Message from the President – CIHR Institutes Model Review


Canada's health research landscape is continually evolving. As new areas of health science and public health emerge, CIHR must also evolve to support these advances.

It is in this spirit that CIHR's Governing Council will undertake an Institutes Model Review in 2013-14. This Review will assess the structure, role, policies, financial framework and slate of the CIHR Institutes to ensure that they can effectively respond to current and emerging health research challenges, while considering whether Institutes are well positioned to take advantage of national and international scientific opportunities to help CIHR deliver on its mandate.

This Review also responds to the obligations in the CIHR Act which directs Governing Council (GC) to "review the mandate and performance of each Health Research Institute at least every five years after it is established and determine whether its mandate or the policies respecting its role and functioning should be amended or whether it should be merged with another Health Research Institute or terminated."

The Institutes Model Review will be informed by recommendations from two working groups that will operate concurrently but separately:

  • The Internal Working Group (IWG) is comprised of the 13 CIHR Scientific Directors and the three vice-presidents. Dr. Anthony Phillips, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, has been elected as chair of the IWG.
  • The External Working Group (EWG) is comprised of ten members with connections and experiences from various stakeholder communities that work closely with CIHR and share an interest in health research.

I would like to thank the members of both working groups for agreeing to participate in this process on CIHR's behalf.

We anticipate that the two working groups will provide a verbal interim report to Governing Council in February 2014 and a full report by June 2014. Governing Council's decision should be made public in the fall of 2014.

The Institute model is a core foundation of CIHR that has proved extremely successful over the first decade of the organization's existence. Institutes encourage innovation and change within their own fields of expertise, foster capacity building, bring networks of researchers together around common goals, and encourage partnership and collaboration across sectors, disciplines and regions. While the Institutes Model Review is a complex exercise to undertake, it represents a positive and constructive step in the evolution of CIHR.

If you have any comments or questions about the CIHR Institutes Model Review, please do not hesitate to send them to

Alain Beaudet, M.D., Ph.D.
President of CIHR

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