Travel Awards & Lab Exchanges

BioCanRx Travel Awards and Lab Exchanges cover travel and accommodation expenses for trainees and laboratory professionals to participate in research exchanges, conferences, or workshops to enable their professional and technical development.



Travel Award and Lab Exchange priority is given to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and technical, clinical or manufacturing research staff working under a BioCanRx founding or current investigator, or at a BioCanRx Core, Biomanufacturing, or Point of Care Facility. The applicant’s project or work responsibilities must directly contribute to BioCanRx’s mission and mandate. The applicant must not have received a BioCanRx Travel Award or Lab Exchange in the previous two years.


For a conference or workshop to be eligible, it must relate to one of BioCanRx’s priority areas. These include therapeutic antibodies, adoptive cell therapies, oncolytic viruses, or the clinical, social, and economic implications of cancer biotherapeutics research.


For a lab exchange to be eligible, the project or work responsibility must directly contribute to BioCanRx’s mission, and the partnering research group/industry partner must provide specialised skills training or technology transfer not widely available. Priority will be given to exchanges between BioCanRx research/clinical groups or between a BioCanRx research group and industry partner.


Terms of the Award

BioCanRx reimburses travel and accommodation expenses in accordance with the BioCanRx Travel and Reimbursement Policy. Eligible expenses include travel fare, accommodation and meals (excluding alcohol) not provided at the event. Awardees must complete a post-event report/feedback form prior to reimbursement by BioCanRx. More information about our travel policy will be sent out to successful awardees.


Funding Available

Travel awards offer up to $1,200 in reimbursement. Please note that BioCanRx cannot reimburse event registration costs.


Funding for lab exchanges will be provided for a maximum of $3000 per exchange. Lab exchanges must be completed in the fiscal year that the funding is made available (April 1 – March 31)


Application Procedure

Fill out the application form with the required documentation and send your application package to at the award deadline that is at least one month before the event.


Travel Award Application
Lab Exchange Application
Proposed Budget


Application Deadlines

Travel Awards:

  • June 28: For travel between July – September 2024
  • August 16: For travel between September – December 2024
  • November 15, 2024: For travel and reimbursement between January – March 2025


  • June 28: For travel between July – September 2024
  • August 16: For travel between September – March 2025

Submitted applications will be reviewed by the BioCanRx HQP Adjudication Committee. The final decisions will be emailed to the applicants and their supervisors.


If you have any questions about these programs, please contact Julie Jonkhans at


Past BioCanRx HQP Travel Awardees Testimonials

Dr. Christopher Helsen, PhD; Bramson Lab, McMaster University

Attended the Immunotherapy: The Ontario Landscape meeting
“Receiving the Travel award was an immense honor. For me the main focus of the award lay in the competition. Preparing the required documents and research proposals as well as future research plans was a very good learning experience. As a young researcher trying to transition into a faculty position these kinds of competitions are very important. In this regard, the award competitions are exactly what are needed. This makes the competition in itself worth it, irrespective of the success in obtaining the award.”

Dr. Lee-Hwa Tai, PhD; Auer Lab, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Attended the Immunotherapy: The Ontario Landscape meeting
“As a senior PDF transitioning to young PI status, listening to the talks about cancer immunotherapy across Ontario both validated and challenged my own research ideas and projects. In addition, I got to socialize with my peers, get career management advice from mentors and network with potential collaborators.”


Angela Ahn, PHD Candidate; Ursini-Siegel Lab, Lady David Institute

Attended the Clinical Application of Tumour-infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy workshop
“It was an absolute privilege being supported by BioCanRx Travel Award to cover the cost of attending this conference. The application and reimbursement procedure and communication from the coordinators Jovian and Rebecca were exceptionally clear and prompt.”


Anne Monette, PHD; Lapointe Lab, Université de Montréal

Attended the Clinical Application of Tumour-infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy workshop
“My experience attending the Clinical Application of Tumour-infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy (CATT) Workshop was very memorable. It was a great opportunity to attend this meeting with the Canadian leaders in adoptive cell therapy, to understand the recent advances of TIL-therapy and ongoing and upcoming challenges related to both the clinical protocols, policy and regulatory affairs, costs associated to treatment, and also to learn from international specialists on the status of these subjects in their regions. Overall, I learned many important things there that will most certainly be enriching to my personal career development in this very exciting field of research. I am grateful for having been awarded the BioCanRx travel award, and also for having been given a chance to present some of my own research findings to such an impressive group of experts in the field of onco-immunology.”


