Internal Funding Opportunities for Trainees

O'Brien Institute/CSM support program

The O’Brien Institute for Public Health is pleased to support research capacity building, providing opportunities to O’Brien Institute members recruiting excellent graduate trainees. A common goal of all internal University sponsors, including the Institute, is to offer initial financial stability for incoming trainees, while encouraging them to compete as soon as possible for prestigious, external funding. This approach ensures the Institute and Institution remain competitive — provincially and nationally — and supports internal financial sustainability.

To leverage the matching opportunities offered by the Cumming School of Medicine’s support programs, the O’Brien Institute process aligns with those programs’ guidelines. Please note that the CSM programs are eligible only to trainees of faculty with primary affiliation in the Cumming School of Medicine. The Institute may be able to contribute matching funding for a limited number of post-doctoral trainees not eligible for the CSM opportunities. See the coversheet to the funding application form for further explanation.

Through the Cumming School of Medicine’s Graduate Student Scholarship the CSM and the individual graduate supervisor will cost share a $30,000/year stipend for four years of a PhD program (two years for MSc).

As explained in the Cumming Postdoctoral Scholar Program (PSP) guidelines, applications for postdoctoral funding are made through the Research Institutes and will be considered by the Cumming PSP committee throughout the year. Eligibility for this program aligns with the definitions of CIHR trainees and AIHS Postdoctoral applicants, as noted here. To apply through the O'Brien Institute for Public Health, supervisors and candidates complete and submit this form to, with submission deadlines of June 1 and November 1. Applications are reviewed and prioritized by the O'Brien Trainee Funding College of Reviewers, for potential submission to the Cumming PSP committee. Supervisors are notified of results by the O’Brien Institute, and candidates eventually approved for Cumming School of Medicine matching support become part of the CSM process, including having to report annually to justify renewal. All recipients of O'Brien Postdoctoral Scholar funding will be asked to report their progress annually.

To support professional development of the candidate and financial sustainability of the Institute, recipients of an O’Brien PDS award are required to apply for external scholarship funding to replace the O’Brien award. Any other salary funding secured following the award of an O'Brien Postdoctoral Scholar Award must be used to replace as much as possible of the Institute's contribution to the matching funding matrix. O’Brien funding for a second year will be contingent on efforts and demonstrated success in fulfilling award requirements (listed in the Terms of Reference for the CSM PDS) as determined by review of the O’Brien PDS Annual Report.  The Annual Report should be submitted at least 2 months prior to the required award extension date, and ideally near June 1 or November 1, to accommodate review by the O’Brien Trainee Funding Committee.

Interested CSM faculty can obtain more information, including new procedures for hiring foreign applicants, from Susan Wong (new Postdoctoral Program Administrator for CSM; 403-220-8570;