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CIHR University Delegates' Report

Posted by Suman Jha on September 11, 2017 in Announcements

Hi all,

Following are brief highlights from the September CIHR University Delegates teleconference:

Project Grant Update
Overall, CIHR received 3,914 registrations for the upcoming Project Grant competition (application deadline: September 15th). With a likely attrition rate of ~10%, CIHR is expecting at least 3,500 applications. To accommodate this intake of applications, CIHR will be looking to establish 63 review committees (the original 53 committees plus duplicate committees in high intake areas such as cancer, neuroscience and behavioral sciences); all committees will be expected to have the same success rates (which, based on the number of applications, will likely remain near historical lows). At this point, ~75% of the reviewers have been recruited (the target is 1,320 reviewers) and CIHR is currently in the process of assigning applications to committees. Note that, at least for this competition, applicants will not receive confirmation of their committee / panel until after the competition is complete. The peer review process is expected to commence early October and run to November 14th, with face-to-face review taking place from November 15th to December 14th. As reported earlier, success rates for ECRs will be equalized at the competition level (not committee level) with the number of applications received.

Foundation Grant Update
Results for the Fall 2016 competition are now posted along with some demographic data. Unfortunately – as is clear from the data – the geographic disparity with respect to funding success rates remains. Our congratulations go out to Dr. Robyn Urquhart on her successful application!

CIHR received 322 registrations for the 2017 Competition, with a stage 1 application deadline of September 12, 2017. As noted earlier, it is expected that only about 40 Foundation grants will be funded, with ~$125M available.

College of Reviewers
Recruitment is continuing for the College, with CIHR now commencing with “Wave 2” enrollment over a 3-phase approach. The first phase of Wave 2 has focused on individuals who have been nominated PIs on CIHR grants within the last 5 to 7 years and meet membership requirements; of the approximately 2,100 individuals contacted thus far, over 900 have given a positive response (bringing the total number in the College to ~3,000), with ~1,000 non-responses requiring follow-up. CIHR will continue to work from its own database as well as institutional and self-nominations for subsequent phases of recruitment.  Note that ongoing enrollment in the College remains separate from active recruitment currently underway for 2017 Project grant peer review (i.e., enrollment in the College does not necessarily mean you will be asked to review for the upcoming project competition), though the College will be working closely with Panel Chairs and SOs to populate the review panels. Gender equity on these panels remains a concern for several UDs, with CIHR indicating that they continue to strive to maintain this balance to the extent possible; reviewer availability and the need to address expertise gaps has created some challenges in this regard for the Project grants. Work is also “underway” by the College Chairs to address review quality (i.e., assessing reviewer competency), with an update on progress to be provided by CIHR at the October UD teleconference.

A reminder as well that the deadline for submitting applications for the ECR Observer Program (for the Project grant peer review taking place October-November), announced last month, is September 19th.

CIHR Updates
The CIHR Annual Report is now available on their website. In addition, CIHR has now released the second set of gender equity data with information on the approved amounts of funding by gender; the first tranche of data focused on overall success rates.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Mark Filiaggi
CIHR University Delegate

Associate Vice-President Research
(902) 494-7102