Medical Student Education Research Grants (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 sixth annual Medical Student Education Research Grant (MSERG) Call for Applications in partnership with the Associated Medical Services (AMS), OMA Insurance, the CMA, and MD Financial Management.

The 2020 MSERG will provide grants valued at $5,000 each to fund nine projects designed by Ontario medical students. This will enable students to conduct research projects in medical education. Three of these nine awards will be granted in the Open Stream and six of these nine awards will be granted in the Compassionate Care Steam. Of the nine MSERG awards, at least one award will go to a student project from each of the six Ontario medical schools, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19, we realize that applicants may have had to revise their research plans and/or have had difficulties in contacting their supervisors. With these concerns in mind, we have decided to extend the deadline for both the Medical Student Education Research Grant (MSERG) AMS Compassionate Care and Open awards until Monday April 13, at 11:59 PM.  We hope that you are all keeping safe in these uncertain time. If you have any questions/comments/ concerns, please contact our team at Thank you.

Since we are extending the deadline, the date for applicants to hear back with the MSERG results will also be extended by two weeks.

The submission instructions and application forms are available below:

Funding for the 2020 Open MSERG is being generously provided by the CMA, MD Financial Management, and OMA Insurance.

Funding for the 2020 OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG is generously provided by AMS Healthcare:

We'd like to thank Associated Medical Services (AMS), OMA Insurance, MD Financial Management (MD) and Canadian Medical Association 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:

2019 OMSA Open MSERG:

  • Rishi Sharma and Ashley Eom (McMaster University)
  • Michael Scaffidi (Queen's University)
  • Avrilynn Ding (Queen's University)

2019 OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG:

  • Muskaan Sachdeva (University of Toronto)
  • Ran Huo (University of Toronto)
  • Gali Katznelson (Western University)
  • Kevin Chien (University of Ottawa)
  • Sampreeth Rao (University of Toronto)
  • April Kindrat (Northern Ontario School of Medicine)

2018 OMSA Open MSERG

  • Madeline McDonald (University of Toronto)
  • Alexander Cormier (Queen's University)
  • Stephanie Napoleone (McMaster University)
  • Anahita Sharifabadi (University of Ottawa)

2018 OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG:

  • Roslyn Graham (Northern Ontario School of Medicine)
  • Meredith Barr (Western University)
  • Alexandra Raynard (Western University)
  • Graham Kasper (University of Toronto)

2017 OMSA Open MSERG:

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

2017 OMSA/AMS Compassionate Care MSERG:

  • Brittanie Labelle (Northern Ontario School of Medicine)
  • Kat Butler (McMaster University)
  • Sachin Pasricha (Queen's University)
  • Vivian Tam (McMaster University)

2016 OMSA Open MSERG:

  • Amanda Chen (University of Toronto)
  • Erene Stergiopoulos (University of Toronto)
  • Tina Hu (University of 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: Group applications will be accepted with a maximum of two student leads. Pleasure ensure that you list a maximum of two applicants for each application that you submit. You may list other research members under co-investigators, but the MSERG will only be awarded to the two listed applicants. The grant may be used as is seen fit by both applicants.

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 favourably 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. Please note that points may be deducted if the application has not been properly anonymized.

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?
A: 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: