CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research

Community-Based Research Program

The CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research (CBR) Program supports partnerships between community leaders and researchers in carrying out research and capacity-building initiatives relevant to communities engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STBBI. Projects funded through the CBR program have been identified a priority by a community, and are pursued through partnerships between community-based organizations and academic partners.

The HIV/AIDS and STBBI Program is led by the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, supported by the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health, and guided by the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Advisory Committee (CHASRAC) (historically the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee – CHARAC). The CBR program in one of four research funding areas of the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Initiative, which is responsible for the research components of the Government of Canada’s initiatives to address HIV/AIDS and other STBBI, in line with the Pan-Canadian STBBI Framework (Reducing the Health Impact of Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections in Canada by 2030: A Pan-Canadian STBBI Framework for Action) and Canada’s Action Plan on STBBI (Accelerating our response: Government of Canada five-year action plan on STBBI).

What is community-based research?

Community-based research (CBR) is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBR begins with a research topic of importance to the community with the aim of combining knowledge and action for social change to improve community health and eliminate health disparities. CBR brings researchers together with members of the community to: identify the issues; generate and/or collect, analyze and interpret the data; and decide how to use the results to inform policy, change practice and improve conditions in the community.

Community Leaders play an integral role in the research processes to ensure that the research will lead to useful and practical outcomes that will directly benefit the community. For the CBR Program, a Community Leader is defined as an individual who has direct involvement with a community affected by HIV/AIDS and/or other STBBI, understands the needs of the community and how research can lead to useful practical outcomes for the community, and can facilitate the involvement of the community in the research process. Community Leaders work in partnership with researchers from academic and/or other research institutions, who contribute their research expertise in methodology, scientific rigour, and experience in the supervision of future researchers.

Funding and review

The CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI CBR Program embraces the same values of methodological rigour and ethical review as other research approaches. Each proposal submitted to the program is evaluated under two main criteria with equal weight: potential impact and scientific merit.

The CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI CBR Program funds research and capacity building through three funding mechanisms: CBR Catalyst Grant; CBR Operating Grant; and Collaborative Centres for HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research. Funding is available in two streams: Indigenous and General. CIHR's Initiative Community Support Program also provides planning and dissemination grants and travel awards to support developmental research and knowledge translation activities.

CBR Funding Opportunity Description Maximum Value / Year Maximum Duration Typical Launch frequency
CBR Catalyst Grant Short-term research grant seed funding $100,000 1 year Once per year
CBR Operating Grant Multi-year research grant funding (Indigenous and General streams) $150,000 3 years Once per year
Collaborative Centres of HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research To build capacity within the CBR community, CIHR funds two CBR Collaborative Centres - one in the Indigenous stream and one in the General stream. $300,000 5 years

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2006-2015: CIHR Community-Based Research Steering Committee

Between the years 2006-2015, the CIHR CBR Steering Committee contributed greatly to the deployment of a decade of HIV CBR funding opportunities when most needed. Its members came from across Canada and included individuals from the academic sector, policy makers, emerging researchers, community-based researchers and most notably HIV leaders, many of whom brought their lived experience and community liaison to the committee. A total of over 50 persons served on the committee over the years, supported by various CIHR staff members. CIHR wants to thank the former members of the CBR Steering Committees over the years for their leadership and valuable contributions to the research enterprise.

2015-Present: Incorporation with CHARAC/CHASRAC

In 2015, a decision was made to incorporate the CBR Steering Committee mandate into that of CHARAC. The terms of reference and membership of CHARAC (changed to CHASRAC in 2019) were changed to reflect the need to include CBR in CHARAC decision making.

In 2018-2019, in line with the Federal approach to better integrate HIV/AIDS and STBBI research, CIHR expanded the scope of the HIV/AIDS Research Initiative to include other STBBI. As a result of this expanded scope, the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Initiative has also evolved to support the implementation of an integrated approach of the CBR program as well.

Resources for applicants

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the relevant Collaborative Centre of HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research for information on support they can provide to community organizations interested in developing a CBR project:

Useful Links

Contact information

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Officers are available Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET and until 8 p.m. ET on application deadline days.

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