CIHR Observer program for early career researchers


Canadian Institutes of Health Research


CIHR is very excited to launch the Observer program for early career researchers (ECRs) to participate in the peer review process for the Project Grant: Fall 2018 competition. This program is designed as an opportunity for ECRs to observe face-to-face peer review committee meetings and gain valuable insights on the review process.

Selected ECRs will be invited to observe committee meetings taking place in Ottawa in November and December 2018 as part of the review process for the Project Grant competition. There will be two ECRs per committee. As observers, the ECRs will not participate in review discussions.

Please note that all ECRs who have submitted applications to past CIHR Observer programs are required to submit an application again in order to be considered for this opportunity. All applications will be considered “new” and, as it was with previous rounds, a lottery approach will be used to select the final candidate(s) if there are more than two applicants for a single committee.


To be eligible to participate in this Observer program, the ECR must be within 60 months of their first independent appointment, as of the application deadline of the Project competition, September 12, 2018.

Candidates who are submitting applications as Nominated Principal Applicant or Principal Applicant in the current Project Grant competition are eligible for this opportunity, but cannot observe the committee that is adjudicating their submission.

ECRs who previously participated in the Observer program for a Project Grant competition are not eligible to participate.

All ECRs who have submitted applications to past CIHR Observer programs are required to re-submit an application to be considered in Fall 2018. Eligible applicants to the Fall 2018 Observer program will automatically be considered for the Spring 2019 Observer program.

Please note that participation in this program is not a prerequisite to becoming a reviewer in the future (nor is it a guarantee that an individual will meet the eligibility criteria to become a reviewer at a later date). Also note that this program will help to shape peer review training and mentoring strategies and as such a survey will be issued to all participants at the end of this process.

Special Notes

Opportunity for Early Career Researchers


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

To express your interest in participating in this Observer program, ECR to send an e-mail to

Email must include:

  • Email subject line: Observer program Fall 2018
  • a PDF of your biosketch Common CV
  • a letter from your institution attesting that you meet the criteria to be considered as an early career researcher
  • the names of two peer review committees—in order of preference—that you would like to observe.

All ECRs expressing interest will be required to complete a CIHR Reviewer Profile.

For Questions, please contact

If you have any questions, please contact

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