Terms of Reference - Executive Committee

Reference: Section 10 (1) (a) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act CIHR By-Law - Article 5, section 5.01

Chair and Membership

The Executive Committee consists of the President of the CIHR who acts as Chair, the Vice - Chair who will preside at meetings in the absence of the Chair, plus a minimum of four voting members of the Governing Council chosen by Governing Council after receiving advice from its Nominating and Governance Committee. The Committee may invite external expertise, as necessary.


A minimum of 4 times per year, to be held at the call of the Chair.


A majority of its members


Bourinot's Rules of Order, 4th Edition


The Executive Committee provides oversight of key strategic activities, reviews, on an annual basis, the corporate and Institute performance and conducts periodic reviews of the role, functioning and mandates of the Institutes, and prepares recommendations for Governing Council. The Executive Committee oversees Governing Council decisions with respect to high risk areas. The Executive Committee ensures the orderly flow of Governing Council business and plays a key role in succession planning.

Roles & Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Executive Committee:

Strategic Issues

  • Review and approve the agendas for Governing Council meetings
  • Oversee the agenda and content development for Governing Council retreats
  • Identify strategic issues for Governing Council

Performance Outcomes – Quinquennial Review Planning and Oversight

  • Oversee the planning for Quinquennial reviews including: the Terms of Reference and membership of the Review Committee, and recommend approval to Governing Council.
  • Develop, for Governing Council's approval, strategic responses and monitor implementation of any follow up actions resulting from Quinquennial Reviews.

Performance Outcomes – Institute Performance

  • Oversee the evaluation of CIHR's and of individual CIHR Institutes' annual performance to ensure achievement of the CIHR objective, and recommend to Governing Council.
  • Develop a framework for Governing Council to consider the contribution of each Institute to the objective of CIHR, including the development of the annual Institute Report format.
  • Oversee the overall performance of CIHR against its legislated objective as specified in Section 4 of the CIHR Act and the objectives of the Strategic Plan and prepare recommendations for Governing Council

Role, Functioning and Mandate of Institutes

  • Conduct periodic reviews of the mandate, slate and number of Institutes and prepare recommendations for Governing Council’s discussion and approval.
  • Develop, following a framework established by Governing Council, a renewed Institute model to deliver upon CIHR's mandate, achievement of Governing Council’s strategic directions and ensure CIHR is supporting an evolving research landscape, as necessary, and make recommendations for Governing Council’s discussion and approval.

High Risk Issues

  • Oversee the development of appropriate management responses to high risk issues identified by Governing Council

Succession Planning

  • Provide direction on succession planning activities

Other duties

The Executive Committee may be asked to review and recommend to Governing Council:

  • CIHR's budgets;
  • Matters referred to the CIHR by the Minister of Health;
  • Making of by-laws.


The Executive Committee will report at each meeting of the Governing Council on all of its proceedings since the last meeting of the Governing Council.


On an annual basis, a review of the terms of reference and re-affirmation of membership.


Approved at CIHR Governing Council Meeting of August 31, 2000.

Terms of Reference

Approved at CIHR Governing Council Meeting of August 31, 2000.
Revised: Governing Council Meeting of March 24-25, 2010.
Revised: Governing Council Meeting of November 17, 2011.
Revised: Governing Council Meeting of June 25, 2013.

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