Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants (CPTRG)

Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants

Stream 3 and Pathology Image Analysis Stream

Application Checklist:

  1. Application S3 or Pathology Image Analysis Form: administrative information and research project;
  2. Budget spreadsheet: budget and justification;
  3. Deliverables and Milestones spreadsheet;
  4. Applicants' CVs;
  5. Preliminary data and/or figures (optional; single additional page only);
  6. Letter from Senior Investigator (where PI is an early-career faculty member);
  7. Letter from trainee's Program Director specifying time allotment for research; (subject: OMPRN%20CPTRG%20Application) ( Submit Application or Ask a Question » )
FUNDING PARTNERS Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)
PROPOSAL DUE DATE November 2, 2020
FUNDING PERIOD 1 year (ending March 31, 2022)

$80,000 per Stream 3 grant
$30,000 per Pathology Image Analysis Stream grant



The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is a collaborative centre of excellence in cancer research that aims to move Ontario to the forefront of discovery and innovation so that the people of Ontario and the economy benefit from promising research results and breakthroughs. OICR’s mission is to partner with the Ontario oncology community to accelerate the development and implementation of clinically important knowledge, products, services and policies to improve cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment and enable patients in Ontario and worldwide to live longer and better lives.

OICR’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 prioritized the establishment of the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN), a Collaborative Research Network focused on enhancing molecular pathology research capacity across the province by:

  • Fostering collaboration and cooperation between Ontario academic pathologists;
  • Increasing the participation of pathologists in high-quality translational cancer research;
  • Providing opportunities for residents, fellows and early career pathologists to obtain training and mentorship in cancer research.

OMPRN’s vision is to create a province-wide network of pathologists collaborating to carry out high-quality cancer research with a clear potential for clinical utility. The OMPRN Steering Committee has developed objectives under the three broad themes of (i) Awareness & Outreach, (ii) Education, and (iii) Pathology-led Research. The Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grant (CPTRG) Streams address the latter objective by supporting projects in which the primary drivers are pathologists and the primary focus is on pathology cancer research.

Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants will build the capacity of Ontario pathologists to undertake transdisciplinary research projects that advance the field of cancer diagnostic, prognostic or predictive testing and provide learning opportunities for pathology residents or early-career pathologists.

The following funding stream is available to support projects that promote research excellence and transdisciplinary collaboration, and encourage membership in a pathology research community:

OMPRN Grants

Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants Stream 3 Supports one-year, collaborative research projects that bring together a pathologist Principal Investigator (PI) with a trans-disciplinary Co-Investigator and a pathology trainee. up to $80,000 1 year (ending March 31, 2022)
Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants Pathology Image Analysis Stream Supports small one-year, collaborative research projects with a primary focus on computer-assisted analysis of pathology-related microscopic images. Projects will bring together a pathologist Principal Investigator (PI) with a trans-disciplinary Co-Investigator and a pathology trainee. up to $30,000 1 year (ending March 31, 2022)

Objective of the 2020 Request for Applications

To solicit applications for the fifth CPTRG competition, funding for which will begin in March 2021.

Project Scope

Projects must be likely to advance the field of cancer diagnostic, prognostic or predictive testing. Collaborations between Ontario institutions, including use of OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources (CRR) and other trans-institutional use of core resources, are encouraged, as is leveraging of existing collaborative clinical trials networks. It is expected that most proposals will make use of primary human cancer samples.

Examples of the types of projects OMPRN seeks to fund include:

  • Novel approaches to making definitive pathological cancer diagnoses under challenging circumstances such as small tissue samples or difficult-to-recognize cancer types;
  • Incorporation of molecular data in the pathological classification of tumours;
  • Identification or validation of prognostic or predictive cancer biomarkers, including in the context of drug discovery or clinical trials.

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

Please download a copy of the Request for Applications (RFA) for eligibility and evaluation criteria.

Please take a look at the CPTRG resources for common weaknesses in past rounds (click to read).

Frequently Asked Questions (subject: OMPRN%20CPTRG%20Application) ( Email Application or Ask a Question » )

Are trainees from institutions outside of Ontario eligible for Cancer Pathology Translational Research Grants (CPTRGs)?

