"SUPPORT" stands for "Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials."


What is Patient-Oriented Research?

Patient-oriented research is about engaging patients, their caregivers, and families as partners in the research process. This engagement helps to ensure that studies focus on patient-identified priorities, which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes.

SPOR SUPPORT Units are an important collaboration between the federal government and the provinces and territories. SUPPORT Units provide specialized services throughout their regions to researchers, patients, clinicians, policy makers and SPOR-funded entities to conduct patient-oriented research.  By providing decision-makers and health care providers with the ways and means to connect research to patient-identified priorities, evidence-based solutions can be applied to health care—and then shared throughout the country. 

SPOR SUPPORT Units are foundational to the strategy and have established infrastructure for patient-oriented research in the provinces and territories.

SPOR SUPPORT Units champion patient-oriented research through:

  • collaboration between Units with a focus on cross-cutting themes and projects to address national priorities;
  • providing support services to the health research community and other SPOR-funded entities;   
  • advancing the engagement of patients as partners in research;
  • a critical focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion; and
  • mobilizing research evidence to inform health care practice and policy. 

Supporting Patient-Oriented Research and evidence-informed decision-making for improved health for all

Infographic: SPOR SUPPORT Units
Infographic description

Data Platform and Services:

Enable equitable access to data for health research, facilitate data-sharing, support data harmonization and linkages, and provide data analysis expertise

Learning Health System:

Applies knowledge generated through research and data to improve health care practices, systems and patient outcomes

Patient Engagement:

Engages patients as active partners throughout the entire research process

Capacity Development:

Provides training and increases capacity to conduct and use patient-oriented research


  • Patient Partners, decision makers, healthcare practitioners, and researchers work together
  • Research focuses on patient-identified priorities
  • Evidence-informed health systems provide equitable access
  • Health outcomes are improved for all

To learn more about how SUPPORT Units are leading to better health outcomes for patients, visit SPOR in Action.

SUPPORT Units across Canada

Learn more about each SPOR SUPPORT Unit, and the services and activities they offer.

Nunavut Hotıì ts'eeda Northwest Territories SPOR SUPPORT Unit Yukon Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research BC SUPPORT Unit AbSPORU Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) (Manitoba) Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit - Strategy for Patient Oriented Research Unité de soutien SRAP Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) NL SUPPORT

Amy Caughey

CIHR continues to work with its partners in Nunavut on the launch of a SUPPORT Unit in that territory. 

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