The Canadian General Surgery Foundation (CGSF) was founded in the early 1980’s to promote research performed by general surgeons and general surgery residents in both clinical and basic science. The CGSF currently funds one research project per year as well as sponsoring a Resident Research Retreat.

Applications are requested for Operating Grants from the Canadian General Surgery Foundation.

  • Two operating grants of $40,000 each.
  • Applicants must be CAGS members.
  • Applicants must have a full-time appointment at a Canadian institution which could support the administration of the grant funds (questions of eligibility should be directed to cags@cags-accg.ca)
  • Applicants must be new investigators within their first 5 years of practice, not including interruptions, such as medical/family/parental leaves, relocation, or extenuating clinical service requirements.
  • The deadline for receipt is January 31, 2024.  
  • The grant should support and foster the development of research program by new and emerging surgical researchers (within the first 5 years of primary appointment, not including interruptions and delays for parental leave, relocation, extenuating circumstances related to clinical service, etc.)
  • The grant is designed to provide seed funding to initiate a project or support one aspect of a larger project, with the goal of increasing the researcher’s success rate when applying for more substantial grants, including CIHR.
  • Grants will be accepted in any area of research, including translational research, quality improvement, clinical trials, clinical epidemiology, surgical education.
  • While funding envelopes continue to limit the size of the grant, a grant value of $40-50,000 would be reasonable. The amount of the grant is fixed and can be spent over 1 or 2 years.
  • The grant can be used as matching funds for other granting opportunities.
  • The applicant must be a licensed surgeon practicing in Canada. Residents are not eligible for this grant competition. Residents/Fellows in their final year with an appointment the following year are eligible to apply with a letter confirming the start date of their appointment.
  • The applicant must be a CAGS member at the time of application. If not already a member, a membership request may be submitted concurrently with the grant application.
  • The grant is for a one or two-year duration with the potential for an additional 1 year no cost extension.
  • A financial and a written end of grant report are required. If a 1 year no cost extension is requested this must be requested in writing with justification on or before the due date of the end of grant report.
  • The grant will be awarded at the CSF. The grantee is strongly encouraged to attend the CSF to accept the award. The registration fee for the CSF would be considered an eligible expense for the grant for that year.
  • The grantee must agree to present their research at the CSF 2 years after grant receipt. The registration fee for CSF would be considered an eligible expense for the grant for that year.
  • The applicant must have some “protected time” for research and how the time is being protected must be defined by their Division or Department Head (within the letter of support).
  • The grants will be peer reviewed by members of the Research Committee based on overall expertise. If required, an external review will be requested if the stated research falls outside of the expertise of any of the committee members.
  • All applicants will receive a short, written assessment and a score.
  • If no grants meet the minimum score (as determined by the Research Committee) then no grant may be awarded in a given year.
  • The grants will be evaluated based on:
    • The track record of the applicant in relation to the number of years post first appointment (10%).
    • The importance and novelty of the research question (20%).
    • The feasibility and methodological rigour of the proposed project (20%).
    • The importance of the project to the researcher’s overall research program and the potential for this project to lead to subsequent peer reviewed funding (20%).
    • The research environment, including local resources and external collaborations (10%).
    • Incorporation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles and practices (yes or no).

The application should include:

  • A title page with information regarding all co-applicants and contact information for the principal applicant, including an email address
  • A summary/abstract of the application (max. ½ page)
  • A statement of the impact or the potential impact on surgery in Canada (max. ½ page)
  • A detailed description of the proposed research (maximum 4 pages, including figures)
  • A list of references cited (no maximum)
  • A detailed budget explaining how the funding will be allocated
  • A curriculum vitae of the principal applicant (max. 3 pages not including the list of peer reviewed publications)
  • A letter of support from the Head of the Division of General Surgery or Chair of the Department of Surgery of the institution where the work will be performed. This must include an indication of the amount of protected time for research and how the applicant’s time will be protected to allow successful completion of the project.
  • Any delays that have impacted research productivity or that extend the new investigator timeline should be described (optional, max ½ page)
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strengthen the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Incorporation of EDI principles into the research design and development and training of the research team CAGS strongly endorses incorporation of EDI principles into surgical research. Please describe how the current research proposal incorporated EDI principles in the development of the research team, the research environment and the conduct and interpretation of the research itself. (max ½ page).
    • For additional information on EDI principles and how to incorporate them into you research, please refer to the following resources from CIHR (https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/52553.html).

The deadline for submission is January 31, 2024 at 11:59 pm.  Applications should be emailed as a single
PDF file to: Karin Lindsay (karin@cags-accg.ca).

Applications not received by the stated deadline or not conforming to these requirements will not be considered for funding.

For further information please contact:
Dr. Rebecca Auer
CAGS Research Committee Chair
Email: rauer@toh.ca

Grant Receipt
An approved REB or lab/animal care protocol is required prior to disbursement of funds to the awardee.

Grant Reconciliation/Reporting

The CAGS Operating Grants are provided through the generous support from the CAGS Foundation and its donors. To ensure transparency in the use of these funds and to engage and provide feedback to our donors, all applicants are expected to submit a complete financial report and written summary report, including the impact or potential impact of the research, at the end of the granting period. All grant monies must be reconciled within 1 year from the end date of the grant.

All grantees are also asked to return as a speaker to the Canadian Surgery Forum 2 years following receipt of the grant to present their findings. Grantees will also be asked to participate in communication of their research findings and their impact with the CAGS Foundation. This may include, when appropriate, participating as a speaker, being interviewed, or identifying patients who might be willing to share their impact story. The grantee should also agree that any practice-changing research findings should be translated to practice through the CAGS education committee.

Past Operating Grant Recipients

Dr. Boris Zevin, Queen’s University

Co-Investigators: Peter Szasz, MD, PhD, Queen’s University  Sarah Jones, MD, PhD, Queen’s University  Marisa Louridas, MD, PhD, University of Toronto Vanessa Palter, MD, PhD, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto) Teodor Grantcharov MD, PhD, University of Toronto

      ” Exploring the education impact of AI-enabled operating room video-capture and assessment technology on residents’ assessments and the quality of narrative feedback.”


Dr. Evan Wong, Dr. Tarek Razek, McGill University

       “Improving access to trauma care for indigenous populations in Northern Quebec: Quantifying the need through the implementation of an electronic prospective database with real-time clinical guidance”

Dr. Lawrence Lee, McGill University.

Collaborators: Jean-Sébastien Trépanier, MD Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montréal, QC, François Letarte, MD Centre Hospitalier Université de Laval, Québec, QC, Andrea Petrucci, MD Cité de la Santé, Laval, QC, Antonio Caycedo, MD MSc Kingston General Hospital, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston, ON

      “ERAS 2.0 – A multicenter prospective cohort study of same-day discharge for laparoscopic colectomy”

No Operating Grant was awarded in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Dr. Marina Parapini, Dr. Pang Young, Dr. Jack Chiu, University of British Columbia

       “The Surgical Film Room – Post-Operative Laparoscopic Video as an Adjunct to Surgical Learner Training (POLVAULT Study)”


Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Kelly Vogt, Western University

       “The demand for emergency general surgery in Canada: A public health crisis”

Dr. Michele Benier, supervisor Dr. Saima Hassan, University of Montreal

       “The role of PARP inhibition in estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer”


Dr. Tulin Cil, University Heath Network

      “The Empress Trial: The Effect of Mental Practice and Rehearsal on Emotion, Stress and Surgical Skills”

Dr. Jerry Dang and Dr. Daniel Birch

      “The Microbiology of Bariatric Surgery”


Dr. Yifan Wang and Dr. George Zogopoulos

      “Using platinum-based chemotherapy to induce sensitivity to PD-1 checkpoint blockade in BRCA associated pancreas cancer”

Dr. Rebecca Auer, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

       “Phase 1b study of perioperative arginine supplementation in resectable colorectal cancer”


Dr. Paul McBeth, Alberta Health Services

       “Characterization of early coagulopathy in trauma patients with massive hemorrhage using rotational thrombelastography”

Dr. Guillaume Martel, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

        “The PRICE Trial: Phlebotomy resulting in controlled hypovolemia to prevent blood loss in major hepatic resections”


Dr. Richard Garfinkle, McGill University

        “Does Bowel Stimulation Before Loop Ileostomy Closure Reduce Postoperative Ileus? A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial”

Dr. Maria Abou Khalil, McGill University

        “Less May be More: Loop Ileostomy with Colonic Lavage for Fulminant Clostridium difficile Colitis. A Prospective National Mutli-Centre Cohort Study”


Dr. Angel Arnaout, University of Ottawa

        “The Specimen Margin Assessment Technique (SMART) Trial: A novel 3D method of identifying the most accurate method of specimen orientation in breast cancer surgery”

Dr. Amin Madani, McGill University (Ethicon Research Grant)

      “A Curriculum to Teach Safe Use of Surgical Energy Devices: Does the Addition of a Simulation Module Improve Learning and Retention?”


