CIHR Opportunity for Early Career Investigators: Observer Program

Opportunity for Early Career Investigators: Call for expressions of interest

CIHR is pleased to continue to offer an Observer program for early career investigators (ECIs) to participate as an observer in the peer review process of the Project Grant: Spring 2018 competition.

The role of the ECI

Selected ECIs will be invited to observe committee meetings taking place in Ottawa as part of the review process for the Project Grant competition. There will be one ECI per committee.  As observers, the ECIs will not participate in review discussions.

Important dates

The face-to-face meetings will be held in Ottawa in May and June 2018. Exact dates will be confirmed with each selected ECI once they are assigned to a committee. CIHR will cover the travel costs for the ECI to attend the committee meeting.


To be eligible to participate in this observer program, the ECI must be within 60 months of their first independent appointment, as of the application deadline of the Project competition, March 6, 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 their first choice committee to which they have applied or the committee that is adjudicating their submission, should it be different.

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

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 the formal peer review training and mentoring strategy within the College of Reviewers. A survey will be issued to all participants at the end of this process to inform future launches or similar programs.

How to apply

To express your interest in participating in this Observer program, please send an e-mail to by Wednesday February 21 2018. In this e-mail, you must include:

  • 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 investigator
  • the names of two peer review committees—in order of preference—that you would like to observe.

All ECIs expressing interest will be invited to complete a CIHR Reviewer Profile. The Reviewer Profile must be completed in order to finalize the application process.

If there is more than one candidate for a single committee, a lottery approach will be used to select the final candidate.

All individuals who express their interest will be informed of the results by April 2018. Selected candidates will be introduced to the Chair of their committee and given details regarding the peer review meeting they will observe.

Note that application information submitted for this opportunity will be shared with other areas of CIHR for consideration in similar opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact

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