SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials Initiative – Frequently Asked Questions


Why is CIHR launching this initiative?

The initiative is part of the SPOR element on improving Canada’s competitiveness in clinical trials. It is designed to build capacity in Canada for innovative clinical trials with a focus comparative effectiveness studies and implementation research.

Will this initiative support randomized controlled trials?

The initiative is focused on innovative clinical trials that adopt alternative methods to the traditional randomized controlled trials. Researchers may continue to submit applications for RCTs to the Foundation and Project grant programs.

Why is CIHR moving forward with a clinical trials strategy that is focused on innovative clinical trials other than standard Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)?

CIHR recognizes that the global environment for clinical trials is changing and that an opportunity exists to establish a niche in the growing field of innovative clinical trials. The SPOR iCT Initiative offers an opportunity to lever Canada’s capacity to advance new emerging approaches to clinical research and take advantage of Canada’s richness in administrative databases.

What is the budget of the initiative?

The SPOR iCT Initiative has an annual budget of $11.7 million.

Will more funding opportunities be launched under this initiative in the future?

Yes. There are plans to have subsequent launches of catalyst and multi-year grant funding opportunities.

Do the SPOR iCT Iniative funding opportunities require matching funds from partners?

Funding allocated through the SPOR iCT Initiative will adhere to the SPOR principles, including a requirement for 1:1 matching of CIHR funds with non-federal sources. There is one exception to this, the catalyst grant funding opportunity will not require partner funding.

What if funding partners cannot be found in a timely manner?

CIHR is working with stakeholders from across sectors (health system funders, research funders, industry, health charities, etc.) to help promote the funding opportunities. That said it is the responsibility of the applicant team to secure financial commitments from partners and include this commitment in writing as part of the application.

Would SUPPORT Units be able to provide matching funds?

We encourage all applicants to work with other SPOR funded entities, in particular SUPPORT Units. However, funding or in-kind support provided by the SUPPORT Units cannot be considered as matching funds if the source of those funds is CIHR or have been used to leverage CIHR funds.

How are applicants supposed to interact with the SPOR SUPPORT Units?

Applicants should contact their respective jurisdictional SUPPORT Unit to find out what services and supports are provided.

Does the SPOR iCT Initiative support research proposals in comparative effectiveness covering treatment modalities only?

The SPOR iCT Initiative will support proposals on diagnostics as well as treatment modalities under the comparative effectiveness category.

Does the SPOR iCT Initiative intend to support other methodologies not included in the examples outlined in the Initiative overview webpage?

The information provided in the SPOR iCT Initiative overview webpage is not meant to be exhaustive. The initiative will accept applications for projects on innovative methodologies that are not included in the overview webpage.

Are investigators permitted to apply to more than one SPOR iCT Initiative funding opportunity?

Yes. Investigators are permitted to apply to more than one SPOR iCT Initiative funding opportunity provided they are eligible and are able to fulfill all the relevant requirements. However, investigators are not permitted to apply to both Open and JDRF funding opportunities.

If you have questions that are not addressed in the FAQs above, please contact CIHR at support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

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