The Clinical Research Innovation Fund is a research grant opportunity that has been made possible through a partnership between TD Meloche Monnex, Physiotherapy Alberta, and the University of Alberta’s Department of Physical Therapy. Two research operating grants of up to $15,000 and one or more not to exceed $10,000 are available to support clinically relevant research by clinicians within the physiotherapy community.

The Clinical Research Innovation Fund (CRIF) is a research grant opportunity that has been made possible through a partnership between TD Meloche Monnex, Physiotherapy Alberta, and the University of Alberta’s Department of Physical Therapy. Two research operating grants of up to $15,000 and one or more not to exceed $10,000 are available to support clinically relevant research by clinicians within the physiotherapy community. The purpose of the fund is to:

  • Provide academic support to clinicians, such as methodological design advice, data collection, analysis, etc., to advance clinical research.
  • Foster partnerships between the physiotherapy clinical and academic communities.
  • Fund methodologically sound research into the appropriateness, effectiveness, and safety of assessment and treatment methods with the goal of advancing evidence-based practice and knowledge mobilization.

Principal Applicants must be a physiotherapist, registered on the general register, and practicing clinically in Alberta. If the Principal Applicant is practicing in private practice or is self-employed, they must provide evidence that they have appropriate liability coverage to engage in research. Preference will be given to applicants who have not received funding within the past 2 years.

Ethical approval of the project, if required, must be provided prior to release of the funds. Ethical approval for projects can be obtained from public institutions such as the universities or Alberta Health Services, if one of the investigators are employed in those institutions. For those in private practice, the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (HREBA) protects the public by conducting ethical reviews of clinical trials or research conducted in community settings involving human subjects. There is a cost for the review, so please budget accordingly.

Principal Applicants may include on their study team, one or more faculty members from an academic or research institution in Alberta. Other participants may include clinicians, knowledge users, and other stakeholders, as appropriate. Potential applicants who are interested in linking with researchers at an academic institution can contact the Rehabilitation Research Centre by email at RRC@ualberta.ca. The Rehabilitation Research Centre is a research consulting centre that assists with developing links between the university and clinical communities to facilitate clinically relevant rehabilitation research (see: http://rehabilitation.ualberta.ca/research/institutes-and-centres/rehabilitation-research-centre)

The following areas are of interest to the funding partners, for consideration in 2017:

  • Patient safety and transitions of care
  • Healthy aging
  • Seniors health including stroke rehabilitation and falls prevention
  • Pediatrics
  • Chronic disease management
  • Pelvic health
  • Physiotherapy in Aboriginal/Indigenous health programs
  • Community and primary care physiotherapy service delivery
  • Evaluating use of social ‎media in clinical settings
  • Use of diagnostic imaging by physiotherapists
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Oncology rehabilitation

All proposals will undergo scientific review by a committee. External reviewers may be sought if additional content expertise is needed. Judging will be based on:

  • Relevance of the study to the clinical practice of physiotherapy
  • Quality of study design
  • Feasibility of plan
  • Final product, for example, presentation at national meeting, submission to professional journal, use of pilot project data to develop a full scale proposal to a specified major funding agency
  • Expertise and track record of applicants and other team members involved to carry out proposed research

Please send an electronic copy of the proposal with supporting materials as either a WORD or PDF document to Susan Lynch (Administrative Professional Officer for the University of Alberta’s Department of Physical Therapy) at slynch1@ualberta.ca. Any questions about the process can also be directed to Susan Lynch.

The research proposal should not exceed 4 pages excluding references and Appendices. The proposal should include:

  • Abstract (up to 250 words) – not included in the 4 page limit
  • Background (should include appropriate literature review)
  • Purpose and specific objectives
  • Methodology
    • Design, sample and sample size justification, data collection procedures, Analysis
  • Significance of the findings
  • Budget (with justification for expenditures)
  • Time frame for the proposed study
  • Plans for final product (presentation, publication, pilot work for inclusion in proposal for full scale study, etc.)
  • Appendices (use judiciously)

Formatting requirements: double spaced type, size 12 font, with 1-inch margins.

Supporting materials should include:

  • Curricula vitae of principal applicant and co-applicants (each not to exceed 3 pages),
  • Letter of support from any individual or organization whose support is needed for the success of the project,
  • Disclosure of any other funding that overlaps with the project,
  • Certificate of ethical approval where required (this need not accompany the application, but must be submitted before funding is released).

Acceptance of the grant must be acknowledged in writing by the principal applicant before funds are released. This letter should be viewed by the principal applicant as a contract binding him or her to complete the project, as funded, in the allotted time.

Principal Applicants are required to submit an annual update and a final report (including a financial report) within two months from completion of the grant period. Applicant(s) also agree to present their work at a future Physiotherapy Alberta educational event.

Abstracts/reprints of all presentations and publications resulting from the funded work should be sent to the CRIF Committee c/o Susan Lynch (slynch1@ualberta.ca) and such reports should acknowledge financial support from the Fund.

May 23, 2017 (review will take 4 weeks)
Granting period is not to exceed 2 years past the date of agreement signing.

  • Debbie Esau, Jane Schulz, Deb Slade, Eliza Lo, Karen Cettiga, Christine Whitford and Sue Ross - “Physiotherapy for Stress Urinary Incontinence: a Feasibility Study for a Randomized Control Study of Resisted Hip Rotation Exercise Training, and Resisted Hip Rotation Exercise Training plus Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise Training versus Pelvic Floor Muscle exercise Training Alone”
  • Kristen Grovue, Meagan Evans - “Pelvic Floor Muscle Function During Inspiratory Loading in Individuals With and Without Stress Incontinence: a Pilot Study”
  • Audrey Long, Geoff Bostick, Eric Parent, Linda Woodhouse, Stephan du Plessis - “Combined Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment and Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections versus Usual Care for Chronic Lumbar Radiculopathy: a Pilot Study”

Nine applications were received. After reviewing the applications the following applicants were deemed successful:

  • Victor Ezeugwu, Trish Manns, Physical Therapists at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital - "The feasibility of a home-based transition intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve function within the first 6 months after stroke."
  • Raj Dhillon, Grant Irwin, Geoff Bostick, Kathleen Norman, Surrinder Uppal - "Culturally sensitive pain assessment in physical therapy"
  • Janice Yurick, Claire MacKenzie, Edit Pituskin, Margaret McNeely - "Ultrasound therapy in the Treatment of Pain related to Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy:  a Placebo controlled Pilot Study"
  • Cathy Harbidge, Allyson Jones, David Hogan, Lynda McPhee - "Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Falls Prevention Exercise Program (EVEr - PEP Study)"
  • Jessica DeMars - "Dysfunctional Breathing in Pediatric Asthma: a case for physiotherapy intervention?"