Institute Community Support (ICS) Program – Brain Star Award

Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA)

Important dates
December 31 Full applications must be submitted by these dates.
April 1 Anticipated notification of decision.
Funds available
CIHR's contribution to the amount available for this initiative is subject to availability of funds voted annually to CIHR by parliamentary appropriations, and the conditions that may be attached to them.

Table of contents


Existing since March of 2001, Brain Star is a program of the Institute of Neurosciences Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA). Brain Star is administered under the Institute Community Support Grants and Awards program and is designed to recognize the excellence of research done in Canada by students and trainees in all fields and disciplines covered by our Institute.

The specific objectives of the Brain Star program are to:

  • Promote research careers in neuroscience, mental health and addiction in Canada.
  • Stimulate the participation of trainees in the planning and development of INMHA activities.


  • A maximum of fifteen awards of $1,500 each are available each calendar year.
  • Winners of the Brain Star award are considered for the Marlene Reimer Brain Star of the Year.
  • A profile of award recipient's research on our Web site.
  • In the case of equal first co-authors, the prize will be divided equally.
  • Top three ranked award recipients may be invited to present a summary of their research paper at an annual neuroscience conference. In the case of co-authors, the primary principal applicant will be invited to present.


Eligibility criteria for all CIHR research funding programs apply. The business office of the institution of an eligible Nominated Principal Applicant generally administers CIHR funds. Please refer to the Eligibility Requirements for CIHR Grants and Awards regarding the eligibility requirements for individuals and institutions.

Specific eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements specific to this opportunity include the following:

  • Relevance to the vision, mission and research areas covered by INMHA. Applications not related to the INMHA mandate will not be reviewed
  • Must have a recently published research article as a first author between January 1 and December 31. Manuscripts in press or submitted for consideration are not acceptable. Articles must have a final publication date between January 1 and December 31. An advance online publication date will not be considered.
  • Must be a student or trainee at any Canadian university, teaching hospital, research centre or other health organization (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, post-doctoral fellow, resident).
  • Canadians or foreigners doing research in Canada are eligible.
  • Canadians doing research abroad are not eligible.
  • There is no need to be a CIHR grantee.
  • Only one submission per applicant will be accepted.

Review process and evaluation criteria

The award is based on the excellence of the research, its interdisciplinary focus and its potential benefits to the health of Canadians.

Individual submissions will be evaluated and ranked according to their individual and collective merit based on the following criteria:

  • Level of the student or trainee, stage of career: quality of the research based on the experience of the applicant.
  • Specific contribution of the student or trainee: the individual's specific contribution to conception and design of the study, acquisition of data and analysis and interpretation.
  • Quality of the publication: Journal impact rating and/or appropriateness for the research topic. Innovation and contribution to the field of research.
  • Impact of the publication: Potential impact of the research to the target audience and beyond the specific field of study (does the research have the potential to stimulate additional research to be translated into products, services, policies, educational material, practice documents).

Evaluation schedule

The evaluation committee meets annually and reviews all applications received up to and including the application date. The application deadline is as follows:

  • December 31

General CIHR guidelines

This Opportunity will follow the General Guidelines for Grant Programs. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate the use of Gender and Sex-Based Analysis in applications.

Conditions of funding

All conditions specified in CIHR General Grants and Awards Policies shall apply to applications funded through this Request for Applications. Conditions cover areas such as Applicant and Institutional Responsibilities, Ethics, Official language policy, Access to Information and Privacy Acts, and Acknowledgement of CIHR Support. Successful applicants will be informed of any special financial conditions prior to the release of funds or when they receive CIHR's Authorization for Funding (AFF) document.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

All personal information collected by CIHR about applicants is used to review applications, to recruit reviewers, to administer and monitor grants and awards, to compile statistics, and to promote and support health research in Canada. Consistent with these purposes, applicants should also expect that information collected by CIHR may be shared as described in the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.

CIHR as a federal entity is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, therefore the requirements of these two statutes will apply to all information located in CIHR's premises including, without limitation, cost-sharing agreements related to this Opportunity and all matters pertaining thereto.

While respecting the application of the Privacy Act to federal entities, all signing parties involved in a collaborative agreement will also be bound by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). All personal information (as identified by the PIPEDA) collected, used or disclosed in the course of any commercial activity under collaborative agreements related to the Opportunity will be collected, used and disclosed in compliance with the PIPEDA.

Monitoring, performance measurement and evaluation

CIHR is committed to demonstrating results to Canadians for the money invested in health research. Therefore, processes for monitoring progress and appropriate use of funds, as well as for performance measurement and program evaluation are in place. As a result, funding recipients must:

  • contribute to the monitoring, review and evaluation of CIHR's programs, policies and processes by participating in evaluation studies, surveys, workshops, audits and providing data or reports as required for the purpose of collecting information to assess progress and results.

How to apply

Submissions that meet the eligibility criteria are welcome at any time throughout the year with evaluation taking place on an annual basis (please see evaluation schedule). Submission can be made by the student or trainee (primary author) or the supervisor or a co-investigator involved in the research, on behalf of the trainee.


  • a copy of the published article in electronic and hard copy form.
  • a completed Institute Community Support (ICS) and applicant consent form [ PDF (626 KB) ] in electronic and hard copy form. If you are unable to save or alter text in the PDF version on the form please use the contact information below to obtain the form in an alternate format. Please follow the: Instructions for completing the ICS application form for the Brain Star Program.

A signature is mandatory.

Please send your completed registration and application packages by courier/ registered mail and email to the contact below.

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