Medical Student Education Research Grant (MSERG)

Canada is a world leader in medical education scholarship, with achievements including problem-based learning (PBL), multiple mini-interviews (MMIs), and the first national licensure objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Medical students are in a unique position to contribute to the medical education literature. Our personal experiences with the training curricula can shed light on what works and what doesn't, generating ideas and stimulating new research questions.

The Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA) is excited to announce the third annual Medical Student Education Research Grant (MSERG) Call for Applications. The 2018 MSERG will provide $5,000 to eight Ontario medical students to conduct research projects in medical education. Of the eight MSERG awards, at least one award will go to a student from each of the six Ontario medical schools, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria. Two different streams are available:

  1. The OMSA Open MSERG will fund four proposals focused on medical education. Potential areas of research can include, but are not limited to, learning, assessment, feedback, simulation, student wellness, and CanMEDS roles. The call for applications is available here and the application form is available here.

  2. The OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG will fund four proposals focused on compassionate, person-centred care. Two awards will be available for each of two areas, patient focus and provider wellness. The call for applications is available here and the application form is available here.

The deadline for submissions is March 11th, 2018. Please refer to the Call for Applications and Application Forms for more details, or feel free to email us at We received many high quality applications last year and we are excited to see what this upcoming year's applications will bring!

We'd like to thank Associated Medical Services (AMS), OMA Insurance, MD Financial Management, Canadian Medical Association, and Toronto Notes for their generous funding and support of this program.

Past Recipients

You can find more information on the past MSERG recipients and their projects in the following editions of Scrub-In:

2017 OMSA Open MSERG

  • Katherina Baranova (Western)
  • Aatif Qureshi (Toronto)
  • Victoria McKinnon (McMaster)
  • Anna Liu (Ottawa)

2017 OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG

  • Brittanie Labelle (NOSM)
  • Kat Butler (McMaster)
  • Sachin Pasricha (Queen's)
  • Vivian Tam (McMaster)

2016 OMSA Open MSERG

  • Amanda Chen (Toronto)
  • Erene Stergiopoulos (Toronto)
  • Tina Hu (Toronto)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I am selected for the MSERG, how should the funds be used?
The MSERG is a student award. The money is yours to spend at your own discretion. You do not need to use it to support your research project, although you are free to do so. 

Q: I am a medical student at McMaster, which means that I don’t have protected time during the summer. Am I still eligible to apply?
Absolutely. Although most students will choose to apply with their summer project, any project is eligible, so long as the results will be available by September. 

Q: My classmate(s) and I will be working together on the same project. Can we apply as a group?
A: Unfortunately we cannot accept group applications. Pleasure ensure that you list only one applicant for each application that you submit. You may list other research members under co-investigators but the MSERG will only be awarded to the individual applicant.

Q: The project I am working on is not in undergraduate medicine. Are projects in postgraduate medicine or continuing professional development eligible for MSERG?
Yes. MSERG accepts projects in education for medical students, residents and fellows, and practicing physicians. 

Q: The project is not related to education per se, but the participants in the study are learners. Will I still be eligible to apply?
These projects will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on impact on medical education. For example, a project surveying medical students' opinions on opioid prescribing to determine if more education regarding this practice is required, would be eligible for MSERG.  

Q: Why and how are applications blinded?
 MSERG applications are blinded to ensure judges do not look favorably upon the applications of their colleagues/friends/classmates etc. It is up to the applicant to ensure that the application is properly anonymized. However, The Director of Education will also go through all of the applications and black out any identifiers that the applicant may have missed. 

Q: Who judges the applications?
MSERG applications are judged based on standardized marking criteria by three members of the OMSA Education Committee. These three members are asked to excuse themselves from judging a particular application if they are familiar with the project. 

Q: Would you want my research PI to submit their letter of support and CV directly to you, or should I, the applicant, forward these materials to you? 
We would like you as the applicant to forward all the forms and materials to us in one email. This includes your PI's letter of support.

Q: Am I eligible to apply if I'm in my last year of medical school?

Q: Is it possible to send two applications by the same student (different projects and different investigators)?
Yes. You can send two or more applications if they are completely different projects.

Q: Should I submit my application file as a .pdf or .docx?
 For the 2018 MSERG application, please use the application form found on this page and submit your application as the same .docx format. In addition, please use Calibri font size 11 and please do not change the margin width.


This year's MSERG program has been made possible from the generous support of our sponsors: