Applications now open for our 2022 Health Professional-Investigator competition

17 March 2022

Clockwise from top left, HP-I awardees: Jacqueline Saw (2019); Kendall Ho (2017); Nitashi Puri (2021); Noah Silverberg (2017); Mypinder Sekhon (2020); Katherine Plewes (2019); Peter Black (2018); Janice Kwon (2019); Paul Yong (2018); Lucia Nappi (2020); Eleah Stringer (2021); John Staples (2020)

The Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I) awards are designed to help close the gap between health research and its implementation and support BC health professionals who are actively involved in patient care to conduct and apply research relevant to health and/or the health system, ultimately to improve health outcomes in BC and beyond.

For example, our 2019 HP-I awardee, Dr. Katherine Plewes, clinical assistant professor at the Division of Infectious Diseases, UBC, found the award helped advance her career as a clinician-scientist. “Michael Smith Health Research BC is fundamental in promoting the viability of the clinician-scientist career,” says Dr. Plewes. “The HP-I award enables me to dedicate protected research time towards completing my current projects and translate my research into solutions benefiting patients from endemic and non-endemic regions by improving management of severe malaria and non-malaria fevers.”

HP-I awards provide a maximum of $90,000 per year of support for an award term of up to five years. The competition invites a broad range of health professionals to apply.

We thank the provincial government for their continued investment in health research, which enables us to continue supporting BC’s talented researchers whose research provides evidence for new tests, technologies, and treatments to create a healthier society.

Health Research BC recognizes the importance of engaging patient partners and our broader community to facilitate research that contributes to changing policies and practices related to patient health and/or the health system. As such, we have modified the 2022 application process to include patient and community review. The BC SUPPORT Unit will support this review and work with applicants to develop patient and community engagement in their research programs.

“We are excited to include patient and community review in a major funding program,” says Dr. Chonnettia Jones, VP Research, Health Research BC. “Meaningful patient and community engagement brings lived experiences and voices to the research process, which ensure the work is relevant and addresses priorities that matter to the people and communities in British Columbia. We have modified the 2022 HP-I application process to facilitate capacity building in this important area.”

Additionally, we are also introducing the following changes to the 2022 competition:

  • The letter of intent (LOI) stage of the 2022 competition will involve an eligibility check only and will not include a competitive peer review. Applicants still need to complete the LOI stage.
  • The timelines for this year’s competition are different from previous years to accommodate the additional patient and community review process. Following the external review of the full applications, the highest ranked applications will undergo a review by patient and community reviewers. Applicants will be required to provide a response to these reviewers by completing a short response template (estimated timeline early January 2023-early February 2023).
  • Health Research BC is a signatory on the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). In keeping with the principles of DORA and best practices for responsible research assessment, applications should not list journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factor, article citation counts, or H-index. Health Research BC has modified the most significant contributions section of the application to allow applicants to better describe the quality and impact of their achievements.

2022 HP-I competition key dates:

  • LOI deadline: April 29, 2022
  • Application deadline (applicant): June 20, 2022
  • Application deadline (host institution): June 27, 2022
  • Anticipated notice of funding decision: March 2023
  • Anticipated start of funding: April 1, 2023

All competition details, eligibility requirements, and information on how to apply can be found on our website. Applicants are encouraged to attend the applicant information webinar on March 23, and the patient and community engagement webinar in May (date TBC).

Strong partnerships are integral to fostering world-class health research in BC. We partner with various organizations to co-fund awards because partnerships enable us to fund more awardees while reducing the gap between research and its implementation to improve health care. If you are interested in partnering with us for the 2022 HP-I competition, please contact our partnerships team.

As BC’s health research agency, our funding awards help develop, retain and attract the people whose research improves the health of British Columbians, addresses health system priorities, creates jobs and adds to the knowledge economy. Over the past 20 years we have helped create a diverse, inclusive and competitive life sciences sector that generates significant economic benefit to the province and delivers improved health and health care for all British Columbians.

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