Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) - Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is seeking a Scientific Director for the Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH), one of CIHR’s 13 virtual Institutes. This is a 4-year mandate, beginning September 1, 2023, with the possibility of a second-term appointment.

About CIHR

CIHR is Canada’s federal health research funding agency. Composed of 13 virtual Institutes, CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system. Under the authority of the CIHR Act and in line with CIHR’s accountability to Governing Council and the Government of Canada through the Minister of Health, CIHR strives to create new scientific knowledge and enable its translation, focusing on the health priorities that are important to Canadians.

CIHR’s Strategic Plan 2021-2031: A Vision for a Healthier Future establishes the context that will allow Canadian health research to be internationally recognized as inclusive, collaborative, transparent, culturally safe, and focused on real world impact. CIHR is committed to the principles of EDI, accessibility, anti-ableism, and anti-racism.  Additionally, CIHR embraces a distinctions-based and culturally safe approach, incorporating Indigenous Ways of Knowing, by listening attentively to and working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples to further strengthen Indigenous health research in Canada.

CIHR is committed to the values and principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across all aspects of its business. CIHR strongly encourages applications from candidates who have been historically excluded and marginalized including, but not limited to, applicants who identify as Indigenous, racialized, a person with a disability, women, and/or a member of an LGBTQIA/2S+ community.


CIHR-IPPH’s mission aims to improve the health of populations and promote health equity in Canada and globally through research and its application to policies, programs, and practice in public health and other sectors. CIHR-IPPH funds research into the complex biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that determine the health of individuals, communities and global populations and applies knowledge to improve the health of individuals and populations through strategic partnerships with population and public health stakeholders and innovative research funding programs. CIHR-IPPH’s 2022 – 2026 strategic plan, Transforming Public Health, builds on previous work to focus on four priority areas: Healthy Cities, Equity Science, Global Public Health, and Public Health Systems.

CIHR-IPPH investments are guided by past learnings, present-day context, the knowledge needs of partners and communities, and priorities identified by the diverse population and public health community. To ensure research has impact, the actions included in Transforming Public Health emphasize applied research solutions, adaptable funding models and intersectoral partnerships. Together, the commitments made in this plan are intended to respond to the evolving needs of Canada's public health systems, enable new opportunities for researchers to have impacts, and improve the health and health equity of Canadians and people around the world.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the CIHR President, and working with CIHR’s Executive team, staff, and other Scientific Directors and Institute staff, the Scientific Director of CIHR-IPPH will provide overall executive direction and scientific leadership for CIHR-IPPH, and will champion and support health research, knowledge mobilization, and capacity development at the highest level of scientific excellence.

As Scientific Director of CIHR-IPPH, the incumbent will:

As a member of Science Council, the Scientific Director, in collaboration with colleagues from the other CIHR Institutes as well as the senior CIHR executive leadership team, will:

Key Qualifications

The successful candidate will:

The following may be applied / assessed at a later date (may be needed for the job):

Important Notes

The start date for this role will be no later than September 1, 2023. This is a 4-year mandate with the possibility of a second-term appointment.

The Scientific Director will remain an employee of their host institution and will be required to devote 50% of their time to the provision of services to CIHR.

CIHR will endeavor to provide the following, in support of the incoming Scientific Director of CIHR-IPPH:

The Scientific Director will be provided with the funding, through an annual Institute Support grant, to hire a support team through their host academic institution. The host institution is also expected to provide support to the Scientific Director and Institute staff, for example, by providing access to office facilities. The Scientific Director will be expected to integrate EDI, accessibility, anti-ableism and anti-racism best practices in the promotion, recruitment, and retention of the team members.

The 50/50 model ensures the critical role of Scientific Directors remaining abreast of research developments in their respective areas of study, while also creating a higher potential for the emergence of potential, perceived, or actual Conflict of Interest (COI) situations. Scientific Directors are subject to the CIHR Policy on Conflict of Interest Prevention and Management for Scientific Directors, Members of Governing Council and Advisory Bodies. CIHR’s policy on Conflict of Interest aims to proactively avoid and prevent COI situations where personal interests (research, financial, familial) may be a potential, perceived, or actual, conflict with a Scientific Director’s CIHR responsibilities, and is reviewed annually. The COI policy outlines that Scientific Directors are not permitted to compete for CIHR funding while in office and in some instances it may be required to reduce or completely relinquish their role on existing research projects should an actual significant risk of COI be determined.

Upon appointment, the Scientific Director candidate will be required to submit a Declaration of External Interests Form [ PDF (297 KB) ]. Prior to assuming the responsibilities of the Scientific Director, the candidate will be expected to arrange their personal affairs in such a manner as to prevent their external interests from conflicting with the performance of their CIHR responsibilities. If such a conflict arises, it is to be declared and resolved in the interests of CIHR and for the public good. For more information, visit the COI webpage.

If you have any questions regarding the conflict of interest policy, please contact

Measures for accommodation are available to all candidates retained for further assessment. If you require accommodations, please contact Information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.

How to Apply

CIHR invites applications from all qualified candidates. Please email your CV with a cover letter and 3 references (include name, relationship and email address) to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at

Submissions must be received by November 1, 2022.

If you have any questions regarding this exciting leadership opportunity, please contact

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