Dr. Carl Brown, University of British Columbia (Ethicon Research Grant)

       “To Determine the Effect of Honey Enema in the Treatment of Patients with Acute Pouchitis”


Dr. Steven Paraskevas, McGill University

       “Pre-transplant T-reg function and recovery from ischemia-reperfusion injury”


Dr. Mantaj Brar, University of Calgary

        “A Manpower and Waiting Times Assessment of Canadian Colorectal Surgery”

Dr. Gabe Chan, University of Montreal (Ethicon Research Grant)

       “The effect of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on the pharmacokinetics of immunosuppressive medications in the morbidly obese renal transplant candidate, a prospective clinical trial”


Dr. Troy Perry, University of Alberta (Ethicon Research Grant)

       “Mechanisms of recurrence in post operative Crohn’s disease”


Dr. Sulaiman Nanji, Queen’s University

         “Identifying molecular markers for prognostication and treatment in patients with hepatocellular cancer”


Dr. George Zogopoulos, McGill University

       “Genetic susceptibility to pancreas cancer in Quebec”

Dr. Jason Park, University of Manitoba (Ethicon Research Grant)

       “Optimizing Practice Schedules for Learning Basic Skills on a Computer-based Laparoscopic Simulator”


Dr. Jonathan Cools-Lartigue, McGill University

        “Acute Bacterial Pneumonia Promotes Cancer Metastasis Through Toll Like Receptor Activation”


Dr. Lawrence Lee, McGill University

       “Incisional hernia after midline versus transverse extraction incision in laparoscopic colectomy: a Pilot Randomized Trial”

Dr. Charles de Mestral, University of Toronto

        “Early versus delayed cholecystectomy for acute calculous cholecystitis: Decision and cost-utility analysis”


Dr. Vanessa Davis, University of Alberta

       “Changes in Metabolomic Profiles in Screening and Management of Pancreatic Neoplasms”

Dr. Carlos Chan, McGill University

        “Molecular mechanism of the CEACAM family genes in cancer metastasis”


Dr. Liane Feldman, McGill University

       “Development and validation of the Goals-IH module to assess performance of laparoscopic incisional hernia repair”


Dr. Jeremy Grushka, McGill University

       “The effect of in vitro tracheal occlusion on branching morphogenesis in fetal lung explants from the rat nitrofen model of congenital diaphragmatic hernia”

Dr. Najma Ahmed, University of Toronto

        “Crisis in the general surgery work force: Identifying barriers to career satisfaction and opportunities to manage attrition among residents and practicing general surgeons”.


Dr. Jonathan Spicer, McGill University

       “The role of neutrophils in the early steps of hematogenous cancer metastasis.”

Dr. Allan Okrainec, University of Toronto

       “Does virtual surgery translate to better surgery: The impact of high fidelity VR simulation on intraoperative performance”


Dr. Mae Cantos, University of Toronto

        “The role of ceramide in oxidant-induced increase in surface TLR4 in macrophages”

Dr. Angel Arnaout, University of Toronto

        “A prognostic study of the combined expression of EGFR and cSrc in primary breast cancers”


Dr. Saima Hassan, McGill University

        “SDF-1 and CXCR4: Novel predictive plasma marker for breast cancer metastasis and therapeutic target”

Dr. Elijah Dixon, University of Calgary

       “Pancreaticojejunostomy vs. Pancreaticogastrostomy Reconstruction Following Pancreaticoduodenectomy: A Meta-Analysis”


Dr. Lynn Mikula, University of Toronto

       “Functional Analysis of TPC: a Novel Gene Implicated in Pancreas Cancer”

Dr. Paul Wales, University of Toronto

       “Small Bowel Acellular Matrix as a Small Intestinal Substitute in a Porcine Model”


Dr. Sam Wiseman, University of British Columbia

       “Tissue Microarray Analysis of Genomic Instability Marker Expression, Diagnostic Utility, and Prognostic Significance in Human Thyroid Carcinoma: A Pilot Study”

Dr. Moishe Liberman, McGill University

Co-Applicants: Dr. D.S. Mulder & Dr. J.S. Sampalis

        “Sonography after Thoracic Surgery (SATS)”


Dr. Belinda Hsi, University of Alberta

Co-Applicants: Dr. N.M. Kneteman & Dr. J. Akabutu

        “Hepatic Regeneration from Differentiated Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells”

Dr. David R. Urbach, University of Toronto

       “Measuring Dysphagia in Patients with Achalasia”


Dr. Sulaiman Nanji and Dr. James Shapiro, University of Alberta

       “Tolerance in Experimental Islet Transplantation, Induced by Costimulatory Blockade of the Novel ICOS-B7 Pathway, Using an Anti-ICOS Monoclonal Antibody.”

Dr. Geoffrey Porter, Dalhousie University

       “Access to care for surgical treated malignancies”


Dr. David Evans, McGill University

       “Evaluation of the Immunomodulatory effects of hypertonic saline in the severely injured patient”

Dr. Oliver Bathe, University of Calgary

       “Tumor eradication using subsets of tumor-specific cytotoxic lymphocytes”


Dr. Daryl Gray, University of Western Ontario

       “Nitric oxide synthase and heme oxygenase within the small intestine during the systemic inflammatory response syndrome”’

Dr. Mark Basik, University of Montreal

       “Detection of naked tumoral DNA in the blood of breast cancer patients”


Dr. Carmen A. Giacomantonio, Dalhousie University

        “Development of a gene therapy model using plasmid DNA vector AG85A to treat malignant melanoma”