July 18, 2019
Health Canada is establishing a new external Nutrition Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) to provide timely and independent scientific and technical advice related to nutrition, including current and emerging research within the field. Advice provided by the Committee may be used to inform Health Canada’s policies and programs.
The Committee will be expected to provide advice on several key areas:
- Emerging scientific trends impacting the nutritional health of Canadians, including horizon scanning.
- Best practices in assessing and evaluating scientific evidence to inform public health nutrition policy.
- Topics for which evidence reviews are timely and relevant to public health nutrition (for example, where there are significant new research findings to be reviewed).
- Nutrition within a broad public health context, including where diet is one of a number of risk factors (for example, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and/or obesity).
- Nutrition issues across the lifecycle, including nutrition of vulnerable groups (for example, infants and the elderly), among sub-populations with particular attention to health inequities.
- Effectiveness of population and systems level interventions to improve the nutritional health of Canadians.
Health Canada is seeking nominations (including self-nominations) for up to eight core members of the Committee, as well as for ad hoc members. Core members will be permanent members for the duration of their terms (up to three years), and ad hoc members will be invited to serve for a specific topic or group of topics. All advisory body members serve on a volunteer basis.
Nominees should have current expertise that may include, but not be limited to areas such as:
- Dietary intakes and health (nutritional science, nutritional epidemiology, dietetics, clinical nutrition)
- Population and public health nutrition, including:
- determinants of health, e.g., food systems, social and economic determinants
- health equity
- implementation science, policy intervention research
- Nutrition across life stages (for example, pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children, older adults)
- Nutrition communication/education and behaviour change
- Public health nutrition of Indigenous populations
- Knowledge synthesis and evidence review methodology (including grading of evidence)
- Methodology and surveillance
- Food science as it relates to nutrition
- Other relevant expertise
Following a review of all nominations by a selection committee, the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Products and Food Branch will appoint members to NSAC. The selection committee will be composed of Government of Canada staff with expertise in science and nutrition, and may include:
- Representatives from the Office of the Chief Science Advisor to the Government of Canada
- The Director General (DG) of the Food Directorate
- The DG of the Office of Nutrition Policy & Promotion
- The Health Products and Food Branch Senior Medical Advisor
An external conflict of interest expert will advise the selection committee.
Additional information for potential members:
- The core committee will meet up to two times a year, and the first meeting will be held in early 2020.
- Ad hoc working groups will be established to provide advice on a specific topic or group of topics.
- Members will be reimbursed for expenses incurred during their work on an advisory body, such as for travel and accommodation, according to Treasury Board’s Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures.
- All members serve on the NSAC on a volunteer basis. Health Canada undertakes to provide its volunteer advisory body members with protection against civil liability provided the volunteer member acts in good faith, within the scope of their volunteer duties; and does not act against the interests of the Crown. Members act collectively as an advisor to Health Canada with respect to the mandate of their advisory body but they are not final decision-makers. The Department has the ultimate responsibility and accountability for any decision resulting from the advice received from an external advisory body.
- To be considered for appointment, all members must undergo government security clearance, provide a short biography sign a Confidentiality Agreement, and provide a declaration of their affiliations and interests. A summary of the affiliations and interests declarations and biographies will be posted to Health Canada’s website.
- Additional information on how the Committee will be selected and its functioning can be found in the Terms of Reference and the Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies.
The nomination should contain the following information:
- Contact information
- Area of expertise
- A statement indicating whether the individual would be interested in serving as a core member of the Committee, an ad hoc member, or both
- Rationale (no longer than 750 words)
- A declaration of affiliations and interests
- A current Curriculum Vitae
In accordance with the Privacy Act, all personal information collected will be protected and treated according to Government of Canada records management standards.
Nominations must be received by September 30, 2019.
To receive a copy of the draft Terms of Reference and for any questions, please contact us at:
Nutrition Science Advisory Committee
250 Lanark Avenue
Mail Stop 2005A
Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest in this important initiative.
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