Clinician-Scientist Merit Review


The Department of Medicine (DoM) Merit Review Committee exists to provide evidence based recommendations to the Chair of the Department pertinent to continuing support for clinician-scientists in the Department of Medicine. The committee is chaired by Dr. Kevin Kain and membership is determined annually depending on the number of applications to review.

Candidate Eligibility

  • Only clinician-scientists are eligible
  • Clinician-scientists who are coming off career awards or Clinician-Scientist Start-up Stipend
  • A Clinician-scientist who is funded by an Alternate Funding Plan or holds a career award or holds an endowed/expendable chair is deemed ineligible
  • There are no limits to the number of times a Clinician-Scientist can apply to the Merit Review or receive a Merit Stipend, as long as they continue to meet the other eligibility criteria
  • Clinician Scientist who ended their startup stipend or previous Merit award early due to the receipt of a career award will receive a 0.3/5 bonus added to their Merit Score. Please indicate if you fall into this category to the program administrator when submitting your application.

Application Instructions

Applications consist of a CV and a candidate statement. There is no preferred format for the CV, and there should be a focus on activities in the last three to five years. Candidates’ statements should be a maximum of two pages and adhere to the following format;

  • their leadership experience (1/2 page),
  • the impact their contributions (1/2 page),
  • their productivity (1/2 page) and, perhaps most importantly,
  • the vision and direction of their program (1/2 page).

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 and should be submitted via email to the Research Administrator at

Merit Review Process

  1. An open call goes out to all Clinician Scientists in the Department of Medicine in December announcing the Merit Review Process for the following year, and detailing the eligibility criteria.
  2. In situations where eligible candidates are also undergoing Junior Review, the junior review process takes precedence and informs merit review.
  3. An annual orientation meeting of the merit review committee may be held at the beginning of January to review the process, if deemed necessary by the committee chair.
  4. Candidate information is received at the end of January (application deadline is included in the initial call) and stored in a central repository.
  5. Assignments for the primary and secondary review of each candidate (avoiding all known conflicts) are completed during the first week of February and provided to committee members.
  6. Reviewers are instructed to review all the files before applying a CIHR five-point scale to those files specifically allocated to them. They submit their ratings by mid-March.
  7. A two-hour review meeting is held mid-March to discuss differences in ratings, determine a consensus score and identify those worthy of consideration of an Eaton Scholarship.
  8. Recommendations of the Merit Review Committee are provided to the Department Chair for discussion with the physician-in-chief and incorporation into the candidate’s annual performance evaluation.
  9. All candidates will be notified of their merit review results by phone call and confirmed with a letter from the Department Chair in April.
  10. Candidates performing below the bar are subject to 1:1 remedial reviews after 12 months with the Department Chair or Vice-Chair, Research, before being subject to full merit review at 24 months.

August 2019