Completing Your Application 


Your submission should consider the following:

  • Demonstrate how your research proposal relates to our key research priorities and aligns with our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan
  • Use clear, concise and simple exposition in your proposal. The referees – external referees and members of our review committees – volunteer their time to assess OMHF applications. Try to make their difficult task as easy as possible.
  • Your referees should include experts in your proposed topic and scientists who are active in the same general field. 
  • Only use appendices to materials that are essential to evaluating your application.
  • Ensure that your application is in an easy-to-read format:
    • Use a typeface no smaller than Arial scalable 11 pts, and leave 1” margins on all sides.
    • Where applicable, use forms provided on the OMHF website. (You'll be able to access your completed forms once you have submitted your application.)
    • Adhere to stated page maximums. A page refers to a sheet size that's 8½" x 11".
    • Do not use ENDNOTE software for your notes; they will disappear when your document is turned into a PDF file.
  • Ensure all your documents are legible by previewing them at least once before you upload them.
  • Contact the OMHF Program Officer by email immediately if you are having trouble submitting documents.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Cover Letter (1-5 pages)

Outline your long-term career plans and, if applicable, describe any advanced degree, credential or courses to be taken during the period of the award.

Address the issues of career interruption or mobility if either/both apply to you.

Detail any funding to which you’ve applied or any funding you might expect to receive.

1.  Facesheet

Complete in full and secure all required signatures: yours, that of your department head and responsible Executive Officer (such as Dean of a Faculty or Director of Research Administration).

2.  Project Summary & Relevance Statement Sheet

Project Summary

Outline your proposal, stating the objective of the project, and the methods you plan to use.

Relevance Statement

Mental health relevance is one of the most important criteria in determining which investigator/research will be funded when resources are limited. Explain the mental health relevance of your project and how it falls under one or more research priorities, identified in our new Strategic Plan:

  1. Health Systems
  2. Caregiving
  3. Peer Support
  4. Meta-Analysis

The outcomes of your research project should also align with two platforms of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:

Open Minds, Healthy Minds:

  • Improve mental health and well-being of all Ontarians
  • Create healthy, resilient, inclusive communities
  • Identify mental health and addictions problems early and intervene
  • Provide timely, high quality, integrated, person-directed health and other human services

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care:

  • Access - Providing the right care for mental health and addiction
  • Connect - Deliver better coordinated and integrated care in the community, closer to home
  • Inform - Expanding mental health programs in schools and workplaces
  • Protect - More public reports on health system performance, more innovative approaches based on evidence, expanding patient engagement

3.  Plain Language Statement Sheet

  • Write the project's title and applicant's name on top of the page.
  • Describe your project (maximum 1 page) in plain language that will be intelligible to a lay reader; if technical terms and names are unavoidable, define them when they first appear.
  • Summarize the questions posed in the research project and how the project is organized to answer them.

4.  Project Description Sheet

  • Describe (maximum 4 pages) your proposed project and research training, and explain how the work is related to your supervisor's research program.
  • Explain how the project's plan will benefit from your supervisor's expertise and also allow you to develop as an independent investigator. 
  • Minimize the use of appendices, graphs, etc. You may enclose publications or manuscripts that are directly relevant to the project (maximum of 3).
  • Avoid putting material in the appendix that's critical to the understanding of your project; such material should go in the body of the proposal. If a chart or graph is critical and cannot fit into the body of your proposal, you may put it into the appendix, as long as you make clear reference to it in your proposal text.

We recommend that you use the following headings:

  • Background - summarize the state of knowledge relevant to the proposal.
  • Hypotheses/research questions ‑ state these clearly and concisely.
  • Methods - give essential details of methods; describe the data to be collected and the method of data analysis proposed.
  • Originality - state how your project will advance knowledge if completed as planned.
  • Timetable - include a timetable for the work in your description.
  • References - compile these separately; don't include in the 4-page limit. Please follow the publication manual of the American Psychological Association for references and citations.

5.  Reference Sheet - Letters

Include testimonials about your achievements and promise, and your ability to benefit from training in research from two individuals (other than your supervisor) under whom you have studied or who would have had a good opportunity to assess your research potential.

Your referees should submit these electronically. On the last page of the online application (Application Details), you will be able to request electronic reference letters by clicking on the “Add” button.

Consent Forms

Make sure the necessary consent forms signed by prospective subjects are uploaded, along with other explanatory material to be given out.

Curriculum Vitae

The OMHF uses the Common CV. Register or log in to create your CV. Once it's completed, submit your CV in order for the DRAFT watermark to disappear. Afterward, you can see the submitted CVs by accessing the History tab. Open the PDF, save it and login to the OMHF application website.

Registrar/Acceptance Letters

Secure a letter from your university's Registrar that demonstrates you are registered in a PhD program. If you are not registered at the time of your application and are awarded funding, you must forward your acceptance letter to the OMHF before payment can be made to you.

Supervisor's Letter

Secure a letter from the supervisor with whom you propose to work that includes the following:

  • an assessment of your scientific abilities and promise as a researcher, explaining what special contribution you will be able to make to the laboratory and what you can expect to gain from working in the supervisor's group;
  • details of the facilities available to you for your proposed study, the laboratory's grant support and the research training planned;
  • a description of your particular role and responsibilities in the supervisor’s research, including any plans to give you opportunities for independent work; and
  • a statement that an ethical review of the work, if applicable, has been arranged. (The OMHF must receive a copy of the ethical approval for the successful applicant before any payment can be made on the award. If the name or project title on the ethical approval certificate differs from that on the Facesheet, your supervisor should give written assurance that the project named on the certificate encompasses your work for which you're seeking funding. If an ethical review certificate is not required for your portion of the project, the supervisor should make this explicit.)

Include your supervisor's curriculum vitae (maximum 20 pages). The supervisor’s material should be submitted electronically at the application deadline. On the last page of the online application (Application details), you will be able to request electronic materials from your supervisor by clicking on the “Add” button.

By signing the Facesheet, your supervisor attests to the fact that your application contains a substantial original contribution from you and that you are responsible for its content.


Provide transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate work at university. You must mail them in a sealed envelope from the institution to:

Program Officer
The Ontario Mental Health Foundation
180 Bloor Street West UC101
Toronto, ON M5S 2V6

Note: The OMHF must receive reference letters and transcripts within three weeks of the deadline for the application to be considered.

Submitting Your Application

All applicants must submit their applications online (excluding transcripts). Create an account, access and complete the OMHF’s application forms, and submit your application. Preview each document after you upload them to ensure their completion and readability. You will be able to access these documents once you submit your information.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.