CIHR Townhall (Winter-Spring 2015)

Summary Table

  1. CIHR Townhall (Winter-Spring 2015)
  2. Objectives
  3. Health Research Roadmap II - Capturing innovation for better health and health care
  4. What is the link between Roadmap I and Roadmap II?
  5. What are CIHR’s strategic directions for the next five years?
  6. Does CIHR still value Investigator - Initiated Research?
  7. Why does CIHR invest in Priority - Driven Research?
  8. What are the new refreshed priorities for Priority - Driven Research?
  9. CIHR’s Budget and Changes to the Institutes
  10. Was CIHR’s budget cut by 50%?
  11. How much of CIHR’s budget is allocated to Investigator-Initiated Operating Grants?
  12. Will researchers be required to find their own partners in order to access CIHR funding?
  13. Why is CIHR making changes to the Institutes?
  14. When will the changes to the Institutes be implemented?
  15. Foundation Scheme Pilot
  16. Where are we in the transition process?
  17. What changes were made as a result of earlier pilots?
  18. How many peer reviewers participated in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?
  19. Who was successful in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?
  20. What was the pillar distribution for Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?
  21. How did new/early career investigators do in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?
  22. How did mid-career investigators do in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?
  23. Are applicants and peer reviewers responding to the pilot surveys?
  24. Is the structured application/review working?
  25. Are peer reviewers able to assess the criteria across all career stages?
  26. Are peer reviewers participating in online discussions?
  27. Is applicant and peer reviewer burden starting to decrease?
  28. Is the support material for peer reviewers effective?
  29. When will funding decisions be made for the 2014 Foundation Scheme?
  30. Project Scheme
  31. When is the Project Scheme being launched?
  32. What is the plan for integrating existing legacy open programs?
  33. College of Reviewers
  34. When will recruitment for the College begin?
  35. Who is helping CIHR build the College?
  36. Q & A

[Slide 1]

CIHR Townhall

Winter-Spring 2015

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

[Slide 2]

Objectives

The objectives of today’s presentation are to:

  • Introduce CIHR’s new Strategic Plan – Health Research Roadmap II - Capturing innovation for better health and health care
  • Address some of the rumours about CIHR’s budget and changes to the Institutes
  • Provide an update on the first Foundation Scheme Pilot – including some of the preliminary survey results
  • Provide an update on the launch of the Project Scheme and the College of Reviewers

[Slide 3]

Health Research Roadmap II - Capturing innovation for better health and health care

[Slide 4]

What is the link between Roadmap I and Roadmap II?

  • Health Research Roadmap II (2014) is an updated version of CIHR’s previous strategic plan (2009-2013).
  • It strikes a balance between completing the transformation we set to achieve in Roadmap (2009), and aligning to the future.

Completing Roadmap

A number of current Roadmap initiatives and activities will continue to be an important part of Roadmap II.

Aligning to the Future

There will also be new initiatives and activities that CIHR must embrace to stay relevant and aligned to the future.

[Slide 5]

What are CIHR’s strategic directions for the next five years?

Roadmap II’s strategic directions will guide efforts and investments to advance knowledge and capture innovation for better health and health care.

Long Description

[Slide 6]

Does CIHR still value Investigator-Initiated Research?

Strategic Direction #1: Excellence

Promoting excellence, creativity and breadth in health research and knowledge translation
  • Supporting investigator-initiated ideas and research, from discovery to application.
  • Decreasing researcher burden with the implementation of the Foundation and Project Open funding schemes.
  • Improving the effectiveness, consistency, reliability, fairness and sustainability of peer review decisions through changes to peer review processes.
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the health research enterprise through the development of a national vision to position trainees for success in both academic and non-academic careers.

CIHR is committed to supporting investigator-initiated research.

[Slide 7]

Why does CIHR invest in Priority-Driven Research?

Strategic Direction #2: Mobilize

Mobilizing health research for transformation and impact
  • Maximizing the health, social and economic impact of research through targeted and partnered investments.
  • Enabling multidisciplinary research and increasing capacity to address complex research questions.
  • Focusing on critical health issues championed by Canadians.
  • Forging strategic alliances with new health and non-health partners.

Success in health innovation will be achieved through strategic alliances.

