Completing Your Application 

Research Training 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 plans for a long-term career including, if applicable, any advanced degree to be obtained or courses to be taken during the period of the fellowship. Make sure that you address the issues of career interruption or mobility if either/both apply to you.

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

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 (The OMHF will not consider applications that do not cite the required duration of an award.)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: 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 OMHF's 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.  Administration of Funds

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

5.  Plain Language Statement

  • 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.

6.  Project Description

  • Describe (maximum 4 pages) your proposed project.
  • 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.

7.  References Sheet - Letters

Provide letters from two individuals with whom you've worked and who have had a good opportunity to assess your research potential.

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. The letters must reach the OMHF within three weeks of the application deadline in order for your application to be considered.

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.

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 award 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 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, the supervisor should give written assurance that the project named on the certificate encompasses the 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.)

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

Include your supervisor's curriculum vitae. 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.

Department Head's Letter

Secure a letter from the head of the department in which your research will be undertaken. This letter must address the continuity of your position in his/her program or department (as discussed in "Terms of the Award"). He/she would have already signed your Facesheet.


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.