Guidelines for Grants


No individual may apply for or hold more than one OMHF-funded Type A or Type B Grant as a principal investigator at the same time, although you can be a principal investigator on one OMHF grant and serve as a co-investigator on another. The OMHF reserves the right to determine whether an individual participating in more than one award or application is appropriate. We invite researchers to contact us in advance of submitting their application for an opinion on how this policy would apply in a particular situation.

If an applicant for a Type A Grant is also applying for a New Investigator Fellowship (NIF) and is awarded both, the NIF can only be held as a stipend.

Investigators applying for a Type B Grant must meet all the following criteria to be eligible:

  • You have been funded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation via a Type A or Type B Grant for at least four consecutive years at the time of application;
  • You have been the principal investigator on the grant or grants used to demonstrate eligibility;
  • You must be able to show the need for four years of funding to complete the work in the application; and
  • You must document your eligibility for this grant in your covering letter.

1.  Terms of the Award

The grant year starts on April 1 and ends March 31 the following year.

The OMHF may make an award for an amount less than that requested; if this happens, you as the grant recipient must submit a revised budget for the reduced amount.

2.  The Role of Investigators

If your project requires a team of investigators, you must identify a single individual as the principal investigator. That individual alone will be accountable to the OMHF for complying with the conditions of the award and for all correspondence, reports, financial statements and other aspects of the grant.

When more than one investigator is cited, the principal investigator will provide a cover letter outlining the unique contribution of each investigator. He/she must ensure and verify the participation of co-investigators, consultants or collaborators named in the application by securing all signatures.

3. Accounting & Payment Schedule

Grants are paid to the accounting office of the sponsoring institution at the end of the quarter in June, September, December and March. The institution is responsible for withholding funds until it is satisfied that all requirements relating to ethical issues, including consent, have been addressed to its satisfaction.

Your institution’s accounting office must submit a statement of expenditures to the OMHF within 30 days of the end of each fiscal year (March 31) of the grant.

If a grant is funded for more than one year, unspent funds as of March 31 may be carried forward for use in the following grant year.

4.  Budget Restraints

The principal investigator may use the funds as he/she sees fit within the authorized sum. You don’t need to seek approval for minor changes in the budget. The OMHF, however, reserves the right to request an explanation for substantial changes. If expenditures in a category are expected to vary from the approved budget by 20% or more, you must obtain prior approval from the OMHF.

The following restrictions apply to use the use of grant monies:

  • Up to $15,000 may be spent on equipment or items of equipment over the life of the grant.
  • Up to $1,500 per year may be spent on travel restricted to scientific conferences. Travel allowances are not transferable between fiscal years of an award.
  • Yearly total expenditures must not exceed the approved budget or the funds available in that year.
  • The OMHF does not cover overhead costs or yearly budget deficits, nor does it consider requests for supplementary funds.
  • The budget for the second year cannot exceed that of the first.

5.  Requesting an Extension

You can request your grant be extended for six months or one year to complete your research project as originally approved and funded. The OMHF, however, will not consider a request to undertake a substantially different project. In no case will an extension go beyond one year past the grant's original completion date; at that date, all unspent funds must be returned to the OMHF.

The OMHF must receive your written request for an extension before September 1 of the second year of the grant. Your request must include:

  • a clear explanation as to why the extension is required;
  • a statement of expenditures to date;
  • a description of progress in the project to date;
  • evidence that the project as originally funded can be completed by the end of the extension; and
  • a revised budget to cover the period of the proposed extension.

The Executive Director will review your request and grant the extension, if the Executive Director is of the opinion that, based on your submission, the project as originally proposed can be completed during the extension.

A grant recipient whose request for a six-month extension is approved may apply for new funding in September of the grant’s second year. A grant recipient whose request for a one-year extension is approved may apply for new funding in September of the extended grant’s third year.

6. Career Interruptions & Mobility

The review committee will take into account both your academic standing and evidence of ability and accomplishment in research when reviewing your application. It will also take into account an interruption in your career, the circumstances of which you should briefly explain in the cover letter. If your eligibility for a particular category is affected in this way, you should discuss the situation with the Executive Director before submitting your application.

The OMHF, supported by its review committee, believes that it is intellectually limiting for an individual to take most or all of his/her advanced training in the same research setting. For example, the committee would question the wisdom of staying on for postdoctoral training in a laboratory where you had completed your doctoral work. If you are proposing to stay on in a setting where you have already taken extensive training, you must give the committee a persuasive reason for this choice.

7. Changes in Your Project

If you’re the principal investigator, you may delegate authority to a co-investigator in some circumstances (such as prolonged illness or an absence of three or more months during the period of the award), but you must inform us in advance and make provisions to continue the project. If you leave Ontario during the project, you must delegate your authority to a co-investigator within Ontario, because the OMHF’s funds are not transferable to institutions outside Ontario.

If a grant recipient later finds it necessary to change the line of work, or to abandon the project, he/she must consult the OMHF promptly.

If you wish to defer your grant for maternal or parental leave, you must send a written request to the OMHF setting out the nature of the leave, its start and completion dates, and an assessment of the effect of the leave on the completion of your research work.

8.  Additional Funding

If you are successful in securing additional funding, you must inform the Program Officer by email immediately. If the costs can be properly transferred to another agency, freed-up OMHF monies would be passed to the project next in line for our support.

9.  Publishing Costs

Award recipients should consider budgeting for the cost of publishing in open access journals if necessary to meet the requirements of the Policy on Access to Research Publications.

10.  Acknowledgement in Publications

Publications resulting from OMHF-funded research must include the following acknowledgement: This study was assisted by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

11.  Other Instructions

If you are not sure which category represents the best fit for you or you need assistance in completing your application, we strongly urge you to contact the Program Officer by email before you complete the application. 

Ensure that all required documents reach the OMHF by the stated deadlines. 

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.