Foundation Grant Program Update

July 9, 2018

Over the past year, under the leadership of Dr. Terry Snutch, a review committee has been examining the performance of the Foundation Grant program. This review is an important part of a larger process to assess whether this program is achieving its objectives. On behalf of CIHR, I would like to thank the many researchers who shared their perspectives with Dr. Snutch, and with Dr. McInnes during his tour last year.

Following a review of Dr. Snutch's report (which will be published in the coming months) and an examination of Foundation Grant program data and operational considerations, it is clear that the program is a valuable tool in the suite of investigator-initiated programs. However, it is also clear that there remain a series of issues to be examined for improvement.

While we know that changes will ultimately be required, we also recognize the need to ensure that any changes to the program are informed by the available evidence, meaningful consultation, and due consideration by CIHR's leadership. 

Given that we are in the last months of a transition period (with a recently named new Governing Council and nominated new President, Dr. Michael Strong, who takes office on October 1, 2018), we have decided that the most prudent course of action at this time is to launch the Foundation Grant program "as is" for this upcoming competition. 

This decision was informed by the expectations of the research community for an imminent launch of the next Foundation Grant competition, commitments made in recent months to maintain the current cycle, and the need to ensure that any changes to our IT systems are fully tested prior to implementation.

We look forward to your continued counsel and engagement with CIHR's new leadership on this important investigator-initiated program.

Michel Perron
Executive Vice-President
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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