Summer 2016 (Volume 26, Number 2)

Happy 10th Birthday CIORA!

By Janet Pope, MD, MPH, FRCPC

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CIORA stands for Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology cAre. CIORA is a unique granting organization committed to being a catalyst for improving the care of Canadians living with all rheumatic diseases.


CIORA's grant program supports sustainable projects related to rheumatic diseases that promote one of our three core pillars: Awareness/Advocacy/Education, Early Access for Rheumatic Disease Patients, and Multi-disciplinary Care Teams. This granting body, which is part of the CRA, allows questions relevant to rheumatologists to be answered, many of which would not be eligible for other peer-reviewed funding, or be given seed funding for pilots. There is a commitment to knowing where the awardees spent their money—a 10% holdback occurs until after the final report is received, allowing us to gauge the success of the program overall and each grant allocation. The presentations/publications that result from each grant acknowledge CIORA, helping advertise the success of the program. We have committed reviewers (many of whom have been past awardees) and each division head recommends someone to help in the review process. The grants review panel works like a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) panel where individuals score each grant and a consensus score is reached after panel discussion. The panel has been chaired for years by Dr. John Esdaile and Dr. Paul Fortin; we are indebted to them both.

The 2016 competition has just been reviewed and candidates will soon know their results. In 2015 nine grants were funded (three for one year and six for two years), totaling approximately $740,000. CIORA is one of the three largest Canadian peer-review funders of rheumatology research (preceded by CIHR and The Arthritis Society). There have also been funding competitions for clinician investigators.


What is really neat about the CIORA program is the breadth and novelty of the projects. Last year the range of projects was very broad, with funding for grants related to pediatrics, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), cardiovascular disease (CVD) interventions for inflammatory arthritis (IA) by pharmacists, and evaluation of systems for measures of IA.

We could not have this grant competition without our many sponsors, and thank them profusely for their continued contributions.

Janet Pope, MD, MPH, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine,
Division Head,
Division of Rheumatology,
Department of Medicine,
St. Joseph’s Health Care,
Western University
London, Ontario