Terms of Reference - Standing Committee on Science


The Standing Committee on Science is a standing committee of Governing Council. The Standing Committee on Science is composed of a group of visionary leaders in research that identifies and advises Governing Council on opportunities and risks in consideration of CIHR’s strategic directions; and helps inform new horizons in health research through analysis of global and national trends in the research ecosystems.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Standing Committee on Science are guided by Governing Council, the authority to which the Standing Committee is accountable. Final decisions on advice and recommendations brought forward by the Standing Committee on Science are made by Governing Council.

The roles and responsibilities of the committee are as follows:

Chair and Membership

The Standing Committee on Science consists of at least 9 voting members (to a maximum of 12), in addition to the Chair who is a member of Governing Council and the ex-officio member. Members will have been approved by Governing Council after receiving advice from its Governance and Nominating Committee (GNC).

Membership is selected according to demonstrated excellence and/or leadership in research at a national and international level.

Membership includes a minimum of 3 international representatives and a minimum of 3 national representatives who are global strategic leaders with demonstrated accomplishment in national or international research organizations; 1 representative of Governing Council (in addition to the Chair); and 2 CIHR Scientific Directors.

CIHR is committed to the values and principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across all aspects of its business. The composition of the committee will reflect CIHR’s commitment to ensure gender equity and representation of Indigenous Peoples and Francophones. When possible, the committee will include representation of marginalized populations including, but not limited to, applicants who identify as a racialized minority, a person with a disability, and/or a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Membership terms

Non-voting ex-officio member


Meetings will be held at a minimum twice annually, and more frequently, as needed, at the call of the Chair. In addition, a joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Science and Science Council will take place annually.


A majority of its voting members (50% plus 1)


Bourinot’s Rule of Order, 4th Edition


The Standing Committee on Science advises Governing Council and brings forward recommendations to Governing Council for discussion and/or decision.

The Standing Committee on Science does not have decision-making authority for CIHR.

The Standing Committee on Science receives requests from Governing Council on areas of interest for further reflection and can also propose to Governing Council areas that should be considered. For requests from Governing Council, assessment of any operational components or feasibility will be conducted by CIHR with input from Science Council.


The Standing Committee on Science will circulate the minutes of its meetings at the next Governing Council meeting.


On an annual basis, a review of its Terms of Reference and re-affirmation of membership.

Secretariat Support

The Standing Committee on Science is supported by the CIHR Governance Secretariat. The Secretariat advises the committee Chair and members, prepares and distributes minutes, and enables timely follow-up of committee decisions and actions.

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