Merit Award

Merit Award Policy and Application Instructions (downloadable PDF)

Merit Award Application Form

See our most recent award winners here

General Information

I - Scope

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Faculty Merit Awards are designed to provide matched funding to support a faculty member’s research career in one of two categories: 1) as a clinician investigator (CI) or clinician educator (CE) (one protected academic day/week), or 2) as a clinician scientist (CS) (two protected academic days/week). The 2018 departmental standard for compensation (from all sources) for research is set at $60,000 per annum per day/week. This level may not always be met within the hospital sector, however, the Faculty Merit Awards will match the aggregate of all hospital-based resources on an equal basis to these levels, so that individual faculty members can have dedicated time during their working week to pursue their desired research program. The vision of the program is to support individuals to obtain, and be successful with, either a first external grant or, in the case of a clinician scientist, to support their deeper commitment to consolidating a research program supporting staff, including graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows or clinical trainees in the clinician investigator program (CIP). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their application has been completed in full and received by the Department administration office on or before the due date.


II - Application Deadline

Monday, May 7, 2018 at 9 am

Incomplete applications received prior to this date will be returned to the sender with directions to complete the application. Faculty who have not submitted an application by the deadline, but meet hospital-level eligibility, will be deemed ineligible for an award.


III - Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, the applicant:

  1. Must be either a clinical MD full-time faculty member in Obstetrics and Gynaecology within a fully-affiliated hospital, or a clinical MD part-time faculty member within a community-affiliated hospital. Individuals who have signed a hospital job offer, and therefore are in process to commence employment during 2018, are eligible to apply.
  2. Must either possess, or be proposed by the Department Appointments Committee (DAC), a University of Toronto faculty appointment at the minimum academic rank of Assistant Professor.
  3. Should have a University job description in the relevant research category (clinician investigator, clinician educator, clinician scientist). To verify the current job description in the University’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS), please contact the business officer, Mr. Nelson Cabral either by email ( or by phone 416 978 8351. Applicants with a current job description of clinician teacher are eligible to apply, but if successful they are required to sign the relevant reclassified job description to receive an award.

Ineligibility for funding:

  • An individual whose annual hospital-based research funding exceeds the Department standard ($60,000 for a clinician-investigator/educator or $120,000 for a clinician scientist) is deemed ineligible to receive University funding, since the intent of the matching program is to create equity across the full range of faculty members who desire to work academically in a research role.
  • Since the purpose of the program is to foster career development in the above job descriptions, this matched program is not compatible with a major career in administration. Therefore faculty members who are in receipt of significant aggregated stipends (>$40,000/year) for administrative role/s, at the hospital level, in the University sector or externally, are discouraged from applying as they are functioning mostly in the Clinician Administrator role.

Individuals interested in this program, who have significant administrative roles, should initially discuss their potential application with their OBGYN chief, so as to resolve their dominant career and job description. It is acceptable that some faculty members are capable of functioning effectively as both researchers and administrators. Where uncertainty persists, individuals are welcome to contact the Vice Chair Research or the Chair.


IV – Applicant Categories

1.  New Junior Faculty Award (JFA) 4-year award

This award is for an individual commencing their career at a UofT Hospital during 2018, in one of the above job descriptions. This award category is open to any recently hired faculty member within 3 years of commencing employment, so long as they have not undertaken their continuing academic appointment review (“3-year review”) prior to July 1st 2018. Any individual who is already fully funded for their research job description within their hospital environment is considered to be within the community of JFA recipients.

2.  Existing Individuals in the Junior Faculty Award

These individuals are required to complete the application for a mid-point committee review, but only to provide guidance for ongoing success. Existing JFA awards have been extended, where needed, to align in time with seamless entry into the Merit Award category.

3.  Merit Award

Applicants select either the clinician investigator or clinician educator award (2 years) or the clinician scientist award (4 years). Each type of award requires a parallel match in both the duration of time and funds from the hospital. Individuals in the JFA program will graduate in alignment with commencement of new CI, CE and CS awards. In exceptional circumstances, transition will be possible from a JFA to a 4-year Clinician Scientist award. Any individual who has continuing hospital salary support for their research job description is considered to be within the community of Merit Award recipients.

