Review process for the 2018 Early-Career Capacity Building Grants Program

At Brain Canada, we want to ensure full transparency about our review process. The applications for this grants program were evaluated in person by a review panel composed of Canadian and International scientific experts as well as external reviewers, when needed. Reviewers evaluated and scored applications based on six criteria: Innovation and Originality, Feasibility, Potential for Impact, Sex and Gender Considerations (of the proposed research), Budget, and the Excellence of the Principal Investigator. Our grants are awarded using processes that are benchmarked against the highest standards of peer review and are based on scientific excellence. Click here to see the criteria for assessment used in the 2018 Early-Career Capacity Building Grants Program competition.

The review panel for the Early-Career Capacity Building Grants was gender balanced (total 20 reviewers). The committee had a fulsome discussion about the outcome, which did not reflect that 35% of applicants were women. However, it was decided that it would not be appropriate to change merit scores to achieve a desired ratio. This outcome is not representative of Brain Canada’s recent competitions. While 49% of the applications received for our last three major competitions (announced in 2018) were submitted by female researchers, 57% of the recipients were women.

The panel’s assessment was that many of the applications reviewed were excellent; however, the funding envelope could only fund the top 10 ranked applications. Reviewers gave feedback that the research community would benefit from programs like this becoming more regular, and Brain Canada is committed to this goal.

Brain Canada is always open to constructive feedback from the community, and we invite you to contact us directly at