Caribbean Health Research Council

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Caribbean Health Research Agency

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Mission Vision Philosophy
To promote, support, facilitate and coordinate health research in the Caribbean; help disseminate the findings; and advise and work with Caribbean governments and other stakeholders on health research matters. Findings from Caribbean health research will be a primary basis for decision making, promoting optimal health and development in the Region. Health research is essential for improved health and human development; therefore there is a need to promote a research culture and strengthen the Region's capacity to conduct health research and utilize those results to improve health and foster development in the Caribbean.

Brief History of CHRC

The CHRC was originally known as the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) for Medical Research in the British Caribbean. The SAC was formed in 1955 and held its first Council and Scientific meeting in Jamaica in 1956. Its role was advisory, on the needs for medical research, on the application of research findings into practice and on fostering inter-territorial collaboration.

There was a transition in 1972 when the Ministers Responsible for Health in the Caribbean agreed to the formation of the Commonwealth Caribbean Medical Research Council (CCMRC). The principal role of the CCMRC was to promote and coordinate medical research in the Caribbean and to advise regional governments on related matters.

Over the years, there has been a broadening of the membership to include Caribbean countries that were not a part of the British Commonwealth. In addition, there has been a growing appreciation of the need to focus on health and not simply medical research. Consequently, in 1998 the Council changed the name to the Caribbean Health Research Council.


The CHRC is governed by a Council which comprises a chairman as well as ex-officio, nominated, elected and non-voting members. The chairman is elected by majority vote of the Council while the ex-officio members include the Chief Medical Officers of CARICOM and other Caribbean territories and the CARICOM Representative for Health. The nominated members include representatives of the University of the West Indies (2), University of Guyana (1) and the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom (1).

The Council can also elect up to six persons to serve as elected members.They are usually distinguished scientists with a strong record of achievements in health research. Appropriate institutions are also invited to send observers to the Council meeting. These persons are allowed to participate in the meeting but are not allowed to vote.

The CHRC is managed by a Scientific and Management Committee [SMC] that comprises its Director and Scientific Secretaries. The Director is a full-time employee and is essentially the Chief Executive Officer as he is responsible for ensuring that all policies are implemented and activities conducted effectively and efficiently.

The Scientific Secretaries serve in an honorary position and on a voluntary basis. Functions include advising the Director and assisting him to carry out functions such as preparation for and managing the annual scientific and council meetings and reviewing proposals for funding. They also support the efforts of young researchers serving as mentors in their country of residence.

The secretariat is currently located in Trinidad and Tobago where the Director is based. Staff members include Health Research Scientists, Monitoring & Evaluation Scientists and Officers, and Administrative Officers.