Discovery Research Grants

The Discovery Research Grant Program is intended to support various research projects aligned with MS Canada’s (MSC) strategic plan. The strategic plan outlines four key impact areas:

  • 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, understanding interactions between risk factors, developing risk assessment tools, understanding preclinical/prodromal MS, identifying biomarkers for preclinical/prodromal MS, effective interventions for primary and secondary 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, health outcomes, and/or quality of life of people with MS. This stream would include clinical research, population health research, health services research, and other research that builds on our knowledge and understanding of the complex, biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that influence the health and well-being of individuals and populations.

Term and Amount

Term: MSC will support Discovery Research grants for up to three (3) years. These grants are non-renewable.

Amount: The amount that may be requested is expected to be within a range of $50,000-$100,000 per year. Budgets must not exceed $300,000. All budgets will be rigorously assessed by the review committee and MSC to maximize funding available to support as many researchers.

Support beyond the term of funding (i.e. 3 years) will require submission and approval of a new grant application which is subject to review in direct competition with other new grant applications.


  • Have an academic or research appointment which allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project and 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.

Important Dates

  • Competition Opens: July 2024
  • Application Deadline: October 2024
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 2025
  • Funding Start Date: April 1, 2025

What's new this year?

  • MS Canada has a new CV template that will need to be completed by the primary applicants and key personnel as part of their grant application. Please download the new CV template with instructions here. Each CV should not exceed five (5) pages.
  • The non-scientific summary of your proposed research will now be referred to as the 'Plain Language Summary' section. Applicants will be asked to use non-scientific, everyday language to describe the goals of the proposed research, anticipated outcomes, and why it is important and relevant to people affected by MS. This section will be reviewed by non-scientific reviewers, referred to as Community Representatives, whose assessments will be considered in making funding recommendations. Failure to meet the criteria of a satisfactory plain language summary as determined by the Community Representatives will result in the applicant resubmitting this section for approval. A template for the plain language summary can be downloaded from ProposalCentral. One (1) page maximum. For guidance on how to write a plain language summary for your application, see Writing for a Non-Scientific Audience.


  • 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.
  • Discovery Research Grants are expected to be within a range of ~$50,000-100,000 per year and a term of up to three years. Budgets must not exceed $300,000. 
  • MSC will permit trainees as an allowable expense for Discovery grants. The expectation is that the requested support should be commensurate with the needed capacity to complete the project.
  • Each applicant can submit a maximum of one (1) proposal to the Discovery 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 Discovery 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 Discovery 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 Discovery Research Grants are three (3) years in length.  

Program Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this partnership funding:

  • An applicant must submit an application for MSC’s Discovery 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.