[Slide 8]

What are the new refreshed priorities for Priority-Driven Research?

Discussions with researchers, partners and other stakeholders have informed a refreshed set of priorities.

Enhanced patient experiences and outcomes through health innovation Accelerating the discovery, development, evaluation and integration of health innovations into practice so that patients can receive the right treatments at the right time.
Health and wellness for Aboriginal peoples Supporting the health and wellness goals of Aboriginal peoples through shared research leadership and the establishment of culturally-sensitive policies and interventions.
A healthier future through preventive action A proactive approach to understanding and addressing the causes of ill health, and supporting physical and mental wellness at the individual, population and system levels.
Improved quality of life for persons living with chronic conditions Understanding multiple, co-existing chronic conditions and supporting integrated solutions that enable Canadians to continue to participate actively in society.

[Slide 9]

CIHR’s Budget and Changes to the Institutes

[Slide 10]

Was CIHR’s budget cut by 50%?

CIHR Budget 2014-15 - $1,018.1M

Recent government investments have focused on Tri-Council programs for training and horizontal initiatives.

Long Description

* Anticipated budget, including 2014-15 Supplementary Estimates C and adjustments to be provided by Treasury Board.

[Slide 11]

How much of CIHR’s budget is allocated to Investigator-Initiated Operating Grants?

In 2012, CIHR’s Governing Council committed to increasing the funding envelope for the Investigator-Initiated programs by $10M a year cumulatively for five years, beginning in 2014.

Investigator-Initiated Operating Support

Long Description

[Slide 12]

Will researchers be required to find their own partners in order to access CIHR funding?

  • Researchers will not be required to find their own partners for the Foundation Scheme, the Project Scheme, or for the awards programs.
  • Leverage is required for some priority-driven initiatives; the responsibility to find partners will sometimes be on CIHR and sometimes on applicants.

[Slide 13]

Why is CIHR making changes to the Institutes?

  • Governing Council has now completed the Institutes Model Review as mandated in the CIHR Act, and as recommended by the 2011 International Review Panel.
  • This review has resulted in two key changes:
    1. Restructuring the Institute Advisory Boards (IABs) such that members will advise more than one Institute
    2. Enhancing effective cooperation with the Institutes by having them invest half of their budget into a Common Research Fund – now referred to as the Roadmap Accelerator Fund.
  • These changes will:
    • Provide Institutes with a broader, higher level strategic perspective
    • De-silo Institutes and provide for greater inter-Institute collaboration and more cross-disciplinary research
    • Promote linkages with national multi-disciplinary initiatives and platforms (e.g. NCEs, CECRs, Genome Centers, SPOR Support Units, etc.)
    • Accentuate the distinction between investigator-initiated research and priority-driven research focused on impact

[Slide 14]

When will the changes to the Institutes be implemented?

  • The changes to the Institute Advisory Boards will take time.
  • Work is currently underway with the chairs of the current boards to build the new model.
  • Once a new model has been identified, it will be communicated broadly.
  • Until that time, the existing advisory boards will remain in place.
  • Roadmap Accelerator Fund, which is essentially a reallocation of resources to better support Signature Initiatives, will be established at the beginning of CIHR’s next fiscal year (April 1st, 2015).

[Slide 15]

Foundation Scheme Pilot

[Slide 16]

Where are we in the transition process?

  • The transition to the new Open Suite of Programs and peer review processes will occur over a number of years.
  • Course corrections and adjustments may be required along the way as we learn from the results of the pilots.

Long Description

[Slide 17]

What changes were made as a result of earlier pilots?

  • Piloting is an essential part of the transition plan.
  • As each of the pilot studies is complete, findings are made available to contribute to the body of literature on peer review and program design.
    • Fellowships – completed
    • Knowledge Synthesis Pilot #1 – completed; Pilot #2 – underway
    • Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) – underway
    • Knowledge to Action – underway
  • Improvements have already been implemented as a result of early pilot results:
    • Development of a new rating scale for peer reviewers with more gradation at the higher levels.
    • Establishment of a virtual chair/moderator role to shepherd sets of applications and ensure that online discussions are being held for applications with discrepant reviews.
    • More comprehensive training material for applicants.
    • More comprehensive training material for peer reviewers.
    • Technology enhancements to ResearchNet to improve usability.

