Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Peer Reviewers and Peer Review Observers Form
Mock Review Toolkit – Project Grant Competition: Planning the Simulation

In order to provide a simulation experience similar to the peer review process, all reviewers must sign the Conflict of Interest Form, prior to receiving the applications. We ask that reviewers sign the Conflict of Interest Form and acknowledge that applications provided during the mock review process are for use only within the mock review simulation and should not be shared beyond the simulation. It is the responsibility of the administrator to collect these prior to sharing any applications (either those provided in the Toolkit or applications for internal review).

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) must meet the highest ethical and integrity standards in all that it does in order to continue to merit the trust and confidence of the research community, the government and the public. CIHR peer reviewers and observers must meet the highest standards of ethical behavior to maintain and enhance public confidence in CIHR's ability to act in the public's best interest and for the long-term public good. Where a conflict arises between private and public interests, peer reviewers and observers will be expected to take the necessary measures to ensure that the public interest is protected.

*For participants in the mock review simulation, we ask that you read and sign the Conflict of Interest and confidentiality agreement, and agree not to share any of the applications outside of use beyond mock review. The signed document should be submitted to the facilitator prior to being given access to applications.

Please note, in some cases the conflict of interest clause may not be applicable.

The language has been included so that participants in the mock review toolkit have the opportunity to see what Peer Reviewers involved in the process at CIHR are required to sign.

Conflict of Interest

A Conflict of Interest is a conflict between a person's duties and responsibilities with regard to the review process, and that person's private, professional, business or public interests. There may be a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest when the peer reviewer or observer:

A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist or perceived as such when peer reviewers or observers:

Note: For trainee awards committees, these criteria also apply to the relationship with the proposed supervisor. CIHR reserves the right to resolve areas of uncertainty and to determine if a conflict exists.

Disclosure and Compliance Measures

Any peer reviewer or observer who becomes aware of a conflict of interest must promptly disclose the conflict to CIHR staff. CIHR will determine if it constitutes a conflict of interest and what measures – such as recusal – are required. No peer reviewer or observer may participate in the review process of an application with which he/she is in conflict of interest. The conflict of interest depends on the role and level of involvement of a peer reviewer or observer and the size of the research team. Such disclosures and compliance measures shall be documented and retained for the record. Please note: in the case of the Toolkit, any perceived conflicts of interest should be disclosed to the administrator/facilitator.


CIHR is subject to the Privacy Act, and the Access to Information Act. These laws govern the collection, use and disclosure of information under the control of the federal government and certain federally funded organizations. Documentation submitted to CIHR by the applicant may be provided to peer reviewers and observers. The documentation may contain personal information and confidential commercial information. By law, applicants have the right of access to the information provided by peer reviewers about their applications. The names of peer reviewers must be kept confidential during the review process to ensure they can provide an impartial review of an application. Peer reviewer names are made available 60 days after the publication of funding decisions; this process is solely at the discretion of CIHR. Written materials used in the review process are generally made available to applicants when they are notified of the funding opportunity results.

Peer reviewers and observers must ensure that:

Additional requirements for peer reviewers and observers:


I have read and understood the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement. I agree to comply with the requirements of the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations. (Additional information can be found in procedural guidelines for the specific review process.) I understand that any breach of this agreement will result in a review of the matter, with CIHR reserving the right to take appropriate action including, but not limited to, my removal from peer review service. The use of review documentation for any other purpose than intended could result in a CIHR investigation and/or report to the federal Privacy Commissioner's Office. Any action that CIHR may or may not take will not prevent a person whose privacy rights have been compromised from seeking legal action against the respondent. By signing this form, I certify that I am not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) or any other research or research funding organization worldwide for reasons of breach of policies on responsible conduct of research – such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies. Similarly, I also certify that I am not currently under investigation for a breach of such policies. If I become the subject of such an investigation, I will immediately withdraw from participation in the CIHR review process(es) until the investigation is complete and CIHR has determined that I am once again eligible to participate.

I agree to take personal responsibility for complying with these requirements.


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