About the College of Reviewers

The College of Reviewers is a member-focused resource designed to professionalize peer review, enhance review quality, and provide a more stable base of experienced reviewers for all funding competitions.

The College is centred on the core functions of:

  • Building capacity to ensure that appropriate expertise is available to support peer review efforts for varied programs and activities that span the full spectrum of Canadian health research;
  • Working with the research community to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion practices in peer review processes, including committee recruitment College member recruitment;
  • Providing learning and mentoring opportunities to sharpen College members’ skills;
  • Enhancing review quality assurance practices in peer review; and
  • Managing and supporting the College membership base with appropriate incentives and recognition efforts.

Since its first wave of enrolment in June 2017, the College of Reviewers has grown to thousands of membersFootnote 1 that have made a commitment to help meet the peer review needs of CIHR’s funding competitions. For detailed information on the College's membership base, please see the Member Demographics, the College Members List and Activity Reports.

Management & Guidance

CIHR has established an oversight structure for the College that leverages the expertise of its members and assists CIHR in fulfilling its mandate to support excellence in its peer review processes.

The College of Reviewers is managed by a dedicated team at CIHR that ensures that the College membership base can deliver excellence in peer review while also offering opportunities for continual improvement through learning and capacity development and performance management measures. To support this work, College staff engage the Scientific Director Working Groups, the University Delegates Advisory Committee (UDAC), and the Project Grant Chairs and Scientific Officers for peer review advice.

College Members may also be invited to form external working groups of research experts to discuss strategies that best support reviewers and promote peer review excellence.

College Chairs (2016 – 2020)

To help establish the College of Reviewers, CIHR appointed a group of seventeen College Chairs to ensure capacity to provide independent, expert and relevant advice to CIHR in the building of the College. This group comprised research leaders from across Canada who spanned the breadth of Canadian health research, lead productive research programs, and had gained extensive peer review experience through years of service.

The College Chairs were appointed with staggered terms, and in late 2020, the remaining eight active Chairs resigned from their roles as their specific mandate had been accomplished and the College of Reviewers was firmly established with remarkable efficiency.

During their tenure, the College Chairs defined and oversaw the College’s action plan and ensured that College frameworks, policies and activities were designed to enhance peer review quality and to retain strong reviewers. The Chairs also contributed to College recruitment strategies and implementation plans, and played an active role in attracting members to the College.

In addition to laying the groundwork for the development of the College, the College Chairs played an integral role in helping to steer CIHR's peer-review through challenging times and strengthen linkages with the research community. CIHR is immensely grateful for their collective efforts and personal outreach, and the robust College of Reviewers they helped establish.

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