Reviewer in Training – Roles and responsibilities


The CIHR Reviewer in Training (RiT) program offers Early Career Researchers (ECRs) the opportunity to actively participate in the Project Grant Program. With the support of a Mentor, participants (Mentees) will be assigned up to three applications to conduct practice reviews, attend the peer review meeting, present one review, and participate in the committee meeting. Parameters of participation at the meeting may vary to fit the committee context while still achieving the principles of the program.

Following completion of the RiT program, Mentees will be promoted within CIHR's Reviewer Pathway and are expected to participate in peer review when requested and available to do so.


To provide ECRs with exposure to the peer review process and the opportunity to develop their capacity to conduct high quality reviews with the support of a Mentor.


Before the meeting:

  • Call for expressions of interest before each Project Grant competition.
  • Select approximately 120 Mentees, two per Project committee.
  • Introduce Mentees to their Mentor, the committee Chair or Scientific Officer.
  • Assign Mentees up to three Project Grant applications for practice review.
  • Mentees seek advice and support from their Mentors and submit reviews for feedback leading up to the meeting.

During the meeting:

  • Mentees attend the peer review meeting, arriving prepared to present their assigned reviews.
  • Mentees present one review and participate in committee as described by the Chair in the sequence of steps presentation at the start of the meeting.

After the meeting:

  • Chairs and Scientific Officers provide feedback on Mentees using CIHR's standardized Review Quality Feedback form.
  • Mentees reviews are for learning purposes and as a non-scoring reviewer, their reviews are not shared with applicants.

Mentee's roles and responsibilities

The RiT Program can accommodate two Mentees per Project committee.

Before the meeting, the Mentee will:

Important: While a Mentee can ask their Mentor questions about the review process and review quality as it pertains to their practice review, scientific opinions and/or merit of an application should not be the focus.

During the meeting, the Mentee will:

  • be prepared to present any one of their reviews, noting that not all applications are discussed at a committee meeting
  • present their review and preliminary score as scheduled in the meeting agenda and sequence of steps
  • be able to compare their practice score with the consensus score
  • follow meeting participation parameters outlined by the Chair at the start of the meeting
  • not ask their Mentor questions during the meeting as they will be occupied with other tasks (CIHR staff remain available at all times)
  • not participate in the consensus discussion or final scoring of any application
  • not participate in the budget discussion of any application

After the meeting, the Mentee will:

  • receive feedback from CIHR's College of Reviewers
  • be promoted to peer review processes at CIHR and participate when available
  • be invited to become an Associate Member if they meet the program's eligibility criteria

Mentor's roles and responsibilities

Before the meeting, the Mentor will:

  • be assigned a Mentee by CIHR staff in collaboration with committee executives
  • be introduced to the Mentee and will be asked to make themselves available to answer questions through MS Teams
  • read and assess the review quality of the practice reviews prior to the meeting
  • provide Mentee with constructive feedback on review quality

Important: While you can answer questions about the review process, review quality, and provide feedback on the practice reviews, scientific opinions and/or merit of an application should not be the focus.

During the meeting, formal mentorship stops however, the Chair will:

  • explain Mentee’s participation parameters at the start of the meeting during the sequence of steps presentation
  • encourage and make space in the meeting for the Mentee to actively participate
  • observe the Mentee’s participation throughout the committee meeting

After the meeting, the mentor will:

  • consider meeting with their Mentee to debrief on their experience

CIHR’s roles and responsibilities

CIHR staff will be available to answer questions and support both the Mentees and Mentors throughout the RiT program.

Before the meeting, CIHR staff will:

  • introduce the Mentee and Mentor, providing them with an environment to collaborate (MS Teams)
  • assign Mentees up to three Project Grant applications for review
  • provide access to appropriate learning materials and webinars
  • provide Mentee instructions that outline meeting participation parameters

During the meeting, CIHR staff will:

  • ensure that the Mentee presents their review as scheduled in the agenda and sequence of steps
  • ensure that the Mentee follows meeting participation parameters

After the meeting, CIHR staff will:

  • collect Review Quality Feedback forms from Chairs and Scientific Officers, and provide feedback to Mentees
  • collect feedback from all participants about their experience with the program
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