Understand Peer Review: OverviewPeer review is a process used by CIHR to review applications submitted for funding. Applications are evaluated by reviewers who are experts in the same field (i.e., peers of the applicants), and their recommendations are used by CIHR to make funding decisions. Peer review is the internationally accepted benchmark for ensuring quality and excellence in scientific research.
CIHR relies on peer review to ensure its mandate to excel, according to internationally accepted standards, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into:
- Improved health for Canadians
- More effective health services and products
- A strengthened Canadian health-care system
CIHR invites experts from the health research community to become members of Peer Review Committees (PRCs). In accordance with best practices employed by major international funding agencies, PRCs:
- Evaluate applications submitted for a particular funding opportunity
- Rate them on their merit using a defined set of evaluation criteria so they can be ranked by CIHR in order of priority for funding
- Recommend the funds needed to support the research
PRCs make recommendations for funding to the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Financial Officer, which in turn make recommendations to Science Council (SC); SC provides final approval.
For more information on how CIHR manages and oversees peer review, please see Management of Peer Review.
Principles of Peer Review
The integrity of the peer review process relies on well established principles and policies that:
- Ensure fair and effective evaluation
- Support CIHR objectives and strategic funding targets
CIHR Principles of Peer Review:
- Absence of conflict of interest
For general information about Principles of Peer Review relating to grants, please see Principles of Peer Review in the CIHR Peer Review Manual for Grant Applications; for information relating to awards, please see Peer Review Manual for Salary and Training Award Applications.
For specific details on confidentiality and conflict of interest, please see the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.
Types of Review at CIHR
Peer Review at CIHR is typically conducted using one of two fundamental types of review: Structured review and Unstructured review. Notwithstanding the type of review, the objective remains the same - to fund excellence.
For more information on the different types of Peer Review and meeting formats, please refer to the Types of Review at CIHR.