Peer Review Committee Mandates – Project Grant Program

As of the Fall 2022 Project Grant Competition, please note the following changes to the indicated peer review committees:

  • Developmental Biology (DEV) and Endocrinology (E) have permanently been dissolved due to consistently low application pressure, and their focus areas have been embedded into other committees' mandates, for example, Cell and Developmental Physiology (CBC) and Clinical Investigation A: Reproduction, Maternal, Child and Youth Health (CIA)
  • Immunology & Transplantation (IT) has been replaced by Immunology (IMN)
  • The NSA committee has changed its name from Systems & Clinical Neurosciences to Systems & Circuits Neurosciences
  • The CBC committee has changed its name from Cell Biology – Physiology to Cell and Developmental Physiology

These changes were developed in consultation with the reviewer community during the Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 Project Grant competitions, to ensure that the mandates remain relevant in the current research environment. Please ensure that you read the mandates carefully prior to submitting your registration, as most of them have changed slightly.

The following table presents an alphabetized list of peer review committees and their corresponding mandates for the Project Grant Program. When applying for funding, at the time of registration, you should suggest up to two committees whose mandates most closely align with your research project. Please review the committee mandates before applying in order to correctly identify the best committees for the review of your application. Suggested committees must remain unchanged between registration and application. If your application overlaps with more than one area of science, please select the peer review committees that best reflect the research area and objectives of your application. CIHR will consult with committee Chairs and Scientific Officers in assigning applications to specific committees, and will make the final decision on which peer review committee will review each application based on the summary of proposed research received during the registration stage. The final committee selected may not necessarily be your first or second choice as the authority for the assignment of applications to a peer review committee rests with CIHR.

The final list of committees held for a given competition may differ from the list of committees available at the time of the registration. Applicants will be informed of which peer review committee reviewed their application on their Notices of Recommendation and of Decision.

Behavioural Sciences – A: Neurobiological Basis of Behavioural Processes (BSA)

Basic studies, employing non-human models, in which the primary goal of the study is to establish the neurobiological basis of behaviour. The focus of studies on this committee examine the neurobiological mechanisms of motivation, emotion, stress, drug abuse, feeding, reproduction, learning/memory, pain, motor function and circadian rhythms. Studies exploring non-human animal models of neurological / psychiatric disease, as well as behavioural recovery from stroke or injury, are appropriate, as long as the end points of interest are primarily focused on behavioural measures. Endpoints and behavioural testing should be a core component, essential to addressing the overall research question. Behavioural psychology, Behavioural endocrinology, Neuropharmacology, and Behavioural Immunology studies are also relevant to the committee mandate.

Studies will employ methods which include, but are not limited to, Pavlovian/associative conditioning; instrumental/operant conditioning (including self-administration); behavioural tests of emotional processes, social behaviour, consummatory and reproductive behaviours, etc. Studies using pharmacological or genetic manipulations which study behavioural endpoints are relevant as well as the inclusion of neurophysiology, molecular biology, biochemical assays, as long as the primary goal of the study is to establish the neurobiological basis of a behavioural process or endpoint.

Behavioural Sciences – B: Clinical Behavioural Sciences (BSB)

Clinical and clinically relevant studies in at-risk or human psychiatric, neuropsychiatric, and neurological populations in which the expected project outcome has a direct clinical relevance (i.e., informing risk, diagnosis, treatment, survival/mortality, quality of remission, adverse events/complications). Psychiatric populations might include, but not limited to, individuals diagnosed or at risk for childhood or adult psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, psychotic, anxiety, trauma and stress related disorders, mood, sleep, personality, and substance use disorders. Neuropsychiatric and neurological populations might include individuals diagnosed or at risk for dementia, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, ALS, stroke, headache, and brain trauma. Methodologies or approaches might include, but not limited to, observational, interventional, longitudinal, and cross-sectional studies focusing on phenotyping, psychosocial determinants, sleep studies, risk modeling, imaging, genetic and epigenetic analyses, biomarkers, electrophysiological recordings, and interventions (e.g., pharmacological, psychological, and behavioural).

Note: Studies in which the primary aim is to understand mechanisms of cognition, learning, memory, sensory and motor functions/integration, perception, attention, sleep, pain, speech/language, neuro control of gait (in animals or humans including disease populations) should be sent to BSC.

