CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research

Community-Based Research Program

The CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research (CBR) Program has a mission to strengthen and support a diverse, inclusive and collaborative research community that applies community-based, holistic and inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to create and mobilize knowledge for better and equitable prevention, testing, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS and STBBI in Canada and around the world as outlined in the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Initiative Strategic Plan 2022-2027.

As part of the strategic plan commitment to improving health equity, strengthening research capacity and mobilizing knowledge, the CBR Program supports the partnered work of community leaders and researchers in knowledge development and capacity-building initiatives of relevance to communities engaged in the fight against HIV and/or other STBBI.

What is community-based research?

The CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI RI considers CBR as a community-driven or community-led approach to research that supports collaborative partnerships between community leaders, community members (particularly people with lived/living experience), and researchers from academic or other research institutions. CBR also promotes the participatory action of community members and people with lived/living experience throughout the research process to ensure projects are aligned with community priorities and to maximize the potential to improve the health of people living with or at risk for infection with HIV, Hepatitis C and other STBBI. The approach combines research, education, knowledge sharing, and action for social change to improve community health and eliminate health disparities. CBR empowers members of the community to:

  • identify the issues;
  • generate and/or collect, analyze and interpret the data; and
  • decide how to use the results to inform policy, change practice and improve conditions in the community.

Moreover, CBR brings innovation to research by supporting novel methodologies, new models of care, holistic approaches rooted in community needs and values, and promoting sexual and reproductive health. Researchers from academic and other research institutions bring knowledge of scientific methodology and rigor, and experience in mentorship of future researchers. CBR therefore promotes bi-directional sharing and learning, equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each partner brings.


2006-2015: CIHR Community-Based Research Steering Committee

Between the years 2006-2015, the CIHR CBR Steering Committee contributed greatly to the deployment of a decade of HIV CBR funding opportunities when most needed. Its members came from across Canada and included individuals from the academic sector, policy makers, emerging researchers, community-based researchers and most notably HIV leaders, many of whom brought their lived experience and community liaison to the committee. A total of over 50 persons served on the committee over the years, supported by various CIHR staff members. CIHR wants to thank the former members of the CBR Steering Committees over the years for their leadership and valuable contributions to the research enterprise.

2015-Present: Incorporation with CHARAC/CHASRAC

In 2015, a decision was made to incorporate the CBR Steering Committee mandate into that of CHARAC. The terms of reference and membership of CHARAC (changed to CHASRAC in 2019) were changed to reflect the need to include CBR in CHARAC decision making.

In 2018-2019, in line with the Federal approach to better integrate HIV/AIDS and STBBI research, CIHR expanded the scope of the HIV/AIDS Research Initiative to include other STBBI. As a result of this expanded scope, the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Initiative has also evolved to support the implementation of an integrated approach of the CBR program as well.

Useful links

Contact information

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Officers are available Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET and until 8 p.m. ET on application deadline days.

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