Canadian Institutes of Health Research Funding Partners Advisory Committee on Strategic Planning – Terms of Reference

Title Funding Partners Advisory Committee on Strategic Planning
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 the research community and will require the active and meaningful engagement of funding partners throughout the project. In order to facilitate the work and seek advice from funding partners, CHIR will create an advisory committee.
Mandate The Funding Partners Advisory Committee will be responsible for reviewing all major deliverables related to CIHR’s Strategic Plan (2020) and providing advice to the Executive Vice President throughout the strategic planning process in order to facilitate a national vision for Strategic Plan (2020).

The Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by the Executive Vice President and one of the funding partners. The co-chairs will:

  • develop meeting agendas with CIHR staff;
  • manage proceedings and keep meetings focused; and
  • seek consensus from members wherever possible

The membership in this Advisory Committee includes individuals from a range of CIHR’s funding partners. Collectively they bring a breadth of experience and expertise in order to represent the various sectors and perspectives of heath research funders. The following considerations informed the proposed membership:

  • Representation from CIHR’s joint strategic partnership tables with the Health Charities and the Provincial Health Research Organizations
  • Representation from partners with a focus across a range of diseases, patient and community groups and field of health research funding
  • Gender of Committee members
  • Representation from organizations that CIHR has a history of significant and substantial partnership

The Advisory Committee will be comprised of seven funding partners, the Executive Vice President of CIHR along with the Head of the Strategic Planning Office (ex-officio), and the Director General of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations (SPIR) (ex-officio).

Members are expected to attend meetings, read materials in advance, lead work-streams (where appropriate), 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 throughout the Strategic Plan Development, in alignment to provide input into important milestones. 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: Orientation 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 in Scope

The Advisory Committee will be responsible for:

  1. Providing advice on the Consensus 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;
  6. Providing advice to CIHR on any related processes and partnership approaches; and
  7. Participating in events on behalf of funding partners.
Reporting The Committee will report to the Executive Vice President of CIHR. The Executive Vice President will inform the Strategic Planning Office on the advice received from the Committee.
Authority The Committee is advisory to the Executive Vice President and does not have decision-making authority. The 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 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 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 co-chairs. The co-chairs and CIHR staff have full support of the CIHR Office of the Conflict of Interest Officer for advice and assistance.

Compensation Compensation will not be provided for participation in the Advisory Committee.
Secretariat Support Logistical support for meetings will be provided through the Stakeholder Engagement Unit of the Strategic Partnerships and International Relations Branch.
Approval Terms of Reference approved by the Executive Vice President of CIHR in May 2019 and adopted by the Advisory Committee at their first meeting.

Last Revised: May 15, 2019

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