The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)’s Institute of Infection and Immunity is building a committee to hear the perspectives of people with lived and living experiences with infection and disorders of the immune system.
The call is open to patients, caregivers, and family members, and closes on October 24th, 2023.
Interested in applying or looking for more information? Check out the posting below, or on the CIHR Website
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. CIHR is made up of 13 Institutes – communities of experts who collectively support a broad spectrum of biomedical, clinical, and health systems research, and the social, cultural and environmental factors that affect the health of Canadians. CIHR collaborates with patients, partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.
One of CIHR’s 13 Institutes, the Institute of Infection and Immunity’s (III) mandate is to support research, build capacity and mobilize knowledge in the areas of infectious disease and the body’s immune system. Through III’s programs, researchers address a wide range of health concerns related to infection and immunity including disease mechanisms, disease prevention and treatment, and health promotion through public policy. While the Institute funds researchers and impacts health and healthcare, its inclusion of and partnerships with people with lived and living experience and communities are important to it achieving its Stategic Plan for 2021 to 2026. One example is the strategic goal of Infection & Immunity Knowledge Mobilization, which includes engaging people with lived and living experience and communities to co-create, translate, synthesize, implement, and share new knowledge between researchers and others. The Strategic Plan also includes cross-cutting principles which affect these interactions, including equity, diversity and inclusion, collaboration and partnerships, and communications & engagement.
III is aiming to convene its first Community Advisory Committee that includes people with lived and living experience to advise its Institute Advisory Board and Institute Staff on a number of topics. The individuals on this Advisory Committee will not be academic researchers, clinicians or trainees. Rather, these future members will be representative of (i.e., living with or have lived experience of) infectious diseases and conditions related to the body’s immune system. Through their own experiences and connections to their communities, they will to provide III with valuable lived insights that will complement the scientific and medical expertise of III’s Institute Advisory Board.
The III Community Advisory Committee will represent an effort to engage and listen to the perspectives of people with lived and living experience (and their communities), to ensure these perspectives and insights are incorporated in relevant III activities and funding opportunities. Advisory Committee members will:
- Bring their lived and living experiences to III to provide advice and input from their perspectives and from their communities (the latter as applicable); and,
- Inform their respective communities about III, CIHR, and their work with the Advisory Committee (as appropriate).
Invitations for Expressions of Interest
III is seeking a diversity of experiences within its Advisory Committee to build inclusive representation of individuals who live with, or represent conditions, related to infectious diseases and conditions of the body’s immune system. III commits to authentically engage those who have historically been excluded from participating as research partners, by ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion are of central focus. To this end, we are seeking members who reflect the breadth of diversity of the communities with which III does research (e.g. geographic region, age, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, Indigenous peoples, language, sex and gender, sexual identity, gender identity, disability/ability, type of disease, more common and less common diseases). In addition, III seeks to develop meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities across Canada. As such, we are seeking Advisory Committee members who would be interested in helping III understand the perspective of Indigenous peoples with conditions that fall under the III mandate. We value working with Indigenous partners and commit to ensuring that the unique rights, interests and circumstances of Indigenous Peoples are acknowledged, affirmed and actioned.
Advisory Committee members will be provided with compensation (should they wish to receive it) for participation. Advisory Committee members will receive support to help them do their role on the Committee. Advisory Committee members will be invited to serve initial terms of up to two (2) years and may be reappointed for a second term of up to one (1) year in order to maintain continuity; to a maximum of three (3) consecutive years.
Expectations of Advisory Committee Members
Advisory Committee members are expected to add value to III from a person with lived and living experience perspective. This may include:
- Attending 2-3 meetings annually that may be in person or virtual.
- Arriving for meetings prepared and ready to participate (meetings may be in person or virtual) and provide III with reasonable notice if unable to make a meeting (if possible);
- Being open and collaborative when participating in discussions, providing feedback, raising issues, and solving problems;
- Providing perspective and wisdom by sharing knowledge and experience while considering the knowledge and comments shared by others;
- Respecting all opinions, even if disagreeing;
- Promoting and contributing to an environment that is free of personal interests beyond the specific community or group a member may represent;
- Providing insights and perspectives from their own lived experiences as well as those drawn from engaging their own communities;
- Providing input and criticism in a constructive way;
- Drawing on knowledge, personal and professional networks, and experience to provide input into discussions and decisions;
- Sharing relevant learning and information and III initiatives with their own organizations, networks and communities;
- Contributing to ongoing dialogue and project work between formal meetings as needed;
- Acting as a champion for further engagement in research and research in general;
- Treating information with appropriate confidentiality;
- Declaring all actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.
Important Note: The institute is committed to promoting both Official Languages and candidate/members are encouraged to participate in the language of their choice; however it may not be possible for all materials or communications to be available in both Official Languages during meetings.
If you are interested in this opportunity, or have any questions, please email III-IMII@cihr-irsc.gc.ca, with some information about yourself including:
- Why you’re interested in this role;
- Your preferred spoken language;
- How you see yourself contributing to this Advisory Committee (for example, by sharing any of your skills, experience, or perspectives that you are comfortable with highlighting);
- Any involvement with patient organizations or communities (this is an asset, but is not a requirement);
- Where you live in Canada;
- Language(s) Spoken;
- Anything else you think III should know about yourself with respect to this opportunity.
After we receive expressions of interest, we will select some applicants to speak with, and from there, invite some individuals to join the Advisory Committee. If you submit an expression of interest, you will be contacted and informed of whether or not you are invited to join. The deadline to submit an expression of interest is October 24, 2023. On behalf of III, thank you in advance for your interest.