[Slide 18]

How many peer reviewers participated in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?

  • In Stage 1, 1366 applications were reviewed by 443 peer reviewers.
  • Each peer reviewer was assigned between 8-20 applications. The average was 15 applications. Over 98% of applications were reviewed by 5 peer reviewers.
  • As the tool to match peer reviewers to applications was not in place for this pilot, a labour intensive manual process was used for assignment.
  • For future pilots, a matching solution will be put in place.
  • This will assist CIHR staff and the virtual chairs/moderators with the assignment of peer reviewers to applications using “concept matching” functionality.

[Slide 19]

Who was successful in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?

  • After analyzing the results of the competition and the available budget, CIHR has invited 467 (34%) applicants to submit a Stage 2 application.
  • At this point in the process, it is anticipated that between 150-210 applications will be funded in the first pilot.

Total Distribution of Applications

Long Description

[Slide 20]

What was the pillar distribution for Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?

Distribution of Applications by Pillar

Long Description

[Slide 21]

How did new/early career investigators do in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?

  • The first Foundation Scheme competition received more applications from new/early career investigators than originally expected (40.92% of applications).
  • Peer reviewers expressed some concern about their ability to rank very new investigators.
  • Despite these challenges, almost 20% of all applications (87 of the 467) that were brought forward to Stage 2 were submitted by new/early career investigators.
  • This is comparable to what is typically seen in the OOGP (~15%).
  • CIHR has committed to ensuring that a minimum of 15% of the funded Foundation grants at the end of the process will be awarded to new/early career investigators.

Distribution of Applications submitted by New/Early Career Investigators by Pillar

Long Description

[Slide 22]

How did mid-career investigators do in Stage 1 of the Foundation Scheme?

  • CIHR does not currently have a definition for “mid-career investigator”.
  • The system does track:
    1. Applicants who have been independent researchers for 6 – 10 years (61 – 120 months)
    2. Applicants who indicated their current academic position to be “Associate Professor”

Distribution of Applications Submitted

Long Description

* There is overlap between the individuals included in the “6 -10 years as an Independent Investigator” and the “Associate Professor” categories in the figure above.

[Slide 23]

Are applicants and peer reviewers responding to the pilot surveys?

  • The response rates for the first Foundation Scheme pilot were exceptionally high

    Response Rates for Foundation Scheme pilot Stage 1 (as of Jan 14, 2015)

    Participant Role Total # Invited (Survey) Total # Responded Survey Completion Rate
    Applicant 1366 1074 78.6%
    Stage 1 Peer Reviewer 443 322 72.7%
    Virtual Chair 50 40 80%
  • Surveys just recently closed, and the data presented in the next few slides is preliminary.

  • The information presented in the following slides should therefore be interpreted with caution.

  • The full results of the pilots will be made available once the analysis is complete.

[Slide 24]

Is the structured application/review working?

* The data presented is preliminary data gathered from survey respondents who participated in Stage 1 of the first Foundation Scheme live pilot, and further analysis is required.

Applicants

Thoughts regarding the structured application format (i.e. having one section for each adjudication criterion).

Long Description

Peer Reviewers

The structured application format was helpful in my review process.

Long Description

Compared to the last time peer reviewers reviewed applications for CIHR (i.e. completed a non-structured review), completing a structured review:

Long Description

[Slide 25]

Are peer reviewers able to assess the criteria across all career stages?

  • Peer reviewers were provided with interpretation guidelines for each of the adjudication criteria and then asked to apply these based on career stage:
    • Leadership
    • Significance of Contributions
    • Productivity
    • Vision/Program Direction
  • Feedback from peer reviewers has indicated that it was difficult to apply the adjudication criteria across career stages.
    • Peer reviewers found the Leadership criterion to be particularly difficult to apply.
  • CIHR will look at providing additional guidance to peer reviewers in the next pilot.

[Slide 26]

Are peer reviewers participating in online discussions?

* The data presented is preliminary data gathered from survey respondents who participated in Stage 1 of the first Foundation Scheme live pilot, and further analysis is required.

Did peer reviewers participate in online discussions?

Long Description

Peer reviewer thoughts regarding the online discussion:

Long Description

[Slide 27]

Is applicant and peer reviewer burden starting to decrease?

