Health Outcomes Improvement (HOI) Fund

This RFP was issued by the Maternal, Newborn,
Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network®.

The registration and application deadlines have passed.
To see the funding results, click here.

Contact for Information

For questions about project fit and eligibility, please contact:
Seija Kromm, PhD
Assistant Scientific Director
Maternal Newborn Child & Youth Strategic Clinical Network®
Tel: 780-902-2940

For questions about the application process, please contact:
Courtney Lundy, ECE
Business and Grants Manager
PolicyWise for Children & Families
Tel: 403-955-2403

Background and Purpose:

The full proposal and application form must be complete by October 4th 2016 at 4:00pm.

The mission of the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth (MNCY) Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) is “to bring together people, evidence and data to achieve the best possible health outcomes for mothers, newborns, children and families within a sustainable, publically funded health care system.” To facilitate this mission, Nutrition and Food Services (NFS) at Alberta Health Services (AHS) has made value-added funds available to the MNCY SCN to be used for research and quality improvement projects to improve health and clinical care for women, infants, children, and youth in Alberta

Review Process:

The application and review process for this RFP is being managed by PolicyWise for Children & Families. PolicyWise exists to improve child, family and community well-being by leading, creating and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice. PolicyWise’ mission is to develop and integrate evidence to inform, identify and promote effective public policy and service delivery to improve the well-being of children, families and communities in Alberta, Canada and internationally.

Grant Amount and Term

The total amount of funding available over 3 years for all grants is $3.1 million. This Request for Proposals includes three grant types:

Open Funding – Small$5,000-$50,000Up to 24 months
Targeted Funding – Small$5,000-$50,000Up to 24 months
Targeted Funding – Large>$50,000-$375,000Up to 36 months

Open Funding Call – Small Grants

The open funding call will accept applications from projects identified as either CIHR pillar II or pillar III ( that address improving health and clinical care for women, infants, children, and youth (the MNCY population). A nutrition component is welcome, but not required.

Targeted Funding Call – Small and Large Grants

The targeted funding call will accept applications from projects identified as either CIHR pillar II or pillar III ( that address a MNCY priority. A nutrition component is welcome, but not required. Applicants are required to provide an additional ½ page explanation outlining how the project aligns with and addresses the MNCY SCN priority, and how it will help the MNCY SCN achieve the purpose of the priority.

Revised MNCY Priority Topics

The targeted call (with the exception of priority #6) requires a project that proposes a change to how clinical care is managed (i.e. a pathway or innovation) and tests it (i.e. implementation and evaluation) either across the health care system, or in a pilot test, with the intent to scale and spread the change in care across the health care system if the pilot is successful.  Proposed changes to health care management should be based on a solid background of evidence (i.e. translation of what we know into what we do).  Projects focusing on priorities 1-5 will be given higher weight if the initiative is proposed by a team of investigators that represent the entire province, and focus on broader aspects of clinical care (e.g. multiple health care conditions).

Develop, implement, and evaluate Alberta perinatal pathways in the following areas:

  • Pregnancy planning or preconception health
  • Pregnancy, antenatal, prenatal health and care
  • Intrapartum care
  • Postpartum and newborn care (e.g., normal perinatal clinical pathway or pathways for variations from normal e.g., mothers with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, pre-existing conditions, complex social factors, need for induction, etc.)

Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches in Alberta to support transition of child/youth with complex needs to adult care.

Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches in Alberta to enhance optimal outcomes in paediatric concussion.

Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to support obstetrical care and access for rural, Aboriginal and/or marginalized populations in Alberta.

Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to optimize regional facility support for pediatric capacity in Alberta.

Regional facility support refers to acute care facilities and alleviating pressures on SCH and ACH and increasing use of regional acute care facilities.

Demonstrations of enhanced use of measurement and analytics to support improving patient outcomes in the MNCY population in Alberta.

The objective of this priority is to engage with Alberta researchers to facilitate the development of the MyCHILDALBERTA data repository (see figure below), which is a co-initiative of the MNCY SCN® and the PolicyWise for Children & Families (PolicyWise). Researchers should propose studies which will utilize linked Alberta Health, Human Services, Education and Justice and Solicitor General’s administrative datasets [see list of MyCHILD data sets below] to answer a well-formulated question that addresses important maternal or child health issues. Successful researcher’s will work collaboratively with the MNCY SCN team to link the necessary data sets within the MyCHILD data repository, then identify the desired data elements, extract and anonomize the data for the researcher to analyze. Proposals to expand the list of data sets and data analytic software to be included within the MyCHILD repository will also be evaluated favorably.

