Investigator Awards

Jared Simpson - writing on the camera lens

The OICR Investigator Awards Program is designed to strengthen Ontario’s cancer research capacity by attracting and retaining outstanding researchers and clinician scientists to Ontario. The program provides stable recruitment and retention funding for Principal Investigators and clinician scientists involved in OICR programs, strategic initiatives and other OICR supported research activities.

There are five categories of investigators supported:

Investigator Level I
Investigators in the first five years of their career as an independent researcher

Investigator Level II
Investigators who have spent five to 10 years as an independent researcher

Senior Investigator
Investigators who have spent more than 10 years as an independent investigator and who meet the criteria for national and international excellence

Clinician Scientist I
Clinician scientists who dedicate 80 per cent of their time to research projects

Clinician Scientist II
Clinician scientists who dedicate 50 per cent of their time to research projects

OICR Associates:
OICR Associate appointments are status-only appointments granted to exceptional investigators located at external research institutions.  OICR Associates share scientific focus with OICR and engage in innovative research collaborations to support OICR’s research programs and strategic initiatives.

Award value and duration

The amount and duration of an OICR Investigator Award varies depending on the designation of the award. An initial six year award term will apply to Investigators or clinician scientists in the first five years of their career. All other awards will be for a five year term.


Designation Maximum award value
(Research and salary support)
OICR Investigator Level I $250,000.00 per year Six years
OICR Investigator Level II $300,000.00 per year Five years
OICR Senior Investigator $350,000.00 per year Five years

Clinician Scientists

Designation Maximum award value
(Research and salary support)
OICR CS I (80 per cent) $350,000.00 per year Five or six years
OICR CS II (50 per cent) $250,000.00 per year Five or six years

While the awards have been developed to reflect competitive compensation packages, the host institution and the awardee may determine the allotment of the award to cover expenses. OICR Investigator Awards can be used for salary, benefits, office support, travel, stipends for trainees, and other research-related expenses. There is no overhead included in the Investigator Award.

Investigator Awards are renewable, subject to favourable review by the Retention and Promotion Committee, OICR Board of Directors approval and sustained OICR funding in the future.

How to nominate a candidate

The strategic allocation of OICR Investigator Awards is critical to the success of OICR. The OICR Investigator Awards Program is not an open competition. OICR will identify recruitment needs that target essential expertise, including instances where leading and promising young scientists require support to be retained in or recruited to Ontario, and where clinical experts are vital to the translational mission of the Institute. OICR will co-develop and co-fund a recruitment strategy with partner institutions in the province.

Institutes are encouraged to contact the OICR Scientific Secretariat regarding outstanding translational cancer research scientists who would be a strong candidate for the Investigator Awards Program. Co-funding strategies with the candidate’s host institute, or other sources, are welcomed. Candidates who are deemed appropriate for an award by the OICR Executive team will be required to submit an application for further evaluation.

More information

For inquiries about the Investigator Awards Program, please contact OICR’s Scientific Secretariat at