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More health research grants result from new federal budget


Ottawa, ON — February 24, 2003 — In the wake of a C$55 million increase to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)’s annual funding announced in last week’s federal budget, the institute’s Governing Council has decided to increase the number of grants being approved this year.

An additional 54 grants for the September 2002 Open Operating Grants Competition have been approved, which brings the total to 436 grants. With the funding of these additional grants, the council says all applications rated "excellent" or better by CIHR’s peer review committees will be funded. CIHR’s total investment in these operating grants over their full terms is $166 million. The names of all grant recipients will be posted on CIHR’s website no later than today.

The council has also approved an allocation of $5.3 million to each of the 13 institutes for fiscal year 2003-04, including ongoing commitments.

Allocations to other funding programs will be finalized at the council’s next regularly scheduled meeting on March 19-20th in Edmonton.

According to CIHR President Alan Bernstein, important research now made possible by the budget increase includes studies on children, rural health, diabetes, new therapies for prostate cancer, health care for Canada’s aging population, health care policy reform, and a large population study on early childhood influences on adult health.

In addition, training programs by the CIHR’s 13 institutes will continue to increase Canada’s capacity to undertake high-quality health research in areas such as healthy aging, health services for mental health and addiction, regenerative medicine, cancer, arthritis, child health, diabetes and obesity.

"When CIHR was established we promised that, through strategic investments, we would apply the talents of the research community to health issues of concern and importance to Canadians," Dr Bernstein said last week in an open letter to Canada’s health research community. "This budget increase allows us to reinforce the institutes as the focus for our strategic efforts, building on a growing base of excellence in Canada’s health research community."