Connections >> September 2013

24 September 2013

Connections is MSFHR's monthly e-newsletter. Each issue highlights the top MSFHR news from the past month and showcases the impact of research we've funded.

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In this issue:



Research Roundup

Shad Valley internships help teens build research skills

For the fourth consecutive year, MSFHR is proud to partner with Shad Valley to support the placement of outstanding high school students in research programs at BC universities.

The four-week Shad Valley program provides summer enrichment opportunities to some of Canada's best and the brightest students. This year, more than 600 students had the opportunity to live on campus at one of 12 Canadian universities and take part in a wide variety of workshops and lectures focused on the sciences, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Following the enrichment program, students can apply to take part in an optional internship. This year, MSFHR's support enabled three students to gain valuable hands-on experience working alongside established BC researchers.

MSFHR welcomes new chair and board member

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sally Thorne as chair of MSFHR's Board of Directors.

Thorne (pictured at left), a professor in the UBC School of Nursing and associate dean of the UBC Faculty of Applied Science, assumed the role September 13 at MSFHR's annual general meeting. Former chair Sue Paish will continue to serve on the board as past chair, and Dr. John O'Neil has been appointed vice-chair.

MSFHR is also pleased to welcome Dr. Elinor Wilson to its board of directors. Wilson has worked in the academic, public, and private sectors, and served most recently as president of Assisted Human Reproduction, a federal regulatory agency established to promote health, safety, dignity, and rights for Canadians who use or are born of assisted human reproduction technologies.

MSFHR thanks retiring board member Karimah Es Sabar for her service to the Foundation.

Funding opportunity to study clinical care guidelines implementation

MSFHR, in partnership with the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, is requesting proposals for a research project that will study the implementation of clinical care guidelines to better understand the mechanisms that enable and constrain health system transformation in BC.

This project will fund one research team to collect and analyze data from each health authority regarding clinical practice guideline implementation. Up to $185,000 in funding is available over a maximum period of six months.

Full application instructions and guidelines

BC researchers express strong interest in SPOR SUPPORT Unit

BC is one step closer to developing a regional service centre for patient-oriented research after completing the first phase of a call for expressions of interest.

Forty-seven registrations were received by the September 4 deadline from researchers or research teams interested in participating in BC's Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit. The unit is being developed as part of CIHR's national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and will provide specialized expertise and infrastructure for patient-oriented research in BC.

All confirmed registrants have been contacted by MSFHR with instructions for submitting their full applications by the September 30 deadline.

BC health research strategy project in final stages

The BC health research strategy planning team is working hard on the emerging strategy, based on input from a broad consultation.

Next steps include update meetings with key stakeholders — those who will have a role in the strategy's successful implementation — to seek endorsement for the emerging direction. A workshop for the health research strategy reference group is also being planned for later this fall to help prioritize the actions for the health research strategy, after which the strategy's advisory board will meet to discuss next steps, including an implementation plan.

For the latest updates on the BC health research strategy, visit

CIHR launches health services and policy research survey

A new online survey is seeking input from health researchers to help shape a pan-Canadian vision for health services and policy research.

The survey, launched this week by the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR), was developed in partnership with the provincial health research funding organizations and many of Canada's health charities. Feedback will inform a Priorities Forum in 2014 that will involve partners and stakeholders in the development of a national vision and strategy for health services and policy research.

The online survey will be open until October 15, 2013.

Research Roundup

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