MyCHILD Data Analytics Platform Schema

Targeted funds administration:

For targeted projects, the MNCY SCN will provide shared infrastructure/project management, fund management and potentially other supports (e.g., data analyst, communications support, etc.) that would eliminate the need for each project to independently seek these supports. An example of a common support and resource is a single project manager for all large grant projects. The types of support will depend on needs across all projects in order to create efficiencies in use of the Health Outcomes Improvement (HOI) Fund and discussions will be held with successful applicants to identify those opportunities. However, while efforts will be made to pool resources, individual investigators should identify their resource and budget requirements in full.

For questions please contact Dr. Seija Kromm, Assistant Scientific Director of the MNCY SCN by email at: or by phone at 780-902-2940.

Eligibility to Apply for HOI Fund Grants (open and targeted):

  • This funding opportunity is open to teams led by Alberta-based researchers and/or clinicians whose project is relevant to the purpose and objectives of the funding opportunity.
  • The primary investigator (PI) must be affiliated with an Alberta-based university or health related institution and eligible to hold research funds at that institution.
  • The research must be carried out in Alberta, with Albertans.

Eligible Expenses

Decisions about eligible expenses will conform to the relevant Tri-council guidelines (see,, except retroactive expenses and indirect/grant administrative costs will not be supported.

Application Process

The application will involve a two-step process:

  1. registration, and
  2. full proposal.

Full proposals are due October 4th 2016 at 16:00 MDT and should be submitted via the online form, available after completing the online registration. Applicants can expect to be notified by the end of January 2017 about the results of their application.


Registration for this competition is now closed.

Registration will be used to:

  1. Facilitate reviewer selection,
  2. Ensure targeted proposals are focused on MNCY priorities as outlined above, and
  3. Provide an opportunity to connect researchers, clinicians, and/or decision-makers for the targeted proposals.

All registrations will proceed to full proposal.

Full Proposals
Registered applicants will be asked to submit their full proposal as an attachment with the online application form. The full proposals should include the following components in either Word or PDF format:

6 pages single spaced

  • Background, rationale
  • Objectives and/or research questions
  • Relevance: how the project aligns with and addresses MNCY SCN priority topics (for targeted call) or will improve health outcomes in the MNCY population (open call)
  • Methodology/project design: depending on the type of project: a) sufficient detail about the process and approach so reviewers can evaluate its potential for success; and b) sufficient detail for reviewers to evaluate the scientific merit
  • Anticipated results and impact of project
  • Integrated knowledge sharing/translation plan
  • References (not included in 6 pages)

The online application form will also require the following:

  • Abstract (200-word maximum)
  • Timelines
  • Team composition, including qualifications/responsibilities of investigator(s), collaborators, students and trainees, where applicable
  • Environment (e.g., institutional support, available facilities and equipment, access to data, etc.)
  • Ethical considerations (if any)
  • Budget
  • Signatures:
    • If eligible to hold funds at an Alberta university the following signatures are required: Principal Investigator; PI’s Department Head, Chair, or Dean; and the university research services office. It is up to applicants to ensure they are following their university’s protocol. Please use your university’s internal signature page and attach a scanned copy to the application.
    • If not eligible to hold funds at an Alberta university, the following signatures are required:For grants under $50,000: Principle investigator; PI’s supervisor; Research Office (or equivalent); and relevant sponsors.For large grants:As above, plus finance office of the health-related institution (e.g., Department Business Advisory Services (BAS Support), or Manager, Revenue); Vice President of the PI’s department.It is up to applicants to ensure they are following their organization’s protocol.The background/rationale, relevance, methodology, anticipated results and impact, and integrated knowledge translation sections should not exceed six pages in total (single spaced, 11-point Arial font, 1 inch margins). Applications that do not follow page limit, spacing, and font size requirements will not be considered for review.

Review Process

PolicyWise’ pre-existing review process will be used to review applications submitted for this competition. All applications will undergo an external peer-review process using the criteria listed below scored on a 9-point scale. A ranked list of applications will be send to the Health Outcomes Improvement (HOI) Fund Steering Committee for final selection based on quality, available funds, and distribution across priority areas. The decisions of the Steering Committee are final.

Review Criteria

You can view a full copy of the review criteria here: Targeted Call or Open Call.

Release of Funds

Successful applications will be required to provide confirmation of ethical approval or ARECCI score before funds are disbursed. For Quality Improvement projects, please use the ARECCI tool to determine if ethical approval is required. Ethical approval must be valid for the duration of the grant. If ethical approval is not required for the project, documentation of ARECCI score is required.

Project Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to provide an annual report (which may be the final report depending on the length of funding). Reporting requirements are:

  1. Lay summary,
  2. Executive summary,
  3. Full report, and
  4. MNCY SCN® related presentations

More information on reporting requirements will be provided to successful applicants. Reports will be available on the MNCY SCN® and PolicyWise’ websites.