Collaborative Specialization in Musculoskeletal Health ResearchBone and Joint Institute

Transdisciplinary Training Awards


Support the recruitment of top trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows (PDF) and clinician scientists in training) to CMHR and the musculoskeletal research opportunities at Western

Enhance the number of researchers and trainees doing transdisciplinary musculoskeletal health research

Promote a research environment of collaboration spanning multiple research pillars

Support novel musculoskeletal health research discoveries and the translation of new knowledge into improvements in disease prevention, health care, policy and commercialization


Application deadline for  Transdisciplinary Training Awards in the Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research (CMHR) is August 9 2021.

Program Highlights

One-year Awards will be valued at $10,000 / yr for graduate trainees (MSc or PhD) and $20,000 / yr for PDFs and clinician scientists in training.

Awards will be transferred to a research account in the primary supervisor’s home Department/School, to be used to help fund: 1) the trainee, and 2) the trainee’s research program. The intent is that the funds will be used to offset a portion of the trainee’s stipend which is set by the trainee’s Department/School and/or Faculty. In the event that sufficient funds for the stipend already exist through other sources, the CMHR Award can be used at the discretion of the supervisors for expenses associated with the trainee’s research training.

Graduate students who receive external funding awards valued greater than $15,000 / yr will have the Transdisciplinary Bone & Joint Training Award funding reduced to $5,000 / yr.

PDFs and clinician scientists in training who receive external funding awards valued greater than $30,000 / yr will have the Transdisciplinary Bone & Joint Training Award funding reduced to $10,000 / yr.

Eligibility Criteria

-   Competition will be open to both new CMHR trainees and those already enrolled in the program

-   Graduate student applicants must be registered as full-time graduate students, accepted to a home graduate program at Western University.

-   PDF applicants must be registered, or in the process of registration, with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western.

-   Clinician scientists in training must be registered, or in the process of registration, with an appropriately accredited training program.

-   Normally, applicants must be at least 12 months from the projected completion of their degree or program.

-   Applicants must be engaged in transdisciplinary research with clear relevance to musculoskeletal health

-   Applicants must be jointly supervised by CMHR Mentors from at least two distinct disciplines (normally from at least 2 of the 4 themes listed below).

Theme 1: Basic biological and biomedical

Theme 2: Physical sciences and engineering

Theme 3: Clinical and health services

Theme 4: Population and community health

If both mentors are from the same theme, then the application must clearly explain the transdisciplinary nature of the project and how the mentors plan to ensure a multidisciplinary training experience.  In the case that a CMHR co-mentor is ineligible to serve officially as joint graduate supervisor, then the CMHR co-mentor will serve as a member of the student's thesis advisory committee.

Application Process

New and current trainees must complete the CMHR Online Application 

A full list of documents trainees must submit on the CMHR Intake 2021 OWL Portal include the following:

  1. Candidate Curriculum Vitae 
  2. Copy of Official Transcript (NOTE: Official transcripts for institutions other than Western in hardcopy by standard)
  3. Letter of support from CMHR Mentor (describe the research, research environment and why the candidate is a good fit)
  4. Letter of support from other (previous Supervisor)

The research proposal must be prepared in collaboration with a CMHR Mentor

The CMHR Mentor must be prepared to supervise the applicant, including providing the appropriate facilities/infrastructure, for the duration of the training

Letter of Reference from Mentors:  

Please upload the requested letters of reference to the program site on the CMHR Intake 2021 OWL Portal 

You will see a link to your own Dropbox on this site.

Please identify the name of the Trainee in the title of the document. Alternatively Letters of Reference(PDF file) may be directly emailed to (please indicate student name in subject line).

The CMHR Training & Education Committee will review potential candidates and select successful applicants

Awards will be administered yearly, based on the trainee’s start date in the program (typically September or January).

Funds must be used within 12 months of the award, at which time a report must be submitted to CMHR describing use of the funds (template will be provided). 

Criteria for Adjudication

Candidate’s Academic Achievements (including formal education and scholarship, research experiences, recognitions, prizes, etc.)

Quality and novelty of the transdisciplinary research project, and its fit with Western’s Bone & Joint Institute

Mentorship, integration of the expertise of co-mentors and resources in the training environment


Funds will be awarded on a yearly basis, contingent upon suitable participation and meeting the Terms of CMHR, reviewed annually