The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institue

Address: 55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 300

City: Toronto Province: Ontario Postal Code: M4V 2Y7
Tel: 416-934-5311 Fax: 416-961-7327
Email: research@cancer.ca

Website: http://www.cancer.ca/research/

How many research peer review committees do you have?

Review panels are created for specific competitions (currently 9 competitions with 11 panels total). Membership is contingent based on the expertise needed. For panels with a Letter of Intent (LOI) review stage, the panel membership may be reduced in size depending on the expertise required to review the full application. For competitions with multiple panels, applicants indicate their panel recommendation, however, final panel selection will be determined by the panel chairs and CCSRI based on the panel with the most appropriate expertise [1].

What kind of research funding does CCSRI offer?

There are a multitude of topics covered by review panels. For example, the Innovation Grant and Innovation to Impact Grants has 6 panels based on areas of research:

  • Biomarkers and Genomics
  • Gene Regulation & Cell Biology
  • Imaging and Technology Development
  • Immunology, Signalling and Stem Cells
  • Novel Therapeutics
  • Prevention and Quality of Life

Review panels are composed for other competitions: Impact Grants, Prevention Research Grants, , Career Development Awards in Prevention, Quality of Life Grants, and the Knowledge to Action Grant panel [2].

How often do the committees meet?

Panels meet once per year, although there is a competition that has two competition dates per year – in this case, the panel membership may change by 50 per cent. Panels meet throughout the year, depending on the competition dates. Community representatives are assigned to a panel and attend a 1 or 2 day panel meeting in Toronto. The travel and accommodation will be paid for by the CCSRI. The first day is normally a full day (8 am to 5 or 6 pm). If there is a second day, the length will depend on the number of applications under review [3][4].

What is the term for patients, survivors, caregivers and/or family members on your peer review committees?

CCSRI uses the term Community Representatives. Community Representatives are often cancer survivors and/or a volunteer or staff member of the Canadian Cancer Society. At times, CCS is able to include others who have affiliations with other Canadian cancer related organizations [5].

How many patients, survivors, caregivers and/or family members sit on each committee?

Two community representatives participate on a panel. If the workload is lighter, the CCSRI may only include one person [6].

What is the role of the patients, survivors, caregivers and/or family members who sit on each committee?

Community Representatives participate on the panel to enhance the public accountability of the peer review process and provide a public perspective on the proposals recommended. The role of community representative is to [7]:

  • Address a proposal’s relevance to cancer and the mission of the CCS
  • Address a proposal’s usefulness in terms of patient involvement, if patients are involved
  • Comment on the quality of the public summary
  • Provide public accountability and place emphasis on the urgency and importance of the process
  • Community Representatives do not assign scores or speak to the quality of the science

Do patients/survivors present research proposals?

No, patients and survivors do not present research proposals.

Do patients/survivors have a vote?

Community Representatives do not assign scores or speak to the scientific merit of the project. For applications that are to be scored by the panel, the Community Representatives will be asked for their assessment of the relevance and potential impact of the proposed work from their perspective [8]. The comments of the Community Representatives will be captured in the report of the Scientific Officer and provided to the applicant.

If not, why not?

Community Representatives input is gathered in other ways. They are expected to weigh the relevance and potential impact of an application to cancer, address the feasibility of patient involvement if the proposed study requires it, and offer any additional evaluative information based on their expertise [9]. Community Representatives’ comments have been known to influence the scientific members of a panel and the majority have felt their participation in the discussions is most appropriate.

How are patients/survivors who sit on research peer review committees chosen?

Potential Community Representatives must fill out self-nomination form. Nominations are normally solicited from the Canadian Cancer Society; however, nominations from other cancer-related organizations may be considered [10].

Are positions on research peer review committees open to patients/survivors who are not already involved with the organization?

Nominations are normally solicited from the Canadian Cancer Society; however, nominations from other cancer-related organizations may be considered.

If not, why not?

Part of the role of a community representative is to share their experience with others and given the limited positions, we are able to secure from within the Society.

Is there mentorship available for new incoming patients/survivors on research peer review committees?

The Canadian Cancer Society has two community representatives who each serve for two years: a new and returning member on each panel. The returning member serves as a mentor to the new recruit. Community representatives are often interested in serving more than 2 years [11].

Are there resources and materials to help orient new incoming patients/survivors in their position and on the policies and procedures of the peer review committees?

There is a Community Representative Orientation Manual available for incoming community representatives.

Where can patients and CCSN find out about opportunities to apply to sit on one of your peer review committees?

Patients should fill out a self-nomination form, get in contact with the Canadian Cancer Society, and refer back to ongoing current panels, here.

When is the next opportunity available for patients?

Self-nomination form

[1] “Current Review Panels.” Canadian Cancer Society Institute for Research. CCSRI, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
[2] ibid.
[3] ibid.
[4] Community Representative Orientation Manual. Manual. Canadian Cancer Society, Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
[5] ibid.
[6] Bishop, Carol. “RE: A Seat at the Table Opportunity!” Message to the author. 28 May 2015. E-mail.
[7] Community Representative Orientation Manual. Manual. Canadian Cancer Society, Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
[8] ibid.
[9] ibid.
[10] “Application, Review and Grant Allocation Process.” Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Society, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
[11] Bishop, Carol. “RE: A Seat at the Table Opportunity!” Message to the author. 28 May 2015. E-mail.