V - Award Duration and Timelines

Faculty members should note the following:

  • Since Merit Awards in both the CI and CE roles are for two (2) years and will commence July 1st 2018, the next application cycle will be in Spring 2020, with a commencement date of July 1st 2020.
  • New and current faculty members in the JFA program will, depending on when they join the faculty, receive an award that aligns with the bi-annual start date of the continuous Merit Award program. Therefore the duration of new JFAs will vary between individuals, between 36-48 months duration.
  • On a biennial basis, faculty members in the Merit Award program are encouraged to re-apply, and therefore receive serial awards, and therefore continuous funding.
  • On a biennial basis, faculty members are welcome to discuss conversion to clinician scientist on an individual basis with their chief and the Vice Chair Research.
  • The next application cycle for applicants commencing July 1st 2018 as a clinician scientist will be Spring 2022, with ongoing funding to commence July 1st 2022.

VI - Completion of Application Form

The application form is provided as a fillable PDF document. Please complete all fields indicated and provide a brief but informative title of your research program. The primary location of research should be within a hospital setting or a research institute. Indicate the current job description category and the Merit Award category that applies.

Lay Abstract

Limit: 2000 characters including spaces.

Provide a brief overview of your research program suitable for the lay public. If selected for funding, this overview may be posted on the departmental website and used in other departmental communications. By submitting this application, you agree to the sharing of this abstract.

Significance of Contributions to Date

Limit: 3,500 characters including spaces.

Provide a succinct summary of your work to date, conveying its significance to the field. Include any evidence of impact (e.g. publication metrics, change in practice), if available. Indicate how your previous work relates to your planned research program.

Research Concept

Limit: 4,000 characters including spaces.

Articulate the planned program of research by outlining the goal, objective(s) and components of the program. Also, indicate potential short-term and long-term impact(s) of the proposed program. Applicants are encouraged to reflect upon the questions being asked of adjudicators when completing this section:

  • Are the goal and objectives of the proposed program well-defined and articulated?
  • Are the research questions important and the work innovative?
  • Are the potential short-term and long-term program outputs significant? Are they likely to advance health-related knowledge and/or its translation into improved health care, health systems and/or health outcomes, or enhance the educational approaches and/or delivery in medical trainee programs?

Research Approach and Strategy

Limit: 4,000 characters including spaces.

Articulate the research approach (i.e., how you will deliver on the objectives of the program of research). You are not expected to provide extensive details on established methodologies; however, you should appropriately describe novel/innovative approaches. A detailed research design and study-by-study plan is not expected. Clearly delineate your current operational funding (research expendables and/or staff) and your proposed strategies to secure the funding (i.e. internal or external to your Hospital or Research Institute) that you need to manage your research program. When completing this section, applicants are encouraged to reflect upon the questions being asked of the adjudication committee. These include:

  • Is the research approach likely to deliver on the proposed program objectives within the award time frame?
  • Is the applicant aware of potential barriers to the approach and do they provide reasonable alternative strategies to pursue their research objective/s?
  • Does the applicant have a feasible strategy to secure the necessary new funding needed to support their research program?


Limit: 5,000 characters, including spaces

In the space provided, provide original citation information of literature cited in the proposal. Please highlight your own publications in BOLD text. Note that reviewers are not required to refer to the cited work.

Curriculum vitae (CV)

A current updated (to April 2018) CV should be sent with the application form. Your existing preferred CV format is acceptable, and should include an updated publication list for the past 5 years. By including both in press papers and manuscripts submitted for publication, the reviewers will gain an impression of the current momentum of your work. Use of the Common CV is strongly encouraged in your career development, as it is required for tri-council federal grant applications, such as at CIHR. However a CCV is not an application requirement. If you wish to submit a CCV, the following instructions may be helpful:

  1. Log in to the Canadian Common CV (CCV) system.
  2. Go to the CV menu on the top left of the page, and select "Funding".
  3. In the Funding Source field, select "CIHR" from the dropdown menu. Select "CIHR Foundation CV" as the CV Type and then click "Load".
  4. Enter data in each of the required sections, and click "Done" when finished each section. Validation is performed automatically, and if there are any errors, they will be displayed in each section.
  5. You can preview your CCV in ResearchNet by clicking on "Preview" on the Tasks page. Save this version and append it to the application or submit it with your application.

Please note that no further attachments or appendices are allowed.

VII - Submission Process

The application, comprising both the application form PDF and a PDF version of the applicant’s CV,  with the subject title “2018 Faculty Merit Award Application”. Please save the Application PDF with the filename Merit_competition_2018_<applicant’s surname>.pdf. The CV file should be saved as CCV_<applicant’s surname>.PDF. The applicant should arrange for their Chief to provide a brief letter addressed to the departmental Vice Chair of Research, outlining their specific support of the application. This must be received prior to or on the submission deadline date.