DSEN Steering Committee – Terms of Reference (Final version)


Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN)


Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Chair(s) and Membership

The Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network Steering Committee consists of a Chair plus no more than 13 voting members.

The Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research will act as chair.

The Committee will include members who are able to significantly contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network in the overall interests of Canadians as follows:

  • 3 representatives as nominated by Health Canada;
  • 3 representatives as nominated by the Provincial / Territorial Ministries of Health;
  • 1 or more representative(s) of national organizations well positioned to provide input to the DSEN SC;
  • up to 5 representatives from the research, health care provider and patient communities and public, reflecting a range of relevant backgrounds and disciplines.

The DSEN SC shall include the DSEN Executive Director as one additional ex-officio member with observer status.


Members will normally be invited by the Chair to serve for an initial term of up to three years with the option of term renewal for an additional three years maximum. The replacement process will be staggered to ensure continuity while allowing the rotation of representatives to achieve optimal reach across Canada.


Meetings will be held up to four times per annum, at the call of the Chair. Meetings will be either face-to-face, virtual or by teleconference.


A majority of its members (50% plus 1).


Bourinot's Rules of Order, 4th Edition


The DSEN Steering Committee (DSEN SC) acts in an advisory capacity to the DSEN Executive Director with respect to the strategic direction of the DSEN and the priorities for needed research identified through the development of a common research agenda.

With respect to the full range of DSEN activities, the DSEN SC will give particular attention to:

  • identification of gaps in the information needed to make evidence-informed decisions regarding the safety and effectiveness of drugs in the context of drug regulation and decisions about public reimbursement, and the safe and optimal prescribing and use of drugs within the Canadian health care system;
  • prioritization of research to address identified information needs into a DSEN common research agenda;
  • plans and strategies addressing stakeholders’ input and consultations;
  • advice and input regarding the development and improvement of processes to facilitate the identification, validation and prioritization of decision makers information needs by the DSEN Coordinating Office;
  • facilitation of Knowledge Translation between the DSEN SC and the DSEN stakeholder audience through the leverage of existing communication channels;
  • advice and input regarding evaluation of the DSEN program;
  • the strategic plan of the DSEN including the operational plans and the budgets for priority research activities and investments in capacity development; and
  • promotion of the DSEN program and its objectives: to increase the evidence on drug safety and effectiveness available to the regulator, policy-makers, health care providers and patients, and, to increase capacity within Canada to undertake high-quality post-market research in this area.


The DSEN SC has the authority to create subcommittees and working groups, hold meetings anywhere in Canada and invite resource people, experts and the general public to its meetings.


Service on the DSEN SC is voluntary. DSEN SC members will be reimbursed for expenses incurred to attend meetings, but will not receive honoraria or other financial compensation.

Conflict of Interest

DSEN SC members will be required to abide by principles concerning Conflict of Interest as laid out by DSEN. In the context of DSEN, persons with a material interest stemming from contextually relevant industries (e.g. employees) are considered to be in conflict of interest and will be considered ineligible to serve.


On an annual basis, the DSEN SC will review the terms of reference.


Appointments to the DSEN SC will be made on behalf of CIHR by the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics.

Terms of Reference

Updated March 3, 2015

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