“New Annual Research Awards Program Established To Advance Psychiatry Research and Care in Canada” Pfizer Commits $200,000

Jun 23, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Pfizer Canada is launching a new Psychiatry Research Awards Program aimed to advance clinical research and patient care in psychiatry by supporting Canadian investigators in their research efforts.  

The Awards program is a competitive research grant open to all researchers interested in psychiatric diseases and mental illness, including physicians, academics and pharmacists.  Two research grants of $100,000 each will help fund innovative research in the fields of major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.  

An independent external review committee comprised of Canadian medical research experts will evaluate all submitted proposals and select the grant recipients. This committee is chaired by Dr. Glenda MacQueen, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.  

“Canada has truly led the way in its commitment to mental illness research, and it is a privilege to be part of such a ground-breaking and valuable program,” says Dr. MacQueen. “By giving Canadian researchers support for new initiatives, Pfizer is enabling them to advance clinical knowledge around the prevention and management of psychiatric disorders to reduce the burden associated with mental illness.”  

As chair of the independent review committee, Dr. MacQueen’s responsibilities will include: leading the committee’s activities to review and award the grants; providing constructive feedback to applicants; and, facilitation of the overall process. 

Proposals will be requested once per year, and research topics may vary from year-to-year. This year, eligible areas of study include clinical research involving humans, or outcomes/ epidemiological research in the areas of major depressive disorders, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The Psychiatry Research Awards Program is the most recent initiative in Pfizer’s ongoing commitment to mental illness in Canada.  

“At Pfizer Canada, we are proud to support innovative ideas that improve patients’ well-being and encourage the Canadian researchers to further public understanding of mental illness,” says Dr. Bernard Prigent, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Pfizer Canada. “We’ve seen the impact of research award programs in other health areas, and look forward to the effect this new program will have on mental health care in Canada.”  

Additional information and application information can be found at http://www.pfizercns.ca/. The submission deadline for the 2011 Psychiatry grant competition is September 29, 2011. 


One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness during their lifetime.1 Mental illnesses can affect people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures1 and are the result of a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.1  

Nearly three million Canadians will experience depression in their lifetime,2 with most people affected being in their working years, between the ages of 24 and 44.2 A major depressive disorder can occur once in a lifetime, or episodes can be recurrent.3  

Schizophrenia affects an estimated one in 100 Canadians and their families.4 While the exact causes are unknown, it is believed the illness is caused by a biochemical imbalance.4 Schizophrenia can impact anyone, but usually develops in late adolescence or early adulthood.4  

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 1.2 per cent of the adult population.5  It usually begins in early adulthood, with the average age of onset around 18 to 24 years,5 although it can sometimes start in childhood or as late as the 40s or 50s.5 


Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer Inc. invests more than US$7 billion annually in R&D to discover and develop innovative life-saving and life-enhancing medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. For more information, visit www.pfizer.ca


  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Mental Illnesses in Canada: An Overview. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/pdf/chap_1_e.pdf . Accessed May 2, 2011
  2. Canadian Mental Health Association. Depression in the Workplace. http://www.cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=3-86-87-91. Accessed May 2, 2011
  3. Mood Disorders Society of Canada. What is Depression? http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/documents/Publications/%20DepressEngMasterFeb2011.pdf. Accessed May 2, 2011
  4. Schizophrenia Society of Canada. http://www.schizophrenia.ca/heimEnglish1.htm. Accessed May 2, 2011
  5. Mood Disorders Society of Canada. What is Bipolar Disorder? http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/documents/Consumer%20and%20Family%20Support/Bipolar%20Brochure%20English%20FINAL%20150109.pdf. Accessed May 2, 2011 

For further information:

Stephanie Yack
[email protected] 
Tel: 416-849-8949
  Daphne Weatherby
Pfizer Canada Inc.
Tel: 1-866-9PFIZER (973-4937)

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