Behavioural Sciences – C: Behavioural Studies, Neuroscience and Cognition (BSC)

Mechanistic studies using cognitive, systems, or behavioural neuroscience approaches (in humans or animal models) to study mechanisms of processes in cognition, learning, memory, sensory and motor functions/integration, perception, attention, sleep, pain, speech/language, neuro control of gait. Studies using disease populations are acceptable as long as they inform mechanistic, system-level aspects of normal function or behavioural/neuroscience aspects of the disease. Clinical and/or applied studies in psychiatric or neuropsychiatric populations should be sent to Behavioural Sciences B.

Methodologies used include, but are not limited to, behavioural testing, psychophysics, electrophysiological recordings, brain stimulation, structural and functional neuroimaging, molecular/cellular techniques, neuroanatomy, eye tracking, pain imaging, computational neuroscience, and large-scale network dynamics.

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – A (BMA)

Structural, chemical, and biophysical studies of biomacromolecules and their interactions.  Proposals will typically involve one or more of the following: i) structural characterization of biomacromolecules and their assemblies including those involving nucleic acids, glycans, and lipids, ii) biophysical techniques including X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy (including cryo-EM), NMR, mass spectrometry, and various other spectroscopic methods, iii) computational approaches to studying biomolecular structure, function, and dynamics, iv) enzymes and enzyme mechanism, v) protein engineering, vi) structure-guided drug discovery, vii) chemical biology and the development of chemical probes, and viii) the structural and biochemical analysis of biomolecular variation/mutation leading to disease or resistance to treatment.

Note: Studies with a primary focus on proteins and nucleic acids, other than structural studies, should be referred to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – B committee (BMB).

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – B (BMB)

Studies on molecular mechanisms of biological systems with a focus on nucleic acid and protein function. In particular: chromatin, chromosomes, organelles; mechanisms and regulation of DNA and RNA metabolic processes and information transfer (e.g., replication, recombination, repair, transcription, processing, splicing, transport, translation).

Note: Studies with a primary focus on the structure of protein or nucleic acids should be referred to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – A committee (BMA).

Biological and Clinical Aspects of Aging (BCA)

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging, cell senescence, cellular response to stress. Longevity genes and senescence genes. Mechanisms of exceptional aging, premature aging syndrome. Animal models of aging and aging-related diseases. Predictive markers of biological health and aging. Molecular and cellular basis of age-related changes in tissues and systems (e.g., osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, age-related decline in immune function, changes in sleep and biological rhythms). Causes, prevention, and treatment of geriatric syndromes, including falls, frailty and functional decline, immobility, delirium, incontinence. Management of chronic pain. Cognitive decline in the elderly.

Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Engineering and development of biomechanical, medical, and molecular devices including prosthetic devices, artificial organs, and nanosystems. Numerical models of physiological systems. Biomaterials. Biomechanics. Regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, repair and regeneration. Organ and tissue preservation. Molecular and nanoscale technologies.

Note: Gait studies, biomechanical studies dealing with movement and studies with a focus on rehabilitation for movement disorders should be referred to the committee on Movement & Exercise (MOV).

Cancer Biology & Therapeutics (CBT)

Carcinogenesis. Basic and translational aspects of vaccine, metabolism and gene therapy. Radiation biology. Experimental radiotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy. Cancer prevention approaches.

Cancer Progression & Therapeutics (CPT)

Cancer progression biomarkers, including angiogenesis and host/tumor microenvironment modifications. Development of innovative pharmacological agents and targets. Molecular targeting therapies. Exploratory translational cancer research with a focus on pre-clinical studies. Molecular epidemiology of innovative tumor markers. Development of methods for the early detection, prevention and management of cancer-associated morbidities.

Cardiovascular System – A: Cells and Tissues (CSA)

Research on the cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms of cardiac diseases. From the gene, cell, tissue, and cardiac development to genetic animal models including studies on (but not limited to) gene transcription, mitochondrial and cell biology, cell metabolism, signal transduction, ion channels using techniques such as genetic manipulation, cardiac tissue engineering, electrophysiology, imaging, and nuclear pathway analyses.

Cardiovascular System – B: Heart and Circulation (CSB)

Research on the heart and circulation: hemodynamics, hypertension, myocardial protection, cardiac remodeling, myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, neuro- and endocrine regulation. Studies on animal models of human cardiac disease. Genetic models of cardiovascular disease states at the whole organ or animal level including pharmacogenomics, gene discovery and gene expression studies.

Note: Clinical studies should be referred to the Clinical Investigation – D: Cardiovascular Systems (CID) committee.

