Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have recently undertaken a number of steps to reform and improve their Open Suite of Programs and peer review process for funding Canadian health-focused research. At the Federation’s recommendation in the spring of 2012, CIHR developed a Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Group comprised of Canadian scholars from across these disciplines. After soliciting feedback from this group and the broader the research community on the preliminary program reform outline, CIHR has developed a new system for their investigator-driven grants process that will reorganize the suite into two new schemes:
“The Foundation Scheme is designed to provide long-term support to research leaders at any career stage with demonstrated track records of success, including new/early career investigators with excellent training and early-career productivity, to pursue innovative, high-impact programs of health research (including knowledge translation).
The Project Scheme is designed to provide support for important, innovative, and impactful health-related projects brought forward by researchers and knowledge users for a specific purpose and period of time.”
On July 17th, 2013 the CIHR Science Council approved the eligibility criteria for the Foundation Scheme “live pilot” competitions, which are being conducted as part of CIHR’s transition plan for the new program and peer review process. As the details of the new peer review process are under development, these pilot competitions will allow CIHR to test the design elements and ensure their eventual reforms are successfully implemented. The eligibility criteria for the pilot competitions were announced recently and are listed on the CIHR website.
Eligible applicants for the Foundation Scheme include both new and established independent researchers who are affiliated with one of the eligible institutions, and whose work has been recognized as high-quality and of demonstrable value to their field of study. The three-stage competition process will assess the caliber of the applicant and the quality of the proposed program, research capacity, and support environment, concluding with a face-to-face discussion with an interdisciplinary committee.
Interested researchers can find additional information on program timelines, application deadlines, and funding release dates on the CIHR Designing for the Future page.