CRAF (CIORA) Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award

This competition is closed.

The Canadian Rheumatology Association Foundation (CRAF) and Arthritis Society Canada are pleased to announce the CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award competition for the 2024-25 grant year.


The CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award is intended to provide salary support for new clinician investigators within 5 years of a full-time clinical faculty appointment in order for them to have protected time to conduct independent research of clear relevance to rheumatic diseases.

Awardees are expected to complete a research project during the term of this salary award. The proposed project must 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‚Äôs institution. This letter of support must detail the following: any ‚Äútop up‚ÄĚ funds for salary; confirmation that the applicant will spend at least 50% of their time in research activities; the extent to which the applicant will be exempted from teaching or clinical responsibilities (‚Äúprotected time‚ÄĚ); and office and lab space, as well as any other institutional resources to be provided. A commitment for additional support by the applicant‚Äôs institution beyond the two years provided by this award is highly encouraged but is not a necessary requirement.

Applications will be assessed, in part, on the applicant’s merits and, in part, on 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 CRAF (CIORA)-Arthritis Society Canada Clinician Investigator Award application. 


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 full-time 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 50% protected research time for the duration of the award;

Award amount and term

  • The CRAF’s contribution to the investigator’s salary is $60,000 per annum for a maximum of two years, subject to a successful annual review.
  • Funding will commence on January 1, 2025.


Applications must include the following components:

  • Application Cover Page
  • Lay Summary
  • Research Proposal
  • Statement of Relevance
  • CIHR Common CV
  • Supporting letter from the Faculty Dean, Institutional Research Director or Departmental Chair
  • Letters of support from two Sponsors; and,
  • Letter of support from the applicant‚Äôs Mentor.

The institution must undertake to provide adequate research facilities and to administer the award in accordance with Arthritis Society Canada’s stipulations outlined on their website.

Applicants must devote at least 50 percent of their time to research. They may engage in teaching and clinical service to a limited extent, and there is no restriction on the time spent in the supervision of research trainees. Clinical service in a clinical field should be related to the appointee’s research and be undertaken with the agreement of the Head of the department and the Dean of the faculty (or equivalents).

An award may be terminated at any time for good and sufficient reason by the awardee, the institution, the CRAF or Arthritis Society Canada. It is the responsibility of the host institution to notify Arthritis Society Canada immediately of the change in status of an awardee.

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. 


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.