OVDRI Announcement of Two New Initiatives: Internal Peer Review and Pathway Grant

Dec 12, 2019

On behalf of Dr. Richard Hegele, Vice Dean, Research & Innovation, Faculty of Medicine

With its Academic Strategic Plan’s focus on Groundbreaking Imagination – the Faculty of Medicine aims to:

  • Actively promote an environment where world-leading fundamental research and novel ideas have the highest potential to thrive, and
  • Build infrastructure opportunities that drive learning across disciplines, fields and perspectives

To this end, the Office of the Vice Dean, Research & Innovation is pleased to announce two new initiatives to support and capitalize on the further success of our researchers. Both initiatives are directly tied to the CIHR Project Grant, next competition beginning Feb 5th, 2020:

1) The College of Internal Scientific Reviewers: The Faculty of Medicine seeks volunteers to serve as peer reviewers for their colleagues’ grant proposals through a pilot internal College of Reviewers system. The College provides on-campus faculty with scientific peer review of their draft proposals to CIHR Project Grant competitions, and has multiple benefits:

  • Supplements the OVDRI’s existing editorial review services with invaluable scientific feedback from a fellow faculty member;
  • Enhances our collaborative environment by providing researchers with greater awareness of colleagues’ projects across the Faculty; and
  • Provides a larger pool of potential reviewers beyond a single department, introducing new perspectives and inputs.

The review process is two-step: 1) abstract review, then 2) full proposal review. For each step, reviewers will complete a short rubric document based on CIHR’s criteria. Enrolling in the College is simple, and reviewers of funded proposals will receive a $500 contribution to their research programs. Click the link below to see full details, timelines, and to sign up: SIGN UP to the College of Internal Scientific Reviewers

2) Pathway Grants: To address the gap between Medicine’s excellent Project Grant proposals and CIHR’s limited available funding envelope, the OVDRI will launch a new Pathway Grant beginning in the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. This new funding program functions as an internal CIHR bridge grant for top-rated Project Grant proposals from on-campus Medicine applicants:

  • 3 grants per Project competition (Spring and Fall)
  • $100,000 for 1 year
  • Top 3 unfunded proposals, by percentile rank within review committee, will receive Pathway Grants

To be eligible for a Pathway Grant – you must be enrolled in the College of Internal Scientific Reviewers (at the time of the prior Project Grant competition)

For questions about either initiative, please contact Cindy Faber at cindy.faber@utoronto.ca. We look forward to your participation in these exciting new programs.


Richard G. Hegele, MD, FRCPC, PhD
Vice Dean, Research & Innovation
Professor, Dept. of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto