Interpretation Guidelines: Foundation Scheme Adjudication Criteria

Please note that in the context of this document, “the applicant” may refer to an individual Program Leader or multiple Program co-Leaders.

Overview

The purpose of this document is to provide reviewers with guidance regarding the adjudication criteria for the Foundation Scheme. The Foundation Scheme is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of health research leaders by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative and high-impact programs of research. Programs of research are expected to include integrated, thematically-linked research, knowledge translation, and mentoring/training components.

Foundation grants are designed to support research leaders at any career stage to build and conduct programs of health research across CIHR's mandate. Eligible applicants will include new/early-career, mid-career, and established researchers all of whom are independent researchers with a demonstrable track record of excellence and impact in their field of study.

While the application form and adjudication criteria are the same for all applicants, the criteria must be applied in the context of the applicant’s career stage. Please note that based on feedback received from the research community, new/early career investigators will be assessed separately and ranked against other new/early career investigators at each stage of the competition.

The Foundation Scheme is supported by a three-stage competition and review process that focuses reviewer attention on specific structured review criteria at Stage 1 and at Stage 2.

Figure 1. Adjudication criteria for the Foundation Scheme at each stage of the competition and review process.

Long description: Figure 1

Stage 1 Adjudication Criteria Descriptors and Interpretation Guidelines

Stage 1 focuses on the caliber of the applicant in the context of the qualities deemed essential to meet the objectives of the Foundation scheme. These qualities are: leadership, ability to deliver significant contributions, and productivity. Stage 1 also assesses the ability to define and articulate a clear and compelling vision and program direction. Note that reviewers will be selected based on their expertise in the applicant's field of research.

In some cases, there may be multiple Program Leaders for a single Foundation grant. These applicants will need to demonstrate synergy and a history of co-leading programs of research. In these cases, the assessment of each adjudication criterion should consider both the individual and joint research contributions of the Program co-Leaders.

In the next sections, each of the sub-criteria relating to the Caliber of the Applicant and the Vision and Program Direction will be described in more detail. Reviewers will be reminded of what applicants were asked to provide in the application for the sub-criterion as well as the specific review questions that have been defined for each sub-criterion. A set of interpretation guidelines and considerations have also been summarized for each sub-criterion. These are intended to provide guidance to reviewers as they assess each section of the application.

Stage 1 - Criterion 1: Caliber of the Applicant

Sub-criteria to be assessed under this criterion include:

Please note that for each sub-criterion under Caliber of the Applicant, reviewers must consider:

  • The applicant’s recent experiences and contributions, taking into account accomplishments over the applicant’s entire career;
  • The nature, breadth and depth of the applicant’s experiences and contributions, in the context of the applicant’s career stage;
  • The nature, breadth and depth of an applicant’s experiences and contributions, in the context of the applicant’s research field;
  • Personal circumstances that result in legitimate career interruptions, such as extended leaves of absence or decreased productivity for health, family or other reasons. Note that applicants are encouraged to explain any personal circumstances (where applicable) to ensure a fair assessment of their achievements.

Stage 1 - Criterion 2: Vision and Program Direction

Sub-criteria to be assessed under this criterion include:

Stage 1 - Criterion 1: Caliber of the Applicant

1.1.1 Leadership

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the extent to which the applicant has influenced and inspired others in their field of research, as well as the applicant’s ability to effectively direct a program of research.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to highlight their leadership experience. This should include a description that demonstrates leadership in the context of their career stage and field(s) of research, and should also include relevant and recent, examples of major projects or research programs that they have led where effective leadership was evident. The applicant will be asked to point to relevant, recent examples in their CV as appropriate.

a) Is the applicant recognized in their field, demonstrating a history of holding influential roles, inspiring others, mobilizing communities and advancing the direction of a field?

a) The applicant should be recognized and respected in their research field. This can be demonstrated through descriptions of the sphere of influence the applicant has achieved to date in their research field, their Institution, within their research community and any influence they have had in society at large. The applicant should also have experience in building and/or mobilizing networks and/or communities.

