Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Community Representatives

Do you have a connection to multiple sclerosis (MS) and an interest in scientific research?

Good news! The application deadline for the Community Representative Program has now been extended to June 17, 2021.

Apply to be a Community Representative for the MS Society’s 2022 research review committee.

The MS Society of Canada is committed to being a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life. To help reach this goal, the MS Society funds research to support studies that investigate all aspects of MS, both biological and clinical. The MS Society also supports research and training programs which cultivates a network of bright young minds and engages them in activities that fine-tune their skills and knowledge in MS research.

Each year the MS Society seeks the necessary scientific expertise required to review applications that are submitted to the annual research grants and awards competition. In 2012, an initiative was launched to involve people in the MS community – termed Community Representatives – in the review process. Through this, the MS Society hopes to provide a voice for people affected by MS and enable them to meaningfully inform research priorities and allocation of research dollars.

Each year the MS Society assembles three research review committees for the annual research grants and awards competition:

  • Biomedical Research Review Committee
  • Clinical and Population Health Research Review Committee
  • endMS Personnel Awards Review Committee

Each committee includes scientific reviewers and Community Representatives. To learn more about the committees and their roles and responsibilities, visit Review Process and Criteria.

Responsibilities of Community Representatives

  • Read and become familiar with the MS Society’s research funding programs.
  • Participate in an orientation session on the research review process via an online webinar.
  • Provide a brief biography with photograph that will be posted on the MS Society’s website.
  • Review and score the designated lay sections of each application based on a set of review criteria provided by the MS Society.
  • Attend the review meeting in early 2022. Depending on the committee you are selected to serve on, you may have to attend a one-day meeting or two-day meeting. The meeting will either be held in-person in Toronto, Canada or held virtually. There must be a willingness to travel, if required.
  • Share your comments for each application with members of the review committee at the review meeting.
  • Willingness to share your experiences as a Community Representative with the MS Society after the review.
  • Commit to a minimum of two years of service with one review committee per year.

Note: All travel and accommodation costs associated with participation in the research review process will be reimbursed by the MS Society of Canada in accordance with our policies.

Requirements

  • A confirmed diagnosis of MS, CIS or NMOSD, or a close relationship with someone with MS, CIS or NMOSD.
  • Interested in the outcomes and impact of MS research.
  • Actively engaged in the MS community.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Proficient knowledge of computer applications and ability to learn and access new software (this will be important when accessing applications and entering comments).
  • Access to a computer or tablet during the review meeting.
  • Experience with taking on leadership roles and/or participating in panels or committees.
  • Confidence to ask questions, voice opinions and perspectives on the lived experience, and participate in discussions with health professionals and scientists.
  • Fluent in English (French an asset, but not required). The review meeting will be conducted in English
  • Demonstrates a meaningful understanding of the impact of MS on day-to-day living.
  • Candidates must be willing to participate in an interview as part of the selection process.

Selection of Community Representatives

All applications will be considered by a review panel comprised of MS Society staff. Community Representatives will be selected based on their alignment with the above listed requirements. Additionally, the Society aims to select a diverse cohort of Community Representatives reflective of the MS community in Canada.

How to Apply

Please click here to access the application through Proposal Central. Find instructions on how to apply here. Complete the application by June 17, 2021 by 11:59 EST. Contact ms.grants@mssociety.ca with any questions or concerns.

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