Cardiovascular System – C: Vascular System (CSC)

Research on the vascular system, including the endothelium, with an emphasis on the cellular, molecular, and immune mechanisms that regulate cardiovascular function in health and disease. Atherosclerosis, inflammation, thrombosis, and vascular homeostasis.

Cell Biology – Molecular/Fundamental (CB1)

Molecular cell biological mechanisms that govern the basic functioning of cells that include; junctional complexes, endocytosis, secretion, protein sorting, protein traffic, protein degradation, cytoskeleton, organelle biogenesis and dynamics, cell-matrix mechanisms, cell cycle, cell-cell communication and signal transduction mechanisms including those related to development, protein folding, phase-separation of organelles, quality control, cell death, pattern formation, cell determination and differentiation, specification of tissue type during development, and morphogenesis. Studies using primarily cell models from multicellular organisms and their healthy or diseased states as well as investigations into inherited diseases that are rooted in defective cellular processes. The focus of this panel is on basic, molecular, and fundamental understandings of cell and developmental biology.

Note: Studies of developmental mechanisms using embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 3D organoids should be referred to Cell and Developmental Physiology (CBC) or Cell Biology – Disease (CBB) or relevant organ panels. Structural biology studies should be referred to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – A (BMA) committee, and studies focused on gene regulation and transcription to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology - B (BMB) committee. Studies on obesity should be referred to the committee on Diabetes, Obesity, Lipid & Lipoprotein Disorders (DOL). Studies on spinal cord injury and repair should be referred to the committees on Neurosciences (NSA, NSB).

Cell Biology – Disease (CBB)

Investigations examining cell biology mechanisms underpinning acquired diseases and/or developmental origins of disease. Disease processes impacting cellular phenotypes that are rooted in one or more mutant or aberrantly expressed proteins. Investigation typically involves model cells, tissue-relevant cells, genetically-modified animals and/or relevant human tissues or cells. Model systems include experimental disease models, iPS cell models, primary cell cultures of relevant disease tissues, etc.

Note: Structural biology studies should be referred to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – A (BMA) committee, and studies focused on gene regulation and transcription to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology - B (BMB) committee. Studies on obesity should be referred to the committee on Diabetes, Obesity, Lipid & Lipoprotein Disorders (DOL). Studies on spinal cord injury and repair should be referred to the committees on Neurosciences (NSA, NSB).

Cell and Developmental Physiology (CBC)

Investigations relating cell biology to cell physiology, cellular and systems networks. Structure/function studies, membrane bioenergetics, cell and organelle dynamics, lipid-protein interactions, model systems including organoids, ion channels, lipid remodeling in organelle biology, channel and protein transport. Systems biology of development and of cellular networks, including computational cell biology, bioinformatics, quantitative cell biology, and molecular modeling, and investigations using model systems (yeast, Drosophila, C. elegans, etc.) that inform understanding of cell physiological/biological responses and mechanisms in the context of health and disease. Genetic and molecular aspects of gene expression, cell pluripotency and differentiation during development. Post-transcriptional controls of developmental processes.

Note: Studies related to skeletal muscle contraction should be referred to the committee on Movement & Exercise (MOV). Studies related to cardiac muscles should be referred to the committee on Cardiovascular System – A: Cells and Tissues (CSA).

Clinical Investigation – A: Reproduction, Maternal, Child and Youth Health (CIA)

Clinical and clinically-relevant translational studies on reproductive, maternal, foetal, neonatal, infant, child and youth health.

Note: Studies related to social and developmental aspects of children's and youth's health, should be referred to the Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health committee (CHI).

Clinical Investigation – B: Arthritis, Bone, Skin and Cartilage (CIB)

Clinical and clinically-relevant translational studies in arthritis, bone, cartilage, oral health and dermatology. Developmental processes of these tissues, joint diseases, dental diseases and rheumatology; orthopaedics; bone and mineral metabolism; oral and craniofacial structures, and wound healing.

Clinical Investigation – C: Digestive, Endocrine and Excretory Systems (CIC)

Clinical and mechanistic studies in human subjects in metabolic and endocrine disorders; gastroenterology, hepatology, nephrology, urology, hematology and related viral and microbial pathologies.

Note: Only applications proposing research in non-malignant hematology will be accepted.

Clinical Investigation – D: Cardiovascular Systems (CID)

Clinical studies on the heart and circulation: hemodynamics, hypertension, myocardial protection, cardiac remodeling, myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, neuro- and endocrine regulation. Cardiovascular clinical pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapeutics, arterial and venous vascular disease.

Commercialization (CMZ)

Projects for which a product/process/service to be commercialized has been identified; the intellectual property (IP) and an IP protection strategy have been identified and described; and the IP is (or has been) subjected to an initial technology assessment. Research to determine the potential for commercial viability or other opportunities for use of IP, to enhance or strengthen the value of IP (or IP portfolio) and improve the business prospects or potential for downstream investment in the technology; promote academic health research and technology transfer activities that support and accelerate commercialization of the technology. The IP may (or may not) have acquired interest from partners willing to invest in the new technology, and an existing license or option to license the technology does not disqualify the project.

Note: Applications focused solely on prototype construction will not be considered. Research to help the academic community and Canadian industry/companies with an interest in health R&D to work together should be considered by a discipline-based committee.

Diabetes, Obesity, Lipid & Lipoprotein Disorders (DOL)

Molecular, cellular and whole organism studies of carbohydrate, protein, lipid and energy metabolism as related to both fundamental and translational biology of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia.

Note: Population studies and human studies related to nutritional aspects of obesity and diabetes, or the relation between diet and health should be referred to the committee on Nutrition, Food & Health (NUT). Studies on the immunology of type 1 diabetes should be referred to the committee on Immunology (IMN).

Gender, Sex & Health (GSH)

How sex (biological factors) influence mechanisms of disease, health and behaviour; how gender-related factors (psychosocial characteristics) influence health status, outcomes, behaviours and health-services use. Sex and gender can influence health independently and/or interdependently and intersect with multiple social structures. Such influences are dynamic across time, necessitating an intersectional life span approach.

Applicants must address sex and / or gender influences in all aspects of the application, including but not limited to the significance of the study, hypothesis (es) or research questions(s), choice of research method, specific animal, cell or tissue model or target human population, choice of measurement tools, recruitment strategies, power calculations (in particular when the target health issue has a well-established gender bias), data analytic strategies, and potential interpretive challenges. Studies that aim to advance methodologies related to the study of sex and gender influences on health would also fall under the mandate of this committee.

Single -sex or -gender studies may be considered but must include a clearly-articulated rationale. Single-sex proposals that address specific women's or men's health issues will also be considered by this committee. However, gendered aspects of the health issues in question should be considered and investigated whenever potentially relevant.

Note: Clinical and clinically-relevant translational studies having a primary focus on reproductive and maternal health should be referred to the Clinical Investigation – A: Reproduction, Maternal, Child and Youth Health (CIA) committee.

Genetics (G)

Inherited diseases and disease susceptibility; mutation and mutational mechanisms; modeling of human genetic diseases; genotypes, phenotypes and natural history of genetic diseases; metabolic genetics; population and statistical genetics; cytogenetics; epigenetic inheritance and gene regulation; genetics of DNA repair, replication and recombination; gene and gene-based therapies.

Genomics: Systems and computational biology (GMX)

Technical or conceptual advances in genome research related to high-throughput methodologies, including work in subject areas such as proteomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, meta-genomics, pharmacogenomics or nutrigenomics. Conceptual and technical advances molecular and cellular systems-level analysis that apply large-scale, genome-wide techniques. Application of high-throughput synthetic biology approaches to genome research. Bioinformatics, computational algorithms and software development that support, enhance or enable the above-mentioned areas of research.

Note: Research involving a major component of biochemical/molecular methods not addressing genomic, proteomic or systems approaches may be considered beyond the Genomics committee mandate.

Health Policy & Systems Management Research (HPM)

Health policy and politics. Health economics (e.g., health economic evaluation, health system financing, health remuneration methods and health resource allocation mechanisms). Health systems management (e.g., health administration, health organizational behaviour and governance, health systems analysis, integrated health systems, and managed health care). Health human resources (e.g., structure/organization/education of health professions and availability of appropriate health professionals to provide necessary services to disadvantaged populations). Learning health systems adaptation/change.

Note: Studies in which the primary focus is on children and youth, the elderly, or gender issues should be referred to the committees on Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health (CHI), Social Dimensions in Aging (SDA), or Gender, Sex & Health (GSH).

Health Services Evaluation & Interventions Research (HS1)

Health care interventions and programs, including interventions engaging health professionals and/or other care providers, designed to improve the way health care services are organized, used and delivered. Research that impacts individuals, families, organizations, communities and population. Research that examines outcomes such as health status, quality of care, effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, costs, and equity.

