Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grants 2022/2023


This Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grants is a joint funding program between the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre (BBDC) and the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Medicine. Multiple grants will be awarded per year. The number of awards depends on the total interest earned on these endowed funds.

The program provides funding of up to $50,000 per application to enable eligible investigators to explore innovative research that may change the paradigm and reorient the field in a new direction. The emphasis of this grant is on INNOVATION. Applicants must demonstrate to reviewers that their proposal does not simply represent a logical extension of their existing research program.

This funding is not to be used as bridging or emergency funding, nor is it intended as funding for ongoing studies.

Preference will be given to high risk innovative proposals focused on diabetes and metabolism research; however, in the absence of meritorious applications in the area of diabetes and metabolism, submissions related to other areas of biomedical research will be considered. (This program is not intended to support activities in care delivery, evaluation of education programs, or practical issues in clinical management)

The application must include an explanation as to how this project constitutes a highly innovative potentially paradigm-shifting undertaking for the applicant(s) and is not just an extension of, or related to, ongoing research efforts.

Preference will be given to applications that represent a completely new initiative in biomedical research/basic sciences for a particular investigator(s). The most innovative and potentially transformative ideas will receive funding preference.


  • The principal applicant must hold a faculty appointment with the University of Toronto at the level of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor at the time of application submission.
  • The principal applicant must be appointed to the University of Toronto or a University of Toronto-affiliated institution.
  • In addition to the above, the principal applicant must be either:
    • A registered member* of the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre at the time of application submission. (*for information about BBDC membership please view the Membership section of this website), or
    • A faculty member in the Department of Medicine who holds their primary hospital appointment at Mount Sinai Hospital or the University Health Network
  • Co-applicants must be independent researchers (not trainees or research associates). Co-applicants are not required to be members of the BBDC, UHN/MSH Department of Medicine faculty, or U of T faculty.
  • The proposed research must be conducted at the University of Toronto or one of its affiliated institutions.
  • Faculty can only submit one application as the principal applicant.


Up to $50,000 will be awarded to successful applicants.

Funding Period

One-year funding period commencing on July 1, 2022. All grant recipients must be prepared to begin the research on July 1, 2022.

Eligible Expenses

  • All supplies, materials and services related to the research project are considered eligible expenses.
  • Use of funds for trainee support (i.e. postdoctoral fellows, graduate and summer students) is considered an eligible expense.
  • Ineligible Expenses: Use of funds for investigators’ salaries, equipment purchase or equipment-related expenses, investigator or trainee travel to conferences or attendance of virtual conferences, or institutional overhead fees is not permitted.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Innovative nature of the study (departure from the present work of the investigator/lab)
  • Scientific merit
  • Investigator(s) (perceived ability, and access to resources required to successfully complete the proposal)
  • Grants are $50,000, one-year awards. The scope of the proposal and budget must reflect this otherwise the application will be given a low score for feasibility.
  • Budget (should be realistic and all items justified)
  • A minor component of the evaluation will be based on other factors that the review committee considers relevant to this competition

Application Procedure

Submit a completed application to the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre by the deadline date. See the application form for complete instructions.

Download the 2022-2023 Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grant Application Form (PDF)

Application Deadline

Applications must be received by 4 p.m., September 14, 2021.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.


All applicants will be notified of the funding decisions in November 2021.  Funding decisions will also be posted on the BBDC’s website.

Other Terms

Ethics Approvals and Certifications: If this research involves human subjects, animals, biohazards or stem cells the principal applicant will be required to obtain approvals from his/her institution by the time of funding commencement on September 1. Approvals are not required to be submitted with this application; however, funds will not be released to successful applicants until all approvals have been obtained.

Funding Overlap: The principal and co-applicants are required to inform the BBDC of any related support currently held or applied for from other funding sources which overlaps with the submitted Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grant request. In the event that a successful Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grant recipient is offered funding for the project by another agency, the applicant must notify the BBDC in writing within 2 weeks of receiving the offer. The applicant must accept funding from the other agency.

Acknowledgement: Support from the Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grant must be acknowledged in all publications, presentations and communications that arise from this funding.  Failure to acknowledge this support will result in future ineligibility for BBDC funding programs.


Successful applicants are required to provide the BBDC with a financial statement and detailed written report within three (3) months of the end of the funding period. The report must include the following:

  • A description of the project and results to date.
  • Whether or not any publications were generated as a result of this funding.
  • If so, was support from the Drucker Family Innovation Fund Grant acknowledged in the publications?
  • A copy of all manuscripts published and submitted must be attached to the written report.
  • Did the support lead to any new grants, funding, disclosures, or patents for this project?
  • If so, from which agencies/sources was funding received?
  • A detailed financial statement must be forwarded to the BBDC directly from the institution’s finance department itemizing expenses and showing the final balance.

Failure to provide either the written report or financial statement will result in future ineligibility for BBDC funding programs.


Rose LaBarbera
Phone: (416) 978-4656
E-mail: diabetes.bbdc@utoronto.ca