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How We Fund Research

Every year, researchers and teams of investigators working in hospitals, universities, and research institutes across Canada apply for funding from our organization. They seek support for a variety of cystic fibrosis research projects – from basic lab research to support for clinical trials to studies on quality of life and drug discovery.

The pursuit of excellence through the rigorous peer review of all applications is the cornerstone of all Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s funding decisions, and is essential for fulfilling Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s mission. An excellent scientific review process substantially enhances the overall CF research effort, leading to a major beneficial impact on individuals affected by cystic fibrosis, and ensures research with the greatest potential to treat, manage or cure CF receives funding.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada recruits three types of reviewers, including two types of scientific reviewers. No scientist is likely to have sufficient expertise to be able to review all applications. For this reason, Cystic Fibrosis Canada recruits reviewers with different scientific backgrounds, so that they may review applications that reflect their individual areas of expertise. Three different international CF experts per application are typically recruited to provide written reviews of that proposal. A panel is also developed that consists mainly of Canadian and US reviewers to each review multiple proposals, write detailed reviews and meet to discuss all applications. In addition to the scientific reviewers, CF Community representatives, who are generally patients or parents of a child with CF, serve on the review panel and provide an outlook based on their unique and personal life experiences and evaluate how the proposals align to the CF Community Research Priorities.

Applicants receive feedback following the review process to help them best assess their strengths and weaknesses and allow them to make improvements in future applications.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada takes conflicts of interest between reviewers and applicants very seriously and has enacted measures to avoid such occurrences.

The recommendations of the scientific review panel are presented to Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s Board of Directors. The Board is then responsible for the final decisions of Cystic Fibrosis Canada regarding all research policies and funding.