International Peer Review Expert Panel

September 28, 2016

CIHR launched an international Peer Review Expert Panel. Under the Chairmanship of Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the independent panel members will examine the design and adjudication processes of CIHR’s investigator-initiated programs in relation to the CIHR mandate, the changing health sciences landscape, international funding agency practices, and the available literature on peer review.

The deliberations of the Panel will be based on the literature of peer-review and international best practices, and will be informed by data from applicant and reviewer surveys about peer review processes; analyses of funding data; and bibliometric performance data. The Panel will also be provided with comments and letters received from the community about the changes to the investigator-initiated programs, as well as with deliberations from the July 13th Working Meeting with the health research community and the Peer Review Working Group, whose work was recently completed.

Specifically, the Panel will address the following questions:

  1. Does the design of CIHR’s reforms of investigator-initiated programs and peer review processes address their original objectives?
  2. Do the changes in program architecture and peer review allow CIHR to address the challenges posed by the breadth of its mandate, the evolving nature of science, and the growth of interdisciplinary research?
  3. What challenges in adjudication of applications for funding have been identified by public funding agencies internationally and in the literature on peer review and how do CIHR’s reforms address these?
  4. Are the mechanisms set up by CIHR, including but not limited to the College of Reviewers, appropriate and sufficient to ensure peer review quality and impacts?
  5. What are international best practices in peer review that should be considered by CIHR to enhance quality and efficiency of its systems?
  6. What are the leading indicators and methods through which CIHR could evaluate the quality and efficiency of its peer review systems going forward?

Panel members will convene in Ottawa in January 2017 for a two-day series of meetings with key stakeholders and scientific community representatives.

The Panel’s final report will be tabled with CIHR’s Governing Council and made public by the end of spring 2017. Their recommendations are expected to help inform refinements to the investigator-initiated programs moving forward. They will also guide the ongoing work of the College of Reviewers and complement the work of the government-wide Science Review whose mandate is considerably broader.

“In order to provide the Panel with updated feedback from the scientific community, the Scientific Directors of CIHR's thirteen Institutes will be consulting this fall with their respective constituencies on the design and implementation of the reforms, including the recent corrections engineered in collaboration with the research community.”

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

Associated links

Date modified: