Expression of Interest – Reference Group for the Appropriate Review of Indigenous Research Membership


The selection of candidates for membership to the Reference Group has experienced delays due to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, the Tri-Agencies have revised the appointment date of members to the Reference Group to Summer 2020.

CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC are seeking Expressions of Interest for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to participate in the Reference Group for the Appropriate Review of Indigenous Research (Reference Group). This group will provide guidance to the agencies on culturally appropriate review approaches and practices for research conducted by and with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

The call will be looking for 8-10 individuals to be members of the Reference Group, who collectively have a deep cultural understanding of First Nations, Inuit and Métis research, including Indigenous Knowledges, to facilitate the advancement of peer review processes and research practices most appropriate in the domain of Indigenous research. The agencies are welcoming broad perspectives from Elders, youth, Knowledge Keepers and academics (at various career stages) to be members of the Reference Group.

The work of this group will align with the Canada Research Coordinating Committee’s commitment to growing the capacity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples in leading their own research and collaborating with the broader research community.


Reference Group members will provide advice and guidance on the effective development and implementation of culturally appropriate peer review approaches and practices for research conducted by and with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, including on the following:

  • Improvements to the agencies’ iterative review process(es), including advising on application materials and existing merit review criteria;
  • Ensuring that Indigenous knowledge systems are recognized and contribute to scientific/scholarly excellence;
  • Increasing researcher accountability and awareness of appropriate engagement and consent with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples;
  • Ensuring that the role of Elders in guiding and mentoring research is recognized during the review process; and
  • Promoting participation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in adjudication committees and dedicated working groups.

Time Commitment

Reference Group members will serve staggered terms of two to three years (renewable) to allow continuity of membership. Meetings will be held by teleconference on a monthly basis or as needed. In addition, one in person meeting will be held annually.


Service as a Reference Group member is voluntary. Expenses incurred to attend in-person meetings will be reimbursed at Government of Canada rates. Honoraria may be available for members who do not have paid employment and/or who do not receive paid compensation for their work outside of any voluntary work they provide to the Tri-Agency (e.g., Reference Group).

Review Process

Members will be selected using recommendations of an external expert committee of leaders comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Métis scholars and community members; and will be approved by the tri-agency VPs of Research. Membership will be selected in a way that considers:

  • Sufficient diversity to reflect First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada (including the perspectives of urban, rural, northern, on/off reserve Indigenous Peoples);
  • Different levels of experience and expertise (community and academic);
  • Breadth across the agencies’ three mandate areas;
  • Gender equity; and
  • Geography

If gaps exist in the above areas in the Expressions of Interest received, additional members will be proactively sought out.

Appointments to the Reference Group will be announced in Summer 2020.

How to Apply

Interested individuals are invited to submit the following documents to show their interest in being considered for membership:

  1. A two to three-page freeform document explaining (i) the experience/perspectives you have that would contribute to the mandate of the Reference Group; and (ii) how being part of the Reference Group would impact you personally, and (iii) how your involvement would benefit your community, collective and/or organization; and
  2. A signed letter of support from your communityFootnote 1 that describes your lived experience with research and involvement/ role within the community.

All documents must be sent electronically; emailed with the subject heading “Indigenous Reference Group” to

The deadline for applications is March 13, 2020.

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