Canadian Institutes of Health Research spends 94 cents of every dollar in its budget to fund Canadian health research by developing human resources and training the next generation of health researchers. It employs a multi-disciplinary approach through a framework of "virtual" institutes, each with a specific research focus, connecting and supporting researchers pursuing common goals. Instead of confining CIHR-funded research to centralized facilities, the institutes electronically link researchers located in universities, hospitals and research centres across Canada. The governing council appoints a scientific director for each institute, as well as a chair to head an advisory board to assist each of the scientific directors.
These institutes provide thematic focal points for health research activity and become sources through which the federal government, researchers and partners can determine Canadian research priorities and translate research findings into practice. Research disciplines involved include basic biomedical research, applied clinical science, health services and systems, and society, culture and the health of populations.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research is responsible for supporting research and research training in health sciences through a competitive peer-review system that allocates grants in aid of operating and equipment requirements. It also provides support for symposia, scientist exchanges and international scientific activities. Currently 70% of the research budget is reserved for successful applicants in the competitions, while the remaining 30% is targeted for strategic initiatives developed by the institutes to respond to major health challenges, but also determined by peer review. Following a $37-million increase to its base budget for 2007-08, 498 new grants were awarded in March 2007, an increase over the previous year when only 331 grants were awarded, the lowest number in CIHR history. The increased funding also made possible an additional 70 to 75 one-year grants of up to $100,000 and an 8% rollback of cuts to grants awarded in September 2006, bringing spending for grants that year in line with previous competitions. On average, CIHR awards 400 to 475 grants per competition or 800 to 950 grants each year. In 2005-06 Ontario received the largest proportion of funding with $269 million in grants, followed by Quebec with $191 million, the Prairies with $97 million, British Columbia with $82 million and $21 million to the Atlantic Provinces.
Author NORMAN HILLMER Revised: JASMIN H. CHEUNG-GERTLER
Links to Other Sites
Take an interactive multimedia tour of past and present health care practices in Canadian hospitals. From the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Canadian Public Health
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is a national, independent, not-for-profit, voluntary association representing public health in Canada with links to the international public health community.
Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research
A great resource for academic information about rural health issues in Canada. From Laurentian University.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The website for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Canada's agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. Check out "Outcomes and Impacts" for "Milestones in Canadian Health Research" and notes about more recent Canadian research initiatives.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...