CRAF (CIORA) Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award

This competition is closed.

The CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award is intended to provide new clinician investigators, within 5 years of a full-time clinical faculty appointment, with what would usually be their first opportunity, upon completion of post-graduate training, to demonstrate their ability to initiate and carry out independent research of clear relevance to arthritis, before becoming involved in carrying out the full clinical, teaching and research duties expected of a regular member of the university staff.

Awardees are expected to complete a research project during the term of this salary award. The proposed project must be of clear relevance to rheumatic diseases and be aligned with the research goals under the Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA) grant program.

  1. To support academic clinical research initiatives related to all Rheumatic Diseases.
  2. To support clinical research initiatives for community rheumatologists related to all Rheumatic Diseases.

Critical to the application is a letter of support from the applicant’s institution. This letter of support must detail the following: any “top up” funds for salary; confirmation that the applicant will spend at least 70% of their time in research activities; the extent to which the applicant will be exempted from teaching or clinical responsibilities (“protected time”); and office and lab space, as well as any other institutional resources to be provided. The letter of support should also confirm at least an additional 2-year commitment to the applicant beyond the two years provided by this award.

Applications will be assessed, in part, on the applicant’s merits and the commitment demonstrated by the institution in the letter of support.

Applicants will also be asked to identify an Investigator in a different discipline related to arthritis who is willing to act as a Mentor. The purpose of the Mentor is to expand the applicant’s perspective on (and experience with) collaborative multi-disciplinary research and help to facilitate the applicant’s career development.

The applicant should apply for this award and is responsible for ensuring that all documentation is received by Arthritis Society Canada in advance of the award application deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The award will be for a maximum of two years.

Applicants must show promise of attaining competence as an independent clinician investigator, and should not be registered in a graduate/post-graduate program at the time of application or undertake such studies during the period of appointment.

It is highly recommended that applicants who do not currently hold peer-reviewed research funds as a Principal Investigator submit an application to CIORA,  Arthritis Society Canada’s Strategic Operating Grant program, or to another appropriate agency (e.g., CIHR) simultaneously with the CRA (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award application.


To be eligible, a candidate must:

  • Be a certified Rheumatologist;
  • Be a CRA member in good standing;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident at the time of the application with a position at an eligible Canadian Host Institution;
  • Be within 5 years of their first clinical faculty appointment;
  • Have a written commitment from the Institution, via letter from the Dean of Faculty, Institutional Research Director or Departmental Chair which accompanies the application, committing to:
    • institutional support;
    • a minimum of 70% protected research time for the duration of the award;
    • commitment to continued salary support for at least 2 years upon completion of the award

Past Award Recipients

  1. Dr. Zahi Touma recipient of the 2018-2020 CRA (CIORA) Arthritis Society Clinician Investigator Award.
  2. Dr. Bindee Kuriya recipient of the 2015-17 CRA (CIORA) Arthritis Society Clinician Investigator Award.
  3. Dr. Cheryl Barnabe recipient of the 2013-15 CRA (CIORA) Arthritis Society Clinician Investigator Award.