* The data presented is preliminary data gathered from survey respondents who participated in Stage 1 of the first Foundation Scheme live pilot, and further analysis is required.

Applicants

Compared to the last time you submitted an application to CIHR, completing the structured application took, on average:

Long Description

Peer Reviewers

Compared to the last time you reviewed for a CIHR competition, the workload assigned to you was:

Long Description

[Slide 28]

Is the support material for peer reviewers effective?

* The data presented is preliminary data gathered from survey respondents who participated in Stage 1 of the first Foundation Scheme live pilot, and further analysis is required.

Peer Reviewers

Long Description

[Slide 29]

When will funding decisions be made for the 2014 Foundation Scheme?

  • Decisions for the first Foundation pilot will occur in July 2015.

  • The competition timelines for the 2014 Foundation Scheme "live pilot" are as follows:

    Registration Deadline June 23, 2014
    Stage 1 Application Deadline September 15, 2014
    Anticipated Stage 1 Notice of Decision December 1, 2014
    Stage 2 Application Deadline February 5, 2015
    Anticipated Stage 2 Notice of Decision May 15, 2015
    Anticipated Stage 3 Notice of Decision July 15, 2015
    Funding Start Date July 1, 2015

[Slide 30]

Project Scheme

[Slide 31]

When is the Project Scheme being launched?

  • The funding opportunity for the 2016 Project Scheme “live pilot” competition will be posted in March 2015 to provide the community with time to prepare.

  • Key dates include:

    Registration Deadline January 18, 2016
    Application Deadline March 1, 2016
    Anticipated Stage 1 Notice of Decision May 16, 2016
    Anticipated Stage 2 Notice of Decision July 15, 2016
    Funding Start Date July 1, 2016

The Project Scheme is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential for important advances.

[Slide 32]

What is the plan for integrating existing legacy open programs?

  • As part of the implementation of the Reforms, a number of existing open programs will be integrated.

  • CIHR has been piloting the new Project Scheme design elements in many of these programs to ensure applicability of the new design.

  • As the pilot results have been positive, these programs will be integrated into the new open funding schemes. The anticipated application deadlines for the final competition for each of these programs are:

    Legacy Open Program Competition Launch Anticipated Application Deadline
    Open Operating Grants Program November 2013 March 2015*
    Partnerships for Health System Improvement June 2015 October 2015
    Knowledge Synthesis June 2015 January 2016
    Knowledge to Action June 2015 October 2015
    Proof-of-Principle (I and II) June 2015 September 2015
    Industry-Partnered Collaborative Research Program June 2015 September 2015
    New Investigator Salary Awards July 2015 December 2015

    * Actual

  • To ensure a smooth transition, minimum thresholds will be established for partnered/integrated KT applications in the Project Scheme and for new/early career investigators in the Foundation Scheme.

[Slide 33]

College of Reviewers

[Slide 34]

When will recruitment for the College begin?

  • CIHR will begin to enroll College members in the coming months, using a phased-in approach.
  • The first waves will be CIHR’s current and recently active peer reviewers.
  • Peer reviewers will be asked to agree to a set of terms and conditions for the College and will be asked to validate a peer reviewer profile.
  • In parallel, a number of targeted recruitment approaches will be developed to address areas where there are gaps in peer reviewer expertise.
  • If you are interesting in becoming a member of the College of Reviewers please contact the research office at your institution.
  • CIHR will be coordinating with institutions to identify potential College members.

Long Description

[Slide 35]

Who is helping CIHR build the College?

  • An Interim Advisory Group has been established to:
    • Serve as an advisory body to refine the College design
    • Act as champions for the College and its credibility
    • Contribute to defining the structure for the College of Reviewers
    • Provide input and advice into the key components, as well as short-term targets of the College
  • Senior leaders will also be recruited from various research communities to act as expertise cluster leads in the College. An expression of interest process will be launched in the coming months.
  • Key partners are also being engaged as we develop key elements of the College.

College Advisory Group Members:

  • Gerry Wright, McMaster University (Chair)
  • Brett Finlay, University of British Columbia (previous Chair – on sabbatical)
  • Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa
  • Andreas Laupacis, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Martin Schechter, University of British Columbia

[Slide 36]

Q & A

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