Instructions to College of Reviewers Members

Thank You

On behalf of the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, we would like to thank you for participating in the peer review of the program. Dedicated volunteers like you who generously offer time and expertise make the success of the peer review process possible. The program, the Chairs Steering Committee and the scientific community appreciate your efforts.

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The objective of the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program is to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds to Canada. It is founded upon an uncompromising commitment to excellence in research and research training. Reviewers play a key role in upholding the high level of excellence and prestige of the program, and in doing so, ensure accountability, not only to the Government of Canada and the Canadian taxpayer—the source of the program’s funding—but to the research community at large.

  • Tier 1 Chairs are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields
  • Tier 2 Chairs are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field

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Review Process

Canada Research Chairs are awarded following a rigorous peer-review process, in which members of the College of Reviewers assess each application and make recommendations to the Chairs Steering Committee for funding.

  • A minimum of three expert reviewers from the College of Reviewers assesses each new or renewal nomination, and, if applicable, the related Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) infrastructure request.
  • The Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee reviews all nominations that have received one or more unfavourable assessments from members of the College of Reviewers.
  • Based on the recommendations of the members of the College of Reviewers and/or the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee, the Secretariat makes funding recommendations to the program’s executive director or the steering committee.
  • In the case of CFI infrastructure requests or cluster infrastructure requests (where the CFI funding is to be shared by two or more chairholders) the reviewers make their recommendation to the Secretariat, which is responsible for the coordination of the peer-review process. The Secretariat communicates the recommendation to CFI, which makes the final decision.

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Instructions to reviewers

Conflict of Interest

The Canada Research Chairs program complies with the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations to ensure the effective management of conflict of interest of any participant in the review process and to ensure confidentiality of personal or commercial information submitted to the program. Reviewers must carefully read the policy and ensure that they are not in a conflict of interest before commencing their review.

A fair and balanced review

The success of the program’s peer-review process critically depends on the willingness and ability of all reviewers to be fair and reasonable; to exercise rigorous scientific judgment; and to understand, and take into account in a balanced way, the particular context of each nomination. Using the materials provided, reviewers are asked to present a balanced review of the nomination (noting both the application’s strengths and weaknesses) in both of the program’s evaluation criteria categories.

Reviewing a nomination

Reviewers should:

  • Familiarize themselves with the Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research.
  • Familiarize themselves with the CRC program by reading the program description.
  • Review the different evaluation criteria for both new Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 nominations and renewal Tier 1 vs Tier 2 nominations (as applicable for the type of nomination being reviewed). NOTE: the specific instructions that were used by the nominating institution and the nominee to present their information are within the review package which is sent directly to reviewers by program staff.
  • Review the program’s guidelines for Assessing Productivity.
  • Review the nomination, and, if applicable, the CFI infrastructure request. These documents are included in the review package.
  • Review the institution’s Strategic Research Plan (SRP), which outlines their priority research areas and their plans for the Chair. Assess the fit of the proposed Chair with the university’s SRP (in addition to being available on the Chairs website, this document is also included in the review package).

Important notes:

Submitting your online review
Use the PIN and password included in your review package to access the online reviewer report form and instructions. Please submit the review by the deadline provided. If you cannot meet this deadline or have any other questions related to the review process, please contact program staff as soon as possible.

Missing your PIN and password or have a question?
If you have any questions or did not receive or do not know your PIN or password, please contact the Secretariat by email at or by telephone at 613-943-3087.

Safeguard your anonymity
To safeguard your anonymity, please ensure that you do not identify yourself through your comments or indicate your name/institution within the text of your review. Once the peer review of the nomination is complete, the text of your appraisal will be sent to the institution and the nominee exactly as submitted (i.e., without any changes or edits).

Material entrusted to you must be used only for the purposes of your review and assessment, and may not be used for other purposes. All information related to the nomination and your assessment must be treated as strictly confidential and must not be discussed or disclosed to anyone without prior approval from the Secretariat. Note that the documentation must be destroyed in a secure manner after you have completed your review.