Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

661 University Ave. Suite 505 
Toronto, ON M5G1M1
President & CEO: Stephen Toope
Board Chair: William Young

Charitable Reg. #:11921 9251 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Institute for Advanced Research:

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research is a 4-star charity with a high results reporting grade and reasonable overhead costs. It is financially transparent and with its current reserves the charity can cover one year and three months of annual program costs.

Founded in 1982 in Toronto, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) brings researchers together to advance scientific knowledge. CIFAR hopes to use this knowledge to connect with experts and create lasting change. CIFAR's primary programs are Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, Knowledge Creation (research), Knowledge Mobilization and Communications, and Next Generation. CIFAR’s community includes researchers from 21 countries at 141 institutions. 

Pan-Canadian AI Strategy accounted for 59% of program spending in F2022. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the world’s first national AI strategy. The program works with three machine learning programs in Canada: Amii (University of Alberta), Mila (Université de Montréal), and the Vector Institute (University of Toronto). There are currently 113 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs.  

Knowledge Creation accounted for 26% of CIFAR’s program spending in F2022. In F2022, 12 research projects were funded in four interdisciplinary areas: Life and Health (2), Individuals and Society (4), Information and Matter (4), and Earth and Space (2).  In total, CIFAR research includes 64 advisors, 201 fellows, and 403 researchers. After intense consultations with its researchers, in April 2023 CIFAR added three more research programs: the Multiscale Human (Life and Health), Humanity’s Urban Future, and Future Flourishing (Individuals and Society).  

Knowledge Mobilization and Communications represented 9% of program spending in F2022. This program connects CIFAR researchers to experts in the industry. Through workshops and meetings, CIFAR aims to work together to achieve goals. In F2022, 59 virtual meetings and cross-programmatic events took place. The charity maintained 87 formal partnerships with government policymakers, researchers and industry leaders. It convened 121 individuals outside academia (policymakers, clinical scientists, and industry leaders) through ten engagements focused on societal impact.  

Next Generation represented the remaining 6% of program spending in F2022. The Next Generation program focuses on promoting the research leaders of the future. Mainly this is done through the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Program. There are currently 33 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars. Each scholar is awarded $100,000 to be used for research of their own choice and joins one of the CIFAR research projects for a two-year period.  

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Results and Impact

In F2022 CIFAR researchers completed 451 publications. CIFAR researchers won 95 national and international research awards. Also, 91.3% of researchers reported that participation in CIFAR activities has positively impacted their research. 

CIFAR reports that in F2022 there were 1,765 publications influenced by its activities. Additionally, 254 CIFAR researchers contributed to the top 1% of most-cited papers worldwide in the years between 2016 and 2020.  

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of CIFAR’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).   

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In F2022, CIFAR received donations of $7.8m. The charity received $34.0m in government funding representing 78% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 3% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 26% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 28%. For every dollar donated, 72 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

CIFAR has $48.0m in reserve funds, of which $500k is donor endowed. Reserve funds are the charity’s cash and investments. Reserve funds have increased 70% from F2020. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 127% or around one year and three months of annual program costs with current reserves.   

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Canadian Institute for Advanced Research for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on July 20, 2023 by Alessandra Castino.   

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.8%2.7%2.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 25.6%18.9%11.3%
Total overhead spending 28.4%21.6%13.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 126.6%116.8%72.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 7,8006,3139,772
Government funding 33,99925,10032,123
Investment income 1,623(2,561)(284)
Total revenues 43,42228,85241,611
Program costs 37,56528,04038,300
Administrative costs 1,1658331,003
Fundraising costs 1,9991,1931,101
Total spending 40,72930,06640,404
Cash flow from operations 2,693(1,214)1,207
Capital spending 3028314
Funding reserves 48,01844,15428,325

Note: In F2021, CIFAR changed its fiscal year end from June to March. The available data for F2021 represents only a nine-month period ending on March 31, 2021. As a result, F2021 figures are not comparable. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions increasing donations by $2.2m in F2022, $2.1m in F2021, and $2.2m in F2020. Ci reported unrealized investment gain affecting total revenues by ($2.0m) in F2022, ($4.0m) in F2021 and ($1.4m) in F2020. Ci reported partnership revenues as donations. Amortization was backed out of program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 46

Avg. compensation: $121,635

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-971-4251


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001