Foundation Grant: Review process
Did you know that peer reviewers now have to complete a training module on unconscious bias in peer review? Learn more about all the learning material available for peer reviewers.
The Foundation Grant program is supported by a three-stage competition and review process. Stage 1 and 2 review is conducted remotely by expert reviewers supported by an internet-assisted platform that enables communication among reviewers in a virtual space. Stage 1 reviewers assess the caliber of the applicant(s) and vision and program direction, while stage 2 reviewers assess the quality of the program and quality of the expertise, experience and resources. Chairs are responsible for overseeing and supporting the stage 1 and stage 2 remote review process.
In order to ensure new/early career investigators are being treated fairly, approximately 50% of the applications from the new/early career investigators cohort will move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the competition. CIHR will also ensure that it awards a minimum of 15% of grants to new/early career investigators. Also, regardless of career stage, the proportion of female applicants moving forward from Stage 1 to Stage 2 will equal the proportion of female applicants to the competition, if necessary. (For example, if 30% of the applications submitted at Stage 1 were from female program leaders, then approximately 30% of the applications moving to Stage 2 should also be from female program leaders.)
In tandem with stage 2 of the peer review process, reviewers are asked to review the budget requested and justification for each of their assigned applications to determine if the budget is appropriate to support the proposed program of research and if it is realistic and well justified, given the researcher's calculated budget baseline. Reviewers will be asked to assess the appropriateness of the justification for requests that are higher than the applicant's funding baseline amount, and will recommend that the budget remain as requested or recommend a lesser amount.
Stage 3, the final assessment stage, involves a face-to-face discussion by a multidisciplinary committee. This committee focuses on assessing applications that are close to the funding cut-off ("grey zone" applications) and demonstrate a high degree of variability in reviewer assessments. It integrates results from stage 2 into its deliberations and makes recommendations to CIHR on which of these applications should be funded.
Complete details on the peer review process can be found in the Peer Review Manual - Foundation. Applicants may wish to consult the Peer Review Manual when applying to the Foundation Grant program, in order to focus the information provided in their application.
Additional peer review learning resources such as learning modules are also available on the CIHR Learning Activities and resources web page.
Timeline for the Foundation Grant: 2016–2017 review process
The application deadline for the competition was October 13, 2016. The recruitment of peer reviewers and Competitions Chairs began in September 2016.
|Stage 1 review|
|Declaration of conflicts and reviewers’ ability to review||October 27 – November 3, 2016|
|Reviewers conduct preliminary reviews||Week of December 5 – January 10, 2017|
|Reviewers participate in online discussion of applications with oversight by Chairs||January 16-18, 2017|
|Reviewers submit final reviews||January 23, 2017|
|Anticipated Notice of Decision – Stage 1||February 2, 2017|
|Stage 2 review|
|Reviewers participate in training activities and webinars||Early - Mid March, 2017|
|Declaration of conflicts and reviewers’ ability to review||March 23-29, 2017|
|Reviewers conduct preliminary reviews||April 11 – May 8, 2017|
|Reviewers participate in online discussion of applications with oversight by Chairs||May 15-17, 2017|
|Reviewers submit final reviews||May 19, 2017|
|Final Assessment Stage review|
|Face-to-face committee meeting||June – July 2017|
|Anticipated Notice of Decision – Final Assessment Stage||August 3, 2017|
Peer review membership
Peer review membership for the Foundation Grant competitions are posted online approximately 60 days after the funding decisions have been published on the CIHR website. Peer review members participated in accordance with the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.
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