Community Representatives

Do you have a connection to multiple sclerosis (MS)? Do you have an interest in scientific research? Are you looking for an opportunity to make more connections in the MS community?

MS Canada is committed to being a leader in finding a cure for MS and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life. To help reach this goal, MS Canada funds research that investigates all aspects of MS, both biological and clinical. MS Canada also supports research and training programs which cultivate a network of bright young minds as the next generation of MS researchers.

Each year MS Canada 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 as members of the review committee. Through this, MS Canada 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 MS Canada 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 MS Canada’s research funding programs.
  • Participate in an orientation session on the research review process via an online webinar.
  • Provide a brief biography and photograph that will be posted on MS Canada’s website.
  • Review and score the lay sections of each application based on a set of review criteria provided by MS Canada.
  • Attend the review meeting in early 2024. Depending on the committee you are selected to serve on, you may be required to attend a one-day meeting or two-day meeting. All community representatives must be willing to attend the two-day meeting and be able to take time off work and other responsibilities. The meeting will either be held in-person in Toronto, Canada or held virtually. Travel may require additional time around the meeting dates.
  • Comfort in sharing your perspective and comments for each application with members of the review committee at the review meeting.
  • Willingness to share your experiences as a Community Representative with MS Canada after the review.
  • Commit to a minimum of two years of service with at least one review committee per year.

Note: All travel and accommodation costs associated with participation in the research review process will be covered or reimbursed by MS 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 willingness to learn and access new software (this will be important when accessing applications and entering comments).
    • Access to a computer or tablet and reliable internet 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 lived experience, and participate in discussions with health professionals and scientists.
    • Fluent in English (French an asset, but not required).
    • Demonstrate a meaningful understanding of the impact of MS on day-to-day living.
    • Candidates must be willing to participate in a virtual interview as part of the selection process.
    • Please note that although applications are accepted in both English and French, the review committee meeting will be conducted in English.

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 March 30, 2023 by 4:00 PM EST. Contact msgrants@mssociety.ca with any questions or concerns.

Apply now to be a Community Representative for MS Canada.