Terms of Reference – Foundation Grant Program Review Committee


Dr. Terry Snutch, University of British Columbia


Individuals have been selected to participate on this Foundation Grant Program Review Committee (FGPRC) based on their expertise and experience related to CIHR’s funding and peer review system and will be expected to represent the diverse perspectives of the Canadian health research community. The members were also selected to ensure a balance across pillars of health research, geographic location, gender, and career stage. The FGPRC consists of the following voting members:

  • The Chair, Dr. Terry Snutch: snutch@msl.ubc.ca
  • Dr. Lara Boyd, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Maria Mathews, Memorial University Newfoundland
  • Ms. Lorraine Deydey, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Peter McPherson, McGill University
  • Dr. Graham Collingridge, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Louise Potvin, Université de Montreal
  • Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay, Université Laval (early career investigator)
  • Dr. Samuel Weiss, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction: weiss@ucalgary.ca


Meetings will be conducted every two weeks or as deemed necessary at the call of the Chair.


Two thirds of voting members.


Bourinot's Rules of Order, 4th Edition.


In 2012, CIHR began redesigning its investigator initiated programs and peer review processes with the aim of creating a flexible and sustainable system capable of supporting leading-edge health research. The investigator initiated funding mechanisms were reconstituted into two new programs: the Foundation Grant and the Project Grant. While the Project Grant is about supporting ideas with the greatest potential for important advances in fundamental or applied health-related knowledge, the health care system, and/or health outcomes, the Foundation Grant is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of health research leaders, by providing long-term support of innovative, high-impact research programs.

These major reforms were met with mixed reactions by the Canadian health research community. In response to the specific concerns raised about the Foundation Grant program, changes to the 2017-18 Foundation Grant competition were announced on July 17, 2017 as the beginning of an evolution of the program. It was also stated that a committee would be created to carefully review the program to make recommendations to CIHR on the best way forward.


The Program Review Committee – Foundation Grant will provide strategic advice to CIHR on the Foundation Grant program.

The Committee will:

  • provide recommendations on the Foundation Grant program objectives, design, application and peer review processes to better position the program to advance CIHR’s strategic objectives
  • guide continuous improvements that are responsive to the concerns and changing needs of the health research community
  • provide guidance on funding levels and allocations to ensure that funding is both equitable and sustainable


The President will review the terms of reference as needed.


The FGPRC may establish subcommittees and working groups as required.


The FGPRC will report to SC through the VP competition management. The FGPRC will be made available publicly through the CIHR website.

Conflict of Interest

Members will be required to abide by the CIHR Conflict of Interest Policy and to submit a Conflict of Interest declaration when first appointed and, if required, thereafter for the duration of their membership on the committee.


Approved by the President of CIHR (November 2017).

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