Internal CIHR Project Grant Review Process

The Fall 2022 Project Grant submission is rapidly approaching:

  • Anticipated Notice of Decision for the Spring 2022 competition: July 14, 2022
  • Registration deadline: August 17, 2022
  • U of A internal deadline: September 1, 2022
  • Final submission deadline: September 14, 2022

CIHR Spring 2022 Competition Internal Review Process

  • Mandatory for researchers who have never received a CIHR Project Grant as principal applicant and who have received start-up funding from FoMD, Institute or Department in the last 5 years.
  • Strongly recommended for all principal investigators even if they have a record of CIHR Project funding.
  • The internal review process described below (2 stages for new submissions and debrief and 1 review for re-submissions) is required for eligibility for bridge funding from the FoMD. Note: Research institutes offering bridge funding have their own requirements for eligibility. Members should contact their institute(s) for more information.
  • The process outlined below is for new applications and resubmissions from the Spring 2022 competition. The funding results for the Spring 2022 competition are expected to be available July 14, 2022.
  • View the summarized process one-pager here. 

Important Note: For a new submission it is expected that applicants had gone through concept discussion sessions with Co-PIs, collaborators, Institute/Group/Department members months before deciding to apply. The majority of successful CIHR project applications contain multi-disciplinary approaches and often involve (co)applicants from other institutions. As such the development of new CIHR project submissions takes significant planning and refining.

New Submissions:

 New Submissions

Pre-internal Review
May – June, 2022 (~3-4 months before the application deadline):
  • Applicant informs department chair about intention to apply.
  • Applicant to identify a minimum of 2 internal reviewers (if known) – at least 1 reviewer preferably holds CIHR funding from their targeted CIHR review committee and/or is a member of targeted CIHR review committee. Chairs, institute directors, centre/group directors may assist in identifying suitable reviewers. Reviewers do not have to be from the University of Alberta, but ideally at least one of them would not be associated with the project (arms-length expert).
  • To assist in the identification of potential internal reviewers, the applicant will be able to identify suitable reviewers from a list of funded U of A CIHR projects and review committee members in the applicant’s research area. Read more on identifying internal reviewers. Once the applicant identifies suitable reviewers, he/she can either contact the reviewers directly or inform the FoMD Office of Research who would contact the individuals on behalf of applicant. It is preferable that the applicant contacts the potential reviewers.

 June – July 15, 2022:

  • Applicant secures reviewers (this is the applicant’s responsibility unless the Office of Research is asked for assistance).
  • Applicant completes a draft of research proposal (the quality should be at an advanced level – analogous to a manuscript submitted to the journal for publication, i.e. complete, ready-for-prime time effort) and distributes it to reviewers by July 15, 2022.
  • Applicant organizes meeting(s) with reviewers, with meetings held from June – July 22, 2022.
First Internal Review
July 18 – 22, 2022:
  • Reviewers should provide written reports to the applicant on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal as well as suggested improvements. This can be done by either using report template, which is based on CIHR reviewer assessments or by providing comments directly in the draft proposal (track changes, comments).
  • Applicant notifies the department chair that the 1st internal review process has been completed. Reviewer forms/corrections may be required Follow up by the chair with the applicant by July 27, 2022 if notification is not received.

 July – August, 2022:

  • Applicants should consult research support facilities (cores, animal facilities) for fees and incorporate the appropriate amounts in the budget, taking into account that fees may increase over the 5-year period to be comparable with other Canadian U15 Institutions. If required, applicants may request Faculty support letters (core facilities, etc.) from the Office of Research (ooradmin@ualberta.ca).
  • Applicant organizes 2nd internal review with reviewers and should submit the revised proposal to the reviewers (same as the 1st round) by August 5, 2022.
Second Internal Review
August 8 – 12, 2022
  • Reviewers provide additional suggestions for improvement in writing (report template or directly in the proposal).
  • Applicant notifies the department chair that the 2nd internal review process has been completed. Follow up by the chair with the applicant after August 15, 2022 if notification is not received.
Finalizing the Application
September 1, 2022 (Institutional (RSO) internal deadline):
Final Submission
September 14, 2022
  • Final submission of application to RSO (CIHR).