Innovative methods and tools for studying health services, interventions, or programs.

Health care services, interventions or programs may relate to any sector setting, level of care, condition, population (by age or other demographic), or mode of delivery.

Note: Education training related to general competency, distribution, or supply of health professionals and/or unpaid care providers should be referred to the Health Policy & Systems Management Research (HPM) committee. Studies that evaluate the adaptation, implementation, fidelity or uptake of interventions should be referred to the Knowledge Translation Research (KTR) committee.

Studies aligned with the mandate of the Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health (CHI) committee with a focus on child and youth development, familial, parental, and social influences on the health of children should be referred to the CHI committee. Studies aligned with the mandate of the Social Dimensions in Aging (SDA) committee with a focus on older adults should be referred to the SDA committee. Studies where gender issues are a primary focus should be referred to the committee on Gender, Sex & Health (GSH).

Hematology, Digestive Disease & Kidney (HDK)

Studies of mechanisms of disease including cellular physiology and molecular biology with a special interest in translational research. The focus is on disease in the following systems: hematology, gastroenterology and hepatology, nephrology, and urology.

Projects related to malignancies, chemotherapeutic drug mechanisms and transplantation DO NOT fall within the mandate of this committee.

Note: Clinical and mechanistic studies in human subjects should be referred to the Clinical Investigation – C: Digestive, Endocrine and Excretory Systems (CIC) committee

Humanities, Social Sciences, Law & Ethics in Health (HLE)

Health research from the humanities (including but not limited to history, philosophy, law, literary studies, cultural studies, narrative analysis, arts based or performance research, communication or media analysis) or social sciences (including but not limited to health studies, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, political science). Research in health ethics (e.g. clinical ethics, research ethics) and health law. Research proposals can be critical, theoretical, methodological or empirical in nature, in accordance with disciplinary standards.

Note: Studies having a primary focus on health services or evaluation of services should be referred to the Health Services Evaluation & Interventions Research (HS1) committee. Studies related to the determinants of health should be referred to the Psychosocial, Sociocultural & Behavioral Determinants of Health (PB1) committee. Studies with an emphasis on health policy should be referred to the Health Policy & Systems Management Research (HPM) committee. Studies related to population and public health should be referred to the Public, Community and Population Health (PH1) committee. Studies in which the primary focus is on children and youth health, the elderly, or gender issues should be referred to the committees on Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health (CHI), Social Dimensions in Aging (SDA), or Gender, Sex & Health (GSH) committees.

Immunology (IMN)

Research into innate and adaptive immunity and immune function at the genetic, molecular, cellular, model organism, whole animal, or human levels. Development and differentiation of immune cells, including investigations of the influence of host-environment interactions (including microbiota) on immune development and function. Immune interactions with non-hematopoietic cells, including immune-stromal cell interactions. Immune system reconstitution, homeostasis, immune tolerance, immune cell plasticity, and rejection in cell and solid organ transplantation and graft tolerance induction. Studies focused on basic immune mechanisms in response to tumours, allergens, and autoantigens. Studies on inflammatory and/or immune-mediated diseases (e.g. primary immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, allergy, hypersensitivity responses, transplantation) emphasizing immune pathogenesis rather than target organ injury, function, or repair.  Immunity to infection with model pathogens (bacteria, virus, fungi) with a focus on immune mechanism.  Immune cell transformation focusing on oncogenes relevant to understanding immune cell development and differentiation. Investigations of immune function and correlates of disease including the design or function of vaccines, biologicals, and cell therapies, including monoclonal antibodies, and cancer immunotherapy. 

Note: Studies having a primary focus on transplantation surgery should be referred to the relevant discipline-based committee. Studies in which the primary focus is on organ preservation for transplantation should be referred to Biomedical Engineering (BME). 

Studies in microbial pathogenesis and aspects of viral immunization where the focus is on the pathogen rather than in-depth immune mechanisms should be referred to Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MID) or Virology & Viral Pathogenesis (VVP), as appropriate. 

Investigations of immunotherapies targeting specific pathogens or cancers where the focus is on development/optimization, rather than in depth evaluation of immune function, should be referred to Cancer biology and therapeutics (CBT), Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MID), or Virology & Viral Pathogenesis (VVP), as appropriate.

