Peer Review Process for Grants-in-Aid (GIA)

  1. Applications are submitted to Heart and Stroke Foundation’s web-based application system, CIRCUlink.
  2. The Chair and Deputy Chair of each committee select two internal reviewers and if applicable, external reviewer(s) for each application. Internal reviewers are members of the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) who meet face to face whereas external reviewers are members of the scientific community across Canada and internationally selected for their particular expertise.

    External reviewers supplement the expertise of the panels and provide written comments on the application submitted. The Foundation relies on the support and commitment of many researchers across Canada and internationally to ensure this process is effective.

  3. The scientific peer review meetings are held in December where the applications are discussed and rated. The Deputy Chair writes an SRC report which summarizes the discussion and the application is rated.

  4. GIA applications will be ranked by fixed percentile within each research committee of the SRC and these rankings will drive research funding allocations.

  5. Applications in the fundable range proceed to budget peer review where the budget section of applications is reviewed. The Budget Review Committee (BRC) provides support and advice on budgetary items. The BRC is a sub-panel of the SRC and works alongside other SRC sub-panels in appraising GIA projects. The BRC consists of a Chair and Deputy Chair, appointed by nomination and approved by the SRC Chair and Vice-Chair. Budget peer reviewers (15-18 members) are selected for their level of expertise related to the mandate of the review committee and their experience in reviewing and evaluating research funding applications. As with membership on all SRC sub-panels, the BRC balances geographical representation and ensures that each committee has the capacity to review applications submitted in English or French. 

  6. The prime responsibility of the BRC is to evaluate each application’s budget to determine, based on HSF guidelines, a budget to recommend for award. The goal is to be fair to both the researcher/application being reviewed and to the Foundation’s use of donor dollars. The Foundation strives to ensure funds are allocated in a manner which is effective and economical, as well as necessary to complete the project.