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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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Section IV - Other Items of Interest

1. Organizational Excellence

CIHR achieves program delivery excellence and impressive research results by continually strengthening its internal organization and fostering a dedicated, well-informed workforce. The organization's leadership, responsible management, continuous-improvement practices, and high-quality work environment demonstrate an ongoing commitment to organizational excellence. CIHR maintains an operational budget of approximately $47 million for 2007-2008, while ensuring that at least 94% of its total parliamentary appropriations go directly to support health research and researchers in Canada.

Description of Key Activities
CIHR's operating budget is allocated to three portfolios - Research, Knowledge Translation, and Corporate Affairs - to ensure smooth program design and delivery, and effective functioning of the organization.

International Review Panel Report (IRP)
The CIHR Act specifies that every five years CIHR undertake a comprehensive review to evaluate its overall progress and that of each Institute towards meeting its mandate. CIHR carried out the first-ever External Review in early 2006, and the International External Review Panel's report was released in June 2006. The Panel applauded CIHR for what has been accomplished to date, and included important observations on the future directions CIHR might consider in the next stage of its evolution. In addition to the work mentioned in the following paragraphs, CIHR is creating a single Research and Knowledge Translation Committee to account for all research-related decision-making within CIHR, including allocation of the budget. This new committee will combine the work of the existing Standing Committee for Oversight of Grants and Awards Competitions (SCOGAC) and Research Priorities and Planning Committee (RPPC) into one body.

Enhancing Effectiveness of Peer Review
CIHR has faced a significant and sustained increase in the volume and breadth of grant applications, thus straining the peer review process - the method used to determine the most promising researchers and research proposals to fund. This continuing strain was acknowledged in the International Review Panel Report. In 2007-2008, CIHR will develop a three-year plan to guide further innovations in peer review. As this plan is drafted, CIHR will continue implementation of electronic submission and processing of applications. Access to electronic versions of applications, peer reviews and funding decisions will continue to open up new possibilities for improvement to our peer review process.

Evaluating our Performance
In 2007-2008, CIHR will continue to evaluate performance through production of the Departmental Performance Report and several program evaluations, in addition to reporting on progress in following up on suggestions of the International Review Panel report, which is available on the CIHR website at CIHR is also increasing resources and enhancing governance of performance measurement and evaluation in these important areas.

Building a Better and Simpler CIHR
CIHR continues its efforts to simplify programming structure while still meeting the need for different program vehicles to support different objectives. CIHR is implementing new approaches to communicating funding opportunities - approaches that are easier to understand and are both regular and predictable for the research community. Significant steps toward simplifying its portfolio of funding programs have been taken by combining several programs with similar objectives. Over the next four years, CIHR will continue this systematic review of our programming and will continue to consolidate programs where appropriate. All program re-design required to streamline CIHR's funding opportunities is guided by consultation with the research community. The intended result continues to be a simple, well-designed portfolio of funding programs that is flexible enough to accommodate all approaches to health research.

Utilizing Technology to Enhance Service Delivery
CIHR is committed to easing the administrative burden on researchers, to enable them to spend more time on research. To help address this, ResearchNet, a CIHR-led partnership, is being developed. This tool will make it easier for researchers to access Canadian research opportunities, to apply with electronic applications, and to access the latest research funding information. This is done through one central point of entry to all research funding opportunities, regardless of their source. CIHR has developed two e-business applications on ResearchNet for the electronic submission of applications and electronic peer review. In 2006-2007, CIHR developed a funding opportunities database which will be released in 2007-2008, and continued to expand the use of its electronic applications and peer review to other CIHR programs. In 2007-2008, CIHR will pilot a tool for researchers to submit a final report of their research outcomes from CIHR funding. In addition, CIHR continues to participate in the Common CV, which is used to apply to multiple funding agencies through a single electronic resume. Currently, there are more than 47,000 researchers using the Common CV, which is supported by fifteen provincial, federal and not-for-profit agencies, including Canada Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, Networks for Centres of Excellence and the Killam Program at Canada Council for the Arts.

Improving Reporting of Research Results and Impacts
CIHR will continue development of a strategy to improve the reporting of CIHR-funded research results and impacts. Components of the strategy, which is being implemented over several years, include: finalizing a framework and indicators for measuring the value of investments in health research; development of an end-of-grant reporting tool which will have researchers provide data to CIHR on the results and impacts of their research from which CIHR will report and enhance communications about research results and overall impacts; and a policy to share the results and products of CIHR-funded research.

Advancing Modern Management Practices
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) conducted a Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment of CIHR in the fall of 2006. The results of the assessment will be made available in 2007-2008. CIHR will have the opportunity to comment on the assessment and take appropriate action in 2007-2008 to build on the results.

A Committed Workforce
Fostering a committed, motivated and productive workforce is a priority for CIHR. The recently approved Human Resources Strategy identifies recruitment, learning and development, official languages, diversity, workplace well-being, performance management and compensation as priorities. In 2007-2008 CIHR will implement the first year of a three-year action plan to address the key issues in each of these priority areas. CIHR has established a goal to become a Top 100 Employer and will implement world-class programs and services in human resources to improve our workplace and workforce. In 2007, CIHR will launch a Leadership Development Program designed to facilitate personal development and succession within our organization, and a 360 degree feedback exercise to underscore the importance of the effective management of people.

Institute Transitions
To mitigate issues of corporate knowledge loss and administrative burden, CIHR has established a schedule for periodic rotation of Institute Scientific Directors. An Institute transition involves the winding down of an Institute at its host university or hospital and moving to the location of the new Scientific Director. Specifically in 2007-2008, CIHR will ensure a smooth transition of corporate memory and activities for the scheduled transition and relocation of the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH).

2. Key Reference Documents and Internet Addresses

Key Reference Documents

  1. Investing in Canada's Future: CIHR's Blueprint for Health Research and Innovation 2003-2004 to 2007-2008, CIHR's Strategic Plan:
  2. Various CIHR Annual Reports:
  3. CIHR Institutes - More information, including Institute Strategic Plans and Annual Reports, is available through CIHR's web site:

Internet Addresses

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Home Page
Aboriginal Peoples' Health
Cancer Research
Circulatory and Respiratory Health
Gender and Health
Health Services and Policy Research
Human Development, Child and Youth Health
Infection & Immunity
Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
Population and Public Health