The Arthritis Society - Training Graduate Post-Doctoral Fellowship Salary Award (TPF)

The Arthritis Society provides support for highly qualified postdoctoral fellows to engage in research that has clear relevance to arthritis and The Arthritis Society's Research Theme(s). It is expected that the research will be conducted under the supervision of a Canadian arthritis researcher / investigator with a research appointment at a CIHR-eligible Canadian university or research institute. Applications are to be made by the applicant with close supervision of the proposed supervisor. The training program must include actual involvement in research. Fellows enrolled in programs oriented toward clinical training focused on research are eligible for these awards.

The Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides support for highly qualified postdoctoral fellows to engage in research that is relevant to arthritis, under the supervision of an arthritis researcher who qualifies as a Nominated Principal Applicant as defined by The Society. Applications are made by the fellow under the close supervision of the proposed supervisor or by the proposed supervisor. The training program must include actual involvement in conducting research. It is expected that the fellow will be spending at least 75% of his/her time conducting research during the tenure of the award. Fellows enrolled in programs oriented toward clinical training focused on research are eligible for these awards.

Funds Available 

  • Applicants who hold a PhD are eligible for $40,000, which includes matched funding, for a maximum term of three years; Successful applicants will receive $20,000 from The Arthritis Society for this award
  • Applicants who hold a clinical health professional degree are eligible for a salary of $40,000 - $50,000 per year (including matched funding), depending upon the number of years of academic training; Successful applicants will receive $20,000 - $25,000 from The Arthritis Society for this award.

Important notes about this award

At the time of application, candidates must identify a Mentor working in a different discipline in arthritis research. The purpose of the Mentor is to expand the trainee's perspective on (and experience with) collaborative multi-disciplinary research and help to facilitate the applicant's career development. The mentor can act as a co- or secondary supervisor, or be a Faculty member willing to dedicate time to oversee the applicant’s project.

Awardees are permitted to hold additional awards provided that the total annual value does not exceed 50% (i.e. $10,000 for graduate awards) of the total salary stipend amount. If the awardee receives additional salary support that is more than 50% of the annual value, the amount of the TAS award will be adjusted and reduced accordingly.

If the awardee receives salary award support equal to or greater than 100% of the total salary stipend amount (i.e. $20,000 or greater), then the awardee must decline the TAS salary award and return all unspent funds.

Awardees are expected to spend at least 75 per cent of their time in research training. (i.e. The student may spend no more than 10 hours/week in paid employment that is not directly related to their research training)

If, at any time during the tenure of the award, the supervisor feels that the progress of the awardee is not satisfactory, The Arthritis Society must be notified in writing immediately. The award may be terminated at any time for good and sufficient reason by the awardee, the institution or The Arthritis Society. It is the responsibility of the supervisor and the institution to notify The Arthritis Society immediately of the change of status of an awardee

For health care professionals who have been supported by a The Arthritis Society award while obtaining a PhD degree, the award will terminate when the Fellow has completed the degree requirements.


Annual Research Progress Report: A report of research progress is due August 1st of every year. The report must include a written description of progress made on the work outlined in the original application as well as any other arthritis-related projects that the awardee worked on (whether funded by another agency or The Society) during the term of the award. A report template will be available on the research application portal. Compliance with this policy is necessary for ongoing funding of your salary award and research project if applicable.

End-of-Award Reporting: A final report of the accomplishments and impacts of the research conducted during the term of this salary award is due six months after the termination of the award. This report must include documentation of all milestones achieved during the entire award cycle and include reference to other arthritis-related projects that the candidate worked on. The Society also requests that the awardee submit information regarding changes in professional status, updates on contact information and the area of current research interest.

