2022 Scholar and Research Trainee competitions: Applications are now open

3 November 2021


We are also pleased to announce our 2022 funding competition schedule.

Michael Smith Health Research BC’s Scholar and Research Trainee awards provide funding to support BC’s next generation of health researchers in advancing science and improving the health of British Columbians.

The Scholar awards help BC researchers build leading-edge health research programs, train the next generation of scientists, and make significant contributions to their field. Scholar awards provide salary support to early-career researchers, allowing them to dedicate 75 percent of their time to health research activities.

The Research Trainee awards support health researchers in training to build health research capacity and contribute to the success of BC’s health research landscape. This award provides post-doctoral fellows or health professional researchers with salary support for dedicated research activities.

As BC’s health research agency, Michael Smith Health Research BC is committed to enabling responsive, relevant research to attract, develop and retain the people whose research improves the health of British Columbians, addresses health system priorities, creates jobs, and adds to the knowledge economy. For example: 2019 Scholar Dr. Michael Anglesio, assistant professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, used the award funding to help expand his lab.

“Independent funding is critical to new researchers and in less than a year, this award has already enabled my lab to grow, attract and recruit new trainees, and expand my participation in international meetings and working groups,” says Dr. Anglesio.

Recognizing and addressing the impact of COVID-19 on early-career researchers

COVID-19 has created rapid change and much uncertainty within BC’s health research community. Through extensive consultations, we heard that funding for early-career researchers and post-doctoral fellows is critically important now more than ever. In response, we introduced changes to our application and review process for the 2021 Scholar and Research Trainee competitions to account for the impact of the pandemic on research outputs and activities. These changes will continue to be implemented this year.

  • COVID-19 impact statement: Applicants will have the opportunity to include a COVID-19 impact statement in their application to describe the impact of the pandemic on their research activities.
  • Eligibility window extension: To account for COVID-19 research and training disruptions, we are automatically extending the eligibility window for both Scholar and Research Trainee competitions by one year.
  • Research Trainee award terms: To provide greater funding stability for post-doctoral trainees, the Research Trainee award terms are no longer pro-rated and applicants can request up to three years of support, regardless of when they completed their PhD.
  • Peer review process: Peer reviewers will account for COVID-19 impacts in application assessment and scoring.

Increasing regional diversity

We recognize the importance of fostering health research capacity in all regions. We’re working to increase applications from across the province, including the North, Interior, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island, to support research of importance to these communities and train tomorrow’s researchers to strengthen health research capacity throughout BC.

For last year’s competition, we implemented the following process changes to identify and remove barriers to success for Scholar and Research Trainee applicants from across the province. These changes will continue to be implemented.

  • Revising peer review processes and evaluation criteria to ensure applications from across BC are reviewed fairly and equitably.
  • Recruiting peer reviewers from underrepresented regions and institutions in BC and from smaller institutions outside of BC.
  • Working with Health Research BC partners to proactively identify partnership opportunities for fundable applications from regions and institutions outside of the lower mainland.

We are pleased to inform our stakeholders that the 2021 Scholar and Research Trainee award recipients are already conducting research at institutions across BC, including Trinity Western University, UBC Okanagan, First Nations Health Authority, University of Victoria, and Vancouver Island University.

Learn more about the 2022 Health Research BC Scholar and Research Trainee competitions.

2022 funding competition schedule

Since 2001, we have funded more than 2,000 awards to individual BC researchers and research teams through our funding programs and supported many more through special projects and match funding. Through these outstanding health researchers, we support discovery-based research and the translation of that research to new treatments, cures, practices, and solutions that improve the health of British Columbians.

Our upcoming competition dates are:

Check out Health Research BC’s suite of funding programs.

Interested in partnering with us? Learn more about Health Research BC partnership opportunities.