AHS Respiratory Health SCN Research & Innovation Seed Grants

1. Purpose:

The Scientific Office of the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical NetworkTM (RHSCN) will provide up to three Research and Innovation Seed (RIS) Grants to support shortterm, pilot research projects, student-initiated research, or research and innovation activities in the area of respiratory health. For this competition, the overarching goal of the RIS Grant is to support research that aligns with the RHSCN long-term Research and Innovation strategic goal of accelerating respiratory knowledge that has provincial impact on improving patient care.

New this year, the RHSCN RIS Grants will aim to support new investigators, with a further aim of building respiratory research capacity in the province. Up to three awards of up to $10,000 each will be offered for a total funding support of $30,000. The duration of the grant period will be for one year. Preference will be given to projects that address the SCN agenda of quality, efficiency, health service delivery, health care improvement (including primary prevention), evidence informed practices, patient engagement, knowledge translation and analysis of large data sets. Investigators are encouraged to consider seeking additional funding partners to leverage the research dollars.

2. Eligibility Criteria:


Eligible applicants are investigators (hereinafter referred to as Principal Investigator [PI]) must be a faculty member in one of Alberta’s academic institutions (e.g., clinical faculty or academic faculty such as clinical scholars or adjunct/assistant/associate/full professors).  The PI may only hold a single active RIS Grant but may be a co-investigator on multiple awards. A member of the research team must be affiliated with AHS. At least one of the awards will be designated for a ‘new investigator’. This is defined as Applicants must be within 5 years of their first academic or independent research appointment, and not having previously received RHSCN RIS Grant Funds.


Funding will be considered for the following activities:

  • Pilot research projects, aligned with RHSCN objectives with intent to use the results to pursue later funding for a larger grant application to agencies such as AIHS, PRIHS, and/or CIHR applications.
  • Research activities within already established RHSCN research projects with the potential to advance knowledge translation and/or health care delivery in their respective field.
  • Pilot research projects or research activities that are realistic in terms of scope and goals) within the grant timelines.
  • Pilot research projects or research activities with clear and measurable goals and aligned with the AHS metrics for success.

3. Evaluation of Applications:

Applications considered eligible for funding will undergo a peer-review process by a panel of reviewers. The assessment of proposals by the Review Panel will be based on the following criteria:

  • Potential Impact
    • Within and beyond the local institution and the academic community, significance of issue (e.g., burden of disease), the likely significance of the project in generating and transferring new knowledge and beneficial results beyond the project participants. This includes development of pilot data to allow larger programs of research to be submitted for larger national and international granting competitions.
    • Potential to improve understanding in the project’s subject field: presence of a documented and coherent knowledge translation strategy for exchanging information generated by the project beyond the project participants.
  • Scientific Merit & Assessment:
    • Innovative and original idea(s)/objectives
    • Well-written and focused proposal
    • Comprehensive, relevant performance metrics that can be used at the end of the first year (and any subsequent years) of funding
    • Appropriateness and relevance to the scope of the RHSCN RIS Grant competition
    • What are the metrics for evaluation? What are the timelines and when will progress be reported?
    • How will you judge whether or not your project has been a success?
    • Feasibility and viability of project, including consideration of budget costs and sustainability plan
  • Team Strengths
    • Experience and skills of the project team-academic track record; historical productivity and impact; likelihood that this team can complete the project being proposed; time and availability to commit to the project; collaborative arrangements with colleagues if applicable.
  • Knowledge Translation Plan
    • Provision of a clear and appropriate knowledge translation plan, with specific strategies to disseminate the project
    • Does the proposal outline a strategy for integrated, and end of grant knowledge translation?
    • How does the research team engage patients in the research, as well as in the knowledge translation process?

The review committee will use a modified Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) rating scale for evaluation (Appendix 1).

4. Eligible Expenses:

RHSCN RIS Grant funds should be used for work directly related to the proposed research project/activities. Some examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Stipend support for trainees or salary support for research staff.
  • Research operating expenses, including general office supplies or equipment.
  • Expenses for provincial travel that is essential for the conduct of the study (such as data collection or study training activities).
  • Other expenses may be considered but will require justification.

Funding will NOT be provided for:

  • Previously incurred expenses (expenses incurred prior to the implementation of the grant)
  • Expenses for out of province travel and/or registration to conferences, meetings, symposia or presentations.
  • Principal Investigator(s) salary.
  • Publication costs, legal or patent fees, membership fees, academic fees, or secretarial support.
  • Tuition or scholarships for project staff.
  • University overhead costs.

5. Reporting Requirements:

RHSCN RIS Grant recipients are required to submit a final report 30 days from completion of the project (see Appendix 2 in attached document). This report will include a description of the research activities performed, summary of the findings, and dissemination activities (e.g. presentations, manuscripts etc.), if applicable. The report should also inform how the results of the RHSCN RIS Grant have informed future grants and research projects of value to the RHSCN.

6. Other Terms of Reference for the Grant:

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Principal Investigators may only hold one grant at a time, but may be co-investigators on other applications.

Funding will be provided in one lump sum to the Principal Investigator upon confirmation of approval from the appropriate research ethics board (REB). Relevant Ethics approval (if applicable) should be submitted within one month (or as soon as made available) of award notification to the Scientific Office of the RHSCN.

The University of Alberta will administer the funding award and invoice awarded amounts to Alberta Health Services. Should any part of the funding remain unspent at the end of the Project, the Principal Investigator shall ensure that any unspent monies are promptly returned to the Scientific Office of the RHSCN.

 Failure to submit a final report may disqualify the applicant from future funding.

All publications, including public messages, arising from the RHSCN Research and Innovation Seed Grant must acknowledge the support of Alberta Health Services and the RHSCN.

The Principal Investigator shall keep all invoices, receipts and accounts and any other relevant documents relating to the expenditure of the funding.

Changes affecting eligibility to hold this award or complete the research must be reported to the Scientific Office of the RHSCN without delay. These changes include, but are not limited to, changes to the investigative team and/or any changes to faculty or AHS appointment(s).

The Scientific Office of the RHSCN reserves the right to terminate any award if the conditions of the award are not met, or if there is evidence of unsatisfactory progress.

7. How to Apply for Funding:

For specific instrucitons, see attached document.

Completed applications must be sent electronically in PDF format to Dr. Heather Sharpe at Heather.Sharpe@albertahealthservices.ca no later than January 15th, 2018.

8. Timelines:

December 1, 2017 Call for RHSCN RIS Funding applications

December 21, 2017 Register Intention to Submit

January 15, 2018 Applications due

February 15, 2018 Review of applications by Review Committee complete

March 1st, 2018 Awards notification

March 15th, 2018-or later Funds dispersed (following confirmation of REB approval)

Applications submitted by January 15, 2018 will be considered for funding.

Notification of award status (March 1st, 2018) will be sent by email to the contact email address provided in the application.


Heather Sharpe, RN, PhD

Assistant Scientific Director

Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network

Email: heather.sharpe@albertahealthservices.ca

Phone: (403) 710-0316


Agency Name: 
Alberta Health Services
Contact Name: 
Penny D'Agnone
Grant Amount: 
$10,000 over one year. Indirect costs (overhead costs) are ineligible.
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: