International and global health: Frequently asked questions

CIHR wishes to clarify the ways in which funded researchers and awardees can participate in international collaborations and global health research. The Act that created CIHR requires it to have a perspective and sphere of action that transcends national boundaries. It provides for "the improvement of people's health in Canada and the world" and of "support for the participation of Canadian [researchers] in international collaboration and partnerships."

1. Does CIHR allow international collaborations?

CIHR's Grants and Awards Guide highlights the international nature of the research it supports:

  • CIHR encourages applications in the field of global health, which demonstrate that the proposed research project has the potential to improve the health of the global community;
  • CIHR contributes to, and supports international research projects and international collaborations to address a range of research areas (not limited to established "global health priorities");
  • CIHR contributes to the development of health-research capacity both internationally and at home;

CIHR accepts applications for research to be carried out in, or in collaboration with applicants based in other countries.

2. As a researcher at a foreign institution, am I eligible to apply to a funding opportunity from CIHR?

For CIHR Grants:

For Training and Salary Awards:

  • Individuals interested in applying to these programs should consult the eligibility section of the funding opportunities in question in order to confirm their eligibility to apply.

3. Are there any programs to help Canadian universities recruit foreign researchers?

Foreign researchers interested in considering a research career in Canada can be candidates to hold a Canada Excellence Research Chair or a Canada Research Chair. These programs aim to attract and retain, in Canada, some of the world's most accomplished or promising researchers. For more information, please explore the following links:

We would also encourage you to contact the CIHR-eligible Institution with any employment-related questions.

4. How can I identify potential Canadian collaborators or potential supervisors in my field?

The following searchable databases can help foreign researchers identify potential collaborators in Canada.

  • CIHR Funding Decisions Database: This database is comprised of data pertaining to grants and awards approved by CIHR since January 2009. Searches can be conducted using research subject, investigator, location, program, institute/theme and partners. Please note that this database does not contain researchers' contact information; however, it does identify their institution of affiliation at the time of the award.
  • Canada Research Chairs: This database of over 1,800 profiles of Canada Research Chairs will help those looking for research leaders in the natural sciences, engineering, health, the social sciences or the humanities.
  • Canadian Research Information System: This database contains data on grants and awards funded by a number of Canadian research funding agencies. Searches can be conducted using research subject, investigator, location, funded details, and agency. This database does not contain researchers' contact information; however, it does identify their institution of affiliation at the time of the award.
  • External Databases: This list contains a selection of information databases on projects funded by other agencies.

This being said, successful collaboration between researchers is often based on personal contact and a clear understanding of each other's research objectives. Scientific conferences, webinars, workshops and participation in CIHR peer review provide a setting to establish new contacts with Canadian researchers and to explore potential collaborations.

5. Can recipients of CIHR funding use the funds to support foreign researcher(s) that are part of their team?

The CIHR Nominated Principal Applicant may transfer funds to team members (i.e., researchers, trainees, knowledge-users, etc.) based outside of Canada subject to approval from the Canadian Institution Paid.

The Primary Institution has principal responsibility for the use and monitoring of funds that are transferred to a Non-eligible Secondary Institution.

Consult the Checklist for the Transfer of Funds from a Primary Institution to a Non-eligible Secondary Institution please in the section Transfer of Funds Between Institutions of the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide.

6. Are foreign students/fellows eligible to apply to CIHR training programs?

The following CIHR training programs enable foreign researchers to train in a Canadian research environment:

Candidates are encouraged to review the eligibility section of the funding opportunities in question in order to confirm whether they may apply.

7. Does CIHR provide support for Canadian graduate students/post-doctoral fellows to pursue research training abroad?

The following CIHR training programs enable Canadian graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to pursue research training abroad:

Candidates are encouraged to review the eligibility section of the funding opportunities in question in order to confirm whether they may apply.