SPOR Update

October 2015

Stay connected

Do you have questions about SPOR? Let us know: spor-srap@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Upcoming events

November 26 - National Steering Committee
Ottawa, ON


SPOR Update is a report on the latest news and developments regarding Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research.

SPOR Summit

The inaugural SPOR Summit, bringing together leaders and partners from all core elements of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), was held May 19-20, 2015. Patients, policy makers, clinicians, funders, and researchers shared their experiences in building new kinds of partnerships and transformational research approaches.

More information about this event can be found in the Summit communiqué


Quebec and Maritime SUPPORT Units Announced

Two SPOR SUPPORT Units were announced on May 25, 2015. In Montreal, Quebec, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec announced the launch of the Quebec SUPPORT Unit. This SUPPORT Unit will receive a combined total of $32.4 million over five years from CIHR, the Government of Quebec and its partners.

In Moncton, New Brunswick, the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick announced the launch of the Maritime SUPPORT Unit. This SUPPORT Unit will receive a combined total of $17.2 million over five years from CIHR, the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.

SUPPORT Unit Council

The SUPPORT Unit Council met on May 21, 2015 to discuss emerging themes and initiatives. Among their topics of discussion was how to facilitate collaboration and linkages amongst the SUPPORT Units across their jurisdictions and how connections will be established with the SPOR Pan-Canadian Networks.  The meeting also featured a presentation by Dr. Ashok Malla from the ACCESS Network, including a discussion on how SUPPORT Units could help support the Network. 

Highlighting SUPPORT Unit Activities

In this issue we are highlighting activities of the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit

  1. The Career Development platform launched the 2015 fall Graduate Studentships funding opportunity. More information can be found on the website
  2. The Career Development platform team presented a workshop at the Campus Alberta Student Conference on Health (CASCH) conference on September 4-5, 2015.
  3. The Data and Methods & Support Development platforms were launched in August 2015.


Pan-Canadian Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations

The Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network is being rolled out in three phases. Phase II, which will see the member networks receive funding to become official members of the Network, is nearing completion and plans for Phase III are well underway. To-date, nine of the 11 member networks have attained official membership. In addition, seven ‘Quick Strike’ research projects were funded to conduct rapid turn-around, time-sensitive, cross-jurisdictional research studies that align with the pan-Canadian Networks Quick Strike research priorities.

Phase III will see the launch of several research funding opportunities as well as a funding opportunity for the Network Coordinating Office, an integral part of the Network’s governance and operations.

Chronic Disease Networks

A strengthening workshop was held in Ottawa on June 9, 2015, bringing together the 20 successful Letter of Intent (LOI) applicant teams with other key stakeholders. Approximately 140 participants participated, including members of LOI applicant teams (including patients and partners), CIHR scientific and staff representatives, and other stakeholders.

The workshop provided an opportunity for teams to meet, share ideas, and learn from each other; clarify expectations regarding full applications and offer teams the opportunity to address those expectations; explore / discover synergies; and, engage in targeted interactions around the requirements for the full application stage in three areas: patient engagement, sex and gender-based issues, the governance and management of large pan-Canadian networks.

The deadline for the full applications was October 15, 2015.

Network in Youth and Adolescent Mental Health

Dr. Ashok Malla, lead of ACCESS, the SPOR Network in Youth and Adolescent Mental Health, co-convened the 3rd International Conference on Youth Mental Health Transformations: Next Generation Youth Mental Health (IAYMH2015).  The event was  hosted by the International Association of Youth Mental Health in partnership with the Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) and McGill University’s Douglas Mental Health University Institute. The conference was held in Montreal, QC on October 8-10, 2015 and focused on how to make the transition from traditional mental health service models to the next generation of programs and services that will better meet the needs of young people and emerging adults.

Developing Capacity

SPOR Capacity Development Framework

Published in August 2015, the SPOR Capacity Development Framework articulates the vision and guiding principles for capacity development in patient-oriented research.  It sets out what is needed in order to foster a culture where patients, researchers, health professionals and other stakeholders are empowered, trained and prepared to learn from one another and work collaboratively. The Framework was informed by the work completed by the SPOR External Advisory Committee on Training and Career Development and a workshop with patients, researchers and other relevant stakeholders. This Framework will be used to guide capacity development activities for all funded elements of SPOR, including the SUPPORT Units and SPOR Networks.

Improving our Competitiveness in Conducting Clinical Trials

Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre

The Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CCTCC) was created to strengthen the environment for clinical trials in Canada, including the streamlining of processes for companies and researchers, with an aim to regaining Canada’s competitive advantage for hosting clinical trials.  You can now subscribe to the CCTCC newsletter for regular updates and information.

On June 4th, Senator Kelvin Ogilvie launched the Canadian Clinical Trials Asset Map (CCTAM), a national database compiling Canada’s clinical research capacities. This dynamic, online database includes details on clinical trial sites, research networks, research ethics boards, research organizations/institutions and individual clinical research experts. The CCTAM is part of SPOR’s efforts to improve the environment for clinical trials in Canada. The new portal will help market Canada as a leading destination for clinical trials in the global marketplace, providing a comprehensive picture of the breadth and depth of Canada’s clinical research assets.

For more information and updates on the CCTAM, please contact Elena Aminkova, CCTAM Project Manager, at cctam@cctcc.ca or by calling 1-844-452-5818.

Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement – Collaboration Grants Funding Opportunities

The Patient Engagement - Collaboration Grants funding opportunity was re-launched on August 27, 2015. The total amount available for this second launch has been increased to $300,000, enough to fund approximately 20 grants with CIHR funding up to a maximum of $15,000 per grant. This funding opportunity was created to help Canadian health researchers to engage patients, citizens, and health care professionals as active partners in patient-oriented research. The purpose of these one year grants is to support researchers and knowledge users to forge collaborations with patients and to build capacity for patient-oriented research.

The results from the 2014-15 launch of the funding opportunity were announced in March 2015.  Eleven grants were funded for a total CIHR contribution of $164,796, which was matched at a ratio of 1:1 or more by applicant partners.

Additional Information

SPOR National Steering Committee

The SPOR National Steering Committee met in Ottawa on May 19, 2015 to discuss the recent progress on the elements of SPOR.  The Committee provided feedback to guide the next steps for a number of ongoing plans and activities, including the approval of the draft Capacity Development Framework as well as direction on the SUPPORT Unit annual reporting requirements and the SPOR Evaluation process.  The committee also heard presentations from Dr. Ashok Malla, lead of the ACCESS Canada Network; Belinda Vandersluis, Director of Implementation of the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre; and Colleen McGavin, Patient Engagement Lead from the BC SUPPORT Unit.

The next meeting of the National Steering Committee is scheduled for November 26, 2015.

Relevant Workshops

Starting in September 2015, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) will host the web conference series From definitions to action: Meeting the needs of health care’s highest users.

Please visit the conference website to find out more about the program and to register.

Date modified: