Guidelines for Research Training Fellowships


One, Two or Three Years: Up to $35,000 Per Year

The Research Training Fellowships provide an opportunity for individuals who have completed professional training, and who wish to follow a career that requires further training in research.

​You are eligible to apply if, at the time of your application, you:

  • have completed professional training such as an MD, FRCP (C), MSW and MNSc; and
  • wish to follow a career that requires further training in research (such as a PhD or master’s degree) and have a reasonable prospect to do so.

Applicants must indicate the years of funding they are seeking; otherwise, your application will be incomplete and therefore not considered. 

In the case of three-year awards, funding approval for the third year will depend on a satisfactory Progress Report, submitted to the OMHF no later than the October deadline that falls in the fellowship's second year. The OMHF reserves the right to withdraw payments if the report is not provided.

1.  Terms of the Award

Awards normally start on July 1. You can apply to the OMHF for permission to start at a later date; in this case the award will be pro-rated. Awards not taken up by September 1 will be forfeited.

Fellows are required to devote themselves exclusively to the fellowship and are not allowed to hold a second award during this period.

2.  Accounting & Payment Schedule

Awards are paid to the accounting office of the sponsoring institution at the end of the quarter in July, 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 award.

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

3.  Travel Funds

Research training fellows may apply to the OMHF for up to $1,000 in travel funds each year, to defray the costs of attending scientific conferences and meetings. You can apply the annual allowance to an event in that specific year (but can't transfer the allocation to another year). In advance of the event, write a letter to the Executive Director that is countersigned by your supervisor and that describes the meeting and your role in it (such as presenting and observing). Following the event, you must provide receipts or documentation confirming your attendance before payment can be made.­­

4.  Requesting an Extension

You can request your award 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 award'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 award. 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 fellow whose request for a six-month extension is approved may apply for new funding in September of the awards second year. A fellow whose request for a one-year extension is approved may apply for new funding in September of the extended awards third year.

5.  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.

6.  Changes in Your Project

If you wish to defer your award for maternity 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 work. If applicable, your supervisor must sign the letter as well.

If you find it necessary to change your line of work, alter the proposed arrangements or abandon your research project entirely, you must contact the OMHF Program Officer by email immediately.

7.  Additional Funding

If you are successful in securing additional funding, you must inform the OMHF 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.

8.  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.

9.  Acknowledgement in Publications

All publications resulting from the 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. 

10.  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 OMHF 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.