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 the 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 unique contribution as the principal investigator and, if applicable, the contributions of each co-investigator.
  • In the case of the Type B Grant, state your eligibility.
  • Include any other information that you would like the OMHF to consider in evaluating your funding application.

1.  Facesheet

Indicate the number of years for which you're seeking funding. The OMHF will not consider applications that do not cite the required duration of an award.

Complete in full and secure all required signatures.

2.  Re-Submission Sheet

If you are resubmitting a previously unsuccessful application, complete this section (maximum 2 pages) to show how you have addressed the reviewers’ comments.

3.  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

Ensure that your statement about the mental health relevance of your proposed research is clearly stated. The review committee still looks to you to be as explicit as possible. Consider the following  in making your case:

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

4.  Budget Sheet

Please follow the guidelines below to explain/justify your budget.

Personnel (Salaries): 

  • Do not include the salary of a principal investigator or co-investigators.​​​
  • Specify the salary rates, including fringe benefits, for the professional and nonprofessional staff who will support your work during the period of the grant. These rates should normally reflect your sponsoring institution's rates for similar categories of staff. 


  • May include up to $15,000 for the purchase of research equipment over the life of the grant.
  • Include the purchase of computers here.
  • Explain the need for equipment in "Budget Justification."
  • Note: approved and purchased equipment would belong to the sponsoring institution. 


  • Include the costs of publication here, up to $500 only in the second year.
  • Do not include the purchase of laboratory furniture, office equipment and supplies, which normally the sponsoring institution should supply.
  • Do not include the purchase of general equipment to equip new laboratories or to provide tools for teaching, diagnosis or care of patients.
  • Surplus funds from one category cannot be transferred to another such as the Equipment category.

Other Expenses: 

  • Detail and justify the cost of local travel for data collection, transportation of subjects, etc.

Travel to Scientific Meetings: 

  • Indicate and justify travel funds needed to attend scientific meetings, up to $1,500 for travel in any one year. This amount is not transferable between fiscal years of a grant.

5.  Budget Justification Sheet

 Write explanations of budget items. Place this page immediately after the budget sheet when assembling the application.

6.  External Referees Sheet

Provide suggestions for three external referees who are experts in your field, and their complete, current contact information including address and email.

Your suggested external referees should not be individuals:

  • Whom you've collaborated with or supervised, or those who have supervised you within 3 years of the date of your application;
  • Who have an appointment at your institution or at the institution(s) of your co-investigators and collaborators; and
  • Who, while having the necessary expertise, are unlikely to be in a position to provide a thorough review.

7.  Administration of Funds Sheet

Provide contact information for the person who will administer the funds on behalf of the sponsoring institution (such as the comptroller, accountant or administrator).

8.  Other Funding Sheet

The OMHF intends to avoid duplicate funding of research. Consequently, the review committee needs to know what other funds the principal investigator and co-investigators have available.  List in this section any grants which you or your co-investigators are applying for, or currently hold. Include a budget and abstract, and a statement about the degree of overlap of any of these awards with the work described in your application.  

9.  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.

10.  Reports on Prior OMHF-Supported Work

Progress Report Sheet:

  • Submit a brief entitled Progress Report (maximum 2 pages) on prior research supported by the OMHF if your application is a continuation of the line of that work.
  • Include any other Progress Reports on related OMHF awards.

Final Report Sheet:

  • Submit a brief entitled Final Report of Previous OMHF Funding (maximum 2 pages) if you were either a principal investigator or a co-investigator within the past 2 years of this application. 
  • Include any other Final Reports on related OMHF awards.

Both types of reports, if applicable to your new application, should precede the "Project Description" category. The review committee does not have access to any previous applications.

11.  Project Description Sheet

  • Describe your proposed research project (maximum 10 pages). Note: applications that exceed this 10-page limit will be penalized with a reduction in rating points.
  • Minimize the use of appendices. You may enclose publications or nonstandard rating scales or tests that are directly relevant to the project (maximum of 3). Figures and text embedded in the text will be counted as part of the 10-page limit.
  • 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 material and can't 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 that shows the proportion of time each investigator plans to give to the project.
  • References - compile these separately; don't include in the 10-page limit. Please follow the publication manual of the American Psychological Association for references and citations.
  • Timeline of Significant Research Milestones - to help the review committee assess the viability of your research proposal being completed in two years. This timeline should be submitted as 1 page in addition to the 10-page project description.

12.  Letters from Consultants & Collaborators

Include letters from essential consultants and collaborators that confirm their availability and agreement to participate on your research project. Your co-investigators have already signed the Facesheet and are accounted for in your covering letter.

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.

Consent Forms

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

Submitting Your Application

All applicants must submit their applications online. 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.