Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Diversity in research is important for cultivating talent and promoting inclusive excellence, which in turn drives discovery and helps build a more innovative and impactful health research system. [1] [2]

MSFHR believes in the fair and respectful treatment of all people. We know that empowering and mobilizing a spectrum of ideas, talent, perspectives, and experiences within a health research community will help build a more innovative and impactful system.

Our new 2020 – 2025 strategic plan will include a strategic direction focused on fostering a more equitable, diverse and inclusive health research system.

MSFHR’s equity and diversity survey

As part of MSFHR’s ongoing work in supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), we introduced an equity and diversity survey timed to the launch of our 2020 competitions. This new demographic survey of applicants and peer reviewers is based on a similar survey collected by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and other federal research funding agencies in Canada.

The data we collect will enable us to understand diversity as it relates to our own work, but as important, its findings will contribute to the bigger picture understanding of BC’s and Canada’s research system diversity and to subsequent conversations about actions that may need to be taken.

The survey asks identified users (applicants, co-applicants, research users, trainee supervisors and peer reviewers) to share their gender, age, Indigenous identity, racialized identity, sexual orientation and disability status. Each question has the option to respond “I prefer not to answer”. Survey responses will kept separate from other user information and will have no bearing on whether an application is funded, and data will be anonymized and aggregated.  Chairs, scientific officers and peer reviewers will not have access to applicants’ responses to the survey.

User data and privacy

MSFHR will use the data collected by this survey to help us better understand who is applying to and being funded through our programs and to help us determine whether or not we need to make any changes to our processes to ensure the fair and impartial treatment of all participants. The first few years of data collection will serve as our data baseline and we will track these data over time.

Information shared in the survey will be stored on secure Canadian servers in MSFHR ApplyNet, a grants management system developed and hosted for MSFHR by SmartSimple, a leading grants management service provider.

For more information about our equity and diversity survey, please read our FAQ.


[1] Gewin, V. (2018). Why diversity helps to produce stronger research. Nature (November 13, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07415-9

[2] Gibbs, K. Jr. (2014). Diversity in STEM: What it is and why it matters. Scientific American (September 10, 2014). Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/diversity-in-stem-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters/