Message from Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR, on the announcement of the inaugural College of Reviewers Chairs

June 10, 2016

I am pleased to announce today the appointment of the inaugural Chairs of CIHR’s College of Reviewers (College). The Chairs will play a vital role in helping to build a College that is recognized as a valued resource throughout Canada and around the world.

This appointment includes an Executive Chair and fifteen College Chairs.

Dr. Paul Kubes of the University of Calgary has been appointed as the College’s Executive Chair. Working in close collaboration with CIHR’s Chief Scientific Officer and his Chair colleagues, he will be responsible for ensuring peer review excellence across all fields of health research and for adapting peer review to the evolving profile of science and convergence of research fields.

Fifteen outstanding candidates have been appointed as College Chairs. These Chairs will oversee strategies aimed at attracting and retaining outstanding peer reviewers. They will also ensure that the necessary frameworks are in place to provide peer reviewers with the relevant learning, mentoring, and support required to deliver fair and quality reviews.

The fifteen inaugural College Chairs, selected based on the recommendations of an external nomination committee, are:

Over 100 candidates from across Canada applied for these positions, and CIHR is grateful for the strong expression of interest and support from the community. The collective knowledge and leadership of these Chairs spans the entire breadth of CIHR’s research and knowledge translation mandate. Together, they also bring a wealth of peer review experience to the College. Each Chair will be appointed for a renewable term of two, three, or four years to allow for the staggering of replacements. The appointments will be effective July 1, 2016.

The recruitment of these new Chairs is the latest in a series of actions taken in building the College. These include:

  • The creation of customized learning programs and webinars (over 1,200 reviewers took advantage of these learning opportunities for the first Project Grant pilot competition);
  • The development of an evidence-informed quality assurance framework that will be enhanced and validated by the research community in the coming months; and
  • The establishment of stringent College membership criteria.

Over the summer months, Chairs will be working with CIHR to begin the recruitment of College Associate Chairs. Associate Chairs will provide the critical function of identifying and recruiting College members from their respective areas of expertise, and will also play a key role in monitoring peer review quality. More information about the roles of Associate Chairs will be available in the coming months.

I congratulate the inaugural Chairs as they take on these important leadership positions. I look forward to working with them – and all of Canada’s health research community – to build a College of Reviewers that strengthens our health research enterprise and is a source of pride for our country.

Sincerely,

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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