Indigenous Health Research (IHR)

This committee reviews applications with a central focus on carrying out ethical and culturally informed research involving Indigenous peoples, with the intent to promote health through research that is in keeping with Indigenous values and traditions and follows the TCPS 2 - Chapter 9 – Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada guidelines. This includes applications from all four themes (pillars) of research that use disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to Indigenous health research.

The overarching goal of Indigenous health research is to inspire, promote and support research with the highest potential to advance health and wellness for Indigenous peoples, grounded in commitment to deep community-engagement, partnership and collaboration in research and knowledge translation. The integration of concepts of service to community within the very definition of scientific and scholarly excellence is a distinguishing feature of Indigenous health research.

The pursuit of knowledge is expected to respond to Indigenous priorities and be pursued in appropriate partnership and collaboration with Indigenous communities.
The committee reviews applications using the full range of relevant disciplinary methodologies, with an emphasis on the integration of advanced health research methods with community-based approaches, multi-sectoral partnership models, participatory action research, and Indigenous methodologies. Investigations that contribute to capacity-building for both the advanced health research community and Indigenous peoples are encouraged.

Note: Applicants will need to indicate in their proposal how their project addresses the principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2) - Chapter 9 on Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada and Indigenous partnering community/organizational ethical guidelines.

Knowledge Translation Research (KTR)

Knowledge Translation and Implementation Science research that evaluates theory, interventions, and/or implementation processes aimed at fidelity, adaptation, implementation, scale-up, and/or sustainability of evidence-based interventions, procedures or policies. Research may assess the indicators or impacts of knowledge translation interventions or implementation processes.

Note: Applications on systematic reviews should be referred to the relevant discipline-based committee.

Medical Physics & Imaging (MPI)

Development and optimization of medical imaging technologies – magnetic resonance, x-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, molecular and optical imaging, etc. – usually in conjunction with their validation and application in either pre-clinical models or clinical populations; basic imaging science investigations. Radiation therapy and biophysics technology development, computational and experimental methods and translation, radiation science investigations at the clinical and basic science levels. Technical advancements can include software (e.g. acquisition and post-processing) and/or hardware, as well as novel applications of existing methods.

Note: Application studies using off-the-shelf methods without technical innovation are best suited to the appropriate systems/disease relevant committee.

Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (MID)

Molecular and cellular microbiology and microbial physiology with an emphasis on (non-viral), bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. Contributions of the microbiome to health and disease including microbe-microbe interactions. Host-pathogen interactions including the study of virulence factors and microbial evolution. Vaccine discovery and development. Antimicrobial mechanisms and resistance. Molecular diagnosis and the development of new therapeutics, including alternatives to antibiotics. Mechanisms of immune evasion by pathogens, with a focus on the pathogen.

Note: Virology applications should be directed to the Virology & Viral Pathogenesis (VVP) committee. Applications that are focused on the host responses where the pathogen is used as a tool to investigate the immune response should be directed to the Immunology (IMN) committee. RCTs lacking basic science components should be directed to the RC1 committee.

Molecular & Cellular Biology of Cancer (MCC)

Use of model organisms. Fundamental molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms of cancer etiology including discovery research relating to fundamental tumorigenic processes. These include cell signaling, cell cycle/proliferation, stromal-tumor interactions, angiogenesis, carcinogenesis, stem cell fate/differentiation, epigenetics, growth regulation, apoptosis, metastasis. Basic and translational aspects of DNA repair, cell cycle/checkpoints and translational control. Molecular, cellular and genetic approaches.

Movement & Exercise (MOV)

Gait studies, biomechanics. Skeletal muscle biology, fibre typing and regulation. Skeletal muscle contraction. Movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, myopathies. Sensory motor integration. Exercise physiology, role of exercise in health promotion and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation and physical therapy. Orthopaedics applied to the articular system. Occupational ergonomics. Kinesiology. Health and physical fitness.

Note: Studies related to cardiac muscles should be referred to the Cardiovascular System – A: Cells and Tissues (CSA) committee.

Systems & Circuits Neurosciences (NSA)

Studies on systems neuroscience and the description and analysis of the circuitry underlying conscious and autonomic behaviour, network dynamics and changes in circuit function. Studies on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative, and neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders of all types are also appropriate, including developmental neurobiology. Studies on axonal regeneration, neural circuit repair, and recovery of function. Neuronal death, axonal and dendrite degeneration, protein misfolding, aggregation, processing, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial deficits and vascular pathology. Role of endogenous neurogenesis and stem cell biology in the repair of the nervous system. Motor, sensory, homeostatic systems, and disorders including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, pain, and loss of vision and hearing.

