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PDFO-SPARC Internal Review Training Program and CIHR Mock Review Toolkit Pilot

The PDFO-SPARC Internal Review Training Program was co-developed by the PDFO and SPARC to integrate emerging scholars into SPARC's Internal Review process. New for 2021, the PDFO and SPARC are also working with CIHR on a Mock Review Toolkit Pilot.

In line with CIHR's Postdoctoral Peer Review Training Pilot Program, the Internal Review Training Program was designed to enrich the postdoctoral training experience and strengthen the competitiveness of UBC's grant proposals. The program was developed to leverage the scientific expertise of Postdoctoral Fellows, foster the development of critical thinking skills, and supplement the applicant discussion groups with feedback from subject matter experts. Postdoc participants admitted into the training program must complete a series of intensive workshops and work assignments designed to develop proficiency both in the CIHR Project Grant program and in conducting quality reviews. Learn more about the program by reading below.

CIHR MOCK REVIEW SIMULation pilot

For 2021 only: In addition to the annual Internal Review Training Program, the PDFO and SPARC are currently working with CIHR to pilot the launch of CIHR's Mock Review Toolkit. This pilot program is designed to test resources designed to support the planning and delivery of mock peer review.

The PDFO and SPARC are pleased to be piloting the CIHR Mock Review Toolkit, a new CIHR initiative designed to provide training to postdocs in the grant review process. The CIHR Mock Review Toolkit Simulation Pilot is designed to test resources that support the planning and delivery of mock peer review. This pilot complements the annual PDFO-SPARC Internal Review Training Program and was designed to allow individuals to familiarize themselves with CIHR's peer review process by simulating the Project Grant Competition. Over time, the Toolkit will expand to include other CIHR grants and awards programs. The Toolkit contains the resources needed to allow a user to run mock peer review in a relatively independent manner, including:

  • description of roles, including the Chair, Scientific Officer and Reviewer
  • overview of how to conduct a committee meeting
  • logistical, process and administrative considerations in organizing a mock review simulation
  • sample applications
  • adjudication criteria
  • rating scales

Twelve postdocs spanning CIHR's four pillars of research will be invited to participate in the pilot program, which will also include an experienced CIHR Project Grant Scientific Officer and a Committee Chair from UBC's health research community. Learnings from the pilot initiative will help evaluate the effectiveness of CIHR's Mock Review Toolkit.

TIME COMMITMENT AND TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

The approximate time commitment for this pilot is 18 hours over the course of four weeks, which will include two virtual meetings (~6 hours), review of the pilot training materials (~12 hours), and the review of three mock applications. A tentative schedule is as follows:

Week of June 14 - June 18, 2021

Participants will familiarize themselves with the CIHR training materials (estimated to take ~3 hours) and attend a two-hour online training session (date to be confirmed).

Week of June 21 - July 2, 2021

Read and critically assess three CIHR Project Grant mock applications. Based on estimates from previous participants, the time needed to review each proposal is approximately three hours for an estimated total commitment of ~9 hours.

Week of July 5 - July 9, 2021

Participate in an online, 4-hour simulation of a CIHR peer review committee meeting (date to be confirmed) to discuss and rate the scientific merit of nine mock applications.

Internal Review Training Program

The PDFO and SPARC are pleased to launch the third call for volunteers to participate in the joint Internal Review Training Program (IRTP). The program seeks to integrate emerging scholars into SPARC’s scientific review services in order to enrich the postdoctoral training experience and strengthen the competitiveness of UBC Project Grant proposals.

Seven to nine Postdoctoral Fellows across CIHR’s four pillars of research will be invited to participate as reviewers in SPARC’s internal review services in support of the upcoming Fall 2021 CIHR Project Grant competition. SPARC will facilitate the review meeting with the assistance of a Chair selected from the Alumni Network. Additional information about the program, including a program evaluation, can be found on the SPARC website.

The approximate time commitment for this program is 18-21 hours over the course of five weeks, which will include a series of virtual meetings (~9-12 hours) and the review of three draft proposals (~9 hours). A tentative schedule is as follows:

Session 1: Orientation (Week of July 5 - July 9, 2021)

Participants will participate in either an initial three-hour orientation session of the IRTP (date to be confirmed) or will have participated in the CIHR Mock Review Toolkit Pilot initiative (described in the section above).

Session 2: Improving Grantsmanship (Week of July 19 - July 23, 2021)

Participants will participate in a two-hour online kick-off session of the IRTP (date to be confirmed) and critically review three draft proposals submitted to SPARC’s Internal Review program. Based on estimates from previous participants, the time needed to review a proposal is three hours.

Session 3: Peer Review Committee Meeting (Week of August 2 - August 6, 2021)

Participants will participate in a three-hour online CIHR-structured, peer review committee meeting to discuss the scientific merit of the draft proposals submitted to SPARC's Internal Review program.

Session 4: Applicant Discussion Group Meeting (Week of August 2 - August 6, 2021)

Participants will participate in a two-hour online applicant discussion group meeting to share key points from the peer review committee meeting. 

Session 5: Virtual Networking Event

At the conclusion of the training program, participants will participate in a one-hour virtual networking event to discuss the learning experience with UBC's larger health research community.

PROGRAM ALUMNI AND ALUMNI Network

Participants who have successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to join the virtual community of internal reviewers and may be invited to lead a session of the training program. By participating in the training sessions, alumni will have the opportunity to share their insights and personal experience in the program, and mentor the next cohort of reviewers. It is expected that participating alumni will further develop leadership and mentorship skills, and that the new program participants will have the opportunity to interact and learn from their peers.

The following Postdoctoral Fellows have contributed their scientific expertise as subject matter experts as part of the PDFO-SPARC’s Internal Review Training Program.

2019 Program Alumni

Dr. Tamara Bodnar, PhD
CIHR-INMHA | CLIN
Supervisor: Dr. Joanne Weinberg
Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences

Dr. Esther Maas, PhD
CIHR-IHSPR | HSPR
Supervisor: Drs. Mieke Koehoorn and Christopher McLeod
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
Dr. Christopher Turner, PhD
CIHR-IA | BIOM
Supervisor: Dr. David Granville
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Dr. Jenna van Draanen, PhD
CIHR-INMHA | POPH
Supervisor: Dr. Lindsey Richardson
Department of Sociology
Dr. Nicholas Weilinger, PhD
CIHR-INMHA | BIOM
Supervisor: Dr. Brian MacVicar
Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Kellie Woll, PhD
CIHR-IMHA | BIOM
Supervisor: Dr. Filip Van Petegem
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

 

 

Registration

Registration for the PDFO-SPARC Internal Review Program and CIHR Mock Toolkit Pilot is now closed.

Please note that space in both the Internal Review Training Program and the CIHR Mock Review Toolkit Simulation Pilot is limited, and submitting this registration form does not guarantee a seat in either activity. Those successfully registered in one or both of the programs will be contacted by the PDFO in advance of the program start date.