The CIHR REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM Strategic Plan
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research Regional Partnership Program (CIHR-RPP) was launched in 1999 to increase health research activity in regions of Canada where such research was under-represented. At this time, the program supports health research in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.
Under the RPP, research funding and personnel support applications that are judged to be of high scientific merit through peer review (rated 3.5 and above), but are below the funding capacity of CIHR’s base budget in CIHR regular competitions, are eligible to receive funding if there is a partner to co-fund the proposal, with a 1:1 partner funding ratio.
A key element of the PEI CIHR-RPP is the requirement that grant applications be pre-reviewed through the Office of Research Development (ORD) at UPEI and by an external peer-reviewer.
For the pre-review, a draft grant application is submitted to the ORD two months before the CIHR competition deadline.
GOALS OF THE PEI CIHR-RPP
1) Increase funding to health research programs in PEI
The primary demand for health research funding is for operating funds and this will be a continuing focus for the RPP. Operating and strategic grants provided through the RPP may include funds to support research trainees and research programs for research trainees must be adequately funded.
2) Increase the number of researchers supported by the CIHR
A primary goal is to have twenty or more researchers funded by the CIHR, either directly or through the RPP. The RPP is also a valuable asset in recruiting new faculty and complements on-going health research. Our intent is to maximize the number of researchers who can benefit from the program while maintaining appropriate levels of support. Thus, restrictions are placed on the holding of multiple RPP grants and on the number of grants funded per cycle.
3) Develop high quality, sustainable health research in PEI
For health research to be sustained in PEI, it must be of top quality and able to meet the rigorous standards of national and international peer review. Therefore, the focus of the program is on excellence. It is intended that participation in the RPP will improve the quality of researchers’ grant-crafting and their competitiveness for continued funding by the CIHR. Towards this end, it is important that the RPP process provide mentoring and support for both new and established researchers. Researchers who are funded through the RPP program will be expected to participate in future in the internal review of grants.
4) Encourage collaborative research
Collaboration within and across disciplines is an important step towards achieving excellence. Therefore, collaboration, within and outside UPEI, will be encouraged and supported. Collaboration among groups and organizations on PEI is to be particularly encouraged. It is also recognized that within small universities, individual researchers can have a significant impact. Therefore, the goal is to support the best research without restrictions on areas or collaborations. The RPP guidelines below have been developed to encourage collaboration, particularly between successful researchers and those who are attempting to establish themselves within the system, without restricting the ability of individual researchers to access the program
5) Attract funding partners that are interested in continuing support of health research
A major determinant of continued ability to attract funding is relevance. All participants in the RPP will be encouraged to communicate their work and its relevance to the larger research, policy, user, and lay communities. Collaborative work and research relevant to other groups will contribute significantly to our ability to attract matching funding for programs. Non-governmental organizations (Heart and Stroke Foundation, National Cancer Institute of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association, etc), industry, and governments are all potential partners.
Guidelines for the PEI-CIHR RPP
1) The Office of Research Development at UPEI will be responsible for ensuring that the PEI CIHR-RPP guidelines are followed. The PEI RPP Advisory Council will provide general policy guidance for the RPP.
2) The Vice President, Research & Development, UPEI is responsible for notifying the CIHR of eligible submissions and the VP, R&D (or designate) will serve as the contact point with the CIHR.
3) Applications from all areas of health related research will be eligible for RPP support provided they meet the criteria laid out in other points. All operating and strategic programs with awards of at least two years duration will be eligible for RPP support and priority funding will be for these programs.
4) Investigators who wish their applications to be considered for the RPP must submit a draft of the entire application (i.e. proposal, CV module of the principal investigator, forms, budget, attachments) two (2) months prior to the competition date to the Office of Research Development, UPEI for internal and external peer review. Deadline dates for each competition will be publicized).
Exception: For applications previously submitted to CIHR but not successful, researchers need only provide the ORD with the following for review.:
These must be received no later than two weeks prior to the next competition deadline.
Reviews will be returned to the Investigator one month prior to the competition deadline. All relevant issues must be addressed by the Investigator prior to submission.
