Completing Your Application 

New Investigator Fellowships

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 the 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)

Describe your current or recently completed research training and future career plans, and explain the unique contribution that this award would make to your research activities.

List other research funding sources, both internal and external to which you've applied, and note any funding you might expect to receive.

The OMHF may consider interruptions, delays or post-degree clinical training in your post-PhD or professional research qualification cumulative experience and/or research training, if you give detailed information on the interruption including specific dates.

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.  Resubmission 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 

(Applies to: Operating Costs & Salary Support Applications or Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

Applicants requesting funds for substitution

If the award will be applied to arrange for relief from clinical, teaching or administrative duties, the institution must provide a specific statement of how this will be accomplished.

5.  Budget Justification Sheet

(Applies to: Operating Costs & Salary Support Applications or Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

Applicants requesting funds for research costs

If the award will be applied to research operating costs, applicants must include a description of how the funds will be used – fill out the Budget Justification form and place this page immediately after the Budget Sheet form when assembling the application. Applicants should note the following restrictions on the use of monies when preparing their budget:

  1. A maximum of $1,000 per year may be spent on travel which is restricted to scientific conferences. Allowances for travel are not transferable between fiscal years of an award.
  2. No more than $4,000 may be spent on equipment or items of equipment over the life of the fellowship. The purchase of computers should be included in this section. Computer purchases will only be authorized if specified in the original budget proposal.
  3. Total expenditures in any year must not exceed the approved budget or the funds available in that year (the Foundation will not assume responsibility for budget deficits).
  4. The budget for the third year cannot exceed that of the second and the budget for the second year cannot exceed that of the first.
  5. If expenditures in any category are expected to vary from the approved budget by 20% or more, the investigator must obtain prior approval from the OMHF.

4.  Application Form for Applicants Sheet 

(Applies to: Substitution Applications or Salary Support & Substitution Applications or Sheet #6 for Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

Requesting funds for substitution:

Complete this form if you're requesting funds to provide a substitute to take over some clinical or other duties of yours.

Requesting funds for research costs or salary support:

Complete this form if you're requesting funds for research costs or salary support in combination with funds for a substitution.

5.  Application Form for Institutions Sheet 

(Applies to: Substitution Applications or Salary Support & Substitution Applications or Sheet #7 for Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

The head of your department (who will have signed the Facesheet) will complete this form.

6.  Administration of Funds Sheet 

(Sheet #4 for Salary Support Applications or Sheet #8 for Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

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

7.  Plain Language Statement Sheet 

(Sheet #5 for Salary Support Applications or Sheet #9 for Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

  • 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.

8.  Project Description Sheet

(Sheet #6 for Salary Support Applications or Sheet #10 for Operating Costs & Substitution Applications)

  • Describe (maximum 4 pages) your proposed project, and the methods you intend to use. The emphasis should be on the general objectives of the work, where the work fits into contemporary developments in its field, and what the benefits will be.
  • Minimize the use of appendices (maximum of 3). Enclose publications or non-standard rating scales or tests that are directly relevant to your project.
  • Avoid putting material in the appendix that's critical to understanding 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 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.

9.  References Sheet - Letters

Provide letters from three individuals with whom you've worked and who will attest to your suitability for funding award. 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.

Mentor's Statement

Include a statement from your mentor or senior collaborator that explains how this award will facilitate your development as an independent investigator in relevant mental health research in Ontario, and how he/she is committed to the successful completion of your fellowship.

Mentor’s Sketch

Provide the mentor’s brief self-sketch (maximum 2 pages) that includes a summary of his/her current grant support. Extra pages may be used to list grant support if necessary.

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.

Department Head's Letter

Secure a letter from the head of the department in which your research will be undertaken that supports your application for this fellowship. He/she would have already signed Facesheet's Application Form for Institutions. 

This letter must address the continuity of your position in his/her program or department (as discussed in each fellowship's "Terms of the Award").


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, Ontario 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 it to make sure that it's completed and readable. You will be able to access these documents once you submit your information.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.