Message from Dr. Alain Beaudet to Canada’s health research community

July 5, 2016

As announced by Minister Jane Philpott in her message to Canada’s health research community, CIHR will convene a working meeting in the very near future to discuss the quality and integrity of CIHR’s new peer review processes.  This meeting will allow representatives of the research community and CIHR an opportunity to review and address the concerns raised by health researchers and peer reviewers. CIHR has already received many useful suggestions on how to improve the current peer review processes and, by openly sharing our concerns and objectives, we are confident that we will be able to find a resolution that is satisfactory for all.

As you know, CIHR embarked on the reform of its open funding programs and peer review process to improve the sustainability of our health research system, the transparency and fairness of our granting processes, and the quality and impact of the research supported by federal investments. However, the online system implemented to ensure an unbiased and tailored evaluation of each research proposal has raised serious concerns among applicants and reviewers alike. These concerns must be addressed since CIHR can only be successful if it has the support and confidence of the research community. This working meeting represents an important next step toward re-establishing that support and confidence.

Given the current situation, please note that the funding opportunities for our investigator-initiated programs (originally scheduled for June 30) are being delayed until after the working meeting has taken place. CIHR is fully aware that the community needs this information and we commit to announcing a new date as quickly as possible. We also intend to maintain the original application deadlines and funding dates.

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research


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