Request for Applications – Training Graduate PhD Salary Award (TGP)

Request for Applications – Training Graduate PhD Salary Award (TGP)

The Arthritis Society is pleased to announce the 2019-20 Training Graduate PhD Salary Award (TGP) Competition.

Online Research Grants Portal: Late February 2019
Full Application deadline: April 15, 2019, 5:00 PM EST
Notification of decision: Mid-August 2019
Funding start date: September 1, 2019

Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application.


Salary awards are offered to graduate students who are undertaking full-time research training in an area of clear relevance to arthritis and the Arthritis Society's 2015-2020 research strategy. Applications are to be completed and submitted by the candidate under the close supervision of the proposed supervisor. The supervisor must be an arthritis researcher who qualifies as a Principal Investigator as defined by the Arthritis Society.   The training program must include actual involvement in conducting research. Students enrolled in programs oriented toward clinical training with no research thesis are NOT eligible for this award.

Successful applicants will also be invited to participate in the Arthritis Society’s Annual Trainee Workshop. The intent of the workshop is to augment the young investigators’ training by providing a forum to share their research, gain knowledge on select topics such as consumer engagement in research, and provide networking and mentorship opportunities.

Special Call
Applications are encouraged in the area of childhood arthritis. The Arthritis Society has committed $5M over 5 years to our Stop Childhood Arthritis initiative to fund ground-breaking research into childhood arthritis so that no child has to live with unnecessary pain.  We are very proud to partner with Genome Canada and other organizations to accelerate this important research.  We anticipate funding at least one award in this area, with a particular emphasis on:

  • disease mechanisms of childhood arthritis
  • new therapies and personalized approaches for childhood arthritis
  • innovations in transitions of care from pediatric to adult settings

Consumer Engagement
The Arthritis Society strongly values the voice of consumers in research, both in their inclusion in grant applications and the peer review process.  Applicants are encouraged to consider this in their submission. 


To be considered eligible for this award, applicants must:

  • Be engaged in full-time training in research in a Canadian graduate school program leading to a PhD;
  • Be within the first three years of a PhD training program at the time of the application deadline; and
  • Be working on a research project with clear relevance to one or both of the research themes identified in the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 research strategy:  (1) improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure, and (2) improving the care and management of arthritis.

The roles and responsibilities of the Trainee and Host Institution in the management of the Arthritis Society’s research and training funds are defined on the Arthritis Society’s website.

Award Amount and Term

Pending available funds, the Arthritis Society will fund up to seven (7) awards. The maximum award per application is $21,000 annually for up to three years (3) ($63,000 total). These awards are non-renewable. 

Please note the matching funds required for this program:

  • The program provides 50% of the salary award to successful applicants. The other 50% of the award funding must come from one or more partners (government, industry, NFP or academic institution) or be allocated from an existing research agency grant.
  • Graduate PhD students are eligible for $21,000, including matched funding, for a maximum term of three (3) years.  Successful candidates will receive up to $10,500 annually from the Arthritis Society for this award.

Peer Review

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


All submissions will be screened for completeness and eligibility. Note that incomplete applications by the deadline will be deemed ineligible and withdrawn from the competition. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that applications are complete at the time of submission.

All applicants are strongly advised to read all program documentation listed below. If you have any questions, please contact the research department at

A maximum of one application per trainee will be permitted in each competition. 

Applications must be submitted through the Arthritis Society’s online research grant portal and include the following components:

  • Scientific abstract (Max. 500 words)
  • Project description (Max. 2500 words) 
  • References (Max. 32,000 characters)
  • Relevance of the proposal to the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 Research Strategy and one or both of the research theme(s): Improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure, and improving the care and management of arthritis   (Max. 500 words)
  • Lay summary sections (Max. 100-150 words per section)
  • Knowledge translation (KTE) plan section (Max. 250 words per section)

Required attachments

  • Signature page (signed by the candidate, supervisor(s), department head and Host Institution)
  • Candidate and supervisor(s) Canadian Common CV (CIHR Project Biosketch)
  • Timeline and milestones (1 pg diagram/chart)
  • Official transcripts (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Letter of support from the candidate’s primary supervisor including the value of the award to the candidate, the research environment and details of the source of matched funding
  • Letter of support from the persons and/or organizations who will be providing matched funding

Optional attachments

  • Appendices (Max. 5MB per document)

Review Criteria

The review criteria for applications will include, but not necessarily be restricted to the following:

  1. Quality of the candidate and research environment
    • Strength of the CVs, transcripts, letters of support, etc.
    • Strength of the research and training environment
    • Strength and appropriateness of the supervision
    • Potential impact of the award to the candidate
  2. Quality of the research project
    • Scientific merit of the arthritis research project and its potential to create new knowledge, significantly advance our understanding of arthritis, and/or improve care or support for people affected by arthritis. For example, the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, intellectual property, information to consumers and/or health policy makers, decrease the burden of illness, improve quality of life, etc.
    • Feasibility of the proposed research project within the time frame.  For example, are the timelines appropriate, technology and laboratory environment available etc.
  3. Relevance of the proposal to arthritis and to the following Arthritis Society's 2015 Research Strategy Theme(s)

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make convincing arguments supporting the relevance of their proposals to the Arthritis Society’s Strategic Themes.

The consumer reviewer's role is to assess the feasibility and potential impact of the research to address an important problem, the potential of the candidate, as well as to assess the quality of the lay sections.

Important notes about this award

Awardees are permitted to hold additional training salary awards up to a value of 100% of the total salary stipend amount.

  • e.g., Graduate PhD student salary award stipend = $21,000 per year; Arthritis Society’s support = $10,500 (50%); alternative salary awards up to $10,500 (50%) are permitted.

If the awardee receives alternative salary award support between 50 and 100% of the total salary stipend amount, the amount of the Arthritis Society’s salary award will be reduced accordingly.

  • e.g., Graduate PhD student salary award stipend = $21,000 per year; alternative salary award is $15,750 (75%); the Arthritis Society’s support = $5,250 (25%).

If the awardee receives alternative salary award support above 100% of the total salary stipend amount (i.e. $21,000 or greater), then the awardee must decline the Arthritis Society’s salary award and return all unspent funds.

Awardees are expected to spend at least 75% of their time in research training (i.e. the student may spend no more than 10 hours/week in paid employment that is not directly related to their research training).

If, at any time during tenure of the award, the supervisor feels that the progress of the awardee is not satisfactory, the Arthritis Society must be notified in writing immediately. The award may be terminated at any time for good and sufficient reason by the awardee, the Host Institution or the Arthritis Society. It is the responsibility of the supervisor and the Institution to notify the Arthritis Society immediately of the change of status of the awardee.

Awardee and Host Institution requirements

In addition to the requirements set out in the Host Institution agreement, awardees and Host Institutions who receive Arthritis Society funds are expected to act as ambassadors of our mission and may be called upon to communicate about their research with donors and other stakeholders. We also encourage awardees and Host Institutions to reach out to us to discuss opportunities for engagement.

Applicants are reminded to access the Arthritis Society website for details on the administration and reporting requirements (scientific and financial reporting, policies, etc.)