For new/early-career investigators, the potential for leadership should be considered.

b) Has the applicant demonstrated the ability to successfully establish, resource, and direct programs of research, which should include: securing the required resources; ensuring effective collaboration, and/or incorporating knowledge translation strategies?

b) The applicant should demonstrate the ability to effectively direct a program of research. A Program Leader should demonstrate the ability to:

  • Address compelling research questions;
  • Develop and direct major projects and/or programs of research, which may include national or international networks (where appropriate);
  • Resource a program of research - including securing funding for research projects, attracting and retaining research personnel, acquiring appropriate infrastructure, etc.;
  • Build and manage collaborations; and/or,
  • Incorporate knowledge translation strategies and activities into a program of research, including the dissemination, application, and/or uptake of research findings.

1.1.2 Significance of Contributions

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the extent to which the applicant’s contributions to date have had an impact (a tangible benefit, or positive influence) on health, health care, health systems and/or health research. These contributions could include advancements in different research and health-related areas, as well as contributions to maintaining a sustainable foundation of health researchers. The nature and quantity of these advancements may depend on the applicant’s field of research and career stage.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to highlight the impact of their contributions on health and health research. The applicant will be asked to highlight and describe the tangible benefits or positive influences of their contributions on health, health care, health systems and/or health research. The applicant will be asked to point to relevant, recent examples in their CV(s), as appropriate.

a) Has the applicant significantly advanced knowledge and/or its translation into improved health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes?

a) The applicant should demonstrate the impact they have had on advancing research knowledge and/or improving research practice in their field. Additionally, the applicant should also demonstrate how they have contributed to the advancement of health care, health systems, health outcomes, and economic prosperity (as applicable). When assessing contributions, consider the following:

  • Contributions to the advancement of knowledge (health or other fields) include advances or improvements to the current thinking in the field of research that have been sustained.
  • Contributions to research (health or other fields) include broad-scale or transformative changes to current research practices and approaches.
  • Contributions to health care include improvements in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, conditions, disability, injury, and other physical and cognitive impairments.
  • Contributions to health systems include improvements in the organization of people, institutions, health information, health policies, and the human and financial resources to deliver health care services.
  • Contributions to health outcomes include improvements to the health and/or quality of life of individuals or populations.
  • Contributions to economic prosperity include the development of economic opportunities stemming from the application or commercialization of health research.

b) Has the applicant engaged, trained, and/or launched the careers paths of promising individuals in research and/or other health-related non-academic fields?

b) Applicants should demonstrate a history of contributions to the advancement of research capacity.

  • Contributions to a sustainable foundation for health research and knowledge translation (health or other fields) include supporting the mentoring/training, career development, and recruitment and/or retention of highly qualified personnel in academic and non-academic health-related fields.
  • Contributions to a sustainable foundation of health research from new/early career investigators may be different from those of established researchers and might focus more on efforts to build capacity (e.g., ability to attract students/trainees/emerging scholars, developing and implementing innovative mentoring/training opportunities, etc.).

1.1.3 Productivity

This sub-criterion is intended to assess both the quality and quantity of research outputs generated by the applicant.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to highlight both their career and recent productivity, focusing on both the quality and quantity of research outputs. The applicant will be asked to point to relevant, recent examples in their CV(s), as appropriate.

a) Has the applicant demonstrated an outstanding level of research outputs in their field based on prior work?

a) The applicant should demonstrate an exceptionally high level of research outputs compared to investigators in a similar field and at a similar career stage.

b) Has the applicant’s previous work generated high-quality research outputs?

b) The applicant’s previous work should have produced research contributions that are recognized to be of high-quality within their research field.

Stage 1 - Criterion 2: Vision and Program Direction

1.2.1 Vision and Program Direction

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the applicant’s ability to define and articulate a clear and compelling high level vision of their program of research. The assessment of the quality of the vision should consider the following characteristics:

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to articulate a compelling high level vision and direction for their research program. This will require the applicant to highlight the goal, overall objective(s), expected outputs/ contribution(s), and the significance of the proposed program if the objectives are met.

Foundation grants are meant to be flexible in order to allow the Program Leader(s) an opportunity to innovate, or explore new lines of inquiry. The information requested in this section is not intended to include details of each thematically-linked project within the program of research.

