President's Message: Launch of international panel to review CIHR's grants adjudication processes

September 28, 2016

I am pleased to announce today the launch of CIHR’s 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 assess the design and implementation of CIHR’s new grants adjudication processes. The panel, which I had committed to commissioning earlier this year, comes at an opportune time as we are course-correcting the rollout of the changes to investigator-initiated programs and peer review processes based on the feedback received from the research community.

I am pleased with the exceptional caliber of the members who have agreed to join the panel. Their wealth of expertise in the science of peer review, critical international funding agency perspectives, and practice of research will bring fresh viewpoints on optimal grant adjudication processes. The panel members are:

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

The deliberations of the Panel will be based on 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 our 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.

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.

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.

I would like to thank all panel members for agreeing to lead this important work. I look forward to the final report, which will provide an important independent assessment to help CIHR define a trusted, credible and valued peer review system.


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

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