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Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, French: Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada) is the major federal agency responsible for funding health and medical research in Canada. It is the successor to the Medical Research Council of Canada. It aims to create new health knowledge, and to translate that knowledge from the research setting into real world applications. The CIHR was created by an Act of Parliament on June 7, 2000, bringing together existing government activities. In 2009–2010, CIHR's budget was just over 1 billion dollars.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canadian Institutes of Health Research Logo.svg
Logo of CIHR
Abbreviation CIHR
Predecessor Medical Research Council of Canada
Formation June 7, 2000; 18 years ago (2000-06-07)
Type Governmental organization
Legal status federal Departmental Corporation
Purpose health research: 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."
Dr. Roderick McInnes (acting)
Governing Council
Key people
Scientific Directors
Subsidiaries 13 Institutes

CIHR is a Departmental Corporation listed in Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act. As an arms length agency of government, it is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Health.

CIHR is managed by the President and the Governing Council, who are assisted by various Standing and Advisory Committees. The acting president of CIHR is Dr. Roderick McInnes, of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, following the resignation of Dr. Alain Beaudet in December 2016.[1][2]

CIHR consists of 13 "virtual" institutes, each headed by a Scientific Director and assisted by an Institute Advisory Board. They work together to shape a national health research agenda for Canada. The institutes bring together researchers, health professionals and policy-makers from voluntary health organizations, provincial government agencies, international research organizations and industry and patient groups from across the country with a shared interest in improving the health of Canadians.

The work of the institutes embraces the four pillars of health research:

  1. biomedical;
  2. clinical;
  3. research respecting health systems and services;
  4. and the social, cultural and environmental factors that affect the health of populations.

A major challenge for the institutes is to forge relationships across disciplines to stimulate integrative, multifaceted research agendas that respond to society's health priorities while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

CIHR supports more than 14,000 researchers and researchers in training as part of the federal government's investment in health research. The peer review process is a vital part of CIHR. Review by panels of peers from the research community ensures proposals approved for funding by CIHR meet international accepted standards of scientific excellence.

In 2008 CIHR also organised a series of Café Scientifique events across Canada.[3]

CIHR is supplying funding for PubMed Central Canada in partnership with the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI). The program went offline for some time but was back up starting May 2015.[4]

In November 2009, controversy arose over the appointment of a senior executive of Pfizer to CIHR's governing council.[5]


Member institutesEdit

Each institute focuses on an individual area of research.

  • Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health
  • Institute of Aging
  • Institute of Cancer Research
  • Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health
  • Institute of Gender and Health, The director of the Institute for Gender and Health was Dr. Joy Johnson, from 2008–2014.[6]
  • Institute of Genetics
  • Institute of Health Services and Policy Research
  • Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health
  • Institute of Infection and Immunity
  • Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
  • Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
  • Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
  • Institute of Population and Public Health

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "CIHR Cafe Scientifique proposal evaluation criteria" (PDF).
  4. ^ "PubMed Central Canada back up".
  5. ^ "CIHR and Pfizer". The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti. CBC Radio. December 9, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  6. ^ "Vice-President's Bio". SFU. Retrieved October 14, 2014.

External linksEdit