Connections >> July 2014

29 July 2014

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:




MSFHR announces 2014 scholar award recipients

Thirty-two exceptional BC health researchers have been named recipients of scholar awards through MSFHR’s 2014 Scholar Program funding competition.

The award recipients, selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 120 applicants, represent a bright future for health research in BC. Their innovative projects span a broad range of disciplines and will help to address important health challenges for the benefit of all British Columbians.

With a maximum term of five years, MSFHR Scholar Awards help British Columbia create and sustain a base of excellence that fosters world-class research across the health spectrum.

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Scholar award partners support research innovation

Three of this year’s MSFHR Scholar Awards are jointly funded in partnership with BC-based not-for-profit organizations. The BC Schizophrenia Society Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute have partnered with MSFHR to support high-quality research that is directly relevant to these organizations’ mandates.

The recipients of partnered scholar awards in the 2014 competition are:

  • Leigh Anne Swayne (MSFHR/BC Schizophrenia Society Foundation Partner Scholar Award)
  • John Kramer (RHI/ICORD/MSFHR Partner Scholar Award)
  • Christopher West (MSFHR/RHI Partner Scholar Award)

The 2014 competition represents the second time MSFHR has partnered on scholar awards. A complete list of our scholar and trainee partners is available on our website.

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New infographic shows impact of MSFHR Scholar Awards

A recent MSFHR analysis has confirmed the significant value of scholar awards to individual research careers and to the strength of BC’s health research enterprise.

With the generous support of a large cohort of past and current scholars, MSFHR analyzed CV data from 79 percent of individuals funded since 2001.

Highlights of this analysis are available in a new brochure that demonstrates the exceptional nature of the individuals and work supported by MSFHR funding.

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Understanding the peer-review process

Peer-review is a cornerstone of MSFHR’s Scholar Awards and other funding programs. This mechanism ensures the research we support meets the highest scientific and academic standards. It also maintains our accountability to the provincial government and to British Columbia’s health research community.

But what actually happens between the application deadline and the announcement of funding decisions? To demonstrate the excellent work of MSFHR’s dedicated Programs staff, we have prepared a brief overview of the peer-review process.

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SPOR business plan submitted to CIHR

A business plan outlining the vision and model for BC’s SPOR Support Unit has been submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for review.

The plan, which was formally approved by the project’s Interim Governing Council in June, represents the foundation of a unit that will transform BC’s health system through research by engaging patients as key members of a new partnership that includes decision-makers, health care providers, and researchers.

CIHR will conduct an iterative review of the business plan, consisting of internal and external evaluation. More information will be posted to the BC Support Unit website as it becomes available.

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2014 HSPRSN Partnership Awards launched

MSFHR is pleased to announce the launch of the 2014 Health Services & Policy Research Support Network (HSPRSN) Partnership Program.

These awards, offered annually since 2005, support BC researchers in applying to peer-reviewed national or international competitions that require matching funds as a condition of award. Successful applicants will receive up to $80,000 per project to investigate issues that address provincial health system priorities.

Currently, MSFHR has a partnership agreement with CIHR’s Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) Program; however, other competitions requiring matching funds that are launched in 2014 will be considered as well.

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Nominations open for 2014 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize

Nominations are now open for the fifth annual Aubrey J. Tingle Prize and Lecture.

This prize, created in honour of MSFHR’s founding president & CEO, recognizes a BC health researcher whose work has had significant impact on advancing clinical or health services and policy research. The prize is valued at $10,000, and the winner will be invited to present at an MSFHR event scheduled in early 2015.

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Career opportunities

MSFHR is currently recruiting for the following position:

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Stronger public voice will improve impact and quality in health research

According to CIHR, fewer than 60 percent of decisions on general medical services are supported by appropriate research evidence, and up to 25 percent of patients get care that is not needed or could be harmful. Can the public — as patients, taxpayers or citizens — help change these statistics?

A new blog post by Bev Holmes, MSFHR vice-president, research & impact, examines the important role the public can play in health research and describes how the SPOR initiative is working to make this a reality.

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