About the HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Program

The CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program assists community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations and institutions in developing the knowledge they need to carry out their work in the most effective manner and in creating research expertise within these organizations. Funding is delivered through two streams: Aboriginal research and General (non-Aboriginal) research.

The CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program supports partnerships between community leaders and researchers in carrying out research and capacity-building initiatives relevant to communities engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Community leaders ensure that research will lead to practical and useful outcomes that will directly benefit the community, while researchers, coming from academia or other research institutions, contribute their research expertise in methodology, scientific rigour and supervision of future researchers.

CBR Definition

Community-based research (CBR) is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBR begins with a research topic of importance to the community with the aim of combining knowledge and action for social change to improve community health and eliminate health disparities. CBR brings researchers together with members of the community to: identify the issues; collect, analyze and interpret the data; and decide how to use the results to inform policy, change practice and improve conditions in the community.

Funding and Review

With an annual grants and awards budget of $2.7 M, the CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program funds research through six funding mechanisms, which provide a natural progression of research funding:

  • Masters' awards
  • Doctoral research awards
  • Catalyst grants
  • Meeting, planning and dissemination grants
  • Collaborative Centre Grants
  • Operating grants

The CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program espouses the same values of methodological rigour and ethical review as other research approaches. Each proposal submitted to the program under any of these mechanisms is evaluated under two main criteria with equal weight: potential impact and scientific merit.

Information on current funding opportunities in HIV/AIDS CBR and other areas of infection and immunity research is available on the III Funding Opportunities page.

Giving direction: the Community-Based Research (CBR) Steering Committee

The CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program is guided by the efforts of the CBR Steering Committee. The Committee has equal representation of HIV/AIDS CBR researchers and broader community organizations for both the General and Aboriginal streams of the program. The Steering Committee was established in 2006 and guides the development of the CBR program through recommendations to the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC) and CIHR.

Current CBR Steering Committee Membership

General Stream:

  • Jacqueline Gahagan, Dalhousie University
  • Saara Greene, McMaster University
  • Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, University of Toronto, Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network (OHTN) - Co Chair
  • Patrick McDougall, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation
  • Kenneth King, Community Representative

Aboriginal Stream:

  • Renee Mashing, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) - Co-Chair
  • Charlotte Reading, University of Victoria
  • Tracey Prentice. PhD candidate, University of Ottawa
  • Candice Lys, PhD candidate, University of Toronto
  • Judy Mill, CHARAC Representative
  • Alexandra King, University of British Columbia


  • Jennifer Gunning, HIV/AIDS Research Initiative, CIHR-Institute of Infection and Immunity
  • Jacques Dalton, CIHR-Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health
  • Mary Fraser-Valiquette, Deputy Director, CIHR  Strategic Program Design and Analytics
  • Jacqueline Arthur, Public Health Agency of Canada