Go to content

ICES Public Advisory Council

ICES recognizes the importance of reflecting the public voice and public values in our research and how we work with data. Discover how you can join or consult with our Public Advisory Council.

What is the ICES Public Advisory Council?

The ICES Public Advisory Council (PAC) was formed in 2019 to guide ICES on what matters most to Ontarians for health data research. Their thoughts, perspectives, and values inform ICES research activities and influence how ICES researchers use data to improve Ontario’s healthcare.

The ICES PAC includes members of the public from various linguistic, socioeconomic, and cultural communities. Our occupations vary, as do our geographic regions in the province.

We welcome your queries!

Diverse group of smiling Muslim women standing together outside in front of a brick wall in a park

Past & current members reflect communities such as

  • Ajax
  • Kenora
  • King City
  • London
  • Mississauga
  • Newmarket
  • Orangeville
  • Ottawa
  • Parry Sound
  • Peawanuck
  • Peterborough
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Stratford
  • Sudbury
  • Thunder Bay
  • Toronto
  • Waterloo

Why is the PAC important?

As a research institution that uses public data, it is imperative that ICES reflects the values of Ontarians in the decisions we make and the work we do. With public input, ICES can:

  • Better understand the public’s interests, priorities, and experiences with the health care system
  • Make better-informed decisions about data and partnership opportunities
  • Create more impactful public resources and communications tools
  • Improve uptake and application of research findings
  • Demonstrate transparency and build trust around the use of health data in research

What does the work of the PAC involve?

The PAC is the primary mechanism for ICES to engage with the public at an institutional level. The PAC guides corporate-level topics that can benefit from the perspective of the Ontario public. The PAC also provides feedback to ICES researchers and other areas of the organization that come to the group seeking guidance about the public.

We are currently in our third iteration of the Council and Year 4 of its work. See our full Annual Report and Annual Summary snapshot to learn more about our work over the past year.

Consult with us!

Any ICES scientist or staff member is welcome to consult the expertise of the ICES PAC. Contact [email protected] to set up an initial meeting.

ICES scientists or staff inform the Public Engagement & Knowledge Translation (PEKT) team of their initiative or project.

The Public Engagement & Knowledge Translation (PEKT) team facilitates connections between the requesting scientists/staff and the PAC.

Scientists/staff provide any relevant materials to the PAC in advance for review.

Scientists/staff present at a PAC meeting to gather feedback and insights.

Scientists/staff incorporate the PAC’s feedback into their initiative or project and share relevant finished products with the PAC.

The Public Engagement & Knowledge Translation (PEKT) team coordinates follow-up meetings or communication as needed.

FAQs

How do I join?

Applications for the 2024 ICES Public Advisory Council recruitment cycle are now closed. We thank all applicants for their interest. The next recruitment cycle will begin in Spring 2025.

ICES is a not-for-profit research institute made up of a community of research, data and clinical experts. We work with Ontario’s health-related data and aim to inform health system policy and planning to improve the health of all Ontarians. (ICES is pronounced by reading the letters of the name, I-C-E-S or eye-see-ee-ess).

Most of our meetings occur virtually, so you can participate from home – wherever home is for you.

A hybrid meeting is offered once per year, where members can choose to (again) join virtually from home or have their expenses paid to travel to a meeting venue in Toronto.

 

You will receive an honorarium for every term you spend on the PAC. You will also be reimbursed for the costs of travel, accommodations, and meals for any hybrid meetings that you choose to attend in person.

Members of our PAC sign on for 3-year terms. The total time commitment is about 16 hours per year, including orientation, quarterly meetings, and a bit of work between meetings.

There is also the opportunity to volunteer for some additional (optional) subcommittees or working groups (time commitment varies).

As a PAC member, you will advise ICES on issues related to health data research by:

  • Attending quarterly meetings
  • Reviewing background materials before meetings
  • Participating in interactive feedback sessions around issues brought to the PAC or brought up by the PAC
  • Bringing ideas and comments to the PAC about ways to engage the public in health data research
  • Connecting with your community to continue the discussion with your friends, family and colleagues

A Terms of Reference outlines the PAC’s purpose, the scope of work, roles and responsibilities, the term of involvement, and other important information to ensure that everyone is aware of what they are committing to. This document will be shared with all new members ahead of their orientation.

Yes, there will be training to ensure all PAC members have the necessary background material to address the topics they will be discussing. Before the first meeting, there will be an orientation session to familiarize PAC members with ICES and its activities. Training will continue to be provided on a topic specific basis as needed for each PAC meeting.

No prior expertise in research, health care, or data analytics is required. Each PAC member will bring their own unique experience as a resident of Ontario who interacts with the healthcare system.