Our MissionThe Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. CIHR was created in 2000 under the authority of the CIHR Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Health. CIHR's budget for 2012-2013 is $977.9 million.
CIHR was created to transform health research in Canada by:
- funding more research on targeted priority areas;
- building research capacity in under-developed areas such as population health and health services research;
- training the next generation of health researchers; and
- focusing on knowledge translation, so that the results of research are transformed into policies, practices, procedures, products and services.
CIHR's mandate is to "excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health-care system."
CIHR consists of 13 "virtual" institutes, a structure that is unique in the world. These innovative institutes bring together all partners in the research process – the people who fund research, those who carry it out and those who use its results – to share ideas and focus on what Canadians need: good health and the means to prevent disease and fight it when it happens. Each institute supports a broad spectrum of research in its topic areas and, in consultation with its stakeholders, sets priorities for research in those areas.
CIHR at the service of Canadians
Through the research it funds, CIHR helps to:
- reduce the adverse impact of disease and illness on Canadians, increasing life expectancy, improving quality of life and contributing to a healthy and productive workforce;
- respond quickly and effectively to health crises such as outbreaks of infectious diseases, by rapidly mobilizing researchers as was evidenced during the SARS outbreak;
- contain the high and rising cost of delivering health care, by identifying innovative and cost-effective ways of providing health services;
- deliver concrete research evidence to help individual provinces make critical, evidence-based decisions about reforms to their health-care systems, reforms that will save money and improve services;
- sustain and enrich industry with a rich pipeline of new discoveries;
- ensure the ethical conduct of research, particularly when it involves human subjects, for instance through the world's first set of ethical guidelines for research involving Aboriginal peoples; and
- provide leadership on complex challenges such as the growing burden of obesity and mental health in the workplace, by launching initiatives in collaboration with partners both in Canada and internationally that are designed to have a real and tangible impact on these problems.
CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.