Revised Grants Evaluation Criteria – Criteria and Factors

CIHR grant proposals are to be evaluated against the five criteria indicated below. The criteria are elaborated and defined by specific factors to consider under each criterion, although it should be noted that not all factors are necessarily relevant to every grant application. The criteria are not listed in order of importance: the relative weighting of each criterion will vary depending on the objectives of the funding program as defined by CIHR. The review of the application should be structured to justify the overall rating based on these five criteria. Please see the Interpretation Guidelines for further information.

Criterion #1: Research Approach

  • Clarity of the research question.
  • Completeness of the literature review and relevance to study design/research plan.
  • Clarity of rationale for the research approach and methodology.
  • Appropriateness of the research design.
  • Appropriateness of the research methods.
  • Feasibility of the research approach (including recruitment of subjects, project timeline, preliminary data where appropriate, etc.).
  • Anticipation of difficulties that may be encountered in the research and plans for management.

Criterion #2: Originality of the Proposal

  • Potential for the creation of new knowledge.
  • Originality of the proposed research, in terms of the hypotheses/research questions addressed, novel technology/methodology, and/or novel applications of current technology/methodology.

Criterion #3: Applicant(s)

  • Qualifications of the applicant(s), including training, experience and independence (relative to career stage).
  • Experience of the applicant(s) in the proposed area of research and with the proposed methodology.
  • Expertise of the applicant(s), as demonstrated by scientific productivity over the past five years (publications, books, grants held, etc.). Productivity should be considered in the context of the norms for the research area, applicant experience and total research funding of the applicant.
  • Ability to successfully and appropriately disseminate research findings, as demonstrated by knowledge translation activities (publications, conference presentations, briefings, media engagements, etc.).
  • Appropriateness of the team of applicants (if more than one applicant) to carry out the proposed research, in terms of complementarity of expertise and synergistic potential.

Criterion #4: Environment for the Research

  • Availability and accessibility of personnel, facilities and infrastructure required to conduct the research.
  • Suitability of the environment to conduct the proposed research.
  • Suitability of the environment (milieu, project and mentors) for the training of personnel (if applicable).

Criterion #5: Impact of the Research

  • Research proposal addresses a significant need or gap in health research and/or the health care system.
  • Potential for a significant contribution to the improvement of people's health in Canada and the world and/or to the development of more effective health services and products.
  • Appropriateness and adequacy of the proposed plan for knowledge dissemination and exchange.
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