The Newfoundland and Labrador Health Research Network

August 1999 Competition

There will be a sixth internal competition for the Regional Partnerships Program aimed at the MRC deadlines of March 1, 2000 for operating, equipment, maintenance, clinical trial grants and April 1, 2000 for fellowships.

As in the previous competition, it will be based on the principles arising from the September, 1996 strategic planning workshop:

  1. The local stages of the MRC Regional Partnerships Program should be managed by a Committee with a wide representation of researchers and research partners in the health community.

  2. The prioritizing process should favour research that meets the standards of quality mandated by the MRC review process and is nationally and internationally competitive.

  3. Research projects should build on existing strengths, such as local expertise and local opportunity.

  4. Research projects should be interdisciplinary and as far as possible have wide involvement of individuals and expertise across the health sector. Partnerships between researchers and community stakeholders in the health system are encouraged.

  5. The process should emphasize the development of stable and sustainable research teams.

  6. The research team should include a leader capable of high quality group integration and project management, of mentoring junior partners and trainees, and of interfacing with potential financial backers and appropriate health care providers and policy makers.

  7. There should be emphasis on the development of research personnel, including recruitment, support and training.

  8. There should be a project development phase at the local level in which the university (through the Steering Committee), the applicants, the potential local or national backers, the relevant partners from the health community and the Medical Research Council interact to refine and improve research proposals.

The local process will be managed by the Steering Committee. The membership includes representation of a wide range of research interests, community health, and the potential provincial funding sources. The Committee recognizes that some members may themselves be applicants and therefore conflict of interest guidelines have been drafted.

The aim of the Steering Committee is to manage the local process so that copies are ready for the MRC deadline of March 1, 2000. Please note that there is no competition for MRC personnel awards, including Clinical Scientists, Scholarships, Scientists, Senior Scientists and Distinguished Scientists, at this deadline. Applications for MRC's University-Industry and MRC-PMAC programs have more frequent deadlines but individuals wishing to address these programs on or before March 1, 2000 should submit a letter of intent for the August 20th, 1999 deadline.

Please note that Memorial will receive 5 New Opportunities Awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation during the remaining life of the CFI program. These are "startup" infrastructure awards to new faculty. Together with the MRC-RPP, this represents an important opportunity to recruit high quality faculty. For example, the MRC-RP program could provide 5-year salary support to qualified new recruits and the CFI could provide funds to equip them. With this in mind, the RPP Steering Committee encourages personnel applications from research groups, departments, schools and/or faculties.

The proposed timetable is as follows:

June, 1999 Call for letters of intent from groups wishing to submit applications to the MRC Regional Partnerships Program on or before March 1st, 2000.
August 20th, 1999 Deadline for submission of letters of intent. (1 original + 15 copies of the Letter of Intent along with 1 original + 15 copies of the c.v.'s required. Minimum Font Size 12.).
September, 1999 Announcement of proposals selected for submission. Call for applications. These will be reviewed by the Steering Committee in consultation with internal and external reviewers based on criteria outlined in the Call for Letters of Intent
November 5th, 1999 Deadline for submission of full applications to the Steering Committee.

November, 1999 to February, 2000 Pre-submission external review process, identification of leverage funding, etc. Completion of full Memorial submissions to MRC.

If you require further information regarding this process or clarification of the appended documents, please contact me E-Mail: or any member of the Steering Committee.

Memorial University - Call for Letters of Intent
MRC Regional Partnerships Program

The Steering Committee has not identified specific content areas of priority for this competition. Rather, the Committee will be guided by the philosophy that projects of high priority will be interdisciplinary and take maximum advantage of the close working partnerships that can take place across a relatively small health sector. It may be necessary to limit the number and/or size of applications, in order to ensure that there will be funds available for new applicants in future competitions. The Committee has chosen the deadline for November 5, 1999, so that there will be a four-month period for pre-submission review, and for consultation with MRC regarding the process and local agencies, government department and/or private industry to secure the necessary financial support.

Please Note: Applicants are referred to item 8 of the Application for Guidelines provided by MRC:

8. "There is a general expectation that most of the activity in this program would be directed to the recruitment of promising and/or excellent scientists. These talented individuals should in turn be able to generate new sources of peer-reviewed funding through normal competitive programs ......"

At a meeting on November 7, 1997, the Steering Committee affirmed its commitment to this principle.

Groups wishing to submit applications to the MRC Regional Partnerships Program on or before the March 1st, 2000 deadline are requested to submit a letter of intent to the Committee by August 20th, 1999.

Letters of intent (15 copies) should be submitted to:

Dr. Verna Skanes
Co-Chair of the Steering Committee
c/o Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
A1B 3V6

The letter of intent should be up to five single-spaced pages with a minimum font size of 12 (1 original + 15 copies of the letter of intent along with 1 original + 15 copies of the c.v.'s)

  1. The research proposal

    • research questions or hypotheses
    • specific objectives
    • project design and methodology
    • multidisciplinary component

  2. The group

    • membership, track record, current funding
    • collaborators in the health system
    • proposed contribution of each member to the project
    • leadership
    • training component

  3. Funding requested

    • type and description
    • contribution of award to existing group infrastructure
      and/or development of increased capacity, etc.
    • evidence of stability/sustainability
    • potential sources of matching funds

Applicants should indicate either their sources of matched funding or potential/proposed sources. For many applicants, identification of funding partners and/or securing matching funding is likely to take place during the period immediately prior to submission to MRC and be funded by the Steering Committee.

The following criteria will be used in prioritizing applications:

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Pauline Cole
Research and Graduate Studies
Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NF
A1B 3V6

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