Alun Morgan Memorial Research Award in Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

The Alun Morgan Memorial Research Award in Orthopaedic Physiotherapy (AMMRA) was established in 1989 by the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in honour of the award’s namesake, one of the founders of the Orthopaedic Division and a pioneer of manual therapy in Canada. The Alun Morgan Fund provides support for physiotherapy research projects related to the management of musculoskeletal problems in Canada.

Project Eligibility

Applicants for the AMMRA must show that the proposed project represents original research, and must demonstrate that the findings of the project will further the physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal problems in Canada.

In order to be eligible for the AMMRA, the proposed research project must:

  1. Have a well-defined objective that is designed to further the art and science of physiotherapy,
  2. Be directly relevant to the field of physiotherapy in Canada,
  3. Be directly relevant to the management of musculoskeletal problems in Canada.

Proposals that relate to musculoskeletal problems in the following areas will be considered for funding through the AMMRA (at the present time, animal studies will not be funded):

  • 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.

Priority for AMMRA funding will be given to research projects that:

  1. Are perceived to be of maximum benefit to the practice of physiotherapy, and society as a whole.
  2. Promote research collaboration within the clinician environment.

Esoteric topics, and research in rare diseases or problems, will be given a low priority.

Feasibility projects, and applications for seed funding, are eligible for the AMMRA.

Applicant Eligibility

The principal investigator for the proposed research project must:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
  2. Hold a license to practice physiotherapy in Canada at the time of the application, and for the duration of the award.

Use of Funds

The budget portion of the application must include a detailed description of the proposed manner in which the funds are to be used. Funding associated with the AMMRA is not intended to cover all costs associated with the proposed research. Space and basic facilities at the institution(s) concerned are prerequisites to an application for funding.

Research funds associated with the AMMRA may be used:

  • to employ assistants (technical or professional) or student trainees
  • to remunerate professional advisors (e.g. research methodology and statistics)
  • to purchase equipment, materials and supplies (including consumables)
  • to pay for equipment maintenance
  • to purchase or develop research-specific software
  • to support field travel costs related to research (e.g. travel for data collection).

Research funds associated with the AMMRA may not be used:

  1. for the remuneration of the investigators directing the project,
  2. to cover any indirect costs of research, often known as overhead.

All applicants are required to sign an agreement, at the time of application, that the funds will be used exclusively for the purpose stated in the proposal.

Duration and Administration of Funding

AMMRA research grants are normally held for one year, July 1st to June 30th, with payment of the full amount of the award made at the commencement of the project (July). Any changes to the period or duration of the award must be approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada (PFC).

Funds will be paid, in trust, to the institution where the research is to be performed. The proposal must include the written consent of the institution to administer the funds on behalf of the applicant.

The investigator(s) will provide an itemized account (with receipts) to PFC, immediately following the period for which the funding was awarded. Unexpended monies during the period of the award will be returned to the PFC.

Alterations to this procedure are subject to approval by the PFC.

The PFC reserves the right to withdraw or take back funding in whole or in part.

The amount available for AMMRA grants will be jointly determined and announced, for each funding period, by the Executive of the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the PFC. A financial report of the activities of the AMMRA will be included in the Annual Report of the Orthopaedic Division. Monies that are not awarded in any one year will be added to the principal for reinvestment.

Research Ethics

If the application concerns experiments involving human subjects, research on somatic cell gene therapy and/or research involving pathogens and animal cells, then copies of the following certificates must be sent to by May 15, 2024:

  • Ethics certificate for research involving human subjects (include subject consent forms)
  • Requirement for containment (biohazards).
  • Consent letters from collaborating agencies (access to data, patients).
  • Certification for animal care.

Animal studies are not eligible for AMMRA funding

Investigators who are not associated with a university or hospital, and therefore may not have direct access to an ethics review committee, are advised 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 Government of Canada’s Office of Biosafety and Biosecurity, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa.

Obligations of AMMRA Recipients

  1. The investigator(s) 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 funded 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. Publications arising from research supported by the AMMRA must be acknowledged with the relevant sentence below:

“This research was supported by an Alun Morgan Memorial Research Award in Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Grant, administered by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.”

A reprint of any such publication should be furnished to the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.

Application Process

Applications for the AMMRA are accepted ONLINE through EventsAir, and must be received by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada by March 15th, 2024, at 11:59pm EST.

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.

Applicants are invited to submit their application for funding in either English or French.

Review Process

Research grants are awarded by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada (PFC) on the advice of its Scientific Awards Committee (SAC). The SAC and the Board of Directors of the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada reserve the right to approve or decline any application.

Each application will be assessed by the SAC in relation to the priorities for research identified by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada for each particular award. Applications for eligible projects will be considered based on 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 for projects achieving the highest composite scores, while respecting the particular criteria of each award.

Members of the SAC may not take part in any decision-making process relating to an application in which they have a vested interest.

Notification on the outcome of applications will be provided, in writing, in May. Award disbursement will commence in June.

Written opinions and recommendations of reviewers will be made available to applicants upon request. Reviewers retain the right of anonymity.