CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship – National Cohort Retreat

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire with your unit

Memorial Deadline: Thursday 4th, March 2021

External Deadline: Tuesday 9th, March 2021


The intent of this funding opportunity is to provide funding to support the annual Health System Impact (HSI) Fellowship National Cohort Retreat which is a core element of the HSI Fellowship program. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be accomplished through the National Cohort Training Program (NCTP).

The HSI Fellowship is a multi-partnered training program led by the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) that aims to prepare doctoral trainees and post-doctoral fellows for stronger career readiness and greater impact in a broad array of sectors and organizations. The HSI Fellowship program has five distinctive features: (1) It involves a modernized curriculum focused on a set of enriched core competencies (e.g., leadership, change management) designed to prepare fellows for success in diverse career paths; (2) it includes substantial experiential learning opportunities that embed fellows in a health system “host partner organization” where they apply their research and analytic skills to a co-developed program of work designed to address a high-priority challenge identified by the organization; (3) it involves co-supervision and mentorship by a health system leader and an academic leader; (4) it permits fellows to protect a portion of their time (up to 30% for post-doctoral fellows and 40% for PhD trainees) for academic research within the university in order to stay at the forefront of their field and bring the latest academic developments to bear on “real-world” challenges; and (5) it brings all the funded fellows, and their health system and academic mentors, together in a national cohort whose annual in-person meeting and quarterly webinar sessions contribute to training, peer-to-peer collaborations and cross-cohort learning. These innovative features come together in a two-year fellowship for post-doctoral fellows and a one-year fellowship for doctoral trainees that are jointly funded by federal and provincial funders (including over the past three years CIHR, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, Research Nova Scotia, and Mitacs) and by the fellows’ host partner organizations.

The National Cohort Retreat (NCR) was designed as a multi-day training event held annually each fall that brings together the funded HSI Fellows and alumni and their health system and academic supervisors for collective learning, networking, and interactive professional skills training (see original three core NCR objectives).

In the context of COVID-19, this funding opportunity has been adapted to support a host (or consortium of hosts) to develop, coordinate, implement, and evaluate an annual HSI Fellowship National Cohort Training Program (NCTP) for two years (2021 and 2022) that serves the HSI Fellowship program (most importantly the fellows and supervisors), builds on the momentum and learning gained from the first three annual NCRs, and achieves the three core NCR objectives, but planned and implemented to reflect the COVID-19 context. The host(s) will develop mechanisms to support learning and routine interaction opportunities (every other month, at minimum) through online platforms. The hosts are encouraged to also include contingency plans for in-person activities should the COVID-19 context evolve to safely allow in-person events within the two-year time frame of this grant. The host(s) is required to coordinate, deliver and evaluate the NCTP without additional resources from CIHR*.

*The HSI Fellowship award requires funded fellows to participate in the NCTP as a condition of their funding and provides travel support to attend, should meetings not take place virtually.

Note: Up until September 2021, the national cohort comprises the fellows funded through the 2017, 2018 and 2019 HSI Fellowship competitions, and NCTP activities should be geared to these already funded fellows and alumni (n=146). In September 2021, a new cohort of fellows funded through the 2021 Health System Impact Fellowship competition will begin (approximately 60 fellows) and NCTP activities should be geared to support these incoming fellows and also provide opportunity for involvement and interaction with previous fellow cohorts.

Funds Available

CIHR and partner(s) financial contributions for this initiative are subject to availability of funds. Should CIHR or partner(s) funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, CIHR and partner(s) reserve the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity.

  • The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $200,000, enough to fund one grant for up to 2 years.

For more information on the appropriate use of funds, refer to Allowable Costs.

Additional information can be found at ResearchNet.

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: February 16, 2021