Results of the March 2012 Operating Grants Competition(2012-06-29) On behalf of CIHR, I am pleased to announce the results of the March 2012 Open Operating Grants competition, in which CIHR approved the investment of $240.6 million over seven years. As with previous competitions, we met our ongoing commitment to the research community to fund at least 400 grants from the core competition budget and to maintain or increase the average value of these grants. This was only possible by applying an across-the-board cut of 22.5%. For funded grants, the average (mean) annual core competition grant size was $601,593 (median grant size of $738,587) with an average duration of 3.8 years.
As well, 60 full-term and bridge grants will be funded through Priority Announcements and other sources for a maximum total of 460 grants approved from the Operating Grant 2011-2012 (March) competition.
As with the archived - Results of the March 2010 Open Operating Grants Competition, the March 2012 competition marked the fourth time that the Open Operating Grants competition dedicated a part of the Open Operating Grants budget to a specific funding envelope - worth approximately $12.5 million - for large grants, including large RCTs. Large grants were defined as those within the top one percent of the average annual grant budgets recommended within the competition; these were ranked together and funded from the top down within the available funding envelope. Five large grants with an average total grant size of $2.38 M were funded in this competition. Other facts and frequently asked questions relating to the Open Operating Grant Program are available on the CIHR website, in the document archived – CIHR Open Operating Grant Program Competitions – Frequently Asked Questions.
The results of this funding competition represent positive news for the research community and for all Canadians – the people who will ultimately benefit from the results of the research we fund.
I would like to particularly thank the approximately 1,000 reviewers who dedicated their time and energy to have made this competition possible. A concern of our peer reviewers has been the increase in number of applications – especially in those that are essentially resubmissions of unsuccessful applications. In response, last spring and fall we asked researchers to submit only their most competitive applications. Conversely, we discouraged researchers from immediately resubmitting unsuccessful applications to the next competition with no change or reflection. As well, we suggested that after an application has been unsuccessful two or three times that it not be resubmitted. We believe this contributed for the first time in several years to the number of applications we received staying stable at 2,284 versus 2,294 last fall and 2,298 in the spring of 2011.
We continue to encourage these voluntary measures in the hope that the research community and the institutions that CIHR supports will work with us to manage the volume of work required by your peers to review and rank applications.
Since the time of the fall OOGP results, CIHR released a Design Discussion Document regarding a new Open Suite of Programs and solicited and received excellent feedback from a large number in the research community. A summary of the feedback is being prepared for posting on the CIHR website.
I wish to congratulate the recipients of March 2012 Open Operating Grants and wish them success in all their research endeavours.
Jane E. Aubin, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Research
Canadian Institutes of Health Research