Catalyst Research Grant

The Catalyst Research Grant program awards seed funding that allows researchers to develop and test new and innovative research questions and pursue pioneering approaches that have high potential to advance the MS field.

The Catalyst Research Grant is open to all ideas and areas of research. Proposals should address research questions in one or more of the impact goal areas identified in MS Canada’s (MSC) strategic plan:

  • Advance Treatment and Care: Research that aims to advance treatment and care for people affected by MS (e.g. symptom management; diagnosis; developing new treatments and understanding their mechanisms, understanding and evaluating interventions to address mental health, wellness/self-care, and rehabilitation in people living with MS; innovations in the provision of health services, clinical care practices and models of care; and advances in healthcare delivery/policy).
  • Enhance Well-being: Research that aims to understand how to enhance the well-being of people affected by MS within communities (e.g. understanding the social determinants of health; assessing the health economics/cost benefit analysis on MS interventions and support structures and systems; evaluation of community-based programs; and advances in health systems research/policy).
  • Understand and Halt Disease Progression: Research that aims to understand the etiology and mechanisms of MS, disease progression, progressive MS, and repair (e.g., myelin biology, neurobiology, neurophysiology, immunology, neuropathology, and imaging).
  • Prevent MS: Research that aims to prevent MS (e.g. identifying risk factors for disease, effective interventions for prevention, health economic/cost benefit analysis on prevention, and defining highest risk populations).

Based on the nature of the research, applicants can apply to one of the following two streams:

  • Biomedical Research Stream
  • Clinical and Population Health Research Stream

Biomedical Research Stream

The Biomedical Research stream supports research which uncovers the biological, pathological, and mechanistic aspects of MS, and provides fundamental knowledge about the development, progression, prevention and treatment of MS disease. Studies can involve in vitro, animal, and/or human models.

Clinical and Population Health Research Stream

The Clinical and Population Health Research stream supports clinical research with the goal of improving diagnosis, treatment, or the health and quality of life of individuals with MS; health services research; encompasses research on, or for the treatment of, people affected by MS; supports population health research that aims to understand the complex, biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that determine the health of individuals and populations.

Term and Amount

Term: MSC supports Catalyst Research Grants for up to two (2) years. These grants are non-renewable.

Amount: The maximum amount that may be requested is $50,000 over the maximum term of the grant.


  • Have an academic or research appointment which allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project to engage in independent research activities.
  • Conduct research within a Canadian institution.
  • Engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding, supervise trainees and publish research activities.
  • Test novel, high-risk ideas or interventions that have not been examined in MS or examined to a limited extent.

Important Dates

  • Competition Opens: July 21, 2023
  • Application Deadline: October 3, 2023 at 16:00 ET
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2024
  • Funding Start Date: April 1, 2024

What's new this year?

  • MS Canada has a new partnership with Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) to co-fund Principal Investigators based in Saskatchewan and holding a position at an eligible research institution in Saskatchewan.


  • All applications must be submitted via ProposalCentral, which can be accessed through the following website:
  • Interested applicants must create a profile on ProposalCentral through which they can complete the application process. Applicants are also required to connect their ORCiD identifier, a persistent and unique digital identifier, to the ProposalCentral profile. ORCiD will connect your iD with your professional information (e.g. grants, publications, funding, etc.). If you don’t have an ORCiD, you can easily create one in a few minutes.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the updated Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Questionnaire to help us better monitor equity in our programs. Your information will only be seen by authorized MSC staff and the data collected will only be used in an aggregated form in order to protect the identity of individuals. 
  • Catalyst Research Grants provide up to $50,000 over two years and is open to all researchers at any career stage and all areas of research.
  • MSC will permit trainees as an allowable expense for Catalyst grants. The expectation is that the requested support should be commensurate with the needed capacity to complete the project.
  • Early career researchers (ECRs), who are seeking needed preliminary data, are encouraged to apply to this competition as a stepping stone for success in larger grant funding competitions. 
  • Each applicant can submit a maximum of one (1) proposal to the Catalyst Research Grant competition.

Research Funding Partnerships

MSC Partnership with Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

Partnership Objectives

MSC and SHRF aim to support a greater number of Catalyst Research Grants by providing awards to outstanding individuals in Saskatchewan who wish to commence, pursue or sustain their research program in the field of MS. This support will be delivered through the co-funding of excellent Catalyst Research Grant applications submitted to the annual competition of MSC. Awards will be co-funded by MSC and SHRF.

Mechanisms of Support

The co-funded support for Catalyst Research Grants are two (2) years in length.

Program Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this partnership funding:

  • An applicant must submit an application for MSC’s Catalyst Research Grant competition. 
  • The research needs to take place in Saskatchewan and have a Principal Investigator who holds a position at an eligible institution in Saskatchewan. 
  • The application must be approved for funding based on the peer review from MSC annual research competition.

Applications that are to be conducted at institutions located in Saskatchewan will be automatically considered for funding for an MSC-SHRF partnership award. If successful in the competition, each partner’s contribution will be outlined in the letter of agreement with the Institution for the amount they contribute to the total award.