Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is the major federal agency responsible for funding health and medical research in Canada. It is the successor to the Medical Research Council of Canada. It aims to create new health knowledge and to translate that knowledge from the research setting into real world applications.
CIHR supports more than 13,000 researchers and trainees as part of the federal government's investment in health research. The peer review process is a vital part of CIHR. Review by panels of peers from the research community ensures that proposals approved for funding by CIHR meet internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence.


CIHR was created by an , bringing together existing government activities. CIHR's annual budget is approximately $1 billion.


CIHR is a Departmental Corporation listed in Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act. As an arms length agency of government, it is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Health.
CIHR is managed by the President and the members of Governing Council, who are assisted by various Standing and Advisory Committees. The President of CIHR is Michael Strong, an ALS researcher, who began his term in October 2018.

Institute Structure

CIHR consists of 13 "virtual" institutes, each headed by a Scientific Director and assisted by an Institute Advisory Board. They work together to shape a national health research agenda for Canada. The institutes bring together researchers, health professionals, and policy-makers from voluntary health organizations, provincial government agencies, international research organizations, and industry and patient groups from across the country with a shared interest in improving the health of Canadians.
The work of the institutes embraces the four pillars of health research:
  1. biomedical;
  2. clinical;
  3. health services; and
  4. population health.
A major goal of the institutes is to forge relationships across disciplines to stimulate integrative, multifaceted research agendas that respond to society's health priorities while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

Member institutes

Each institute focuses on a specific area of research.