Advisory Council on Research (ACOR)


It is critical to the success of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) that its reputation for peer-review excellence and leadership in the cancer research community is retained to ensure that the Canadian Cancer Society continues to fund excellent research to improve cancer control. The Advisory Council on Research (ACOR) plays a pivotal role in the stewardship of CCS research by providing oversight for all CCS research grants and awards programs. ACOR also has an important role to play in the recommendation of research programs and priorities, research and science policies, ongoing research strategic planning and the identification of appropriate indicators for the ongoing evaluation of all the Canadian Cancer Society’s research programs. ACOR performs this critical role as a management committee reporting and making recommendations through the EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy and the Vice-President, Research to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Cancer Society. ACOR also maintains a linkage to the Canadian Cancer Society National Board of Directors by inviting the scientific representatives of the Board to participate in ACOR meetings, where appropriate.

Size and composition

  • 12-15 members
  • Scientific Chair
  • 1-3 senior leadership representatives of the Canadian Cancer Society
  • Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Cancer Research is a non-voting ex-officio member of the council
  • CEO, EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy, and Vice-President, Research, Canadian Cancer Society are ex-officio members of the council


Members must be national or international experts in their fields, have credibility in the Canadian health arena, and have a superior understanding of cancer research and cancer science and its relevance to cancer control. Together, the Council must be broadly representative of the entire spectrum of cancer research and cancer control.

In addition, Scientific Members must have:

  • Strong knowledge and experience of Canadian Cancer Society research programs and peer review processes, preferably in the capacity of a reviewer or panel chair
  • History of peer-reviewed funding from a national peer-review agency


  1. Provide specific advice to senior staff (CEO, EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy, and Vice-President, Research) regarding the ongoing development and evolution of the Canadian Cancer Society’s research strategy, and on the appropriate programs and funding mechanisms to successfully implement the elements of that strategy
  2. Advance the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission through the stewardship of a broad portfolio of excellent, peer-reviewed cancer research
  3. Act as ambassadors for the Canadian Cancer Society and for research through interactions with the scientific community at large, and with Canadian Cancer Society donors and the public, as required
  4. Oversee the ongoing development and evaluation of End-specific research programs working with the Ends 1, 2 and 3 development sub-committees of ACOR. These End development committees will include at least 2 ACOR members and be supplemented with additional expertise from the scientific, policy and program communities, as required. Additional operational details can be found in the End development committee terms of reference.
  5. Assess the progress of the Canadian Cancer Society (from a scientific point of view) in accomplishing its mission, namely reducing the incidence and mortality from cancer and improving quality of life of those living with and beyond cancer
  6. Provide advice on key directions and opportunities in cancer research, informed in part by convening other national and international experts on cancer research and cancer control on a periodic basis
  7. Advance the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission through national and international research collaborations
  8. Provide advice on scientific and administrative policies of CCS research
  9. Evaluate the peer review processes used to assess all CCS research applications for research funding and make recommendations for improvement as required
  10. Based upon advice from Panel or Review Team Chairs, recommend levels of support for applications for CCS grants, awards and major programs and make recommendations through the Vice-President, Research and EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy to the CEO for approval of all such grants, awards and programs
  11. Provide advice to senior staff, where needed, in the selection of Panel Chairs and members of all standing and ad hoc Scientific Review Panels
  12. Directly evaluate some requests for funding (e.g. Letters of Intent, Travel Awards or other such programs) and make recommendations regarding the suitability of applications and levels of support
  13. Make recommendations to the CEO for the annual Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research
  14. Advise on and participate in the ongoing evaluations of all CCS research programs and develop recommendations based on the outcomes

Terms and appointments

Members will be appointed by the CEO with advice from the EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy, Vice-President, Research and the Scientific Chair of the Council. Each term of appointment is 3 years in duration, renewable for a further term.

The Scientific Chair will be appointed from the membership by the CEO for a term of 2 years, with a maximum extension of 1 further year.

The outgoing Scientific Chair is invited to remain as a full member of the council for one additional year as the Past Chair.

Operating mode

  • 3 in person meetings per year, 1-2 days in duration, supplemented by teleconferences, videoconferences or other appropriate technology on an as needed basis
  • A simple majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum. Once a quorum has been established, a simple majority of those members present shall be required to carry any motion. Voting may be done in person, by telephone, or by email
  • As appropriate, scientific members of the National Board of Directors will be invited to participate as guests in ACOR meetings. Other guests may be invited to any meeting at the discretion of the Scientific Chair and senior staff.
  • Teleconferences between the scientific members of the National Board of Directors, the ACOR Scientific Chair, the Vice-President, Research, the EVP, Mission, Research & Advocacy, and the CEO may be convened as needed to discuss research issues for the organization
  • Scientific Chair may be required to attend National Board of Directors meetings in order to provide a report on ACOR activities and/or to contribute to Board discussions about research and other issues

Current membership block

Deborah Anderson, Saskatoon

David Berman, Kingston

Judy Bray, Ottawa (Ex-officio)

Angela Brooks-Wilson, Vancouver

Michael Cox, Vancouver

Paul Demers, Toronto

Craig Earle, Toronto

Stuart Edmonds, Toronto (Ex-officio)

Christine Friedenreich, Calgary

David Huntsman, Vancouver

Jennifer Jones, Toronto

Michael Moran, Toronto (Scientific Chair)

Pamela Ohashi, Toronto

Geoff Porter, Halifax

Stephen Robbins, Calgary (Ex-officio)

Andrea Seale, CCS (Ex-officio)

Peter Siegel, Montreal

Marc Therrien, Montreal

Katherine Zukotynski, Hamilton

Last modified on: October 1, 2020