If successful at Stage 1, applicants will be asked to expand on their program of research at Stage 2.

a) Are the vision, goal, overall objective(s), and potential contributions of the proposed research program well-defined and well-articulated in the context of a logical career progression for the Program Leader(s)?

a) The vision should outline the program direction envisioned for the duration of the grant in a coherent and clear fashion, highlighting the key synergistic components of the program of research.

b) Is the vision forward-looking, creative, and appropriately ambitious?

b) A forward-looking vision is future-oriented, and describes the proposed contribution(s) of the program of research (i.e., what the program intends to achieve in the short- and long-term). A creative vision describes the program's potential to foster innovative approaches, and/or innovative outputs, outcomes, and impacts. An appropriately ambitious vision is believable and realistic (e.g., sets an appropriate scope for the program of research). It considers key elements required for the success of the program, and sets the direction for program planning through a clearly articulated research program goal and supporting objectives.

c) Does the vision aim to significantly advance knowledge and/or its translation to improved health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes?

c) The vision of the research program should aim to achieve significant advancement in health-related knowledge, health research, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes. This could be defined by the importance of the program (e.g., based on an assessment of the declared benefits, and their relation to any current issues, gaps and opportunities), as well as the significance of short-term and long-term research outcomes.

Stage 2 Adjudication Criteria Descriptors and Interpretation Guidelines

Stage 2 focuses on the quality of the proposed program of research, including the research concept, research approach, expertise and capacity building, as well as the supporting environment for the proposed research program.

Reviewers are therefore selected on the basis of expertise to review the research concept and approach for each application. The applicants invited to submit an application in Stage 2 of the Foundation competition process have been selected based on their demonstrated past success in leading programs of research. They have proven themselves able to develop and implement detailed methodologies, techniques, etc., to bring research projects to fruition; and, capable of mobilizing and securing the appropriate expertise to deliver significant contributions. Therefore, the level of information provided by the applicants to address their proposed program of research at Stage 2 is expected to be at a high-level, and will not include details of each specific project within the program of research. Foundation grants are meant to be flexible in order to allow Program Leader(s) an opportunity to innovate, or explore new lines of inquiry.

In the next sections, each of the sub-criterion relating to the Quality of the Program and the Quality of the Expertise, Experience and Resources, will be described in more detail. Reviewers will be reminded of what applicants were asked to provide in the application for the sub-criterion as well as the specific review questions that have been defined for each sub-criterion. A set of interpretation guidelines and considerations have also been summarized for each sub-criterion. These are intended to provide guidance to reviewers as they assess each section of the application.

Stage 2 - Criterion 1: Quality of the Program

Sub-criteria to be assessed under this criterion include:

Stage 2 - Criterion 2: Quality of the Expertise, Experience, and Resources

Sub-criteria to be assessed under this criterion include:

Stage 2 - Criterion 1: Quality of the Program

2.1.1 Research Concept

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the research component of the program, as well as the significance of the anticipated outcomes.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines

The applicant will be asked to articulate the program of research by outlining the goal, objective(s), and, at a high level, the components of the program of research and potential short-term and long-term impact(s) of the proposed program.

a) Are the goal and objectives of the proposed program well-defined and well-articulated?

a) The goal and objectives of the program should be well-defined, and appropriate given the nature and scope of the program of research. There should be a sound, conceptual justification for the component parts and should be grounded in the relevant literature and/or previous results (as appropriate).

b) Is there conceptual coherence within the program of research?

b) The components of the program of research (including any relevant knowledge translation components) should be aligned with the overall goal and objectives of the program, and demonstrate an integration of concepts among components.

c) Are the potential short-term and long-term program outputs significant? Are they likely to significantly advance health-related knowledge and/or its translation into improved health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes?

c) The significance and innovation of the proposed program of research should be assessed in relation to other research in the field, and the relative need for the outputs and outcomes of the program of research. Reviewers should also assess the importance of the short-term and long-term anticipated outcomes, as it relates to the likelihood of significantly advancing health-related knowledge, approaches/ methodologies, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes.

Other Considerations (if applicable)

International Considerations

Note that CIHR contributes to, and supports, international research projects and international collaborations to address a range of research areas such as global health research issues, and to contribute to the development of health-research capacity both internationally and domestically. For these types of programs, demonstration of significance should focus on showing that the international component(s) is relevant to the goals and objectives of the program of research, and that the collaboration has the potential to improve health outcomes in the broader global community.

2.1.2 Research Approach

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the quality of the approach of the proposed program of research.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to articulate their research approach (i.e., how they will deliver on the objectives of the program of research) and include:

  • Potential challenges to the approach.
  • Mitigation strategies that will be employed to overcome those challenges.
  • How progress and success of their proposed research program will be measured against key achievements.

The applicant will not be expected to provide extensive details on established methodologies; however, they should appropriately describe novel/innovative approaches.

Foundation grants are meant to be flexible in order to allow the Program Leader(s) an opportunity to innovate, and explore new lines of inquiry. A detailed research design and project-by-project plan for each thematically-linked project in the program of research is not expected.

a) Is the research approach appropriate to deliver on the proposed program objectives?

a) The research approach encompasses a number of supporting elements. These elements should be well-planned, appropriate, and poised to deliver on the objectives of the program of research. A detailed research design and project-by-project plan for each thematically-linked project in the program of research is not expected.

The appropriateness of knowledge translation strategies will vary by research field. All knowledge translation strategies should be relevant to the context of the proposed program of research.

b) Does the approach allow for flexibility in direction as the program evolves?

b) The approach should be:

  • Flexible enough to explore new avenues of research; and,
  • Poised to maximize contributions through appropriate collaboration and knowledge translation.

c) Does the approach include a high-level description of how progress and success will be measured?

c) There should be an appropriate plan to measure progress against key milestones.

d) Does the approach include a plan for identifying potential challenges and applying appropriate mitigation strategies?

d) There should be a high-level plan to identify and address any critical challenges or risks related to the key research and any knowledge translation components of the program. An exhaustive list is not required.

Mandatory Requirements (if applicable)

Evidence demonstrates that biological, economic, and social differences between women and men contribute to differences in health risks, health services use, health system interaction, and health outcomes. Therefore, all applicants to CIHR are expected to integrate gender and sex considerations into their research design, where appropriate, in order to maximize the relevance and applicability of health research findings to both men and women.

Stage 2 - Criterion 2: Quality of the Expertise, Experience, and Resources

2.2.1 Expertise

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the expertise and experience of the Program Leader(s), as well as the proposed Program Expert(s) (see definition below) to collectively deliver on the objectives of the proposed program. It is the responsibility of the Program Leader(s) to ensure that the proposed research program is poised for success.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to outline, at a high-level, the collective expertise, experience and resources being assembled, and how it is appropriate to ensure the delivery of the objectives of the proposed research program. This includes:

  • The expertise and experience (disciplinary, professional, or methodological) of the proposed Program Leader(s), as well as Program Expert(s) (e.g. researchers, technicians, knowledge-users, partners, patients and trainees, etc.).
  • The level of engagement (e.g., time commitment and contribution) of Program Leader(s).
  • As applicable, the commitment (cash or in-kind) from interested or engaged knowledge user(s).
  • The coordinated roles of the Program Leader(s) and any Program Expert(s) in the oversight and management of the program of research.
  • A plan to seek out expertise (new Program Expert(s)) based on the anticipated future needs of the program of research, as it is expected that the Program Experts may evolve over the duration of the grant, based on the needs of the proposed program.

a) Does the applicant have the appropriate expertise and relevant experience to lead and manage the proposed program of research, considering its objectives and scope?

a) The roles and responsibilities the Program Leader(s) should be clearly described, and linked to the objectives of the research program, referencing the CVs of the proposed Program Leader(s) as required.

An overview of expertise assembled to undertake the program of research (i.e., "Program Expert(s)"); as well as a plan to seek out expertise (new Program Expert(s)) based on the anticipated future needs of the program of research should be outlined. Note that Program Expert(s) will not be submitting a CV with the Stage 2 application.

The level of engagement (e.g., time commitment and contribution) of the Program Leader(s) should be appropriate based on the roles and responsibilities described. The coordination of the Program Leader(s) and any Program Expert(s) in the oversight and management of the program of research should be clearly described. There should be no gaps in expertise or ability to lead and deliver on the objectives of the proposed program.

For any knowledge translation approach, the applicant should have the relevant knowledge user(s) identified. In some cases, the appropriate knowledge user(s) is critical to achieving the desired impact of the research program, and, its ultimate success; hence, an integrated knowledge translation approach may be appropriate. Such an approach would require a commitment to a genuine relationship with the relevant knowledge user(s). Knowledge user(s) may be responsible and accountable for the application/uptake of the program outputs.

A commitment (cash or in-kind) from interested or engaged knowledge user(s) is not an absolute requirement, but can be reasonably expected depending on the nature and type of knowledge user. In some cases, the financial commitment may support a critical step towards the application of the program outputs.

b) Is there an appropriate complement and level of engagement and/or commitment from key Program Expert(s) and (as applicable) applicant partners?

b) The Program Leader(s) should demonstrate an ability to plan for the future by securing; a time commitment (e.g., participation in the described research program), a resource commitment (e.g. access to equipment) or a financial commitment (cash or in-kind) from identified Program Expert(s) and/or applicant partners.

2.2.2 Mentorship and Training

This sub-criterion is intended to assess the quality of the mentorship/training plan, through the demonstrated commitment to/level of engagement in shaping the future of the applicant’s students, trainees, emerging scholars, and new/early career investigators, as well as other individuals in non-academic, health-related fields.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to articulate a mentorship and training plan including:

  • An outline of training goals, learning opportunities, and key activities.
  • Appropriate mentoring/training approaches in relation to the proposed program of research and research field.
  • The rationale for the proposed training approach.
  • Potential challenges of the mentorship and training plan and a strategy for identifying and mitigating these challenges.
  • How progress and success will be measured.

a) Does the research program include a comprehensive mentorship and training plan for building capacity and positioning students, trainees, knowledge users, emerging scholars, and/or new/early career investigators for successful research careers and/or other career paths in non-academic health-related fields?

a) A comprehensive mentoring and training plan includes a combination of formal education, and informal mentoring, and training approaches. The plan should be coherently presented with training goals, learning opportunities, and key activities clearly articulated. Mentoring/training activities should focus on:

  • Skill development (e.g., technical/methodological, oral and written, teaching, grants management, budgeting, research values and ethics, and, if appropriate, lab management)
  • Career development (e.g., preparation for research or non-academic careers)

Activities and collaboration with individuals from non-academic spheres is an important consideration. Non-academic professionals benefit from both interactions with and access to research resources, and training on use of these resources. The reverse is also true.

b) Does the proposed plan demonstrate an appropriate approach for meeting its objectives in relation to the program of research and the research field?

b) The mentorship and training plan should be appropriate to the field and career stage of the Program Leader(s), as well as the nature and scope of the program of research, and the specific training level(s) (e.g., graduate students, trainees, emerging scholars, new/early career investigators, and/or health-related professionals). The benefits of the training and mentoring activities to the target audience should be clear.

Program Leader(s) are expected to show direct involvement in all mentoring/training activities.

c) Does the plan include a strategy for identifying and mitigating potential challenges?

c) The risk management strategy for the mentoring/training component of the program should describe any potential challenges to recruiting, retaining, or mentoring/training graduate students, trainees, emerging scholars, new/early career investigators, and/or health-related professionals (where applicable). There should also be an appropriate high-level plan to address any potential challenges related to the mentoring/training component of the program.

2.2.3 Quality of Support Environment

This criterion is intended to assess whether the applicant has the resources necessary in order to successfully deliver on the objectives of the research program in both the short- and long-term.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines

The applicant will be asked to outline the resources that they currently have in place to ensure the successful delivery of the research program objectives, including:

  • Physical infrastructure (and/or other types of infrastructure such as consortia, professional networks, etc.)
  • Support personnel
  • Equipment
  • Specialized facilities
  • Supplies

a) Is the described environment(s) appropriate to enable the conduct of the program of research, and to manage and deliver on the objectives and key components of the proposed research program (e.g., research, knowledge translation, mentoring/training) through the provision of, or access to, the required infrastructure?

a) Depending on the nature of the program, access to environments in other organizations may be essential to deliver on the objectives of the program. Reviewers should consider that appropriate support environments may be found within an institution, or may be built through "networked" environments or platforms outside of the host institution.

Examples of other environments include, but are not limited to: hospitals, long-term care facilities, experimental facilities (e.g., Canadian Light Source, CERN, etc.), schools, First Nations communities, industry laboratories, prisons, foreign jurisdictions/locations, community populations, and specialized databases.

Budget Recommendation

The budget recommendation, including any written comments, is intended to assist CIHR in determining the appropriate funding levels for individual programs of research.

The budget requested will not be factored into the scientific assessment of the application; however, CIHR values the experience and perspectives of reviewers in estimating the overall funding level that is appropriate for the proposed research program. Please note that a detailed item-by-item scrutiny is not expected.

What Applicants have been Asked to Provide Items for Reviewers to Consider Interpretation Guidelines Considerations

The applicant will be asked to provide information regarding the budget request to support the proposed program of research, including the total amount requested and the amount requested per annum.
The applicant will demonstrate that the amount requested is appropriate to support the proposed program of research, given the context of their baseline funding amount. Any increase above the calculated baseline amount will need to be justified by the applicant.

a) Is the requested budget appropriate in order to support the proposed program of research? Is it realistic and well-justified, in the context of the applicantsꞌ baseline funding amount?

a) Appropriate high-level financial planning should be demonstrated and the requested resources, together with any existing resources, should be adequate to financially support the full scope of the research program. Applicants are required to justify that their request is appropriate in the context of their proposed program of research by providing their total financial requirement for the duration of their grant (5 or 7 years) and an amount for each of the identified categories defined by CIHR with a concise justification for their allocation. A precise valuation of each line item within the budget justification is not expected nor will it be provided by the applicants. Additionally, a yearly breakdown of funds will not be provided.

Reviewers are asked to consider the proposed budget of the program, and provide a justified recommendation as to whether the financial allocation should be:

  • Accepted as described; or,
  • Reduced to the level of $X for the total period of support.

Applicants were provided their baseline amount in their application, as calculated by CIHR:

  • For applicants with prior CIHR funding history, this baseline amount was calculated based on identified eligible funding history.
  • For applicants with no prior CIHR funding history, applicants were provided instructions on what to submit in order for their baseline amount to be calculated.

b) If the request is significantly higher than the applicants historical grant levels, is it appropriately justified? Note: Justifications for CIHR funding to replace other on-going sources of funding (e.g., health charity, provincial funding agency) are not acceptable.

b) Applicants with funding from CIHR must provide a robust justification for requests that are significantly higher than their historical grant levels.

Applicants without a CIHR funding history should justify the appropriateness of their request in the context of their past funding history.

New/early career investigators should not necessarily be expected to justify their request within their previous funding history (as it may not be robust enough to support their proposed program) and be given some latitude in their request as they ramp up their program.

Justifications for CIHR funding to replace other on-going sources of funding (e.g., health charity, provincial funding agency) are not acceptable.

Interpretation guidelines compendium: sample indicators of Foundation Scheme adjudication criteria

In the process of working towards interpretation guidelines of Foundation Scheme adjudication criteria, CIHR consulted extensively with researchers from across all of CIHR's research pillars. Working groups from each pillar contributed to the development of sample indicators of each of the following adjudication criteria: Leadership, Significant Contributions, and Productivity.

The list of sample indicators is provided below. The sample indicators are meant to be illustrative, and in no way represent a comprehensive list. Please also note the following:

  1. The list of sample indicators describes a variety of examples from all of CIHR's pillars. Therefore, not all of the items in the list will be relevant to each applicant.
  2. The list may be updated over time based on feedback from the research community.
  3. Reviewers will be selected based on their expertise in the research field of the applicant, and CIHR is depending on the reviewers' expertise to determine whether the applicant has included the relevant indicators for each adjudication criterion, while also taking into consideration the applicant's career stage, field of research, and other relevant conceptual factors.

Annex A Leadership Sample Indicators

  • Advisor in interdisciplinary or inter-organizational collaborations
  • Editorial experience
  • Innovator in existing or emergent areas of research
  • Leader of research endeavours with major impact
  • Leader of provincial, national and international collaborations, societies, associations, etc. within and outside the research community
  • Leader of community-based research and/or knowledge translation initiatives
  • Number and type of awards, honours, distinctions (note that these vary by research field)
  • Number and type of leadership roles/appointments (e.g., key note speaker, committee, advisory group, network, expert witness, appeals counsel, etc.)
  • Number, type and value of previous grants awarded
  • Number and value of salary awards received
  • Peer review committee service

For new/early career investigators, specific indicators to capture early evidence of leadership competency could also include:

  • Evidence of an emerging profile of innovation (e.g., development of new research methods)
  • Nomination for awards, honours or distinctions
  • Participation in advisory groups in interdisciplinary or inter-organizational collaborations
  • Key role in significant research endeavours
  • Significant involvement in key committees, local, national and international collaborations, societies, associations, etc.

