CIHR - Research, Knowledge, Impact

Innovative research + knowledge translation = better health, better health care

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research CIHR), we believe that supporting innovative research and facilitating knowledge translation (turning findings into improved practices, products and policies) means better health for Canadians, a better health-care system and a stronger economy.

What drives us
Canadians want to know that their investments in health research are wisely managed. CIHR embraces values that guide all aspects of our activities and relationships. We believe in:

  • Excellence We strive to meet the highest international standards of excellence in everything we do.
  • Integrity and Ethics We know that excellent research, knowledge translation and good governance require the constant development and application of sound ethical principles and processes.
  • Collaboration We promote collaboration among researchers from all disciplines, from the social sciences to biomedicine, informatics and engineering.
  • Partnerships We engage in research activities with federal, provincial and territorial governments and departments and private sector organizations.
  • Innovation We encourage new ideas and creative approaches to addressing health and health system challenges.
  • Solutions We help Canadians reap health and economic benefits from research by fostering the distribution and use of new knowledge.

Patient-oriented research
Health professionals and decision makers need evidence on how to deliver the best care in a cost-effective manner. Research focused on patients and other users of health services is the cornerstone of evidence-based health care. CIHR has launched a major new 10-year strategy to improve health care through patient-oriented research. The strategy will help stakeholders work together to effect coordinated, targeted investments that support people, infrastructure and programs devoted to local and leading-edge patient-oriented research.

Knowledge translation
CIHR wants to close the gap between the knowledge that the research community generates and what is done with that knowledge. As an organization, we are also committed to making users aware of knowledge or innovations in order to facilitate their uptake. It is through these knowledge translation activities that the impacts of our investments in research, such as improved health and economic benefits, will be felt.

Global Health Research Initiative
CIHR helps Canadian researchers be global leaders in their fields. We work to attract and retain the best international scholars and experts. We connect Canadian trainees and researchers to their international colleagues. We foster international collaborations that fit with Canada's research priorities. As well, CIHR helps low- and middle-income countries address serious challenges – HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, inadequate health services and insufficient numbers of health professionals – through the Global Health Research Initiative.

Making mental health a priority
Mental illness affects millions of Canadians. One out of every 10 Canadians aged 15 and over reports symptoms consistent with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. The stigmas and stereotypes associated with mental health disorders persist in diminishing the quality of life for many. CIHR is making strategic investments to address mental illness and has forged a working partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Addressing the Alzheimer's epidemic
Alzheimer's disease already affects 300,000 Canadians, slowly robbing them of their memories and their ability to think clearly. Through CIHR support, Canadian investigators are doing some of the most advanced Alzheimer's research in the world. We are also reaching out to other countries and have helped establish the International Collaborative Research Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease.

"Health research is about helping people to be healthier. It may be through the development of new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. It may be through providing the evidence that supports the delivery of the health services Canadians need, when and where they need them. And it may be through the commercialization of discoveries to make a new product or service available."

Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research


CIHR Institutes

CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health (CIHR-IAPH)
CIHR-IAPH fosters the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada through research, knowledge translation and capacity building. The Institute's pursuit of research excellence is enhanced by respect for community research priorities and Indigenous knowledge, values and cultures.

CIHR Institute of Aging (CIHR-IA)
Adults over 65 years constitute the fastest growing age group in Canada. By the year 2026, one out of every four Canadians will be considered 'seniors', surpassing the number of children under the age of 15 in this country. CIHR-IA supports research in the field of aging to improve the health and quality of life of older Canadians by understanding and addressing or preventing the consequences of a wide range of factors associated with aging.

CIHR Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR)
CIHR-ICR has been coordinating cancer research across Canada in priority areas such as palliative and end-of-life care, establishing a model for the world. Future priorities span the continuum of cancer and include prevention, individualized cancer care, cancer stem cells and survivorship, with research training and capacity building being an overarching priority.

CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH)
Heart, lung and blood vessel diseases are the major health burdens facing Canadians – yet if we understood how our genes, the environment and our behaviour interplay to cause these common conditions, they might be preventable. CIHR-ICRH supports research that asks tough questions about the causes, consequences and control of these conditions.

CIHR Institute of Gender and Health (CIHR-IGH)
CIHR-IGH fosters research excellence regarding the influence of gender and sex on health, and applies these research findings to identify and address pressing health challenges. Gender and sex influence health in many ways that, if better understood, could inform interventions and programs designed to improve the health and well-being of women, men, boys and girls.

CIHR Institute of Genetics (CIHR-IG)
CIHR-IG supports research on the human and other genomes and on all aspects of genetics, basic biochemistry and cell biology. New advances in genetics and genomics, and in the understanding of how cells work, pose challenges to our health-care system and often raise complex ethical, legal and social issues. The Institute is addressing these challenges to develop solutions that benefit Canadians.

CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR)
CIHR-IHSPR is helping the country meet the challenge of making high-quality health care available to all those who need it, when and where they need it, while also ensuring that Canada's health-care system is responsive, efficient and sustainable. It does so by supporting the brightest minds in health services and policy research, championing the development of the methods and tools that generate excellent research, and supporting evidence-informed health policy decision making.

CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (CIHR-IHDCYH)
CIHR-IHDCYH promotes and supports research that improves the health and development of mothers, infants, children, youth and families in Canada and throughout the world. Through our support, researchers address a wide range of health concerns, including those associated with reproduction, early development, childhood and adolescence.

CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III)
CIHR-III led the charge against SARS and H1N1, orchestrating a rapid research response unprecedented in Canadian health research. Its strategic priorities are the immune system and infectious disease. Areas that fall under this umbrella include vaccine development, food and water safety and the federal government's initiatives in HIV/AIDS research.

CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (CIHR-IMHA)
Move It or Lose It! Musculoskeletal (MSK) health, including muscle, joint and bone health, is dependent on optimal amounts of physical activity. MSK disorders such as osteoporosis and arthritis can limit mobility and ability to be physically active, creating a vicious circle of inactivity and MSK degeneration. CIHR-IMHA is working to better understand and treat MSK (including skin and oral) diseases and injury and to improve the health of Canadians by focusing on our flagship theme of physical activity.

CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA)
From diseases of the central nervous system (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), to addiction, to mental ill health (e.g. schizophrenia) and to the five senses through which we interpret the world, CIHR-INMHA is concerned with how the brain works and with finding new ways to improve the outcomes of brain-related illnesses, which are recognized internationally as leading causes of life-long disability.

CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (CIHR-INMD)
CIHR-INMD supports research that addresses the causes, prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliation for a wide range of conditions associated with hormone, digestive system, kidney, and liver function. CIHR-INMD has identified four strategic priorities that will guide the Institute from 2010 to 2014: food and health; continuum of care; environments, genes and chronic disease; and seeking solutions to obesity.

CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH)
CIHR-IPPH supports innovative research to understand the impacts of multi-level program and policy interventions on health improvements. This renewed focus requires researchers and other stakeholders to explore pathways to health equity so that all people can reach their full health potential regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status.

To find out more about CIHR, visit the CIHR website.