Financial Administration

  • The funds provided by The Society in support of the Post Doctoral Fellowship award will be made in trust to the designated financial officer of the sponsoring institution.
  • At the end of each 12-month period, The Society requires a statement of financial receipts and disbursements.
  • The use of these funds is limited to expenditures related to the salary and benefits of the award. The Society’s award funds cannot be used to pay any other expenditure except with prior written permission from The Society.
  • Where an award is terminated, any unexpended balance must be returned to The Society.

Reports and Publications

Any publication of papers which result from this award must acknowledge The Society's support. A copy of any such publications should be provided to The Society as soon as available.

Research Program Guidelines

Applicants are expected to read and comply with The Society’s Research & Training Program Guidelines which can be found on The Society’s website,

The Arthritis Society
Attention: Research
1700-393 University Ave Toronto, ON  M5G 1E6
Tel 416-979-7228 Ext 3320


Application Procedures

Applications must include the following components (submitted through online application system):

  • Cover Page that is signed by the candidate, supervisor and the institution;
  • Non-confidential Lay Summary of the project (max. 945 words);
  • CIHR (Common Format) Academic CV of the candidate and the primary supervisor (covering the most recent 5 years only);
  • Official transcripts of the candidate’s undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) training;
  • Research module (max. 4,000 words);
  • Appendices – references, graphs/diagrams, supporting publications (Must be in a PDF file format and not exceed 10 pages);
  • Letter of support from the institution(i.e. Faculty Dean, Research Director, Head of the Department, etc.);
  • Letters of support from two references who have supervised the applicant ;
  • Letter of support from the candidate’s Mentor (i.e. co-supervisor, secondary supervisor, Faculty member, etc.) outlining the mentorship plan and highlighting the out-of- discipline experience and value the candidate will receive; and
  • Letter of support from the persons and/or organizations who have providing matched funding.

Eligibility Summary

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • work on a research project at a research facility in Canada that is relevant to the research theme(s) identified in The Arthritis Society's 5-year strategic plan;
  • be in receipt of a PhD or a health professional degree (or equivalent, in a field such as medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation sciences, nursing, pharmaceutical studies, veterinary medicine, etc) by the anticipated start date of the project;
  • be within their first four (4) years of postdoctoral work at the time of the application deadline; and
  • NOT be in the same research laboratory (supervisor) in which they received their PhD. Note: Applicants who are not in receipt of their PhD at the application deadline but who will be in receipt of their PhD by the start of funding, and who can provide all required documentation, are eligible to apply.

The roles and responsibilities of an Eligible Institution to receive and manage The Society’s research and training funds are defined in The Society’s Research and Training Program  Guidelines and Policies.

Evaluation Criteria

Post doctoral fellowship award applications will first undergo administrative review for completeness and eligibility.  Applications that are incomplete or are deemed ineligible will be triaged from the competition.

Eligible applications will be reviewed by a Review Panel of The Society's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).  The Society places great emphasis on the relevance to and impact of its awards on the general field of arthritis. The Society reserves the right to approve or decline any application without stating its reasons.

Applications will be reviewed and scored according to the following criteria:

  1. Does the proposed project have potential to add value, i.e., the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, intellectual property, information to consumers and/or health policy makers, decrease the burden of illness, increase quality of life, etc.;
  2. Feasibility and quality of project, i.e., given the information available, is the proposed project feasible within the time frame, the technology available, the laboratory environment, supervision, etc.; and
  3. Quality of candidate (according to CV, transcripts, letters of support and eligibility consistent with CIHR guidelines) as well as the strength of the training environment.

Each category has a scoring range of 0-5.

In addition, consumer representatives will be asked the following questions:

  1. Is the proposed research relevant in terms of some or all of the following arthritis areas: prevention, cause, detection, treatment, care, quality of life, and/or other pertinent issues?
  2. Assuming the proposed research is scientifically sound, is it applicable in the near term, or does it lay the groundwork for addressing future arthritis issues?
  3. Based on your knowledge and experience with arthritis, are there any comments you have regarding this proposal?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that applications are complete at the time of submission. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.