signature of the referee across the seal, and included in the application package. Incomplete applications may not be reviewed.
  3. although not a requirement, the candidate is encouraged to establish contact with a research mentor. Plans by the applicant to develop contacts with such a mentor should be described in the application.
  4. for those applicants who received Phase I funding of this award and are applying for Phase II funding, reprints of each article dealing with the work supported by the HSF (and so acknowledged on the reprints).
  5. a confirmation of active operating grant funding (whether it is new or ongoing), clearly indicating that the applicant is the principal investigator. This would be the major research conducted by the Clinician Scientist applicant. 
  6. a copy of the title and summary pages of other grant applications/funding (from HSF and other funding sources) whether applied for or held in which the applicant is involved. The role of the Clinician Scientist in this research must be clearly identified.
  7. proof of applicant’s eligibility to practise in Ontario. For those with a medical degree, the specialty clinical training must be in an area accredited with certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
  8. a printed copy of the Common CV form. This is a web-based form, which allows CV information to be entered online. Please refer to the www.commoncv.net website for further instructions.
Please forward the complete application and collated copies to:
Research Advocacy and Health Promotion
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Yonge Eglinton Centre, 2300 Yonge Street
Suite 1300, P.O. Box 2414
Toronto, ON M4P 1E4
Attention: Clinician Scientist Program
 

H. Phase II Re-application

Requirements are the same as those for the Phase II application, with the exception of supplying three letters of recommendation (as outlined in section G 2 above).
 

I. Monitoring Progress

A progress report must be submitted to the HSFO no later than August 1 of the second year of the award. A report template, which will indicate the elements of progress to be reported, will be available to successful applicants. This competition is part of the HSFO overall research strategy. As such, specific details may be required in the review to enable HSFO to assess the impact with the strategy. Thus all funded applicants will be expected to contribute suggestions, data and reports as required for evaluation purposes.
 

J. Final Report

A final report must be submitted to the HSFO by March 30 in the final year in which the award is held for each phase. An evaluation form, which serves as the final report, will be provided. This form must be completed and returned to the HSFO before final payment of the award is sent to the host institution.
 

K. Financial Matters

If a Clinician Scientist award is granted, the Foundation's obligation is conditional upon the Foundation, in its sole discretion, determining that it has sufficient funds to meet all of its financial requirements. If the Foundation does not advance all or any part of the funds hereby applied for, the applicant releases the Foundation from any claims whatsoever which he/she may have against it as a result of not advancing such funds.
 
For More Details Contact:
 
Associate Manager, Research Programs
Research Advocacy and Health Promotion
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Yonge Eglinton Centre, 2300 Yonge Street
Suite 1300, P.O. Box 2414
Toronto, ON M4P 1E4
416-489-7111 x 422
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