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Research in Clinical Assessment grant requirements

Application deadline, purpose, themes, and requirements for the MCC Research in Clinical Assessment grant.
About usAwards & research grantsResearch in Clinical Assessment grant requirements
1

Application deadline

The deadline for the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Research in Clinical Assessment grant competition was February 1, 2024.

2

Purpose

The purpose and priorities of the 2024 competition are the encouragement of innovations in the assessment of clinical competence or performance of students, postgraduate trainees, or practitioners. Priority will be given to proposals that show promise in contributing to the knowledge and understanding of measurement in clinical assessment and to clinical program evaluation methods for medical education. The proposal must focus on research, not development, in the assessment of performance or clinical assessment.

3

Themes

Proposals should focus on one or more of the following themes:

  1. Outcomes measurement.
  2. Assessments along the continuum.
  3. Improving feedback from assessment results.
  4. Measuring critical and emerging competencies in medicine (e.g., teamwork, use of technology in practice).
  5. Role and use of technology in and for assessment.
4

Eligibility

The principal investigator (PI) must hold an appointment at a Canadian medical school, health science faculty or in a research institute at a teaching hospital. If the PI is a graduate student, a faculty supervisor is required. This supervisor must hold an appointment at a Canadian medical school or health science faculty, or in a research institute at a teaching hospital. This supervisor must write a letter of support indicating that they will oversee the project and assume full responsibility for the grant deliverables and the disbursement of grant funds. This supervisor must also attest the applicant had a primary role in the development of the application.

For PIs submitting proposals that are based on a portion of their thesis, the application should be tailored to the specific purpose of the Research in Clinical Assessment grant competition as outlined above and stand on its own merit.

5

Funding period

The duration of the project must be no more than 12 months in length. The start date of the project must fall between July 1 of the grant year and March 31 of the following year.

6

Funding details

The maximum available funds per application is $37,500, which can be spread over 12 months of support (i.e., July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025). However, applicants with innovative proposals requiring smaller, short-term amounts (e.g., master’s projects) are encouraged to apply.

The MCC reserves the right to withhold 25% of the awarded monies until a final report has been submitted to and accepted by the MCC. Reports must be submitted to the MCC within 3 months of the study’s end date. Final reports should be written in the style of a journal submission and must fill in unknowns from the original proposal.

Applicants who have received an MCC grant but have failed to submit a satisfactory final report by the specified deadline are not eligible to apply for another MCC grant until they have submitted a satisfactory final report.

7

Proposal preparation and submission

Applications must include the following documentation in PDF format:

  1. A completed grant application form. This form must be formatted in 11-point font or larger and not exceed 11 pages in length including cover page and references.
    1. Within reason, additional supporting documentation may be included as appendices (e.g., questionnaires, tables, etc.).
  2. Abbreviated CVs from the PI and each of the co-applicants outlining their education, research training, academic positions held, and publications over the past 5 years.
  3. A statement indicating the status of ethics approval from the Ethics Committee from all involved institutions (waived, in progress, approved).
  4. Written documentation of sponsorship by the departmental or program chair and must include a statement that the research protocol is supported, based on a peer-reviewed, in-house assessment or an equivalent institutional review committee prior to submission. Please note, individuals who provide letters of support are not eligible to be listed as co-investigators.

Prior to submitting an application, researchers may find it helpful to review the Research in Clinical Assessment grant application checklist to ensure that their application is complete.

By submitting a proposal for consideration, the applicant certifies that all research described in the proposal is accurately cited and that the reference list is complete. If it is determined that a proposal contains plagiarized content, the application will be removed from the current competition. Further action may be taken at the discretion of the MCC.

For proposals requesting the use of MCC data, you are encouraged to contact the MCC first to determine if the data required can be made available for the study in question. All requests for MCC data must undergo a separate data request process.

Proposals should be submitted by email to [email protected].

About the application form

The application form includes the following sections:

  1. Name and title of principal investigator and co-investigator(s).
  2. Abstract (300 words maximum, including up to 3 key words)
    1. Indicate why this topic is of interest/importance to one or more of the five themes referenced in section 3.
  3. Problem statement (research questions and rationale).
  4. Review of literature.
  5. Research design and methods (experimental design, subjects, material, data collection procedures, data analysis).
  6. Implications of findings and potential relevance to the MCC.
  7. Project schedule and personnel.
  8. Budget and defence of budget (if additional funds have been sought for the same study, either in-kind or from another granting institution, it must be clearly indicated with appropriate rationale provided).
  9. References.

Helpful links

Application form
Example of a proposal budget and line-item justifications
Example of a study timeline
Grant application checklist

8

Budget requirements

The following are examples of allowable line items:

  • Remuneration for subjects/participants
  • Research assistants
  • Consultation with subject matter experts
  • Travel for research and design sessions for multisite studies
  • Transcription costs (capped at $150/hour of audio)
  • Dissemination costs (including conference travel/attendance, open access publication fees, etc.)
  • Dissemination costs must be capped at no more than 10% of the total requested funds (e.g., up to $3,750 if the total project budget is $37,500)
  • Dissemination costs can support travel to a maximum of one conference (up to $2,500); a statement of how attendance at this conference aligns with one or more of the five themes (referenced in section 3) must be included

The following are examples of items that the MCC typically will not cover; it is expected that these will be provided in-kind by the applicant’s organization:

  • University administrative/overhead research surcharges
  • Hardware (laptops, video recorders, audio recorders, etc.)
    Software
  • Office supplies (photocopying, printing, phone calls, etc.)
  • Graphic design services

Please note, the above-mentioned lists are not exhaustive. If you are unsure if certain items would be covered, please contact [email protected]. The MCC will not fund salaries for PIs. All indirect costs arising from the study must be submitted in the application’s budget as identifiable, direct cost line items.

9

Review process and criteria

Applications to the MCC’s Research in Clinical Assessment grant competition undergo a comprehensive review process.

  • Applications are reviewed internally and are assessed for completion and overall fit with the competition’s purpose
  • At minimum, two independent, external reviewers are assigned to each respective proposal. Every effort is made to match the proposal topics to the expertise and knowledge of the reviewers. Applications are rated using a standard set of procedures and rating rubrics. The following areas of each proposal are rated by reviewers:
    • Abstract
    • Problem statement/literature review
    • Strength of research design and methods (experimental design, subjects, material, data collection procedures, data analysis)
    • Adequacy of sampling
    • Analysis methods
    • Budget/resources
    • Implications of findings and potential relevance to the MCC
    • Overall clarity of the proposal
  • An adjudication committee, comprised of a minimum of five experts in the fields of medical education and assessment, will be convened to review a select number of proposals based on the outcomes of the external peer-review process. The committee will discuss the overall merits of the applications and make their funding recommendations to the MCC. The final funding decision is not subject to appeal.
10

Acceptance guidelines

Once an application has been accepted for funding, grant acceptance guidelines must be signed by the PI (and their faculty supervisor, where applicable) and submitted to the MCC. Please review the guidelines for researchers who hold a faculty position. Further, please review the guidelines for graduate students and their supervisors.

The MCC requires that all grantees acknowledge the MCC’s contributions to their projects through its Research in Clinical Assessment grant program in any subsequent publication or presentation of the results of this study. Copies of all presentations, reports, publications, posters, etc. must be shared with the MCC in a timely manner.

Contact us

Email us your questions about the Research in Clinical Assessment grant competition at [email protected].