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  • New agency, began June 7 2000. Many policies and procedures still evolving Logo: green leaf, representing life and health
  • Note second part of mandate makes CIHR different from NSERC and SSHRC Translation mandate under development
  • Continuous spectrum, not separate silos. CIHR encourages interdisciplinary research.
  • Left arrow is what we do now: consumes about 75% of current CIHR budget. Will always be the larger part Right arrow will continue to unfold over the coming years.
  • Investigator-initiated includes all open programs including operating grants and individual training and salary awards. CIHR Strategic Initiatives includes mainly corporate initiated programs such as HIV/AIDS, HepC, Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative, etc. Institute Thematic Initiatives includes training Program Grants, New emerging Teams, etc. Other Grants includes International Human Frontier Science Program, Canadian Council on Animal Care, etc. Knowledge Translation greatly augmented by funding from Institute Thematic Initiatives.
  • MOP panels as of Sept 2003, not including RCT Each operating grants competition consumes at least 7500 person-days of effort We are looking at ways of reducing this workload, e.g., only asking for external reviews when absolutely necessary.
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • Will focus on operating grants because it is CIHR’s biggest grant program, but much of advice applies to other grants as well. Emphasize registration date, rather than deadline. No registration, application will be refused. Dates for other programs on web site.
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call
  • No shame in being a co-applicant or collaborator.
  • Mentorship very important and having a local pre-review process seems to be very effective in those institutions that have it.
  • CIHR recognizes that not all research is hypothesis-driven, but all applications have to have the “big idea” Improvements to health can be distant and indirect in the case of fundamental research: not all research needs to be applied immediately.
  • Note consequences of including trainees as co-applicants: can’t pay them from the grant.
  • You want the reviewers to say “that was a pleasure to read”, not “densely written” or “hard slog”. Font size, margins, page limits, etc., are important to reviewers when they have to read up to 16 or 18 applications in detail. Give an example of conflict of interest, e.g., naming PhD supervisor as a referee Suggested reviewers should be from a variety of locations.
  • SANTE = Health NB: No weighting or formula for each criterion: differs from grant to grant, e.g., from established investigator track record counts for more, while for new investigator the feasibility of the work plan is subject to great scrutiny.
  • Stress that we are there to help them, don’t hesitate to call


  • 1.  
  • 2. Objective “ To excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system…” Section 4, C-6, R.S.C. 2000
  • 3. 13 CIHR Institutes
    • Aboriginal People’s Health
    • Cancer Research
    • Circulatory and Respiratory Health
    • Gender and Health
    • Genetics
    • Health Services and Policy Research
    • Aging
    • Human Development, Child and Youth
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
    • Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
    • Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
    • Population and Public Health
  • 4. Four Research Themes
    • Biomedical
    • Clinical
    • Health services and health systems
    • Health of populations, societal and cultural dimensions of health, and environmental influences on health
  • 5. CIHR Institutes at Work
    • Support outstanding research by outstanding researchers
    • Meet the objectives of our stakeholders and partners
    • Innovate: take new approaches to research questions
    • Increase capacity in areas where the opportunity for growth exists
    • Encourage multidisciplinary, team approaches to health research
    • Forge relationships among institutes, research themes, and stakeholders.
  • 6. CIHR Supports
    • Investigator-initiated research proposals
    • Any area of health research
    • Open competitions
    • Strategic Research Initiatives
    • Priority areas chosen by Institutes
    • Requests for applications
  • 7. CIHR Grants and Awards Budget, 2003-2004: allocation by funding stream $577M
  • 8. Peer Review Committees
    • 45 for operating grants (currently)
    • Over 600 volunteers
    • Composition for Grants committees:
      • Chair
      • Scientific Officer
      • 8-12 members
    • Review 30-70 applications over 2-3 days, twice a year.
  • 9. . Prosthetic devices and artificial organs. Organ and tissue preservation. Imaging studies. Biological application of physical methods. Computer applications. Biomaterials. Radiation reactions. Biomechanics. Biomedical Engineering PRC
  • 10. . Gait studies, biomechanics. Muscle biology, fibre typing and regeneration. Muscle contraction. Movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, myopathies. Exercise physiology, role of exercise in health promotion and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation and physical therapy. Orthopedics applied to the articular system. Occupational ergonomics, kinesiology. Health and physical fitness. Movement and Exercise PRC
  • 11. Applying for a Grant Important Deadlines Oct. 1 End June May Mar. 1 Feb. 1 Apr. 1 End Jan. Dec. Sep. 15 Aug. 15 Operating Grants Funding start Notifica-tion Adjudica-tion Deadline Registra-tion Program
  • 12. Prioritizing Ideas for a Strategic RFA
    • Sufficient Canadian capacity to initiate or build multi-disciplinary research
    • Potential of significant scientific advance
    • Possible reduction in
      • Future burden of suffering
      • Burden of health care system inefficiency
      • Health inequalities
    • Canadian competitive niche and international linkages
    • Opportunities for partnerships and leverage
    • Stakeholder involvement
    • Unlikely to be investigator-initiated
  • 13. Request for Applications (RFA) Important Deadlines 15 July June May-June Jan 15 Nov 1 15 Feb January Nov-Dec June 1 April 1 December June Funding start Notifica-tion Adjudica-tion Deadline Registration RFA Launch
  • 14.
