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Eligibility and requirements
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Eligibility and requirements

1. Description

Grants for research will be awarded to projects deemed worthy of support, provided that the basic equipment and research facilities are available in the institution concerned and that it will provide the necessary administrative services. Such awards will be granted for the purchase and maintenance of animals, expendable supplies, minor items of equipment, payment of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technical and professional assistants, open access publication costs, research travel and permanent equipment.

These grants do not provide for personal salary support of the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Co-applicants nor for institutional overhead costs.

2. Eligibility

An applicant must hold a firm academic position (as a primary appointment) which allows the individual to engage in independent research activities for the duration of the project and includes the ability to supervise trainees and publish research results.

A researcher designated as the Principal Investigator must be based in, or formally affiliated with, an eligible Canadian Host Institution such as a university, research institute or health care agency. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, Adjunct Professors or Status only appointments (except where they hold a firm academic position at another Canadian institution), technical support staff, or investigators based outside of Canada are not eligible to be a Principal Investigator. Both the Principal Investigator and executive authorities of the Host Institution are required to agree to the terms of the Host Institution/Arthritis Society Agreement included as part of the application, thereby acknowledging and agreeing to all the responsibilities and obligations outlined in that Agreement.

The person named as the PI remains the PI on a grant for the duration of the grant unless given express permission by the Arthritis Society.

Applicants who do not yet hold an eligible position

Investigators who have a firm offer of an academic position (as defined above) at an eligible Host Institution and where the appointment is not contingent on the success of a pending application, can submit an application as Principal Investigator provided that the position commences by the start date of the grant. In such cases, a letter from an appropriate authority of the Host Institution must be included, which provides clear details as to the exact nature of the appointment (including title and major responsibilities), as well as the expected start date and duration of the appointment.

A researcher designated as Co-Principal Investigator or Co-applicant is a researcher who may or may not have a formal affiliation with the Host Institution, but will take responsibility for particular administrative and scientific aspects of the research project. These categories can include Adjunct Professors or Status only appointments. These categories may not include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technical support staff, or investigators based outside of Canada. These individuals are not eligible to receive salary support from a grant.

Additional Authors:  This category formally recognizes other individuals who will make substantial intellectual contributions to the research project or have contributed to the drafting of the application itself, but who are not eligible to be included as Co-Principal Investigators or Co-applicants. Students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates lay contributors and investigators based outside of Canada may be included in this category. Students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates may receive salary support from a grant.

Collaborator: A Collaborator is a researcher, consumer or other individual who makes a meaningful contribution to the research project or application such as: providing tissue/fluid samples or data; consultation; platform resources (e.g. equipment, specific reagents, specialized training); statistical analysis; etc. A collaborator can be based outside of Canada. However, funds can only be spent in Canada and, if research is conducted outside of Canada, the NPI must present convincing arguments on the need to conduct research at a non-Canadian institution(s). Partner: A Partner is a participant in the research project representing industry, government, consumer or other academic groups (i.e. domestic or foreign).

Partner: A Partner is a participant in the research project representing industry, government, consumer or other academic groups (i.e. domestic or foreign).

Consumer: A Consumer is a person living with or affected by arthritis. Consumers are not required in all grants applications but the Arthritis Society strongly values the voice of consumers in research, both in their inclusion in grant applications and the peer review process.  Applicants are encouraged to consider this in their submissions.
Any question of eligibility or unusual circumstances not described above will be reviewed and an assessment by the Arthritis Society will be made.

Any question of eligibility or unusual circumstances not described above will be reviewed and an assessment by the Arthritis Society will be made.

3. Certificates

The following may be required from all participating institutions, depending on the proposed work:

  • If this application involves the use of biological materials, a certificate must be submitted from each institutional Biohazards Committee guaranteeing that the project will be conducted under conditions which satisfy the "Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines", published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Canada. Please reference their website for current guidelines.
  • If this application involves the use of experimental animals, a certificate must be submitted from each institutional Animal Care Committee guaranteeing that all animals will be cared for and studied under conditions meeting the standards stated in the Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines.
  • If this application involves human experimentation, a certificate must be submitted from the appropriate Committee of each institution involved, stating that the protocols and methods have been found acceptable from an ethical point of view in accordance with the "TCPS 2 - Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans" (TCPS 2 has replaced the 1st edition of the TCPS (1998)), published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

If the application involves the use of human samples, please note that the Arthritis Society is committed to ensuring that high quality ethically sourced bio-specimens are used in research it funds, as these yield high, reproducible quality data. If human samples are included in projects submitted to the Arthritis Society, applicants are required to provide one of the following:

  1. Document that all bio-specimens will or have been collected in accordance with recognized standards, such as the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (http://www.ctrnet.ca/resources/operating-procedures) or equivalent (e.g. CLIA). Adherence to these standards and/or certification will be included as part of the peer review. Participation in external quality assurance programs will be considered eligible grant expenses.
  2. Provide a brief description of the source, quality and handling procedure of the samples.

