Message from the Scientific Director: CIHR-III is pleased to launch its 2019-2020 Strategic Plan

I am very pleased to announce the launch of the CIHR-Institute of Infection and Immunity (III)’s Strategic Plan: 2019-2020. This will be a 2-year extension of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, while III is in the process of developing the long term plan and align it with CIHR’s overall Strategic Plan. In the context of the Institute’s transition to a new leadership, the ending of the period covered by the previous Strategic Plan and the overall positive external review for the Institute in 2018, after some consideration, we decided to extend the previous CIHR-III Strategic Plan: 2013-2018 and communicate our short-term priorities for 2019-2020, in order to be transparent with our research community. We re-affirm our commitment to maximizing the impact of our research investment in the upcoming years and advancing health innovation in Canada in the area of infection and immunity.

The previous CIHR-III Strategic Plan: 2013-2018 had two overall objectives aiming at enhancing the excellence of the Institute: 1) strengthening and coordinating infection and immunity research; and 2) ensuring the application and impact of research. In line with those objectives, we will continue to support and strengthen the following strategic research priorities, while addressing some gaps that are relevant to current priorities and initiatives that III is leading/participating: 1) preparing and responding to current and emerging threats to health, with renewed focus on tuberculosis, vaccines and global health and sustained focus on antimicrobial resistance; and 2) integrating infection and immunity knowledge in the control and prevention of chronic diseases, with new investments in inflammation and diabetes.

As part of the second strategic objective to promote innovation and facilitate the impact of research, the Institute is much committed to three cross-cutting priorities: 1) communications; 2) partnerships; and 3) capacity development. Therefore, the Institute will engage, through a panoply of tools, with all career-levels of researchers and with potential partners in order to maximize the impact of our investments. The institute has already committed to and will continue to work on a number of different outreach tools and activities to communicate and engage with our community.

I am confident that our efforts will continue to strengthen our community and drive creativity and innovation in infection and immunity research. I invite you to read more about our short-term strategic priorities in the full publication of the CIHR-III Strategic Plan: 2019-2020.

In parallel with the launch of the CIHR-III Strategic Plan: 2019-2020, the Institute starts a year-long process to deliver a 5-year Strategic Plan (2021-2025). We invite you to engage in the development of the infection and immunity research agenda and Join the conversation, by answering the survey, and applying for travel awards to join our engagement workshops across Canada.

I would also like to sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to the development of the CIHR-III Strategic Plan: 2019-2020 and to the long-term strategic planning process – our Institute Advisory Board members for their valuable guidance, contributions and approval and the CIHR-III staff for their hard work and dedication.

Finally, as I enter into my second year as the Scientific Director of CIHR-III, I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support that I have received thus far. It has been a challenging but very rewarding year. I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable rest of the summer, as well as safe travels to those of you who are planning time away to enjoy the warm weather.

Best wishes,

Charu Kaushic, PhD
Scientific Director, CIHR-III

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