    • Novel Technology Applications in Health Research (ICR, III)
    • Invention and Technology Application- Tools, Techniques and Devices for Research and Medicine (IG, INMHA)
    • ‘ promotes the application, in health research, of technologies developed in science-based research disciplines not traditionally associated with the life sciences ’.
    RFAs – Some Examples
  • 15. . Regenerative Medicine and Nanomedicine: Innovative Approaches in Health Research (INMHA, IG, and multiple partners) ‘ to encourage the development of multi-disciplinary research approaches…specifically integrating the physical, engineering, computational and chemical sciences with the biosciences and social sciences’. RFAs – Some Examples cont’d
  • 16. . Collaborative Health Research Projects (with NSERC) ‘ projects involving any field of the natural sciences and engineering, and the health sciences ’. RFAs (Partnerships) - Some examples
  • 17. . NRC – CIHR Science and Technology Convergence for Health Innovation (with NRC) ‘ Innovative, multi-disciplinary approach to a health research question’. - especially nanosciences/ nanorobotics, biophotonics, diagnostic imaging. RFAs (Partnerships) – Some examples – cont’d
  • 18. Applying for a grant: Being a Principal Investigator
    • Appropriate training and publications
    • Protected time for research
    • Space and facilities
    • If not
    • Be a collaborator in an existing team or
    • Find an experienced and established investigator to help you
    • Explore the Institutes’ Request for Applications
  • 19. Applying for a grant Writing:
    • Competition is tough: only 1 in 4 applications is funded!
    • Start at least 4 months before deadline
    • Application should be completed 1 month before deadline
    • Show it to experienced colleagues for feedback (mentorship!)
    • Revise, revise, revise
  • 20. Applying for a grant Writing: in 11 pages explain
    • What you want to do
      • central hypothesis/research question: the big idea
      • plus specific objectives (or aims)
    • Why this is a reasonable thing to do
      • review of previous work by you and others,
      • succinct rationale for project (concept and approach)
    • Why this is important
      • significant new knowledge to be obtained
      • improvements to health which will result
  • 21. Applying for a grant. Writing: in 11 pages explain
    • How you are going to do it
      • detailed work plan, logical sequence and timelines
      • analysis and interpretation of results
      • pitfalls, ways around them, alternatives
    • Why you should do it
      • relevant prior experience and skills
      • collaborators for technical gaps
      • preliminary data showing feasibility
  • 22. Applying for a grant Writing: on budget pages explain
    • What you need to do it
      • supplies
      • personnel (research assistants, trainees, interviewers) - named, if possible
      • equipment, database access
      • services (photography, computing)
      • travel to present findings, or for collaboration
    • Don’t ask for
      • salary for applicants
      • infrastructure costs (space rental, heat, light, furniture, regular telephone service, secretarial support, etc.)
  • 23.
    • Follow instructions exactly
    • Adhere to format guidelines, e.g., font size, margins, page limits, etc.
    • Write the summary and key hypothesis and rationale sections for generalists, detailed work plan for specialists.
    • It should be a pleasure to read
    • Proof-read! Proof-read! Proof-read!
    Help yourself: Do not upset the reviewers
  • 24. Peer Review Committees (things to do when applying)
    • You will be asked to suggest external reviewers. To prepare read the guidelines regarding Conflict of Interest.
    • You will be asked to choose the peer review committee. To prepare, read the mandates on the Web site
  • 25. Evaluation criteria
    • Proposal
      • Clear, testable hypothesis or central research problem
      • originality and innovation in concept or approach
      • soundness of methodology (ies)
      • significance and relevance to health
      • feasibility of work plan, usefulness of results
      • knowledge of the field (cited literature)
    • Applicant(s)
      • relevant experience
      • productivity and reputation appropriate to stage of career
      • supportive environment
  • 26. Rating Scale
    • Range Descriptors
    • 4.5 - 4.9 outstanding
    • 4.0 - 4.4 excellent
    • 3.5 - 3.9 very good
    • 3.0 - 3.4 acceptable*
    • 2.5 - 2.9 needs revision
    • 2.0 - 2.4 needs major revision
    • 1.0 - 1.9 seriously flawed
    • 0 rejected
    • *but low priority for CIHR funds; may be funded through a partnership program
    usually funded may be funded seldom funded not fundable
  • 27.
    • For :
    • Current RFA opportunities
    • Grants and Awards Guide
    • Database of funded research
    • Peer review process in detail
    • Application forms
    • Staff contacts for assistance of any sort
    • Toll-free number 1-888-603-4178
    Visit us often at