Postgraduate Innovation Fund Award


The Department of Medicine (DoM) at the University of Toronto has set a strategic goal to increase scholarship in education. It is widely accepted that postgraduate program accreditation standards are rising. New theories, technologies and innovations relevant to postgraduate medical education are encouraging program directors, senior level residents (PGY-4/5/6) and residency program committees to take a leadership role in advancing program design and operation. In 2009, the DoM established a funding source specifically targeted to residency program innovation: the Postgraduate Innovation Fund. The first award was given in 2010.

The Postgraduate Innovation Fund (PGIF)

The department's PGIF fund has been developed to encourage and enable program directors, senior level residents and residency program committees to demonstrate leadership and innovation in their respective programs. A total of $20,000 will be made available each year to support innovation in DoM residency programs.

Application Deadline:

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, 11:59 PM ET

Eligibility Criteria

Applications for the PGIF must come from program directors, senior level residents (PGY-4/5/6), or members of the residency program committee with written support from the appropriate program director.

Applications must be for initiatives that meet all of the following criteria:

  • The initiative is a clear departure from what is currently done in the program.
  • The initiative must help the program meet an accreditation standard or address a documented program deficiency in an innovative way.
  • The initiative must be based on at least one of the following
    • Peer-reviewed evidence of effectiveness
    • Established best practice
    • Established theoretical foundation
  • Previous work done by the applicants demonstrating likelihood of effectiveness.
  • There must be a clear plan to assess the outcome of the initiative.
  • There must be a clear plan to disseminate the results of the initiative in a forum that benefits programs throughout the DoM and postgraduate medicine in Canada. This need not necessarily be through a formal peer-reviewed venue.
  • If the proposal is being submitting by a resident, the primary supervisor must have an appointment within the Department of Medicine.

Selection Criteria

Decisions for funding will be made by the Department of Medicine Education Awards Committee.

Criteria for selection will include:

  • Academic rigour of the proposal, including justification as described above.
  • Feasibility.
  • Potential impact to the program and postgraduate medicine.

Preference will be given to:

  • Proposals for which there is no other obvious source of funding.
  • Programs who have not secured funding through the PGIF in the most recent two years.
  • Programs with a dissemination plan that includes peer-reviewed venues (which usually mandates appropriate Research Ethics Board approval).
  • Initiatives that have committed matching funds or in kind support (including from Division Funds).
  • Initiatives that will be completed within one year.

PGIF Award

Awards will be made annually in amounts of at least $5,000. As many initiatives as possible will be funded. The maximum annual amount available for all initiatives is $20,000.

Application Process and Requirements

Applications must be submitted by the deadline.

Applications must consist of:

  1. A two-page protocol summary including:
    • A description of the initiative
    • Statement of need
    • Background rationale
    • Potential impact on the program
    • Dissemination plan
  2. Dissemination plan
  3. A timeline
  4. A budget, including identification of any matching or in kind support
  5. A copy of the REB approval if applicable
  6. Letter of support from the program director, if applicable

Successful applicants must be prepared to give a 10 minute presentation at the Department of Medicine Program Directors' Meeting one year later.

Example of Initiatives

Examples of eligible initiatives include: developing new assessment methods, new program resources such as web-based modules, simulation cases, examination materials, research in program design, pilot tests, and quality assurance initiatives.

Examples of ineligible initiatives include: equipment not tied to a specific innovation, normal program operating expenses, expenses tied to program growth.

Previously Funded Innovations




2017 Geriatric Medicine Validity, reliability, feasibility, and acceptability of the using the Consultation Letter Rating Scale to Assess Communication Competencies among Geriatric Medicine Postgraduate Trainees
2016 Nephrology Developing an integrated hands-on dialysis training program for nephrology fellows

Geriatric Medicine

Evaluation of a Twitter-based complement to the traditional geriatric medicine journal club

Clinical Immunology & Allergy
*award deferred

Implementation and evaluation of an anaphylaxis simulation-based teaching and assessment tool for allergy residents


Assessment in the “real world”: Physician and resident perspectives on novel tools for assessing resident competency on an (ambulatory) dndocrinology rotation
2013 Cardiology The Benefit Of Checking With A Checklist: An Analysis Of Eye-Movements
2013 Respirology Implementation and evaluation of a pilot standardized pulmonary procedural curriculum for postgraduate trainees in adult respirology
2012 Cardiology Electrocardiographic Interpretation Skills of Cardiology Trainees: Are They Competent?
2012 Emergency Medicine Evaluation of a novel competency-based curriculum for cricothyroidotomy training using in-situ simulation: a randomized control trial
2011 Cardiology Incremental value of a skills-based portfolio on a cardiology resident’s interpretative and technical skills in echocardiography
2011 Critical Care Medicine Implementation and evaluation of a simulation-based standardized procedural training program for postgraduate trainees in the ICU
2011 Geriatric Medicine Use of video-recording technology and Ttam StACERS to improve competencies in communicator and collaborator roles in an interprofessional setting
2011 Nephrology The nephrology CanMEDS OSCE: An innovative examination designed to assess physician competencies in non-medical expert roles
2010 General Internal Medicine Hybrid simulation for the combined assessment of procedural, communication and collaboration skills

Application Submissions

Applications must be received via email, to the director of postgraduate subspecialty programs, by the deadline.

Subject line: PG Innovation Fund Submission
Email to:
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