Project Grant virtual review
Message from the President

August 26, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Spring 2020 Project Grant peer review phase has now been completed and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your flexibility and adaptability over these past few months. Together, for the first time, we were able to deliver a Project Grant competition using only virtual peer review.

This marks a pivotal moment for us as we move into the unchartered waters created by the pandemic. Our ability to deliver the Project Grant competition was made possible in large part thanks to the participation of peer reviewers across Canada. All generously volunteered their time and energy to support the health research enterprise – often while juggling many competing priorities, both personal and professional. Over 2,000 grants were reviewed by 58 committees in three weeks, often with multiple panels running in parallel. You weathered power outages, disruptions in the Internet service, and chat rooms that sometimes were not as nimble as hoped. And through all of this, you helped to deliver an almost seamless grant review process.

Early reports received from peer reviewers, Scientific Officers, and Committee Chairs indicate that the adjudication process went smoothly, with every effort made to duplicate the experience of traditional, in-person meetings. Over the coming weeks, CIHR will continue to collect feedback and take any necessary steps to further refine the process in preparation for the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition. As part of these efforts, a survey will be sent out in September. We encourage you to use this survey to submit your suggestions on how to improve virtual peer review at CIHR.

As well, please note that eligible peer reviewers will be able to submit dependent care, phone, and Internet cost claims. Additional information on this process will be available in the coming weeks.

Once again, on behalf of CIHR, thank you for making this Project Grant competition a success. I think that we can all be justifiably proud of this accomplishment under extremely challenging times.

I wish all of you and your loved ones continued good health. Together we are moving forward.


Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP, FCAHS, FAAN
President, CIHR

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