Approaches: Studies in this panel will employ methods that include, but are not limited to, animal models of neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders and/or neuronal injury, molecular and cellular approaches to study mechanisms of disease and repair, gene transfer/therapy, drug and pharmacological approaches, imaging, and functional assays including electrophysiology and behaviour.

Note: Basic research using primarily behavioural measures and endpoints should be referred to Behavioural Neuroscience A (BSA). Human, clinical or applied studies in psychiatric and neurological populations should be referred to Behavioural Sciences B (BSB) or another relevant clinical committee. Studies on large-scale network dynamics and computational neuroscience should be sent to Behavioural Sciences C (BSC).

Molecular & Cellular Neurosciences (NSB)

Studies on molecular and cellular neurosciences, neurobiology, neurotransmitters and signaling molecules, cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders. Axonal and dendritic development; synaptogenesis and activity-dependent development; development of motor, sensory and limbic systems; ligand- or voltage-gated ion channels; G-protein linked receptors; neurotransmitter release; synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity; neuronal excitability. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders.

Note: Studies on neural networks, network dynamics and system neuroscience, and sensory systems should be referred to the committee on Systems & Circuits Neurosciences (NSA). Studies related to skeletal muscle, myopathies, kinesiology and exercise should be submitted to the committee on Movement and Exercise (MOV).

Nutrition, Food & Health (NUT)

Understanding the role of nutrition in health and disease through basic research and animal models, nutritional epidemiology and intervention studies including randomized controlled trials (RCT). Specific topics include: the impact of food/nutrient intake and eating behaviours on health and disease outcomes;  mechanistic studies on nutrient metabolism and function; pathogenesis of nutrient imbalance; human nutrition through the life span; energy balance and nutrition; health consequences of specific diets and dietary supplements; development of dietary assessment methods; food intolerance and allergy; nutrition-related education and health promotion; the influence of socioeconomic, cultural and political factors on nutrition of the individual and the community; non-oral feeding strategies; precision and personalized nutrition; nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, and metabolomics; machine learning approaches to nutrition research.

Pharmaceutical Sciences (PS)

This committee reviews applications on drug design and delivery, including those related to medicinal chemistry, radio-pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceutics and drug analyses, pharmacokinetics, drug discovery from natural compounds (pharmacognosy), and xenobiotics.

Pharmacology & Toxicology (PT)

Pharmacology will review applications on the uses, effects and modes of action on drugs and compounds. Methodology of drug action, drug metabolism and toxicology, drug abuse and addiction, characterization of drugs targets, pharmacology of biological substances, clinical pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, pharmacodynamics, xenobiotics.

Psychosocial, Sociocultural & Behavioural Determinants of Health (PB1)

Behavioural and social sciences research applied to physical and mental health, health behaviour, psychophysiology, community health and well-being across the life course including palliative and end of life care. Focus on behavioural, psychological, social, cultural, environmental, and contextual perspectives, as they relate to health promotion, prevention, mechanisms, disease processes, outcomes, treatment, and intervention.

May also include psychometric measurement, knowledge synthesis, behavioural medicine, clinically applied projects, or efficacy trials. Projects typically emphasize conceptual models, theory testing, a priori hypotheses, well-justified methodological design, rigorous measurement criteria and sound data analyses. Quantitative/qualitative/mixed-method approaches and experimental/cross-sectional/prospective/retrospective designs are considered. Individual or population perspectives can be adopted, targeting healthy, at-risk, or clinical samples.

Public, Community & Population Health (PH1)

The conception and measurement of exposures and health status and the testing of hypotheses concerning exposure/disease relationships. Such epidemiologic studies range from gene/environment interactions in the biological origins of disease to the impact of social environments, including disadvantaged populations' status, on health and functional status; Research on the etiology of human disease and disability; Population health intervention research to produce evidence about implementation and outcome of programs, and distribution approaches that have the potential to improve health at the population level; and Health ethics and health law related to public, community and population health. The mandate includes the development or application of novel statistical methods, the measurement of burden of disease in populations, global health, health inequalities and gradients, health of diverse and disadvantaged populations, health promotions, water safety and the impact of global change on health.

