Canadian Institutes of Health Research Citizen Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference

Proposed Title Citizen Advisory Committee
Background CIHR is undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning project to develop a new Strategic Plan for June 2020. The project will involve extensive consultations with numerous stakeholders and will require ongoing advice. Creation of the Citizen Advisory Committee acknowledges the value of experiential knowledge and will ensure the voice of the public is appropriately and meaningfully included in the Strategic Planning process and the resulting CIHR Strategic Plan.
Mandate The Citizen Advisory Committee will be convened to provide advice to the Strategic Planning Team at CIHR at key points in the planning process leading to a final CIHR Strategic Plan.

The Citizen Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by the Vice President Research Programs, CIHR and a member of the Committee. The role of the co-chairs will include the following tasks:

  • develop meeting agendas;
  • manage proceedings and keep meetings focused; and
  • seek consensus from members (wherever possible).

The Citizen Advisory Committee will be comprised of up to 12 citizen representatives who collectively bring the public perspective to this planning process. Specifically, the members are:

  • Thomas Beaudry
  • Judy Birdsell
  • Cris Carter
  • Ayan Dualeh
  • Jim Jenkins
  • Mary Anne Levasseur
  • Kent Loftsgard
  • Doris Peltier
  • Ron Rosenes
  • Allan Stordy
  • Linda Wilhelm
  • Tammy Clifford, Vice President Research Programs, CIHR
  • David Clements, Director General, Strategic Partnerships and International Relations and Executive Director Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, CIHR (ex-officio)
  • Jeff Latimer, Head, Strategic Planning, CIHR (ex-officio)

Members are selected on the basis of their collective expertise and experience and will provide their own personal observations and advice as opposed to representing any particular organization.

Members are expected to attend meetings/teleconferences, read materials in advance, and actively engage in discussion. Other staff within CIHR may participate in proceedings as observers or be called upon to provide additional expertise on an as-needed basis.


Meetings will be conducted via teleconference on an as-needed basis (or in person during exceptional circumstances). It is anticipated that there will be approximately four 90-minute meetings in total between June 2019 to June 2020.

The following meeting timeline is anticipated:

  • July 2019: Introductory meeting to review the strategic planning process and the role of the advisory committee
  • August 2019: meeting in advance of the consensus workshop in September to seek input into the themes for the workshop
  • November 2019: meeting in advance of the National Health Research Summit in December to discuss high level priorities for CIHR
  • February 2020: meeting to follow up on results of the Summit and in preparation to submit a draft strategic plan to Governing Council (GC) in February 2020.
Roles and Responsibilities

The Advisory Committee will be responsible for:

  1. Providing advice on the Workshop themes and reviewing resulting materials for the Workshop;
  2. Providing advice on the National Summit agenda and reviewing resulting materials;
  3. Reviewing the high-level strategic priorities contained within the strategic plan and providing advice;
  4. Reviewing the draft strategic plan and providing advice;
  5. Reviewing any other materials deemed relevant; and
  6. Participating in events on behalf of citizens.
Reporting The Citizen Advisory Committee will report through the Vice President Research Programs. The Vice President Research Programs will inform to the Strategic Planning Office on the advice received from the Committee.
Authority The Citizen Advisory Committee is advisory to the Vice President Research Programs and does not have decision-making authority. The Citizen Advisory Committee is intended to operate in the way it deems will most effectively achieve its objectives.
Quorum Given there are no requirements for voting, there is no need to establish an official rule for quorum.
Duration The Citizen Advisory Committee is temporary and will remain in place until the release of the CIHR Strategic Plan in June of 2020.
Evaluation Given the temporary nature of the Citizen Advisory Committee, there will be no formal requirement for an evaluation.

Advisory Committee members must adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Committee deliberations are confidential, meaning that committee members should not discuss or in any other way divulge to a third party comments made during meetings or the committee’s advice to CIHR until such a time as CIHR makes that information available publicly;
  2. Members should also protect the confidentiality of all information contained in all documentation received from CIHR, and not use it for their own benefit or for the benefit of their family, friends or colleagues;
  3. All enquiries or representations received by the members about the work of the committee must be referred to CIHR.
Conflict of Interest

In accordance with the CIHR Policy on Conflict of Interest Prevention and Management for Scientific Directors, Members of Governing Council and Advisory Bodies, committee members have a duty to bring an independent judgment to bear on all CIHR issues that they are asked to consider and therefore, to avoid situations where their personal interests may prevent them from discharging this duty with integrity.

To minimize the risk of Conflict of Interest, committee members should:

  • Complete the Declaration of External Interests Form at the beginning of their term,
  • Proactively declare their relevant external interests during meetings, and
  • Collaborate in the resolution of potential conflict of interests situations in the interests of CIHR and for the public good.

When in doubt about the required disclosure, members should seek advice of the committee chair. The chair and CIHR staff have full support of the CIHR Office of the Conflict of Interest Officer for advice and assistance.

Secretariat Support Logistical support for meetings will be provided through the Strategic Planning Office.
Compensation Advisory Committee members will be subject to compensation for their participation in Advisory Committee activities and meetings in accordance with CIHR’s Peer Review Service Contract Guide.
Approval Terms of Reference approved by the Vice President Research Programs of CIHR in May 2019 and adopted by the Advisory Committee at their first meeting.

Last revised: July 8, 2019

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