OrthoCanada Research Award in Neck and Back Rehabilitation and Core Stability

The OrthoCanada Research Award in Neck and Back Rehabilitation and Core Stability was established in 2009 by OrthoCanada to encourage development of treatments related to back and neck rehabilitation and core stability. The award is seed funding for mainly pilot or feasibility projects. The award is for $20,000, jointly funded by OrthoCanada and the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada (PFC). The principal investigator must be a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.


  1. Research grants are awarded by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada on the advice of its Scientific Awards Committee (SAC). The Board of Directors of the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada reserves the right to approve or decline any application.
  2. Research projects must have a defined objective that is designed to further develop the art and science of physiotherapy. Research grants may be used to employ assistants (technical or professional) or student trainees, to remunerate professional advisors, to purchase materials and supplies, to buy and maintain equipment and supplies, and to support field travel costs related to research.
  3. Research grant funds may not be used for the remuneration of the investigators directing the project, nor to cover any indirect costs of research often known as overhead.
  4. Human and Animal Experimentation Ethical Considerations and Containment. If the application concerns experiments involving human subjects or animals, research on somatic cell gene therapy and/or research involving pathogens and animal cells, then copies of the following certificates must be received no later than May 15, 2023:
    • Ethics certificate for research involving human subjects (include subject consent forms)
    • Certification for animal care
    • Requirement for containment (biohazards).

Investigators who are not associated with a university or hospital, and therefore may not have direct access to an ethics review committee, are advised to either establish a working relationship with an existing ethics review committee or to constitute a committee using the guidelines published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ottawa. For further information contact the Canadian Council on Animal Care, Ottawa and/or the Office of Biosafety, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa.


  1. Please refer to Schedule One, attached to these regulations, for support specifics.
  2. Only projects that are directly relevant to the field of physiotherapy will be considered. Priority will be given to research projects that are perceived to be of maximum benefit to the practice of physiotherapy and society as a whole. Esoteric topics, research in rare diseases or problems, and applications for seed money will be given a lower priority.


  1. Where more than one applicant is involved, a physiotherapist must be shown as principal investigator or co-investigator.
  2. Research grants are ordinarily made for one year, July 1st to June 30th.
  3. Research grants are not intended to cover the total cost of the research for which they are provided. Space and basic facilities at the institution concerned are prerequisite to an application.


  1. Research grants are open to individuals who hold a degree in physiotherapy and who are Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or people who reside in Canada (for the duration of the grant) with a valid work or student visa. The principal investigator must be a member of the CPA. If you are not a CPA member, please visit https://physiotherapy.ca/membership/become-a-member/.

Obligations of the Recipients

  1. The investigator must submit a final report on the work accomplished during the period of the research grant no later than 6 months after the end of the grant period. Please note that investigators who do not comply with this requirement will thereafter be ineligible for further funding from the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada and the awards it administers.
  2. It is expected that the research will culminate in peer-reviewed publications or presentations at national or international conferences or an application for further funding to a national or federal agency. A reprint of any such publication should be furnished to the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada. Publications arising from research supported by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada or a Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada–administered award must be acknowledged with the relevant sentence below:

    “This research was supported by the OrthoCanada Research Award in Neck and Back Rehabilitation and Core Stability and administered by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.”


  1. Applications are accepted only ONLINE via EventsAir and received by March 12th, 2023 at 11:59pm EST. Notification on the outcome of applications will be provided in writing in May 2023. Award disbursement will commence in July.
  2. Attachments should be typed single spaced and minimum font size 11. Illustrations should be drawn with clean black lines.
  3. Applications should be prepared in such a manner that they can be read and understood in a general way without reference to any further material that may be provided in the appendices.
  4. Applicants may not be part of any decision process relating to an application in which they have a vested interest.
  5. Applicants for the OrthoCanada Research Award will show that the proposal is for original prospective research, and how the knowledge and understanding of physiotherapy in the management of back and neck problems as well as core stability will be enhanced through its applications.
  6. Applicants are invited to submit their application for funding in either official language.

Review Process

  1. Each application will be assessed by the Scientific Awards Committee (SAC) in relation to the priorities for research identified by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada and each particular award. It will be considered from the standpoint of its scientific merit and budget within the framework of the aforementioned regulations. A composite scoring scheme will be applied to each project based on defined criteria and funding will be recommended to projects achieving the highest composite scores while respecting the criteria of particular awards.
  2. Written opinions and recommendations of reviewers will be made available to applicants upon request. Reviewers retain the right of anonymity.

Financial Administration

  1. When an application for a research grant is approved, the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada will make payments in trust for the project to the Designated Financial Officer (DFO) at the sponsoring institution. Grants will be paid in full at the beginning of the granting period.
  2. The amount of a grant is based on approval, in whole or in part, of the applicant’s estimate of their research expenditures under various items — personnel, equipment, supplies and other expenses. While it is not necessary for the investigator to adhere strictly to the distribution of funds as proposed in the application, the PFC must be informed of any redistribution of items of expense in excess of 10% of the grant.
  3. The investigator must furnish an itemized account to the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada of receipts and disbursements following the 12-month period to which the grant is applicable. An account provided by the DFO of the sponsoring institution will usually suffice. Such accounts should be itemized under captions relating to personnel, equipment, supplies and other expenses.
  4. Funds unexpended during the period of the grant will be returned to the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada, unless the grantee can demonstrate that the money is essential for the completion of the funded project.
  5. Equipment purchased with project funds will be deemed to belong to the sponsoring institution when the project has been completed, if the sponsoring institution is a university or public hospital. In all other cases, equipment remains the property of the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada. Following consultation with the investigator and the SAC, the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada will determine the disposition of all such equipment on the termination of the grant.

Schedule 1

Areas of Support

Proposals which relate to Back and Neck problems as well as Core Stability in the following areas will be considered for funding through the OrthoCanada Research Award:

  • effectiveness of manual and manipulative physiotherapy
  • design and testing of outcome measures
  • effectiveness of pain modification
  • effectiveness of physical interventions (i.e. exercise, correction of posture)
  • effectiveness of modalities used in physiotherapy
  • design and testing of programs relating to functional or work capacity evaluation, work conditioning, work hardening, ergonomics and preventive or client educational programs

At the present time, animal studies will not be funded.