Royal College Strategic Initiative Grant

The Royal College Strategic Initiative Grant was created to support research and scholarship that advance strategic areas of focus within specialty medical education. 

Royal College Strategic Initiative Grants support high-quality medical education and health systems-focused research and scholarship to advance the fields of residency education, continuing professional development and other health system-related areas of focus in Canada (e.g. health workforce planning).

Decisions regarding allocation of this grant, ranging from $1,000 up to $30,000 will be made in alignment with special calls for applications. Prioritization will be given to community-based research, those involving multi-disciplinary teams, and/or applications that are co-developed with patient partners. The allocation of funding can support human resources, associated publication costs, travel for presentation by the principal applicant and other project-related costs. Presentation at an associated Royal College conference is encouraged.

This year, the Royal College is seeking meaningful insight from the Canadian medical education community to contribute to policy and standards that advance specialty medicine and inform areas aligned with:

  1. Equity, diversity and inclusion
  2. Planetary health
  3. Competency-based medical education (e.g. innovations, adaptations, etc.)
  4. Specialist wellness

For more information and to view previously funded projects click here

It is also expected that the proposal adheres to the highest scholarly standards; relevant literature, best practices and theories underlying the evaluation proposal and relevant question(s) should be explicitly described.

Application & Adjudication

Proposals will be judged on merit in accordance with alignment to the Royal College Strategic Initiative Grant, strength of introduction/background, relevance and alignment to the priority areas of interest, methodologic rigor, the strength of the team and feasibility of project completion.


Current employees and paid contractors (e.g. ‘Royal College educators’) of the Royal College are not eligible for the Strategic Initiative Grant. If your application includes an employee/contractor (as principal investigator or co-investigator) you are instead invited to apply for a Royal College Intramural Grant.

While it is not necessary to be a Fellow of the Royal College or a physician to apply, priority will be given to members in good standing. If you are not a Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal College must be named on your application and contribute meaningfully to the research project. A description of how the named Fellow has been/will be involved in the development of the proposal is an expectation.

Applications from multiple departments and across disciplines or faculties are encouraged as applicable.

Applications must meet contemporary standards of evaluation, which include the relevance of the question, use of an underlying theory or framework as applicable, the appropriateness of the project design, ethical review of the submission, accountability of funds requested, and the feasibility of the work as related to the project team, environment, and timelines.

Individuals who currently hold active funding from the Royal College (only as a Principal Applicant) are not eligible to receive funding in other RC funding competitions. To apply, an application must be considered closed; the Grant Selection committee must have approved final submission documents and all financial items must be resolved prior to the application deadline(s) of any of the Royal College funding competitions.

However, he/she may still supervise a trainee or student and can be included as a co-investigator on proposals submitted by other PIs.

Applicants must disclose any additional associated funding sources if a portion of the project under adjudication is already partially funded.


Applications must be submitted by completing the online grant form by the application deadline (no exceptions) on September 26, 2023, before 11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time). Attachments sent by email will not be accepted and are ineligible to be attached to the application.

What to include in your application

  • Provide a clear explanation of the named Fellow’s role and contributions to the project
  • Project Abstract describing the rationale, objectives, study design, methods, analysis and outcomes. (300-word maximum)
  • Project Description (3,400 word maximum), this should include:
    • Objectives, literature and theoretical foundations, methodology, and significance to postgraduate specialty medical education or continuing professional development;
    • Summary of the study design including the process for ethics approval as applicable;
    • Details on data collection, analysis, proposed project schedule and anticipated outcomes/impacts;
    • Planned dissemination of research findings.

Please include all of the documents below and refer to the following guidelines.

  • Reference list
  • Please download and complete the Grant Budget template. Once completed, please attach the document. Use of the Royal College Budget Template is mandatory.
  • Budget justification
  • Letter(s) of support from a representative from your institution (i.e. direct supervisor, academic/senior colleague) or in cases where this is not applicable, a relevant Administrator, peer familiar with your research, etc.  (PI only)
  • Abbreviated curricula vitae detailing principal and co-investigators’ education, teaching and administrative positions held in the last five years, publications grants received and any additional pertinent training (maximum 4 pages each CV. Any curricula vitae that exceed the 4 pages will be truncated).
  • Copy of research instruments (if available).
  • Letter of approval from Ethics Board or letter of submission for ethical approval (if applicable).


The Strategic Grants Selection Committee will include a cadre of two expert scholars (external) and two members of the Royal College Education Research Grants committee. Together they will support the receipt, processing and adjudication of proposals and collectively make determinations regarding funding.

Selection is based on the application’s scholarly merit, strength of the project team, clarity of the proposal and perceived impact for advancing specialty medicine.

Preference will be given to work that is considered worthy of inclusion in a peer-reviewed publication and that is closely aligned to the mission/vision of the Royal College.


Funding is available for projects up to a maximum of two years in duration.


A budget outline and justification must be provided.  Please refer to budgetary guidelines. An amount equivalent to 75 per cent of the grant will be disbursed upon project commencement, and 25 per cent upon project completion and receipt of a final report.

The final report must be sent to the Program Coordinator, Research Grants and Awards, Research Unit, Royal College. 


The publication of project findings is expected. The financial support of “The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada” must be acknowledged in all publications resulting from this grant. Presentation of research is encouraged at an associated Royal College conference (e.g. International Conference on Residency Education, Simulation Summit, and CPD Accreditation Conference) or equivalent. Identifying the Royal College as a funder is expected, when applicable.

Submission deadline

11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time) September 26, 2023. Late applications will not be considered.

Contact us
Program Coordinator, Strategic Grants
Research Unit

Application form
Budgetary Guidelines