Victoria Hodgson, Research Assistant II; Nelson/Webb Lab, BC Cancer Agency

Attended the Clinical Application of Tumour-infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy workshop
“Receiving the BioCanRx Travel Award enabled me to attend the TIL therapy workshop in Toronto to benefit both my own professional development and our newly emerging TIL therapy program in Victoria BC. The Travel Award coverage for my flights, accommodation, and meals was plenty for my experience at this workshop.

My professional development has benefited through networking and connections made at the workshop. I value having the opportunity to discuss the specifics of TIL therapy with other professionals, and to contribute my own expertise and ideas to this field. Contributing as a trainee modulator and as an author on the workshop summary will also positively impact my professional development. Through this experience my perspective of TIL therapy in Canada and worldwide has been broadened, positively impacting my future work in this field.”


Scott Walsh, PHD; Wan Lab McMaster University

Attended the Clinical Application of Tumour-infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy workshop
“The CATT workshop was a unique educational and networking experience. The smaller size of the workshop allowed for an intimate atmosphere which in turn fostered insightful discussions among world experts in the field of clinical TIL therapy. By attending I was able to establish networking connections with these experts and elaborate on the research activities of my lab, which will help foster future collaborations. As a young Canadian researcher in the field of ACT therapy it was inspiring to see that Canada has a strong TIL therapy program that is on par with similar programs in the US and Europe.”


Katie MacDonald, PhD student; School of Biomedical Engineering, University of British Columbia


“Through the BioCanRx Lab Exchange program, I visited the ACTM in December 2018 to perform a full thymic Treg expansion in the process development lab of the ACTM. Working with the ACTM staff allowed me to identify aspects of our protocol that will require modification to be applied in a GMP environment and gave me insight into aspects of working a GMP facility such as documentation, release testing, and quality control. I will be able to share the knowledge that I gained through this exchange with my lab to enhance our ability to design cell therapy protocols that can be easily transferred to a clinical manufacturing environment in the future.”


Fanny Tzelepis; Research Associate, Diallo Lab, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


“The BioCanRx lab exchange opportunity was essential for me to overcome [specific] issues and gain effective expertise in the production of high-quality antibodies for use in animals. The provided funding allowed me to visit Dr. Boscardin’s laboratory and learn the entire process for producing antibodies. I was able to identify the critical steps that affected my initial attempts to obtain high quality product. The BioCanRx lab exchange program helped to strengthen the collaborations between our lab in Ottawa and that of Dr. Boscardin in Sao Paulo and opened doors for future collaborations with other researchers from Sao Paulo as well.”


Anca Apavaloaei, PhD Student; Perreault Lab, Université de MontréalScott Walsh, PHD; Wan Lab McMaster University

Attended International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference (CICON22)
“Receiving the BioCanRx Travel Award was a real privilege and a stimulant for my professional development. This award allowed me to attend the International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference (CICON22), which helped me stay at the leading edge of innovation in cancer immunotherapies, inspired me for current and future research projects, and gave me an unparalleled opportunity to expand my scientific network.”


Ashley Chen, Master’s Student; Bell Lab, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Attended International Oncolytic Virus Conference 2018
“I am extremely fortunate to have received a BioCanRx Travel Award, such that I had the opportunity to attend my first international conference. It was there, at the International Oncolytic Virus Conference in Oxford, UK, that I was able to learn from, socialize with, and share my project with some of the most prominent and influential minds in the field of oncolytic viruses. This meeting provided a wealth of knowledge regarding recent advancements and future directions for the field both in the lab and in the clinic, and will no doubt have a lasting and profound impact on my professional development.”


Tingxi Guo, Post Doctoral Fellow; Hirano Lab, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Attended Canadian Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium 2018
“With support from BioCanRx, I was able to attend the 2018 CCIC conference. The submitted abstract was one of the eight selected for a trainee oral presentation. Therefore, it was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our BioCanRx-funded project and receive feedback from the Canadian and international cancer therapeutics research community. Attending this event also allowed to expand my professional network, where I was able to establish new connections with the trainees and scientists across the continent. Overall, it was a rewarding experience that was made possible by the BioCanRx Travel Award.”