Pilot Studies Competitions



The purpose of the Pilot Studies Competition funding opportunity is to build research capacity related to VTE and to enable CanVECTOR scientists to collect pilot data that will inform the conduct of larger multicentre clinical trials and increase the ability to attract external peer-reviewed funding.

The competition is held annually and administered by the network's Clinical Trials & Shared Platforms.

Funding Details

A total of $100,000, dependent upon partnership funding, is available to fund one or more pilot studies. Funding for individual projects may be awarded over one or two years.

It is expected that the applicants will seek peer-reviewed funding for the full trial within 3 years of receiving CanVECTOR funds.



  • The project team for the pilot study will include an investigator triad (senior investigator, an early or mid-career investigator, and a thrombosis fellow or trainee). It is also expected that a methods expert will be included on the team.
  • At least one of the investigators in the triad must be a CanVECTOR member.
  • Any investigator in the triad can be the lead investigator for the application.
  • Inclusion of investigators from less-established research sites is encouraged.
  • Investigators, fellows, and trainees may be included on only one pilot study application per competition.


  • Studies are eligible if they are designed to assess the feasibility of a planned full-scale (definitive) randomized controlled trial (RCT) that will be conducted at multiple CanVECTOR sites. Although pilot studies designed to inform definitive RCTs commonly use a randomized design that reflects the full-scale design (or parts or it) on a smaller scale, non-randomized studies are eligible and applicants are encouraged to justify the choice of a non-randomized study design. 
  • Pilot studies must include at least two CanVECTOR sites. 
  • Pilot studies must involve prospective recruitment of participants. 
  • The objectives of the pilot study must be different than the full-scale RCT; the primary objectives of the pilot must relate to feasibility by addressing issues of uncertainty that need to be explored prior to conducting the full-scale RCT, and may include the process, resources, management, and scientific aspects of the future trial. 
  • The research focus is to be related to prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of venous thromboembolism or its long-term effects. 
  • Applicants are encouraged to refer to the following online resources (open access) that outline methodology and best practices for pilot studies:


Stay tuned in mid to late 2024 for the next Call for Applications.