Catalyst Grant

**Competition is now closed**

Applicants may provide up to 3 letters of support. References and Letters of Support must be combined into one PDF document and uploaded in the “References Section” of the GMS.


The objective of the NSHRF Catalyst Grant is to provide funding to enable Nova Scotia health researchers to conduct work that will strengthen a future submission to a national or international peer reviewed funding competition.  

In response to the impact that low national funding competition success rates has had on Nova Scotia’s health researchers, NSHRF requested targeted support from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. The leadership of Minister Glavine and department leaders has resulted in this one-time funding opportunity. Only those applications that specifically address one of the following priorities identified by DHW will be considered in this funding opportunity:

1) Primary care;

2) Chronic disease management; or

3) Mental health and addictions.

The required outcome of the work this grant supports is the submission of an application to a national or international funding competition within 12 months of the end of the Catalyst Grant. 

Application Process
Review Process
Assessment Criteria
Resources and Assistance



To apply for a Catalyst Grant, the Principal Investigator must:

  • Be a researcher with an academic appointment at a Nova Scotia university or affiliated research institution, or with an appointment (with research responsibilities) at an affiliated hospital/ research centre/ institute; and
  • Reside and work in Nova Scotia during the funding period of the grant.

Academic Appointments

The NSHRF considers the following to be academic appointments:

  • Tenured appointments
  • Tenure-track appointments
  • Probationary tenure-track appointments
  • Limited-term appointments
  • Continuing Appointment
  • Clinical scientists, clinical faculty or other appointments approved by a senior official (i.e., CEO or VP Research)

Adjunct and instructor positions are not considered academic appointments.

Limited Term Appointments

Applicants with limited term appointments are eligible to apply, however, the grant funding period must end before the end date of the appointment. Applicants with a limited term appointment must clearly indicate the end date of the appointment on their CCV.

Applicants with a limited term appointment must also provide a letter from a senior official at their institution indicating the start and end dates of their appointment. This letter should also demonstrate how the institution is committed to ensuring the applicant remains eligible to apply to the national or international funding competition identified in the Catalyst Grant application. This letter can be combined with the project description section upload in the GMS.

If, at the time of application, the PI holds a limited term appointment that ends prior to the funding end date, he/she is eligible to apply; if successful, a condition of funding will be institutional confirmation of a new appointment.

Funding Amount and Duration

A maximum of $50,000 per grant will be issued for a funding period of one year. No extensions will be permitted for this grant.

Multiple Submissions

Applicants may submit only one application for consideration. 

Dates and Deadlines Application Available in GMS: February 17, 2017
Deadline: March 10, 2017 - 2:00 p.m. (AST)
Results Available: March 30, 2017


Application Process

Step 1:
Confirm Eligibility

Consider whether you meet the eligibility criteria (outlined above).

If applicants have any questions about their eligibility, they are encouraged to contact the Manager, Research Programs before submitting an application.

Step 2:
Review Application Requirements
Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the document below:

  2017-18 NSHRF Catalyst Grant (PDF)

Step 3:
Register in NSHRF’s Grants Management System (GMS)
Applications must be submitted through NSHRF’s online Grants Management System (GMS).

To access the application in GMS, the Principal Investigator (PI) must create an account. Please visit and click "sign up here" to create an account.

Step 4: Complete Application

To apply, login to GMS to access the application, where information will be either entered directly into GMS or uploaded as PDF documents. All instructions are detailed in the Application Requirements and the GMS / CCV User Guide.

Step 5: Obtain Team Member Application Consent Ensure all team members have provided their consent in GMS prior to submitting application.
Step 6: Obtain Institutional Approval Institutions must approve the application in GMS after it is submitted and prior to the application deadline.

Be sure to contact your institution to inquire about their process and deadlines for approval.

More information about these steps is outlined in the Application Requirements.

Review Process

  1. NSHRF staff will assess applications to determine whether they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. A peer review panel will review applications in accordance with NSHRF’s peer review guidelines and the assessment criteria outlined below.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be used by the peer review committee to assess Catalyst Grant applications:

Project Description

  • Clarity, appropriateness and scope of objectives (to encompass main project activities)
  • Clarity and appropriateness of methodology
  • Potential for the proposed project to strengthen a subsequent grant application
  • Appropriateness of the chosen targeted funding agency/competition for the proposed research
  • Potential contribution to the field of health research
  • Relevance to the priorities identified by the Department of Health and Wellness
  • Potential for impact on the economy, clinical practice, health policy and/or health services in Nova Scotia
  • Clarity and feasibility of project timeline
  • Clarity and feasibility of project activities
  • Alignment of timeline and work plan with objectives
  • Extent to which potential challenges and limitations are identified and adequately addressed


  • Principal investigator and team members demonstrate evidence of a track record of committed interest in health research and suitable research productivity (i.e. publications, policy papers, government reports, issue papers, etc.) appropriate to their career stage and funding history.


  • Appropriateness and adequacy of budget expenses and their justification
  • Availability of in-kind contributions and other sources of funding
Overall Merit of the Proposal
  • Significance of proposed research and expected contribution to understanding, interpreting, or creating knowledge


Resources and Assistance

Application Support

Applicants are invited to contact the Manager, Research Programs for assistance prior to submitting an application.

GMS and CCV Support

Please click here to download a step by step guide for applicants outlining how to navigate the GMS and Canadian Common CV (CCV).

For technical questions regarding the GMS or CCV, contact the NSHRF Help Desk at 902.424.4043 or

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.