A trainee must be a pathology resident with an MD degree enrolled in an Ontario-based residency training program or an Ontario-based CCMG trainee.

In terms of the eligibility of the Principal Investigator, which college certifications are permitted?

Eligible Canadian certifications include Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) for MD applicants or Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) for MD or PhD clinical laboratory scientists. Equivalent certifications from other jurisdictions are acceptable.

How is the time point of 7 years defined for early career pathology applicants?

An early career pathologist is a pathologist who is within seven years of his/her first academic faculty or staff appointment at the time of the grant application deadline.

Is the time point of 24 months (since completion of PGY5 year of residency for trainees) taken at the time of application or time of grant award?

The time point of 24 months refers to the time between completing PGY5 and the deadline for the grant application (not the time when the grant is approved or funding actually flows).

Do current clinical fellows past the 24 month limit (post PGY5) qualify as a “trainee”?

An early career investigator would have to have a faculty position and be within 7 years of his/her first faculty appointment to be able to apply as an “early career PI”. Therefore, a pathologist who is beyond the 24 months of completing his/her PGY5 year and does not have a faculty appointment would not eligible to apply in any category.

Can the Principal Investigator be a clinical scientist specializing in microbiology or biochemistry?

Microbiology/biochemistry clinical scientists cannot be counted as the Principal Investigator in either the Stream 1 or 2 grants. However, they can be a Co-Investigator if s/he crosses a substantial transdisciplinary boundary relative to the Principal Investigator.

Can the Principal Investigator be a DDS oral pathologist?

Ontario-based oral pathologists with hospital responsibilities are eligible to apply as the Principal Investigator in either Stream 1 or 2 grants.

What constitutes a relevant project?

Projects must be demonstrably likely to advance the field of cancer diagnostic, prognostic or predictive testing. Projects must have the potential to contribute tangibly to the field of pathological tumour diagnosis, pathological classification or prognostic/predictive testing. It is expected that most proposals will make use of primary human cancer samples.

Where can I find services or resources to complete projects?

There are a number of services and resources throughout Ontario. You can search service providers by location or service. You can also search our database of Ontario network researchers by research interest or location.

Can CPTRG grants support my salary?

Applicant salaries and benefits are not allowable costs. Salaries and benefits for specialists such as statisticians or informaticians (where applicable and if they are employees of the Lead (this is the institution of the PI and lead applicant) or a Partner Institution (this is the institution where the Co-Investigator is based), research associates, technicians, post-doctoral fellows, and other highly qualified personnel working directly on the research projects are allowable costs. Eligible salaries and benefits are eligible for overhead.

Will indirect costs come out of the allocated grant?

Indirect costs (or overheads) will be provided on top the allocated grant award to the lead applicant’s institution. Overheads should be indicated in the budget template provided. Overhead generally refers to the funding that doesn't go directly to research expenses (salaries of researchers, cost of experiments/consumables, etc) but to the supporting expenses (salaries of administrative/support staff; cost of facilities and utilities, equipment depreciation) of services that are necessary but not directly related to research. A maximum rate of 30 per cent will be used for all overhead eligible costs (please see Appendix II Budget Guidelines and Allowable Costs for more information) and will be approved as part of the budget approval process.

Can funds be used out of Ontario?

Funding will only be provided to institutions based in Ontario for work to be carried out in Ontario. Funds may be used for services out-of-province by exception and with clear justification from the applicant (e.g. if the service is NOT available in Ontario, OR although available in Ontario, the service provider would not be able to complete the service within the timeline of the award).

Is it possible to form a team with multiple co-investigators?

The Stream 1 application requires a single, named co-investigator whose CV must be supplied. If necessary, any others beyond the PI, Co-I and Trainee who contribute to the project may be named, and their contributions described, in the body of the Project Description. Any additional CVs supplied beyond those of the PI, Co-I and Trainee will not be read.

Is it possible to apply for a grant while the institutional/ethics approval is still pending

Applications submitted are expected to comply with the conditions under which tissue was obtained and Research Ethics Board (REB) approval should be obtained prior to the transfer of funds. Although REB approval is not required at the time of application it is recommended that applicants start this process with their institution to ensure that successful research projects can start once funding flows.

Pathologists and Researchers who are interested in being part of the OMPRN: