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CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award

CRA (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award

Online Research Grants Portal open: April 3, 2023
Full Application deadline: June 29, 2023, 5:00 PM ET
Notification of decision: December 2023
Funding start date: January 1, 2024

Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application and read through the Tips Sheet for Applicants below. A sample of the application form can be found in Apply

Tips Sheet for Applicants [232KB]


The CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award is intended to provide new clinician investigators, within 5 years of a full-time clinical faculty appointment, with what would usually be their first opportunity, upon completion of post-graduate training, to demonstrate their ability to initiate and carry out independent research of clear relevance to arthritis, before becoming involved in carrying out the full clinical, teaching and research duties expected of a regular member of the university staff. 

Awardees are expected to complete a research project during the term of this salary award. The proposed project must be of clear relevance to rheumatic diseases and be aligned with the research goals under the Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA) grant program.

  1. To support academic clinical research initiatives related to all Rheumatic Diseases. 
  2. To support clinical research initiatives for community rheumatologists related to all Rheumatic Diseases.

Critical to the application is a letter of support from the applicant’s institution. This letter of support must detail the following: any “top up” funds for salary; confirmation that the applicant will spend at least 70% of their time in research activities; the extent to which the applicant will be exempted from teaching or clinical responsibilities (“protected time”); and office and lab space, as well as any other institutional resources to be provided. The letter of support should also confirm at least an additional 2-year commitment to the applicant beyond the two years provided by this award. 

Applications will be assessed, in part, on the applicant’s merits and the commitment demonstrated by the institution in the letter of support. 

Applicants will also be asked to identify an Investigator in a different discipline related to arthritis who is willing to act as a Mentor. The purpose of the Mentor is to expand the applicant’s perspective on (and experience with) collaborative multi-disciplinary research and help to facilitate the applicant’s career development. 

The applicant should apply for this award and is responsible for ensuring that all documentation is received by Arthritis Society Canada in advance of the award application deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The award will be for a maximum of two years.

Applicants must show promise of attaining competence as an independent clinician investigator, and should not be registered in a graduate/post-graduate program at the time of application or undertake such studies during the period of appointment. 

It is highly recommended that applicants who do not currently hold peer-reviewed research funds as a Principal Investigator submit an application to CIORA,  Arthritis Society Canada’s Strategic Operating Grant program, or to another appropriate agency (e.g., CIHR) simultaneously with the CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award application.


To be eligible, a candidate must:

  • Be a certified Rheumatologist;

  • Be a CRA member in good standing;

  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident at the time of the application with a position at an eligible Canadian Host Institution;

  • Be within 5 years of their first clinical faculty appointment;

  • Have a written commitment from the Institution, via letter from the Dean of Faculty, Institutional Research Director or Departmental Chair which accompanies the application, committing to: 

    • institutional support; 

    • a minimum of 70% protected research time for the duration of the award; 

    • commitment to continued salary support for at least 2 years upon completion of the award

Award Amount and Term

The CRAF's contribution to the investigator's salary is $60,000 per annum for a maximum of two years, subject to a successful annual review.

It is required that the Institution will assume the equivalent salary support for at least 2 years upon completion of the award. 

Funding will commence on January 1, 2024.


Applications must include the following components (all submitted through online portal). 

  • Application Cover Page

  • Lay Summary

  • Research Proposal 

  • Statement of Relevance 

  • CIHR Common CV 

  • Supporting letter from the Faculty Dean, Institutional Research Director or Departmental Chair

  • Letters of support from two Sponsors; and, 

  • Letter of support from the applicant’s Mentor.

The institution must undertake to provide adequate research facilities and to administer the award in accordance with Arthritis Society Canada’s stipulations outlined in on their website.

Applicants must devote at least 70 percent of their time to research. They may engage in teaching and consultation to a limited extent, and there is no restriction on the time spent in the supervision of research trainees. Consultations in a clinical field should be related to the appointee’s research and be undertaken with the agreement of the Head of the department and the Dean of the faculty (or equivalents).

An award may be terminated at any time for good and sufficient reason by the awardee, the institution, the CRAF, or Arthritis Society Canada. It is the responsibility of the host institution to notify Arthritis Society Canada immediately of the change in status of an awardee.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that applications are complete at the time of submission. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Submission deadline: June 29, 2023 by 5:00 PM EST


New Clinician Investigator Salary Award applications will be reviewed by a panel selected by Arthritis Society Canada. While the quality of the candidate and the excellence of the science is the basis for the review, the commitment of the host institution will be of primary importance. For this award, the CRAF, and Arthritis Society Canada place great emphasis on the relevance to and impact on all rheumatic diseases. Arthritis Society Canada reserves the right to approve or decline any application without stating its reasons.

One or more multidisciplinary peer review committees will be assembled to review the applications. The peer review committee(s) will consist of scientific experts and clinical with broad expertise, along with consumers to provide patient perspectives. 


Annual Research Progress Report: A report of research progress is due by January 15 each year. The report must include a written description of progress made on the work outlined in the original application as well as other arthritis-related projects that are ongoing. Reports should be completed online on Arthritis Society Canada’s Research Portal. Compliance with this policy is necessary for ongoing funding of your salary award and research project if applicable.

Final Research and Status Report: A post-grant report is due 2 years after the termination of this award. This report must include documentation of all milestones achieved during the term of this award with reference to the project outlined in the application as well as any other projects conducted during the term of this support. Arthritis Society Canada also requests that the awardee submit information regarding any changes in professional status, honours and awards, updates on contact information and the area of current research interest.

Financial Administration

The funds provided by the CRAF and Arthritis Society Canada in support of this CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award will be made in trust to the designated financial officer of the sponsoring eligible institution. 

At the end of each 12-month period, Arthritis Society Canada requires a detailed statement of financial receipts and disbursements.

Where an award is terminated, any unexpended balance must be returned to Arthritis Society Canada.

Reports and Publications

Any publication of papers, abstracts or posters which result from work conducted during the term of this CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award must acknowledge the CRAF and Arthritis Society Canada's support. A copy of any such publications should be provided to both funders as soon as available.

Research Program Guidelines

Applicants are expected to read and comply with the requirements which can be found on the Arthritis Society Canada’s website.

Contact Information

Arthritis Society Canada
Research Department
1700-393 University Ave
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6
Tel: 416-979-7228 x 3320