Applications that are not consensus ranked at 3.5 or above by these review processes will not be eligible for submission to the CIHR under the RPP unless revised to the satisfaction of the Office of Research. Such applications may still be submitted through the regular program.
5) Personnel applications (Doctoral, Fellowship, New Investigator) may be considered for match funding under the CIHR RPP program provided funds are still available after operating and strategic grants have been decided. Investigators who wish their applications to be considered for the RPP must submit a draft of the application 1 month prior to the completion date to the ORD for peer review. Applications that are consensus ranked at 3.5 or above by this review process will be eligible for submission to CIHR under the RPP program. If the application is consensus ranked below 3.5, the applicant may revise and resubmit to the ORD and may be eligible for submission to CIHR under the RPP program if revised to the satisfaction of reviewers.
6) The UPEI researcher must be the Principal Investigator on the grant application. Although external collaborations are encouraged, at least 75% of the funds must stay on Prince Edward Island.
7) A researcher may only be the principal investigator (PI) on one successful RPP application. A PI on a regular CIHR grant may also be the PI on an RPP application provided that there is at least one other co-applicant from UPEI on the RPP application who is not currently a CIHR grant holder. In keeping with CIHR policy, consecutive RPP grants are not allowed.
8) Selection of successful applications will be on the basis of excellence. That is, applications receiving RPP support will be selected based on their relative ranking by the CIHR peer review process. Grants submitted to CIHR will be ranked by the respective committee, and the CIHR will provide the Vice President, Research and Development at UPEI with a rank order of the grants based on the adjudication by CHR Committees. The grant applications with the highest rankings will be awarded RPP funds until the maximum number of grants available for that competition has been issued. Recipients must apply for the Provincial component of RPP funding.
8) A project must have matching funds to receive CIHR RPP funds. While ORD will assist the researcher in identifying and seeking matching funds, ultimately the responsibility lies with the individual investigator(s) to apply for and secure these funds. Applicants are encouraged to obtain their own partner funding. After successful receipt of an RPP grant, the Principal Investigator will have 12 months to secure matching funds.
9) Grants up to the CIHR recommended level of funding over the term of the grant will be supported through the PEI-CIHR RPP contingent upon availability of funds and on ensuring that maximum numbers of award are supported. In keeping with CIHR policy, the maximum reduction in funds that will be allowed is to 75% of the CIHR approved funds (not the Committee recommended funds). Should the PEI-CIHR RPP on a 1:1 match not provide sufficient funds to meet the minimum 75% level, the grant is not eligible for support unless the researcher secures additional funds from other sources to meet the required minimum. In all cases, the recommendation on budget from the peer review committee and any CIHR-imposed reduction on general grants will be used to determine funding levels.
10) A maximum number of RPP grants will be awarded over competitions, pending funding availability. The maximum amount awarded for a single grant will be $100,000 per annum for up to 3 years. Awards will be for a minimum of two years.
11) Investigators receiving RPP support will have an obligation to participate in the review of subsequent RPP submissions and to serve as mentors for other researchers submitting applications.
12) These guidelines will be reviewed yearly by the PEI - RPP Advisory Committee at its Annual meeting. Any recommended changes will be acted upon at that time. An evaluation of the program will be performed at the end of its term. Criteria for evaluation include productivity of new investigators and research teams, the ability to attract and retain high quality researchers in PEI, and success at generating additional investments based on the RPP support.
The RPP will serve to promote high quality health research in PEI. The University will work with its faculty to encourage collaborative and independent research. The primary criteria for funding will be quality as determined by peer review. The intent is to be inclusive and to advance the development of health research programs at UPEI.
The Office of Research Development, UPEI will coordinate pre-submission grant review(s) for the CIHR-RPP program. Note that, this grant review is a requirement for eligibility and two months lead time is required to allow for an external review. In all cases, one-to-one meetings with researchers are offered and an interactive process of revision is encouraged.
Please contact the Office of Research Development directly at (902) 566-0709 or email@example.com if you wish to use this program.