Young Researchers’ Award Program

Share our Vision. Help Encourage Student Research
Supporting research towards improving the health and the quality of life of all people with sickle cell disease and finding a cure have been goals of the SCAGO since its inception in 2005. To ensure more students take interest in sickle cell disease research, we established the Young Researchers’ Award Program (YRAP) in 2019.

The 2022 recipients of the Young Researchers’ Award are Geil Astorga, Peola Ellis, Fairuz Karim, Janine Noorlos, and Jaspreet Randhawa in the Masters of Health Sciences Translational Research Program at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. They are developing the Sickle Cell Disease Management, Advocacy Guide, and Resources for Transitioning Youth (SMART) Health App.

See the research brief for the study here.

The first student recipient was Dr. Derek Chan (MD/Ph.D. Candidate, Hope Lab), Stem Cell, and Cancer Research Institute. Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University; and his research topic was “Evaluating Health Resource Utilization Patterns in Sickle Cell Disease in Emergency Departments in Ontario, Canada”

See the research brief for the study here.

Award Payment Information
If the grant is approved, the recipient will be required to supply the payee information and mailing address – this information is available through the institution’s research administration office. The institution will serve as the fiscal agent.

  1. Grant checks payable to:
  2. Grant checks sent to: (Include the contact name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address).

As per our mission of advancing care and treatment through the support of research and educational initiatives, the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) student research grant program was created to provide students in postsecondary education, the opportunity to have research experience focused on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Students are expected to undertake a research project under the guidance of an academic advisor during personal time or A brief research elective approved by their school. The research project should result in an academic paper that could be presented at a regional, national, or international conference.

Nature of projects
Any area of research (including but not limited to issues of health, psychosocial and economic impact, the advancement of care, etc.) will be considered provided the focus remains on SCD.

The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario will provide the recipient with a $10,000 grant to conduct a research project to be completed within 3 months. 50% of the grant will be disbursed within weeks of announcing the awardees and 50% upon completion of data collection – typically, months after the project start date. A research project may be considered, between three and 12 months, provided the applicant can justify the need for an extended research period but no additional funds will be allocated to longer projects.

Deadline for application
Applications must be completed and submitted electronically by March 28th. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Conditions of the SCAGO Student Research Grant

1. Publicity of award recipients
Recipients of the grant will be publicized on our print and electronic platforms. Information submitted in the application including the recipient’s name, institution, project title, and abstract could be used in the promotion of the award. Awardees will be required to attend the Hope Gala and Awards ceremony in June of the Award Year where the initial 50% of the grant amount would be disbursed.

2Progress Report
Applicants are required to submit a final summary report to the committee within 3 months of completion of the project. Typically reports are expected 6 months after the project start date. Complete reports must include each of the following:

• A project report consisting of 1000-1500 words divided into Purpose, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Include tables, figures, and references.
• Reaffirm the specific goals of the original research plan and specify the progress made toward each goal.
• Describe any changes made from the original research plan and justify these changes.
• Explain if one or more of your initial goals was not reached.
• Indicate any complications that you have encountered
• Indicate if the results from your studies are being prepared for publication or will be prepared for publication.
• Indicate the clinical and/or psycho-social significance and future clinical and/or psycho-social impact of the results of your study.
• Indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the grant program in which you participated.

3. Extension
Recipients may request a no-cost extension to extend the final payment period up to 6 months past the original ending date. Approval of an extension does not include the awarding of additional funds. A request for an extension along with a progress report must be submitted to the committee before the expiration of the original grant period. The request must state the reason(s) for the extension, the length of the extension requested, and an explanation of how the reason(s) for the delay will be fixed.

4. Reformation or Cessation of Support
The review committee reserves the right to adjust or terminate the amount of any funds granted under the terms of the Student Research Grant program.


• Applicant must be a full-time student at an accredited Canadian College or University.
• Have a research mentor at the institution where the research is being performed. The mentor may be at the applicant’s home institution or from a different institution. The research mentor will assist in completing the program application, oversee the award recipient’s work, aid the recipient in his/her research, and ensure that the recipient meets all deadlines. The mentor may or may not be SCAGO members

Selection Criteria/Review Process
SCAGO’s research committee, consisting of members with professional backgrounds in sickle cell disease as well as patient advocates, will review the application for scientific merit and appropriateness for funding. Once submitted, reviewers will provide an initial assessment, which will be sent to the applicants. The applicant must review and provide a response to the assessment. Once the response has been received, the scoring process will commence. For scoring purposes, each reviewer will divide the applications into 3 separate groups, top, middle, and bottom, assigning a score of 1, 2, or 3 to each respectively. The final selection will be based on the average scores of the applications. The research committee will complete the review and selection by April 28th. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications via e-mail by May 15th and are expected to commence research work no later than the 2nd week of June.

Application process

Part I: Summary of Proposed Research Plan
Please provide a brief description of the proposed research plan. The summary should also describe the involvement of the scientific advisor and the role that the student will play in completing the research study. Include the long-term goals of the proposed work and the methods to be used. Data collection and analysis should be summarized along with the potential significance of this work.

Part II – Investigator(s) – maximum of 2 pages

Applicant (Investigator) Professional Data

  1. Institution
  2.  Department
  3. Current year of training
  4. Grants previously received (if any), include all sources of funding.
  5. Provide a list of the investigator’s publications related to the proposed research. Give a complete reference.
  6. Contact Information

 Scientific Advisor
To be completed by the scientific advisor/sponsor

  1. Name, degrees, title/faculty rank
  2. A brief description of the advisor’s role as a mentor for the applicant

 Other Investigators (if any)
Other investigators/scientific advisors/consultants who will contribute significantly to the project should be listed. Include a description of the role they will play in the proposed research project.

Include your area of professional/scientific interest(s) and long-term career goals and objectives.

Part III: Detailed Research Plan – Maximum 2 pages

Study Design:
Provide a detailed description of the study, including details of the rationale, objectives, expected outcomes, experimental design, methodology, data collection, and analysis. Describe what are the expected results and whether the project addresses an important problem or a critical barrier to the advancement of care in persons with SCD. Include whether there is a scientific premise for the project

Location of Study:
In the case where an applicant will be conducting their research at an institution other than where he/she is enrolled in school, he/she must provide the name of the host institution where the proposed research project is to take place.

Resources and Environment:
Describe any major resources such as equipment, laboratory, clinical, office/computer, support services, education resources, etc. that will be available for this project.*If applicable

Part IV: Budget

Detailed Budget:
The applicant must provide a complete and detailed listing of the costs associated with the proposed project. This includes equipment, supplies, and materials. Explain how costs not covered by this grant will be paid for (departmental funds, etc). The SCAGO Student Research Grant does not pay institutional overhead costs or indirect costs.

Other Sources of Support (pending and received):
List all other sources of support applied for or received for this project. Specify the name, the amount, and the date of receipt.

Submitting the Application Online
 When all sections of the application have been completed, submit the application documents to 
Once the committee verifies the application, a confirmation email will be sent