Certification (1) or description of samples (2) would be required at the time of application deadline for evaluation by reviewers.

Please be advised that no funds will be released to successful applicants until all required certificates are received.

4. Host institution/Arthritis Society agreement

Grants are made only with the consent and knowledge of the administrative head of the institution at which they are to be held and institutions must abide by the policies contained in the Host Institution/Arthritis Society Agreement. Approvals indicate that the officials at the Host Institution have read and understood all of the various obligations of the parties, which includes a formal policy on Integrity in Research and Scholarship. No funds will be released to successful applicants without these approvals. Applicants are reminded that the agreement also contains a disclaimer and indemnity clause. Specific terms of the agreement are available.

5. Support of research associates and professional assistants

Grant applications may contain requests for the support of professional assistants or research associates. It is recognized that research associates may often be key personnel in a research program. However, any person holding an academic rank equivalent to Assistant Professor or higher cannot be considered to be a professional assistant or research associate and therefore may not be paid from a grant.

6. Support of trainees

The support of graduate trainees and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged. Salaries requested should conform to the Host Institution rate based on the experience of the individual required for the project as of the first year of the project. If the person is unnamed, justify the need for a post-doctoral fellow with the number of years of experience required specifying the work to be undertaken.

Taxation will depend on the Host Institutions policy regarding trainees.

7. Notification of award

Successful applicants will receive an official “Notification of Award” (NOA) indicating the duration and the value of the grant. The finance office and the research office of the Host Institution will also be informed. Results of the competition will be posted on the Arthritis Society website. All applicants will subsequently be provided with the scientific critique prepared by the review panel. It is the objective of the Arthritis Society to support the highest calibre of arthritis research.

8. Scientific reporting, publications and communications-related activities

All grant recipients must submit scientific reports throughout the grant and after the grant end date. Principal Investigators will be e-mailed instructions about completing the report in our online system (FluidReview). Submission of these reports is mandatory. Failure to submit the required reports will result in the future installments being withheld.

Annual progress and end of grant reports

Investigators are asked to provide a summary of progress, a list of publications and presentations associated with the grant, details on trainees, and impacts of their research. Investigators will also be asked to list any activities that have helped to promote the Arthritis Society.

Post grant reports

As impacts of research may occur beyond the termination date, grantees must submit a “Post Grant” report two years after the grant termination date. The report will capture publications, status of trainees, etc.

For more information on how we evaluate the impact of our research, please see our research impacts section(link).

In order to highlight research findings to the public, grantees are requested to contact the Arthritis Society Senior Manager, Knowledge Translation and Exchange with copies of important preprints and reprints and to involve the appropriate office in any media interactions that emanate from the funded research activities. The funder acknowledgement (item 11) must be included in any grant announcements.

9. Open access policy

Please see the Arthritis Society open access policy(link), which states that research findings must be made publicly available within twelve months of the peer-review publication date.

10. Acknowledgement of funds

Investigators are expected to publish their results in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and to present their findings at scientific conferences. Grantees must acknowledge the funder in all scientific communications and media releases related to the grant. Proper acknowledgement would be "This research is supported by the Arthritis Society (grant #XXXXXX)". Grants co-funded /funded by a partner/donor will be advised of appropriate language for the acknowledgement.

Grantees should notify the Arthritis Society once a manuscript is accepted for publication to provide details of the journal, title of the article, expected date of publication and a copy of the article.  If a grantee’s host institution and/or publisher is preparing a press release or other media announcement, the grantee, institution or publisher must inform the Arthritis Society in advance by email.  All announcements must clearly acknowledge the Arthritis Society as the funder.

All presentations (PowerPoint, posters, etc.) containing research results arising (in whole or in part) from an Arthritis Society funded grant must contain the Arthritis Society’s logo. Please contact the Arthritis Society whenever you are planning to present research results.

11. Knowledge translation

To help increase stakeholder awareness of Arthritis Society-funded research and the impacts of our research investments, PI’s may be asked:

  • to serve as a member on a peer review panel or committee
  • to summarize your work in a brief article intended for a lay audience and/or to present to a lay audience or the media
  • to increase public awareness of the Arthritis Society’s research program by acting as a spokesperson at local events through a regional office  
  • to participate in relevant events designed to facilitate knowledge translation such as webinars.

Any such requests will be made with as much notice as possible.  Our staff, volunteers and donors are keen to hear about your progress. The promotion of Arthritis Society-funded work is critical to the continuing growth of our research program.

12. Financial reporting

An annual Statement of Account is required within 90 days of the grant year end. Statement of account (coming soon) forms may be found on the Financial Administration page of our website. The financial administration (coming soon) page also describes policies and practices which govern how grant and award funds are spent.

13. Other provisions

Grantees and Host Institutions should be aware of the conditions that apply to all individuals receiving research funds or training assistance.