College Chairs Update – December 2018

December 19, 2018

On behalf of the College Chairs, we would like to provide you with an update from our recent meeting, held at the end of October, where we discussed the work of the College of Reviewers and peer review processes at CIHR. Over the course of the meeting, we discussed the outcomes of the Spring 2018 Project Grant competition and how College Members are increasingly playing an important role in providing high-quality reviews for CIHR.

We also discussed the success of CIHR’s Observer program over the past two competitions, which has given more than 125 Early Career Researchers (ECRs) a firsthand opportunity to observe CIHR peer review meetings. Demand to participate in this program has been very high, so we are pleased to report that the program was expanded for the Fall 2018 Project Grant competition to offer opportunities for two ECR Observers at each committee.

The College Chairs meeting was also a well-timed occasion to meet face-to-face with CIHR’s new President, Dr. Michael Strong, as well as the new Vice-President of Research Programs, Dr. Tammy Clifford. It was clear that Drs. Strong and Clifford support the work of the College, and Dr. Strong shared his vision for CIHR, and the College Chairs moving forward. The College will continue to support CIHR in realizing its peer review goals, included but not limited to contributing to the on-going evolution of the mandates of the Project committees, for the coming years. We will provide more details about the scope and focus of this support in the new year.

Finally, in just 18 months since enrolment began, we are happy to report that the College is going strong with over 4,300 members from across Canada and abroad. In the coming year we will be expanding our membership base to include areas where an expertise need or emerging priority has been identified, and to ease committee recruitment challenges caused by expertise gaps, conflict of interest and availability issues. We also look forward to further enhancing the review quality processes being piloted with the Project and Foundation grant competitions to strengthen review quality and recognize College Member contributions with mechanisms in place that support continuous improvement.

As 2018 comes to a close, we would like to thank each of you for your continued dedication and service, which is essential to ensuring that CIHR’s peer review is the best quality it can be. We hope you enjoy the remainder of the year, and we look forward to reporting on the activities of the College in 2019!


Paul Kubes, PhD
Executive Chair
College of Reviewers

Jane Rylett, PhD
Vice Executive Chair
College of Reviewers

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