Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR) 2013 – Management Response Action Plan (MRAP)

Recommendation Response
(Agree or Disagree)
Management Action Plan Responsibility Timeline

1. As CIHR implements its Strategic Action Plan on Training (T-SAP), future CIHR approaches to indirect training should be informed by the STIHR model, and there should be increased use of the STIHR tool within CIHR’s priority-driven funding.


The lessons learned from the STIHR model have been integrated into the design and implementation CIHR’s Strategic Action Plan on Training, particularly within the actions of the following strategic directions: ‘Developing Research Leaders’ and ‘Developing Knowledge Leaders’. For example, CIHR is planning to:

  • Embed training and mentoring into program design (e.g., 25% of Foundation Grant peer review evaluation criteria are related to the training and mentoring environment provided by the applicant); and
  • Explore promising / best practices across grant programs and initiatives (e.g., FDN Grants, SPOR, STIHR) to develop educational materials for grant applicants / peer reviewers in their development / assessment of successful training and mentoring programs.

Chief Scientific Officer/Vice President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics Portfolio

Embedding training and mentoring in the Foundation grant is complete.

An assessment of best practices in training is underway. Report, publication, and related training materials / tools will be completed by Dec 2017.

A process has been put in place to incorporate the lessons learned from the STIHR model into the program design stage of future training opportunities (complete).

2. CIHR should continue to provide support for training that adds value beyond stipends and what is delivered through degree programs.


CIHR’s Strategic Action Plan on Training consists of activities that will broaden and enhance health research training beyond that of funding and experiences encountered through degree programs; also, beyond supporting the creation of academic  researchers and professors. For example, CIHR is planning to:

  • Consider options to integrate critical concepts such as multidisciplinarity, exposure to mentors across different sectors, diverse networking opportunities, and development of professional skills into our programming (for trainees supported both directly and indirectly);
  • Provide opportunities for trainees to participate in / practice peer review through the College of Reviewers;
  • Develop and/or provide access to training modules on topics related to both research and professional development skills with support and information related to finding careers outside of academia;
  • Develop career development plan templates for trainees, piloting with some key CIHR awards programs;
  • Provide trainees with the flexibility to gain hands-on experience through “internship/co-op leave” options and supporting diverse (i.e., non-academic) tenure environments for example by allowing unpaid leave during tenure of CIHR awards; and
  • Work with diverse stakeholders to develop supports for the delivery of training activities that promote innovative training environments that encourage the development of research leaders and/or knowledge leaders.

Chief Scientific Officer/Vice President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics Portfolio

CIHR is partnering with the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies to complete a study looking at the professional development offerings available at universities across the country. Outputs will include a course syllabus for trainees in Canada, and a quality rating for each course / program by Dec 2017.

A pilot is currently underway to engage Banting Postdoctoral Fellows as peer reviewers in the 2016 Doctoral Research Award competition. Results from this pilot (due June 2017) will inform future action relating to providing peer review opportunities for trainees.

CIHR is implementing career development plans as a pilot with Award programs (pilot will be launched by Sept 2017). Lessons learned from pilot will inform full implementation (awardees and trainees paid from grants).

CIHR approved a policy change that would allow trainees to take time from their awards to participate in internship opportunities (complete).

3. Future CIHR training initiatives must have stronger performance measurement.


CIHR is committed to measuring the progress and accomplishments of training efforts using various data collection methods. CIHR will implement a 10-year tracking of trainees who are funded both directly and indirectly through:

  • End of Award reports (EAR) following the completion of the award (similar survey for those funded indirectly). 
  • Career Trajectory Surveys at both 5 and 10-year post-award completion. A method to collect this data from both direct and indirectly supported trainees

The development of performance information profiles is underway across CIHR training and grant programs to ensure a comprehensive approach to measuring outputs and outcomes.

CIHR is exploring options for ongoing monitoring of training and mentoring across programs. For example, queries related to plans, progress, and lessons learned as well as trainee tracking expectations will be integrated into Foundation Grant case management.

A new training data reporting centre will be developed to include performance information, program evaluation findings, relevant literature, and data from external sources (e.g., Stat Can).

Director-General Performance and Accountability Branch

(supported by RKTE)

Chief Scientific Officer/Vice President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics Portfolio

CIHR is developing an End of Awards Report (EAR) and it will be launched by Jan 2018.

A Career Trajectory Survey (CTS) was developed and implemented in 2016. Lessons learned from this survey will inform its implementation and continued use at 5 and 10 year time-points post-award. A plan for ongoing monitoring of post-award career trajectory of funded trainees will be completed by June 2017.

Foundation case management questions and process are being developed, and will be completed by Dec 2017.

The training data reporting centre has been completed. A plan to update the data at regular intervals will be implemented by Mar 2018.

4. CIHR should identify, plan for, and communicate sustainability expectations and/or requirements beyond grant funding.


During the design and development of training activities, clear expectations, barriers, and proposed solutions to sustainability will be developed; these will be clearly communicated to stakeholders, particularly in instances of non-renewable or non-recurring activities. If a STIHR-type program were to be launched in the future, CIHR will advertise the length of the available funding period(s), and make clear expectations as to when programs are expected to become self-sufficient. 

Chief Scientific Officer/Vice President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics Portfolio

A process will be put in place for all who develop trainee-related funding opportunities that will ensure discussions around sustainability occur and decisions are communicated to the research community (implemented by Dec 2018).

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