Organization: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Pressure grows to increase support for fundamental research, tie funding levels to demand

Canada’s support for fundamental research has fallen by a third between 2005 and 2015, but many in the Canadian research community are concerned the federal government doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to take action. The deterioration in federal support — occurring over a period closely corresponding to the decade in which the government of Stephen Harper was in power — witnessed a major swing in funding from fundamental to applied research, with 40% of researchers reporting a similar shift in their focus.

R$ talks with Dr. Rebecca Keiser — NSF international chief pursues new collaborations with Canada

President Donald Trump intention to slash key areas of his government’s research spending is inadvertently providing an incentive for new research collaborations between the United States and Canada.
The president’s fiscal 2018 budget, unveiled earlier this year, proposed massive cuts for climate science, medical research and energy projects across government, including major granting organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite a reprieve in early May when Congress voted to mostly maintain current budgets for the rest of 2017, it’s uncertain whether the axe can be avoided again in 2018.

Basic science needs better oversight and coordination, and more money: Expert panel

R$ talks to David Naylor

A federally commissioned blue-chip panel calling for greater coherence and financial support for fundamental research has made a series of 35 recommendations, including a $1.3-billion increase in the budgets of the three granting councils, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and related entities over the next four years.

Feds and BC government fund new SUPPORT Unit

The federal and British Columbia governments are investing $80 million over five years in cash and in-kind for a BC Support Unit for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials. Half of the federal funding ($40 million) will be provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research with matching support from the BC government. The BC…

Panel to examine CIHR’s awarding of research grants

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has launched an international Peer Review Expert Panel to examine the design and adjudication process of its investigator-initiated funding program. Headed by Dr Peter Gluckman, chief scientific advisor to the prime minister of New Zealand, the panel will base its deliberations on peer review literature and international best practices.…

CIHR funds research into disease-environment link

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is investing $16 million over five years into etiological research on environment-microbiome-gene-interaction for chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. The new funding will support eight research teams that will examine interactions between genes and the environment to guide new approaches for treatment, prevention and…

CDRD spin-off secures seed funding from Quark

Sitka Biopharma, Vancouver, has received a “significant” but unspecified seed investment from Quark Venture to advance its lead compound for treating bladder cancer into clinical trials. Sitka was spun out in 2013 from the Univ of British Columbia and the Centre for Drug Research and Development. CDRD assisted the firm in developing its nanoparticle platform…

Cochrane Canada returning to McMaster with new director

The Cochrane Canada Centre is returning to McMaster Univ following support from a benefactor who will be announced in the near future. The Centre was slated for closure following a 2015 decision not to renew central funding by the cash-strapped Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The centre — one of 14 worldwide — received…

CIHR awards $62.25 million for new research networks

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has announced $62.25 million for five new pan-Canadian research networks in chronic diseases including diabetes, chronic pain, child disability, gastrointestinal disorders, and chronic kidney disease. The networks involve patients from the outset to ensure research is integrated into patient care and the health care system. The funding is provided…

CIHR funds study into prescription opioid abuse

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is investing $4.4 million in four research teams to examine the increasing abuse of prescription drugs, primarily opioids. The teams – based in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and the prairies – has developed a randomized control trial (OPTIMA) to tackle the issue through the Canadian Research Initiative in…