Changes to Innovation Fund competition detailed

At the June 21 meeting, Governors approved the following recommendations to the Innovation Fundperson holding lightbulb competition starting in 2021: 

  1. One competition for early and all researchers
    • One competition for early investigators (first seven years of career) and all other researchers
    • SEAMO budget of $1.2M
    • Up to $100K per award
    • Early investigators funded proportionally at a minimum to that of more senior investigators
    • PI must be SEAMO-funded physician
    • Multi-disciplinary proposals prioritized
    • All forms of research eligible, mut be IFPOC compliant
    • Only one submission per physicia n
  2. Revamp review process
    • Committee Chair and two Scientific Officers to oversee process
    • Create a college of reviewers and send out assignments to ensure at least one reviewer has content expertise
    • Two reviewers and one reader assigned to every submission
    • All reviewers to attend meeting to discuss applications and all fundable applications discussed at the meeting
    • Evaluation form redesigned – CIHR criteria will continue to be used
    • All applicants receive score and feedback
  3. Changes to timeline
    • Competition announced late August
    • Full applications due first week of October
    • Applications sent to reviewers second week in October
    • Review Committee convenes first week of November
    • Recommendations tabled at December SPRC meeting
    • Recommendations sent to IFPOC first week in January
    • Approval provided by IFPOC first week of March
    • SEAMO received funding March 31

It was also approved by the Governors to (a) eliminate the expression of interest applications and require only full applications to the Innovation Fund in the future; and (b) introduce regular reviews of funded projects (every three to five years) to ensure Innovation Fund goal(s) are achieved. 

Thank you to the Innovation Fund Strategic Review Committee, led by interim SEAMO Medical Director Dr. Stephen Vanner, for completing the review and proposing these changes.