CIHR-IHDCYH Youth Advisory Council Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about IHDCYH’s youth advisory council? Please read the frequently asked questions and answers below. If you don’t find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us at

  • What is the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health?

    The Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) funds and promotes research that addresses illness and promotes the developmental, physical and mental well-being of Canadian infants, children, youth, parents and families in Canada and throughout the world.

    IHDCYH is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR is Canada's federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

  • What is the youth advisory council?

    IHDCYH’s youth advisory council is a group of diverse young Canadians from across Canada between 12-25 years old, who are passionate about well-being, health and/or health research (this may include lived experience as a patient or caregiver). The council brings the youth voice directly into CIHR conversations about health, health research, and priority development.
  • Do I need any specific experience to apply to join the council?

    Not at all! Council members are youth who are interested in learning more about health research in Canada and want to share their ideas and opinions about various health and well-being issues and topics that affect their lives, their families and their communities. You do not need to have any training or experience in research or medical/health related settings. IHDCYH values a diversity of backgrounds on the council, including lived experience, as well as academic and professional or volunteer experience.
  • What kind of activities do council members participate in?

    At regular council meetings, members will share updates on what they’re working on (on and outside of the council), engage in learning and conversation with guest speakers from CIHR, other Government of Canada departments, Institute partners, and more. Members discuss health research issues relevant to IHDCYH’s community, bringing their youth perspective as well as other experiences to the conversation. Members may be offered opportunities to represent the Institute at events and presentations, participate in working groups, and contribute to discussions and resource-sharing outside of regular council meetings.

    Council members share their perspectives through engaging in conversations about health issues that impact their lives and their communities.

  • What is the time commitment for council members?

    We estimate the time commitment is about 3-5 hours per month, on average. This includes council meeting time, and may change from month to month depending on what activities each members is involved in or leading.
  • How many members are on the council?

    The council includes at least 12 members to ensure a diversity of viewpoints.
  • How are council members chosen?

    Once a year, usually in the spring, we will open an application period to recruit for new members. Applications are reviewed and assessed against a set of criteria with the goal of maintaining a council body that is diverse and inclusive, as well as broadly representative of a variety of age groups and provincial/territorial home locations. We may follow up with individual applicants by email, phone, or video conference to learn more about their experience and interest in participation. For applicants who are not selected to become part of the council, we will offer the opportunity to be informed when related opportunities arise.
  • How long can I be a member of the council?

    Membership is for a two-year term. There is the possibility of renewing for another term, if the council member is active and wishes to stay involved, and is 25 years old or under at the start of their second two year term.
  • How often does the council meet?

    The council meets online about once a month from September to June. The council has a virtual collaboration space for discussion between meetings. Council members may meet more often when collaborating on specific projects. When travel is possible, the council may meet in person once per year.
  • What if I am under the age of majority in my home province?

    If you are under the age of majority and you are invited to join the council, we will ask for your parent or guardian to complete a consent form.
  • What accommodations are available for applicants with accessibility requirements?

    Please contact to request accommodation if needed including applying to join the council using alternate formats such as video or audio during the annual open application period.

Information for Parents/Guardians

  • Do I have to sign a consent form in order for my child to participate on the youth council?

    If your child is under the age of majority in your home province, a signed consent form is required for them to join the council.
  • Are travel costs covered for my child to attend youth council meetings?

    Yes. We will arrange all council members’ travel and accommodation needs, including booking travel, reserving hotel rooms, and hospitality during in-person youth council meetings.
  • Will someone meet my child when they arrive at the meeting location?

    An Institute representative will meet all council members at the meeting location.
  • Will an adult be present to supervise my underage child during youth council activities?

    Yes. Adults will facilitate council meetings and activities.
  • As a parent/guardian, can I accompany my child on their way to a meeting with the youth council? Can I stay for the meetings?

    You can travel with your child to the council meeting. If your child is under the age of majority in your home province, travel costs for one parent or guardian will be paid.

    While meetings may include some public engagement activities, most sessions are closed and parents will not be able to attend.

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