Office of the Associate Dean - Research
753 McDermot Avenue
Faculty of Medicine Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3E 0T6
Telephone (204) 789-3375
Fax (204) 789-3942
May 28, 2012
TO: Faculty of Medicine Researchers
FROM: Peter Nickerson, Associate Dean (Research)
Kevin M. Coombs, Assistant Dean (Research)
Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Director, Research Enhancement
RE: REVISED timeline for submission of applications to CIHR September 2012
Operating competitions – REVISED Process and Procedures
As indicated in previous correspondence from this office (May 27, 2011), the Faculty of Medicine has
been using an internal pre-review process for CIHR Operating grants. Evaluation of metrics indicates
this process greatly improves success probability. After continued consultation with various
stakeholders, we have decided the next step in this continuing process is to institute revised processes
for Operating Grants that will be submitted to CIHR in September 2012. This process, which is
detailed in the attached documents, is both endorsed and financially supported by the Dean of
Medicine and the Vice President of Research. Please note that all faculty members, whether
submitting new or revised applications to these competitions, are expected to participate in this
process. Participation may be considered as part of your yearly annual departmental performance
Please also note ORS deadlines remain to be determined; these will be provided by that office at a
Thank you, and good luck in the upcoming competitions!
Highlights of major changes:
• Junior faculty members have been added to the College of Reviewers
• Preliminary grant applications are still due ~5 weeks before the deadline, and the panel
reviews will occur ~4 weeks prior to agency deadline, allowing more time to make
• Applicants may contact one External Reviewer knowledgeable in their field. The
External Reviewer will be provided an honorarium of $200 by our office. The External is
expected to participate in the panel review by either Skype (preferred) or by
REVISED PROCEDURES FOR CIHR OPERATING GRANT REVIEW
The time-line for the September 2012 pre-review process in outlined in the following Table.
Table 1. Schedule for submission of review material for September
2012 CIHR Operating Grants
CIHR Competition: Sept 2012
Complete "Request for Panel Review Form" and submit to Dr. Aug. 7, 2012;
Lorrie Kirshenbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org) 17:00 (5:00pm)
Electronically submit doc, wpd or pdf version of Summary,
Research Proposal, and, if applicable, previous CIHR reviews Aug. 8, 2012;
and SO notes, as well as your Responses to Reviews; all to Dr. 20:00 (8:00pm)
Applications will be sent to reviewers by Dr. Kirshenbaum's
Aug. 10, 2012
Aug. 15, 2012;
Submit official Registration to CIHR
Aug. 15 - 17,
Provide Nancy Klos (ORS, T151) with complete application for Sept 4,
her review 2012
Sept. 15, 2012;
Submit Complete Final Application electronically to ORS
** Tentative; reviews will take place during this week but specific dates not yet set,
and are dependent upon when External and Internal Reviewers can be scheduled
The panel review process consists of applicants meeting with a panel of (usually) 3 individuals;
an External reviewer from outside the University of Manitoba, an Internal Expert who should
be generally knowledgeable of the subject material, and an Internal “non-expert” who reads for
general clarity. At least one of the reviewers must be from a department different from the
applicant’s. Given that CIHR is moving towards translational research, it also is advisable that
basic and clinical expertise be represented on the panel. The face--to-face panel meetings
generally last ~ 1½ hours and the Summary page, Previous CIHR Reviews and Responses (if
applicable), and 11-13 page Research Proposal are carefully scrutinized.
Applicants are advised to select a knowledgeable External reviewer and to
contact that person to determine if s/he is willing to review the application
and to participate in an ~ 1½ hour meeting between August 15 – 17. Our
office will pay a $200 honorarium as partial recognition for the reviewer’s efforts.
As before, applicants wishing to benefit from this enhanced review process shall complete the
attached “Request for Panel Review Form” and make various submissions by the indicated
deadlines (indicated in above Table). Applicants are asked to nominate 4--6 reviewers from the
attached list. No more than 2 of those reviewers may hold a primary appointment in the
applicant’s home department and 2 must be non-experts who will evaluate for general
scientific clarity. Applications will be forwarded to 2 of these internal reviewers as well as to
the external expert.
Applicants will meet with their 3-member review panel approximately 4 weeks prior to the
grant submission deadline. The panel will provide an overview of the strengths and
weaknesses and also provide detailed and ruthlessly honest feedback. Applicants are expected
to take detailed notes and will not be allowed an opportunity for rebuttal (remember; your
grant does not have a rebuttal process when it is being “torn apart” in Ottawa!). Although this
review panel will conduct a ruthlessly honest and candid evaluation, please remember that this
review is ultimately for the benefit of your application and please take all comments in the
helpful light in which they will be offered.
Please note: You are strongly encouraged to obtain evaluative
feedback on your grant submissions, whether you make use of
this panel review process or not. In addition, obtaining feedback
from several sources at various times is advised.
Helpful questions to guide grant construction:
1. Does your application contain clear testable hypothesis(es)?
2. Does the Background contain sufficient necessary information and is it suitably succinct
(≤ 4 pages), leaving ample space to describe experimental rational, expectations, pitfalls,
and alternate strategies?
3. Are there clearly defined Aims, completion of which adequately test the hypothesis(es)?
4. Have you clearly articulated why you are uniquely qualified to perform the suggested
studies (including preliminary results, your expertise, collaborators and Institutional
5. Is the study novel, or merely “more of the same”?
6. Is the importance of your study clearly defined within the context of CIHR’s Strategic
7. Does the application contain excessive abbreviations and acronyms? Consider a Table of
abbreviations to include in the appendix.
8. Have you included a timeline? If expressed as a Figure, it can be placed in your appendix
and not take up valuable application space.
9. Is the application free of mistakes and aesthetically pleasing? Margin, font size and line
spacing regulations must be adhered to, and it is helpful to separate paragraphs with
additional space; every square millimeter of space does not need to be filled with text!
10. Have you included figures; but not too many? A picture is worth a thousand words.
11. If this is a resubmission, have all the reviewers comments been addressed in a non-
12. If this is are-submission, and has been multiple times, consider whether the subject
matter and or expertise are sufficient or whether a change in direction is warranted.
COLLEGE OF INTERNAL REVIEWERS
Allan Becker Spencer Gibson David Merz
Sharon Bruce Andrew Halayko Redwan Moqbel
Lin-Ping Choo-Smith Grant Hatch Leigh Murphy
Kevin Coombs Kent Hayglass Peter Nickerson
Brian Cox Robert Hoppa Grant Pierce
Michael Czubryt Larry Hryshko Steven Pind
Marc Del Bigio Peter Jones Jitender Sareen
Jim Davie Larry Jordan Garry Shen
Roxanne DesLauriers Alan Katz Daniel Sitar
Hao Ding Gilbert Kirouac Abdelilah Soussi Gounni
Ian Dixon Lorrie Kirshenbaum Robert Tate
Mary Lynn Duckworth Sabine Mai Barbara Triggs--Raine
Hani El-Gabalawy Jeffrey Marcus Carla Taylor
Paul Fernyhough Aaron Marshall Jeff Wigle
Keith Fowke Patricia Martens John Wilkins
Phillip Gardiner Susan McClement Xi Yang
ADDITIONAL INTERNAL REVIEWERS
Sam Kung This list still being built; junior
Kirk McManus faculty have been asked