Ontario Institute for Cancer Research - Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants, Request for Applications 2021


Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).


Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants.

For More Information

For full program details and how to apply, please visit the OMPRN website.


The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is a collaborative centre of excellence in cancer research that aims to move Ontario to the forefront of discovery and innovation so that the people of Ontario and the economy benefit from promising research results and breakthroughs. OICR’s mission is to partner with the Ontario oncology community to accelerate the development and implementation of clinically important knowledge, products, services and policies to improve cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment and enable patients in Ontario and worldwide to live longer and better lives.

OICR’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 prioritized the establishment of the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN), a Collaborative Research Network focused on enhancing molecular pathology research capacity across the province by:

  • Fostering collaboration and cooperation between Ontario academic pathologists;
  • Increasing the participation of pathologists in high-quality translational cancer research; and
  • Providing opportunities for residents, fellows and early career pathologists to obtain training and mentorship in cancer research.

OMPRN’s vision is to create a province-wide network of pathologists collaborating to carry out high-quality cancer research with a clear potential for clinical utility. Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants will build the capacity of Ontario pathologists to undertake trans-disciplinary research projects that advance the field of cancer diagnostic, prognostic or predictive testing and provide learning opportunities for pathology residents or early-career pathologists.

This year two granting streams, Stream 1 and Stream 4, are available to support projects that promote research excellence and trans-disciplinary collaboration and encourage membership in a pathology research community.

  • Stream 1: Supports one-year, collaborative research projects that bring together a pathologist Principal Investigator (PI) with a trans-disciplinary Co-Investigator and a pathology trainee.
  • Stream 4: Supports one-year, collaborative research projects based on the applicants’ previous OMPRN-funded research. The proposal must focus on translating research findings from the previous research towards clinical use. Projects will bring together a pathologist Principal Investigator (PI) with a trans-disciplinary Co-Investigator and a pathology trainee.


Applicants in either stream must be part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of:
  1. Principal investigator (PI) in either stream: a practicing, Ontario-based pathologist with an academic faculty appointment. For the purpose of this competition, a pathologist is defined as: EITHER a MD with certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or an equivalent governing body in another jurisdiction, in Anatomical Pathology, General Pathology, Hematopathology or Neuropathology with hospital responsibilities; OR, an MD or PhD clinical laboratory scientist with Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) fellowship or equivalent with hospital responsibilities. Note that for Stream 4 the PI does not necessarily need to be the same PI on the previously funded OMPRN CPTRG proposal. Stream 4 PIs must, however, be named PIs, Co-investigators or trainees on previously funded OMPRN grants.
  2. Co-investigator in either stream: an Ontario-based MD or PhD with an academic faculty appointment who crosses a substantial trans-disciplinary boundary relative to the PI. Examples include oncologists or other clinical investigators, bioinformatics experts and basic scientists. Teams consisting of a practicing MD pathologist with hospital responsibilities and a clinical laboratory scientist with CCMG fellowship or equivalent with hospital responsibilities will be acceptable whereas teams consisting of two MD pathologists will not.
  3. Trainee in either stream: a pathology resident with an MD degree enrolled in an Ontario-based residency-training program or an Ontario-based CCMG trainee. Postgraduate pathology trainees who have completed or are eligible to undertake the RCPSC certification examinations but who have not yet assumed a faculty or staff position will be eligible to occupy the role of trainee for up to 24 months after completion of their PGY5 year. Faculty members cannot be considered trainees.
Alternatively, the mentorship requirement will be considered addressed and the requirement to include a Trainee, as defined above, waived, if the named PI is a junior faculty member within seven years of his/her first academic appointment and the co-investigator is an established senior investigator. Under these circumstances, a letter from the senior investigator acknowledging his/her mentorship role and describing how this will be fulfilled is required.
At least one member of the applicant team must be an RCPSC-certified MD pathologist or MD pathology resident. With a view to involving as many researchers as possible in the Network, an individual may apply in only one stream and for no more than one grant per competition as either a Principal Investigator or Trainee. Applications that breach these restrictions will not be reviewed.
Project scope for Stream 1: Projects must be likely to advance the field of cancer diagnostic, prognostic or predictive testing. Collaborations between Ontario institutions, including use of OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources (CRR) and other trans-institutional use of core resources, are encouraged, as is leveraging of existing collaborative clinical trials networks. It is expected that most proposals will make use of primary human cancer samples.
Examples of the types of projects OMPRN seeks to fund include:
  • Novel approaches to making definitive pathological cancer diagnoses under challenging circumstances such as small tissue samples or difficult-to-recognize cancer types;
  • Incorporation of molecular and/or computer-assisted image analysis data in the pathological classification of tumours;
  • Identification or validation of prognostic or predictive cancer biomarkers, including in the context of drug discovery or clinical trials.
Project scope for Stream 4: In addition to the scope described for Stream 1, Stream 4 proposals must also be based on the applicants’ own previously funded OMPRN research and are intended to encourage and support the translation of research findings to clinical use. For example, performing validation studies on an independent cohort and proposals to refine the methodology for measuring a biomarker are within scope for Stream 4. Applicants will be required to show evidence of substantial progress from the original OMPRN funded research project. Documents that would satisfy this requirement include a manuscript draft that is ready for submission to a journal, an accepted peer-reviewed publication, a patent application, clinical practice guidelines that are under consideration or have been adopted, etc. Please append a maximum of 2 of these supporting documents to your Stream 4 application form.

Funding Availability

Stream 1: up to $50,000.

Stream 4: up ro $75,000.

Indirect Costs

A maximum rate of 30% overhead will be applied to eligible costs and will be approved as part of the budget approval process. Overhead costs will be provided by OICR on top of the proposed application budget.

Project Duration

1 year (ending by March 31, 2023).

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Please submit the full application package along with a signed OR-5 form to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

External Deadline

Applicant to submit full application package to Sponsor.

How to Apply

Applicants are invited to submit a grant application along with any supporting documents and CVs for each team member by November 1, 2021. Applicants must submit either the S1 or S4 forms provided. Instructions for completing these forms can be found in the program guidelines document.
Complete application forms should be submitted via email with supporting documents to Kyster Nanan at kn20@queensu.ca. Applications will be reviewed and scored by reviewers according to the criteria defined in the program guidelines document.
For Questions, please contact
For questions on the funding guidelines, overhead calculations, eligibility and how to apply please contact:
Kyster Nanan, Project Manager, Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network
(613) 533-2748
To review Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the OMPRN website.

Office of Research

Vanessa Knox, Awards and Agreements Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x53429

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