What are our guidelines for funding research?

This resource is designed to help family physicians start a research or quality improvement project. Most projects will require funding from other sources.

Some local physicians may want to ask the SNO Division for funding for part or all of a small project. The available resources vary from year to year and will be judged on their merits compared to other local division projects. There are no funds allocated specifically to research or quality improvement projects at this time.


When we do consider a project to fund, we will consider the local relevance and principles similar to those used by the CIHR for funding projects. You may view the CIHR Peer Review Manual for complete details. I have summarized our adapted version of these principles below.

All projects should have:

  1. a specific purpose,
  2. a defined end point, and
  3. a plan for Knowledge Translation. Each project should include a plan to disseminate the project findings and facilitate their translation into improved health, more effective products or services, and/or a strengthened healthcare system. This may include reports to SNO physicians or patients, publication, education or other ways of sharing information.

In order to be appropriate for SNO funding, we will also consider the following aspects of the project:

  1. Local Relevance: The project should be relevant to SNO patients and / or physicians with respect to improved health, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health-care system.
  2. Appropriate Scope for SNO: It is appropriate that SNO fund part or all of this project, given the alignment of goals and the resources available? Is there a more appropriate funding source?

Concept and Feasability

If the issues above have been addressed, the board will judge:

In reviewing the concept, the board will consider the following:

  1. Is the project idea creative?
  2. Is the rationale of the project idea sound?
  3. Are the overall goals and objectives of the project well-defined?
  4. Are the anticipated project contributions likely to advance health-related knowledge, health care, health systems and/or health outcomes?

In reviewing feasability, the board will consider the following:


The board will also briefly review ethical considerations.

  1. Are there ethical issues related to this project that need to be reviewed?
    • Risk & Benefit
    • Consent
    • Privacy & Confidentiality
    • Fairness & Equity
    • Conflict of Interest
  2. Does this project require ethics review before proceeding?
    • If there are are any ethical issues, these should be addressed and the project may need ethics review.
    • In the case of quality improvement work, these issues may be able to be addressed internally.
    • It may be that SNO is supporting this work in preparation for ethics review, if appropriate.

As the board reviews a project, it will maintain:

Next: Who are we? (know your audience)