Resubmissions:

 Resubmissions

Results of the Spring 2022 Competition:
Notice of Recommendations: June 30, 2022
Notice of Decision: July 14, 2022

Spring 2022 applicants will receive communication from CIHR on June 30th as to whether their submission is likely to be funded, may be funded (but not certain, only about the top 15% of applications are funded) and most likely will not be funded. Those in the latter two categories should contact potential internal reviewers that can provide input and suggestions for revisions if the application is ultimately not funded and you plan to resubmit in September. Due to the tight timelines these meetings should be scheduled in advance of learning the decision of the submitted grant. Notice of decisions are expected to be released on July 14, 2022. 

Applicants resubmitting a grant not awaiting decision (i.e. submitted prior to Spring 2022) are also encouraged to organize a one-stage review and follow the below process. The revised grant should be sent to internal reviewers a minimum of one week before the internal review meeting.

Feedback Debrief
July 14, 2022:
  • The notice of recommendations are expected to be released June 30th and the notice of decisions released July 14th.

 End of July – August 12, 2022:

  • Feedback debrief with internal reviewers of the Spring 2022 submission or new reviewers (reviewers should have been secured well ahead, since it is easier to cancel sessions than setting up sessions and the CIHR success rate is ~15-17%, so the majority of submissions will unfortunately not be successful). Process to identify reviewers.
  • Provide internal reviewers with a copy of the reviewer comments received from CIHR in advance of the scheduled meeting.
  • Applicant informs department chair about intention to re-apply.

 End of July – August 22, 2022:

  • Revision of the proposal
  • Applicant organizes internal review with reviewers and should submit the revised proposal to the reviewers by August 19, 2022.
Internal Review
August 22 – 26, 2022:

Internal review process:

  • Reviewers provide additional suggestions for improvement in writing (report template or directly in the proposal). It is recommended that the internal reviewers are the same as those involved in the feedback debrief.
  • Applicant notifies the department chair that the internal review process has been completed. Follow up by the chair with the applicant after August 29, 2022 if notification is not received.
Finalizing the Application
September 1, 2022 (Institutional (RSO) internal deadline):
Final Submission
September 14, 2022:
  • Final submission of application to RSO (CIHR).

Identifying Internal Reviewers:

Internal Review Feedback to Applicants
The FoMD Office of Research has developed a form based on the CIHR Project Grant Peer Review Manual to guide internal review and feedback to applicants. 
Download the FoMD OoR CIHR Project Scheme Internal Reviewer Form.

Responsibilities

Applicant
  • Notifies department chair of intention to apply.
  • Notifies Office of Research or institute directors if assistance with selection of reviewers is required.
  • Organizes meetings with internal reviewers.
  • Notifies department chair of review completion (new - both stages, resubmission - one stage). Please also include the names of your internal reviewers in your communication.
  • Requests support letters from Office of Research (core research facilities, etc.).
  • Submits all application components to RSO by the institutional deadline.
Reviewers
  • Same or increased engagement as per reviewer from an actual CIHR peer review committee.
  • Written reports (template) of strengths and weaknesses and additional constructive comments.
Department Chairs
  • Follow up with applicants about the progress of applications (if notification of internal reviews are not received).
  • Provides additional support as required.
Institute Directors
  • Assist in selection of internal reviewers.
  • Provide additional support as desired.
FoMD Office of Research
  • Assists in selection of internal reviewers if requested.
  • Provides support letters (i.e. core research facilities, etc.).
  • Provides additional assistance as required.

Contact ooradmin@ualberta.ca if you require assistance.

UA Research Services Office: Research Relationships (formerly GAP)

Contact cihrgrants@ualberta.ca if you require assistance.

Questions? Contact the Office of Research: ooradmin@ualberta.ca