Institute Advisory Boards Questions and Answers

1. What are the Institute Advisory Boards (IABs)?

The revised model has one IAB per Institute and will call upon members of the entire slate of 13 IABs to form ad-hoc advisory groups to provide advice on cross‑Institute initiatives.

The model strikes a balance between the need for timely Institute-specific advice and cross-Institute guidance.

2. Why a revised IAB model?

This revised model is an evolution of the current IAB structure and builds on our collective experience with different IAB models.

The model strikes a balance between the need for timely Institute-specific advice and cross-Institute guidance. The new structure:

  • Ensures each Institute receives timely content-specific advice aligned with the corporate strategic plan.
  • Fosters Institute collaborations, and strengthens ties to the research and broader health system community, while also supporting each Institute in achieving its own strategic objectives.
  • Provides Institutes access to a collective body of advisors who can be called upon to provide guidance on cross-Institute initiatives and activities

3. How many members are there on each IAB?

Each of the 13 Institute Advisory Boards will consist of 8-14 members, including a Chair and a Vice-Chair.

CIHR recognizes the importance of addressing existing gaps in expertise and increasing representation of Indigenous peoples, women, early career investigators, researchers from minority language communities, and under-represented regions of Canada as soon as possible. An open call for new nominations to the IABs will be launched shortly in 2018.

4. What roles will IAB members have?

The Institute Advisory Board members will provide independent, expert and relevant advice to the CIHR’s Scientific Directors offering a diversity of views/perspectives.

IAB members, within their respective priority area, will:

  • Provide timely, Institute-specific advice
  • Enhance Institutes’ overall ability to plan, function, and engage their respective communities
  • Give Institutes access to a collective body of advisors who can be called upon to provide guidance on cross-Institute initiatives and activities
  • Increase CIHR’s commitment to Indigenous health research.

5. What was the process for populating 13 Institute Advisory Boards while in transition?

IAB members who agreed to continue to serve were offered an appointment with a new term of 3 years on one of the 13 institute-based IABs. Open seats on boards were filled by nominating members of previous IABs and the remaining gaps will be filled in 2018.

6. What is the recruitment process to find Institute Advisory Board members to fill remaining gaps?

Gaps in expertise as well as Indigenous representation will be addressed in an open and transparent process in early 2018.

7. How is CIHR ensuring that an Indigenous perspective is being represented on its IABs?

CIHR is working in collaboration with the Scientific Director of the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (IAPH) and partners to determine how best to further strengthen the advice provided to all Institutes and CIHR corporate on Indigenous issues.

Three seats on the IAPH-IAB will be reserved for representatives from the national Indigenous organizations.

8. How is CIHR ensuring diversity among its IAB members?

CIHR is committed to ensuring that its IAB members represent the largest cross-section of the health research community possible. To that end, the Nominating and Governance Committee will recommend appointments with an eye to achieving a balance in terms of sex and a diversity of representation, including, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples and all regions across Canada, official languages, pillars of research, career stages and sectors of the health research community.

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