Note: Studies aligned with the mandate of the Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health (CHI) committee with a focus on child and youth development, familial, parental, and social influences on the health of children should be referred to the CHI committee. Studies aligned with the mandate of the Social Dimensions in Aging (SDA) committee with a focus on the elderly should be referred to the SDA committee. Studies where gender issues are a primary focus should be referred to the committee on Gender, Sex & Health (GSH). Studies aligned with the mandate of the Nutrition, Food & Health (NUT) committee with a focus on nutrition or food safety should be referred to the NUT committee.

Randomized Controlled Trials (RC1)

Studies in which investigators randomly assign eligible human research participants or other human units of study (e.g., classrooms, clinics, playgrounds) into groups to receive or not receive one or more interventions that are being compared. The results are analyzed by comparing outcomes in the groups. Includes pilot/feasibility randomized controlled trials (RCT) and studies using novel RCT designs. Studies relating to the development of methodologies for the design and conduct of randomized clinical trials. The RC1 panel is multidisciplinary across the spectrum of CIHR's mandate.

Respiratory System (RS)

Research on the lung and associated tissue ranging from cellular and animal models to clinical research with respiratory endpoints or sequelae. Studies of the neural control of breathing, lung development and lung mechanics, as well as other components of lung physiology/biology. Studies of lung transplant. Studies of diseases including (but not limited to) restrictive and obstructive lung diseases; cystic fibrosis; respiratory diseases of adults and newborns of non-infectious and infectious origins; sleep-related disorders of breathing; acute lung injury and lung inflammation; disease relevant to environmental and occupational exposure; determinants of respiratory diseases (gene-environment interactions); impact of respiratory disease on pulmonary circulation and chronic impact of infectious lung diseases.

Social & Developmental Aspects of Children's & Youth's Health (CHI)

Conditions for optimizing child and youth health, development and well-being. Causes, risk, early prevention treatment and long-term management strategies for support of children and youth with physical, mental, congenital and behavioural health challenges with consideration of school-related issues and issues related to language minority status (official language, new immigrants, etc). Environmental, life style and social influences on reproductive, parental, foetal, neonatal, infant/ child and youth health. Health impacts and outcomes of family environment, family dynamics and level of care during childhood including impacts of poverty.

Note: Projects related to biological and clinical aspects of children's and youth's health should be referred to the Clinical Investigation – A: Reproduction, Maternal, Child and Youth Health (CIA) committee. Studies using animal models should be referred to the CIA committee.

Social Dimensions in Aging (SDA)

Social factors as determinants of health and quality of life in aging (e.g., social support, work, participation of the older adults in society, leisure and recreation, household and family structure, housing, transportation, economic status and inequality, retirement). Positive health behaviours and healthy life styles, physical activity. Life-course interactions and transitions. Long-term care and caregiving for older adults, including assisted or supportive living facilities, and care at home. Health services for older adults, including those living in rural, remote, northern, and official language minority communities, as well as immigrants and first-generation Canadians, BIPOC, and 2SLGBTQIA+ older adults. Palliative care: pain management, individual and family support, choice of settings and implications of choices, strategies for implementing end-of-life guidelines. Epidemiological studies and surveys of problems related to palliative and end of life care. Studies of social factors affecting specific age-related physical, cognitive, communications, behavioural, and mental health problems. Abuse and neglect of older adults.

Tri-Agency Interdisciplinary (TIR)

Studies that bring disciplines together using interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary approaches. Studies that reflect the full range of collaboration across disciplines and subject areas pertaining to social sciences and humanities; natural sciences and engineering; health and wellness. The proposed interdisciplinary approaches and elements are essential to achieving the project goals and are integrated within the research proposed. In other words, interdisciplinarity must be a key characteristic of proposed projects, where the project goals could not be achieved without an interdisciplinary approach. In addition, the interdisciplinary elements must be inseparable and could not be addressed by separate sub-projects.

Note: Under this mechanism and following the guidelines for “Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency”, researchers will submit applications for interdisciplinary research projects to the agency (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR) at which they are eligible and where their proposed research is most relevant.

Studies must include disciplines outside the mandate of the organization for which they applied and include elements outside the expertise of other existing peer review committees in order to be reviewed by this committee.

Virology & Viral Pathogenesis (VVP)

Virology. Virus-host interactions. Immunology as related to viruses. Diagnosis and therapy of viral diseases including vaccine development and preventing infection. Anti-viral resistance. Emerging viruses and pandemic preparedness.

Note: Functional outputs not directly related to virology should be referred to the relevant discipline-based committee. Organ function should be directed to appropriate discipline-based committee.

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