Please note that additional examples of Leadership indicators can be found in the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application guide under Significance of Leadership Contributions, as well as in the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship selection committee guide under Leadership: Potential and Demonstrated Ability.

Annex B Significant Contribution Sample Indicators

Note that the type of contributions listed may vary by research field. Note that for Stage 1 Applications, the applicant has been asked to describe his/her contributions according to the following headings:

Contributions to the Advancement of Knowledge (Health or other fields)

  • Important advances in understanding (e.g., informing controversies, examining assumptions, advancing education theories, improving theoretical understanding in integrative research
  • Significant advances in knowledge (e.g., pathogenesis, cell differentiation, biological pathway, medical imaging, evaluation of cognitive functioning, gene-environment interactions, barriers to medication adherence, synthesis)
  • Significant impact on a current area of research (e.g., paradigm shifts; challenges to current thinking)

And/or

Contributions to Research (Health or other fields)

  • Development of new areas of research
  • Development of theoretical frameworks/models
  • Development of research methods/techniques
  • Benefit of sustained change in research practice (e.g., ethics considerations)
  • Impact of new research approaches (e.g., multi-disciplinary approaches, horizontal (system-wide) research focus, etc.)

And/or

Contributions to the Foundation of Researchers (Health or other fields)

  • Number and types of domestic and international trainees mentored
  • Increased ability to attract students/trainees/emerging scholars
  • Implementation or broader uptake of innovative mentoring/training approaches
  • Career success of mentees/trainees
  • Success of mentees/trainees in working within both academic and non-academic spheres

And/or

Contributions to Health Care

  • Evidence-informed health care practices
  • Evidence-informed health promotion and prevention programs
  • Evidence-informed treatments, therapies, interventions or disease management approaches
  • Evidence-informed health technologies, tools, diagnostics and devices
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Reduced burden of illness

And/or

Contributions to the Health System

  • Evidence-informed policies (health or other) that positively impact health
  • Efficiencies from improved resource allocations or practices (e.g., cost savings, reduced wait times)
  • Improvements in health care data, information management and infrastructure
  • Reduced health inequalities in a specific population
  • Effectiveness of new or improved health care services, practices and regulations
  • Improved health professional education policies or education system
  • Cultural, organizational or pedagogical changes that have improved health professional competency

And/or

Contributions to Health Outcomes

  • Improvements to the health status or quality of life of populations
  • Clinical outcomes of health research interventions
  • Incidence and prevalence of chronic and acute illnesses
  • Changes in culture, attitudes and behaviour that improve health
  • Public health awareness and education (documentaries, classroom/course material, and film)
  • De-bunking stereotypes/myths

And/or

Contributions to Economic Opportunities

  • Business opportunities created
  • Creation of jobs from spin-off companies or from expansion of existing company
  • Sales/revenues generated or licensing returns
  • New products, processes or services commercialized
  • License or royalty agreements

Annex C Productivity Sample Indicators

  • Publications, peer-reviewed or other (e.g., theses, journal articles, books, book chapters, workshop reports, synthesis reports, dissemination reports, conference proceedings)
  • Collaborations or networks
  • Communication and knowledge translation products or resources
  • Competency frameworks (e.g., health professionals)
  • Conferences and conference proceedings
  • Consultations
  • Databases and evidence repositories
  • Devices (e.g., medical, robotic)
  • Editorial contributions
  • Intellectual property claims
  • Invention disclosures
  • License agreements
  • Media interviews (e.g., television, radio, print)
  • Networking activities (e.g., workshops)
  • Organization of meetings
  • Patents (filed or obtained)
  • Policy briefs
  • Presentations at public forums
  • Prevention or intervention programs
  • Products
  • Professional practices
  • Programs or services
  • Prototypes
  • Public information, resources, and tools
  • Software and hardware
  • Spin-off companies
  • Standards and guidelines
  • Systems
  • Theories, models or frameworks
  • Tools, techniques, instruments, procedures or methods
  • Training approaches/curricula
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